Chris Dufresne / On College Football

Nick Saban, Brian Kelly hint they are not heading to the NFL

The coaches speak at the Bowl Championship Series media day at Sun Life Stadium. Alabama's Saban says returning to the pros is not something he wants; Notre Dame's Kelly says the topic is secondary.

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Nick Saban and Brian Kelly dropped strong hints Saturday they would be coaching at Alabama and Notre Dame beyond Monday night's Bowl Championship Series title game.

It's understandable the men leading the top two college football teams into the sport's top game would be considered candidates for several NFL vacancies.

Saban, seeking his third national title in six years at Alabama, had the more adamant denial.

"I don't have any unfinished business in the NFL," Saban said at Saturday's media day at Sun Life Stadium. "It's not even something I want to do."

Saban went 15-17 in two mostly woeful seasons with the Miami Dolphins before taking the Alabama job in 2007 — one of the great career moves in coaching history.

Kelly, who has led the Irish to the title game in his third season at Notre Dame, tried to deflect the NFL rumors.

"It's flattering if there is interest, which I don't know that there is," he said. "But this is such a secondary topic for me right now."

He added, "I think from my perspective I've got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever."

Of course, you never say never with these guys. In December 2006, Saban adamantly denied he was leaving the NFL for Tuscaloosa.

"I'm not going to be the Alabama coach," he said less than two weeks before becoming Alabama's coach.

This time, though, Saban might be true to his word. After his misadventures in the NFL, there seems no earthly good reason why he should return to the pros.

"I want to be a college coach," Saban said. "I'm not looking for new challenges."

And Nick

While Saban may seem uptight at times, he said he relaxes in the off-season by running a pickup basketball league. Saban, naturally, is the commissioner.

"I pick the teams, so I have the best players," he said. "I also pick the guys who guard me."

It should not come as a surprise to know Saban is also the director of officiating.

"Every now and then I call a foul on myself," he said.

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Remember when a stadium scoreboard provided only the score and kept the game time with an hour-hand clock?

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