GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Will Muschamp and Nick Saban first met
at LSU's bowl practice in 2000. They spoke for 20 minutes about
football and philosophy.
A month later, Saban called Muschamp for an interview and hired
him the same night.
They spent the next five years together. Meetings, practices,
meals, road trips, games, family get-togethers, they were seemingly
inseparable. Saban was the defensive guru with passion, vision and
NFL experience. Muschamp was his student, willing to learn
everything he could about the intricacies of defense.
Together, they helped lead LSU to the 2003 national
championship. Eight years later, they're on opposite sidelines as
head coaches for the first time, Saban with No. 3 Alabama; Muschamp
with No. 12 Florida.
Regardless of Saturday's outcome, it won't change the respect
they have for each other.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)