The 2018 college football season has yet to see Alabama head coach Nick Saban make any miscalculations when its come to his football team, but perhaps he's finally made one.
Saban was one of two coaches to vote Clemson as the No. 1 team in the nation ahead of the Crimson Tide in the final Coaches Poll released on Sunday, according to USA Today.
Alabama received 62 first-place votes. However, Saban and Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi tabbed Dabo Swinney's Tigers as the nation's top squad, keeping the Crimson Tide from drawing a consensus No. 1 rating.
Alabama finished the season 13–0 and captured the SEC Championship over Georgia behind a fourth-quarter rally led by ousted starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. Perhaps the conference title game—which saw the Crimson Tide face their biggest deficit of the season and trail for a majority of the contest—was enough to convince Saban that his team presently isn't the nation's No. 1 team. The result, at the very least, was enough to convince Saban he didn't want his team to face the Bulldogs again.
Or maybe it's a tip of the cap to Swinney, whose teams have faced Saban's in each of the past three postseasons. Clemson, which also finished the regular season 13–0, defeated Narduzzi's Pittsburgh squad comfortably in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday, winning 42–10.
In all likelihood, Saban is trying to motivate his team as it prepares for the College Football Playoff. Alabama and Clemson are on course to potentially meet for a fourth straight season following the release of the final playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide, who were seeded first, will face Oklahoma, while the second-seeded Tigers will face Notre Dame.