NORMAN — Nick Saban can't get away from the talk.
Until the first week of December and the remarkable missed field-goal return by Auburn's Chris Davis, Saban had a chance to coach Alabama to a third consecutive national title.
For much of the season, around these parts at least, much of the Saban-centered talk had very little to do with the job he had.
Instead, it had to do with the job he might have in the future.
Nearly a year ago, former Texas regent Tom Hicks and current regent Wallace Hall met with Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, about the possibility of Saban taking over the Longhorns if Mack Brown stepped down.
Could the upcoming Sugar Bowl meeting between Oklahoma and Saban's Crimson Tide be a precursor to more head-to-head meetings between Saban and Sooners coach Bob Stoops?
After news of the meeting leaked out, not long after Texas suffered back-to-back losses to BYU and Ole Miss turned up the heat on Brown's seat, Saban denied any interest in the job.
Of course, Saban has done that before.
In late 2004, Saban strongly denied he was going to leave LSU to coach in the NFL. Shortly thereafter, Saban was named Miami Dolphins coach.
Shortly before he left the Dolphins for Alabama two years later, Saban said, “I'm not going to be the Alabama coach.”
Now that the regular season is over, talk has heated up that Saban could be headed for Texas.
After the Longhorns' 30-10 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Brown didn't want to talk about his future.
“I'm not talking about that tonight,” Brown said. “I'm in the same position I was for the other 15 times I've been asked.”
One site with local ties reported recently that the Saban-to-Texas deal was done. University of Texas president Bill Powers told the Austin American-Statesman last week that there had been no discussions with Saban about the job and no decision on Brown's future had been reached.
Saban has won four national championships at two different schools. He's coached in the NFL.
In the SEC, Saban has had a long-standing rivalry with Les Miles, the coach who replaced him at LSU.
If he were to leave for Texas, the rivalry with Stoops would have a different dynamic.
The two have known each other for decades.
“I knew some of his brothers when they were in high school,” Saban said. “Not Bob, he was older, but played against them when they were at Iowa, so I've just known this family for a long, long time (and) just always had a tremendous respect.”