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Nick Saban created a QB controversy whether he likes it or not

He says the media created Alabama’s QB drama, but it was always coming and it’s the reality of his situation.

CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Alabama has a quarterback controversy, whether Nick Saban wants to call it that or not. Jalen Hurts is good. In the limited time we’ve seen Tua Tagovailoa, he’s been good, too.

Saban doesn’t see anything about his program that would create a quarterback controversy. The fact that he — justifiably — yanked the starting QB who had won him 25 games (and came one Deshaun Watson completion away from a national title) in favor of a backup who showcased a different skillset and then won the game is, apparently, par for the course. He also deflected transfer rumors regarding Hurts this offseason. There’s no controversy in his mind. It’s just a figment of all of our imaginations.

“And I think the number one thing that you will want to talk about is the quarterback controversy that you’d love to create, that you’ve already created, that you will continue to create,” Saban told reporters on Wednesday at SEC Media Days. “And I will tell you the same thing exists there. It’s still to be determined as to who is going to play quarterback for Alabama. So you can ask all of the questions about it, but it’s still to be determined.”

There’s something I try to never forget when talking about Tagovailoa. It’s a short and sweet point that Saban made after the national title game.

Tagovailoa getting action in this game perhaps isn’t too surprising, as Alabama said it was prepared to play him in the Sugar Bowl against Clemson.

It was a gutsy move to switch quarterbacks, but Saban has had faith in Tagovailoa for a long time. It speaks to the nature of the “process” deal Saban has — his strict focus on program-building by focusing on the little things and getting better every day, as well as the competitive nature of a football team. It may boil down to semantics, but what we would call controversy is something Saban sees as natural and even healthy competition.

Acknowledging controversy also acknowledges that something’s spiraled out of your control, and that’s not exactly something Saban’s inclined to do either.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an actual controversy, despite what Saban wants you to believe, and the fact that Bama can still win a ton of games whether Hurts, Tagovailoa, or your grandfather who hasn’t played in 50 years is behind center.

This thing’s going to bleed up until the Alabama offense walks onto the field against Louisville in Orlando in Week 1, and if the starter struggles, the controversy may get worse.