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CFB roundup: Alabama wins polls; Saban won't leave Tide

The SportsXchange

While his fans were basking the national championship victory that brought a No. 1 ranking in the final polls, Alabama coach Nick Saban said he Tuesday he was staying with the Crimson Tide.

Saban, tired of the speculation that he will bolt for the NFL, said college is where he belongs a day after Alabama whipped Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS National Championship Game. He coached the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06 before coming to Alabama.

Saban he has been the subject of rumors since the NFL regular season ended more than a week ago.

"How many times do you think I've been asked to put it to rest?" Saban said. "And I've put it to rest, and you continue to ask it. So I'm going to say it today, that -- you know, I think somewhere along the line you've got to choose. You learn a lot from the experiences of what you've done in the past."

Earlier in the day, Alabama finished the season unanimously ranked No. 1 in both major polls.

The Crimson Tide (13-1) was voted national champion a record ninth time by the Associated Press, capturing all 59 first-place votes. Alabama received all 56 top votes in the final USA Today coaches poll.

Notre Dame (12-1), which entered the game No. 1 in both polls, dropped to No. 4 in the media poll and No. 3 in the coaches poll. The Fighting Irish have eight AP national titles. Oregon (12-1) finished second in both polls.

Ohio State (12-0), the only undefeated major college program, finished third in the media poll but was not eligible to be ranked by the coaches. Georgia was No. 4 and Texas A&M fifth in the USA Today poll. Stanford, South Carolina, Florida State, Clemson and Florida were Nos. 6-10 in the USA Today poll.

Georgia and Texas A&M tied for fifth in the AP poll. The rest of the media top 10 was Stanford, South Carolina, Florida and Florida State.

As for Saban's players, All-America linebacker C.J. Mosley and quarterback AJ McCarron have said they plan to be back.

The Tide likely will have three or four starting spots on the offensive line to fill.

--Notre Dame junior tight end Tyler Eifert will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, according to IrishIllustrated.com.

NFLDraftScout.com ranks Eifert the No. 1 tight end in the country. He is projected to be a late first- or early second-round draft choice. He led Notre Dame with 50 catches for 685 yards with four touchdowns.

--Texas A&M junior left tackle Luke Joeckel will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, according to multiple reports.

Joeckel is the top-ranked offensive tackle and overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com. The website's Rob Rang projects Joeckel to be drafted No. 1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. Joeckel started every game on the left side of the line since his first season at Texas A&M. He was responsible for protecting Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel's blind side.

--On the same day the Pac-12 Conference exonerated Washington State head coach Mike Leach of physical or mental abuse of players, another report surfaced in which parents were concerned about how their children were treated in Leach's first season at the school.

The Pac-12's investigation interviewed nearly two dozen individuals and said if found no basis to Marquess Wilson's allegations.

However, Deadspin.com reported anonymous parents were concerned about the treatment of players under Leach and his staff. One of them reportedly had written a letter to the school president Elson Floyd over the alleged abuse.

Deadspin reported Bill Drake, the Cougars' head athletic trainer, was relieved of his duties with the football team by athletic director Bill Moos. That was after Drake raised red flags over the "around certain practices of the coaching staff that put the health and safety of the student athlete at risk."
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