Nick Saban and Alabama football star at ESPN ‘Car Wash’

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after defeating the Clemson Tigers in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers with a score of 45 to 40. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after defeating the Clemson Tigers in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers with a score of 45 to 40. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football and Nick Saban were ESPN ‘Car Wash’ stars on Wednesday. Given Nick’s low tolerance for hypothetical questions, it went pretty well.

Alabama football had a famous brand before Nick Saban. When Saban descended to Tuscaloosa in the winter of 2007, that famous brand had been tarnished. Among the many accomplishments achieved by Alabama football under Saban’s leadership, brand enhancement may be number one.

We can look back at Nick’s career and see how he learned football, starting first from Big Nick. It is not clear how, or from whom, Nick learned brand enhancement. But he learned it well.

Today the Alabama football brand has a status that even surpasses the glory years of Paul Bryant. Saban also realizes the fluid nature of image and that burnishing the brand can never stop. So eight days ahead of fall camp, in the midst of an accelerated recruiting calendar, Nick Saban did several hours of television exposure.

Nick may not have hated it, but we doubt he enjoyed any of it. Saban is a master at staying on message. Only in maybe a two-hour window, immediately after winning a national championship, are all public utterances not carefully calculated.

Saban’s media success comes from being, by nature, thoughtful and because he is articulate. His answers may repetitive but they are not trite. The video below is a good example as he talks about the 2017 team.

When asked to engage in the debate over the best conference in college football, Nick respectfully declined. As reported by tidesports.com, Nick had this to say.

"“These kind of arguments are creations that you make in the media so you have something to talk about … and there’s nothing personal in this for me, but from my standpoint, whoever’s best makes no difference.”"

As we recently challenged, the ‘SEC is not best’ claim is foolishness. While the best conference debate makes no difference to Nick personally, he realizes it matters to others.

On ESPN, Nick shouldered his role as elder statesman and defender of the SEC, and added,

"“I love our league, I think it’s a great, competitive venue. We have great attendance, great fan interest, we have lots of players drafted, lots of All-Americans, we won a lot of national championships. If someone else does better than that, so be it.”"

We are pretty sure there are people inside the Alabama football program and throughout every SEC program to whom the SEC being best is personal. So we’ll repeat Nick’s line, “If someone else does better than that, so be it.”

Next: Pre-Fall Camp, Projected Depth Chart

Let’s be clear, Alabama and SEC football fans, ‘so be it’ applies to some future point in time. This century, SEC football has dominated college football, based on the ultimate measure, national championships. That is not some kind of Jim Harbaugh convoluted brag, it is fact.