Ex-teammates Pinkel, Saban meet for SEC title
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Gary Pinkel and Nick Saban are competing with a conference championship on the line 42 years after winning one together.
The former Kent State teammates will be on opposing sidelines Saturday. Saban leads No. 1 Alabama against Pinkel and No. 14 Missouri in the Southeastern Conference championship game in the Georgia Dome.
They worked together as graduate assistants under mutual coaching mentor Don James after helping Kent State win the Mid-American Conference title in 1972. Pinkel even replaced Saban as Toledo's head coach.
Saban says James had to coax him into become a graduate assistant because he didn't want to coach.
Both coaches still cite lessons and practices adopted from James, a Hall of Famer who died in October 2013.
Saban won the first meeting 42-10 two years ago.