Alabama coach Nick Saban caused plenty of raised eyebrows and neck jerks on Monday when he described Auburn as the, “best team we’ve played, probably, so far.”

Obviously that raised knee-jerk reactions about LSU after the Bayou Bengals recently clinched the SEC West and earlier beat the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. But on ESPN’s “Get Up,” SEC Network host Paul Finebaum explained Saban’s reasoning.

“He’s saying it because he’s Nick Saban and he wanted to throw something up in the air and get people talking, but he’s really talking to the committee,” Finebaum said. “… He’s trying to get them to think. He’s trying to get them to do some comparison shopping between Alabama and Utah. Because the conventional wisdom now is if Utah wins out, and wins the Pac-12 Championship Game, they are going to jump Alabama.”

ESPN analyst Desmond Howard then weighed in and said Saban wants people to forget about the LSU loss. But he also asked about where we are in college football that the greatest college football coach is now into politics.

“That’s to try to jockey for one of the top four spots,” Howard said.

Finebaum recalled that two years ago, Saban spent two hours on ESPN’s “College GameDay” lobbying for his case, and, “you guys let him.”

Howard replied, “He didn’t politic like this when he said blatantly, this team is the best team we’ve seen. Forget about the team we saw in Tuscaloosa.”

Finebaum later in the segment said if he were in Grapevine, Texas with the Playoff committee, he would argue whether Alabama deserves to be ahead of Georgia at No. 4.