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UPDATE: Kiffin: I could have coached title game if I wanted to

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UPDATE: TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Lane Kiffin says he could have remained as Alabama's offensive coordinator through the national championship game if he had wanted to.

Kiffin told ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show Tuesday that "if I wanted to coach this game, I would have coached this game."

The new Florida Atlantic coach and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced Monday that incoming offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian would run the offense and call plays in next week's national championship game against Clemson. Both described it as a mutual decision.

Kiffin says if Alabama had lost the game because he wasn't 100 percent focused on the players, "I couldn't live with that."

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PREVIOUS STORY: TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Lane Kiffin isn't sticking around to run Alabama's offense in the national championship game.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday that Kiffin will leave to focus on his new job as Florida Atlantic's head coach. Incoming offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will replace him for the Jan. 9 game against Clemson in Tampa, Florida.

Saban says he and Kiffin spoke following the semifinal game against Washington. He said with the time demands of handling both jobs, "we recognized that it is best for our players, and for Lane, that we allow him to turn his full attention to his new head coaching role at FAU."

Kiffin says it "was a very difficult decision, but it's a decision made in the best interests of the program."

More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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