Notes on a flip card (that’s what they put the starting lineups and rosters on for us media types) heading into Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game ?

... The All-SEC teams will be coming out next week, and it’ll be interesting to see who the Coach of the Year will be.

To my mind there are four worthy candidates: LSU’s Les Miles, Georgia’s Mark Richt, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

To the winner of the SEC championship perhaps should go the prize. Richt resurrected his career from The Walking Dead (a post-Apocalyptic series on AMC set in Atlanta, though no zombies will be allowed in the Georgia Dome without a ticket) with a 10-game winning streak after an 0-2 start that followed last year’s 6-7 mark.

And Miles? He just keeps winning, seemingly perfecting his craft all the while maintaining a persona that fellow coaches, er, zombie victims, may find maddening and the rest of us find wacky. But you can’t argue with the results. At an unprecedented 12-0, he has this LSU team on the verge of true greatness.

?... If you follow LSU and you have a Twitter account, no doubt you’ve seen this quote somewhere this week attributed to one Nick Saban circa 2003:

“Anyone who doesn’t win their conference has no business playing in the national championship game.”

There are emerging flu strains that wish they could go viral as effectively as this quote has, its flames fanned no doubt by LSU and Oklahoma State fans wishing their schools will play each other in the BCS National Championship Game.

But did Saban actually say it? The answer is, through the exhaustive research I’ve put our library staff through, no. Not that we could find. There was something in an Associated Press story from 2002 where Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops supposedly said that, but even he was paraphrased in the article and not directly quoted.

If anyone can come up with legitimate proof, yours truly would be glad to examine it. But until then, chalk up this supposed Saban quote to wishful thinking.

?... The final BCS votes and standings won’t be tallied until Sunday, but count an early shot across Alabama’s bow from KPEL’s Jay Walker in Lafayette, a voter on the Harris Interactive poll.

Walker said on KPEL’s website that if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma on Saturday he will vote the Cowboys No. 2 over Bama. He cites the strength of the Big 12 (rated all year by the computers higher than the top-heavy SEC), OSU’s wins over current BCS ranked teams (OU would make it five) and the unassailable fact LSU beat Bama.

Even if Oklahoma State slips past Bama in the BCS overall computer ranking, I still don’t think it will get enough human voters from the Harris and coaches’ polls to side with the Cowboys. But the Pokes do have the last word, something the Tide will not have as it sits home awaiting its BCS fate.