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Fired-up Saban on whether Bama even needs to win the SEC: ‘It’s never OK to lose a game’

The Tide are basically already in the Playoff, but winning an SEC championship along the way isn’t exactly a low priority.

Monday, Nick Saban was asked about the idea* that Alabama could withstand a loss in Saturday’s SEC Championship against Florida and still make the College Football Playoff.

“This is a big game for us. It’s an opportunity to win an SEC championship, which to me, is a very significant accomplishment,” Saban said. “You all put everything about the Playoffs, man. That’s all you care about. You don’t care about any bowl games. You don’t care about any teams in the country that aren’t in the Playoffs.”

This is a solid Saban rant. The coach usually saves his hottest media scorns for when things are going pretty well. Seeing as the Tide are three wins from becoming the third team to ever rank No. 1 for an entire season from start to finish, things are going pretty well.

“I don’t know. If we don’t win this game, maybe we throw a stink bomb out there, maybe we don’t get in the Playoffs. I don’t know. You guys got all the answers to all that, but I don’t. Aight? Alls I know is, if we play and we play well, we control our own destiny.

“I’d really rather not have any more questions about, is it OK to lose this game? It’s never OK to lose a game.”

Bama beat writers and SEC Media Days attendees often jokingly prepare themselves for this kind of blowup, since it can occur at any time. Saban usually dials it down toward the end and closes on something people can laugh at. This time, that came after the reporter attempted to ask a followup about quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Saban hit him with a: “You shoulda asked that first.”

* That idea is probably true. Bama has 12 wins already against a tough schedule, and nobody else does yet.

The finest Saban mic work remains that time he cussed in praise of Georgia Southern.