When Ohio State capped its undefeated season with a 26-21 victory over Michigan last November, many openly wondered whether the Buckeyes' bowl ban kept them from playing for a national title.
Ohio State was just one of two teams to finish the 2012 regular season unbeaten, Notre Dame being the other, but the Fighting Irish drew the Alabama Crimson Tide as their opponent for last year's championship game.
The end result was a gruesome 42-14 thrashing that left Alabama in a familiar place—alone at the top as college football's best team. Members of the Buckeyes football team could do nothing but watch as the macabre scene unfolded on their televsion screens.
So many questions went unanswered after the Tide claimed yet another national title last January. Could Ohio State have put up a better fight than the Irish? Could anything have survived direct contact with Saban and his football team for more than three hours that night?
Or, if Ohio State had been eligible, would it have taken Alabama's place opposite Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game?
That question, oddly enough, was posed to Saban during the SEC's spring meetings Tuesday afternoon, according to ElevenWarriors.com.
Instead of answering the question directly, Saban took a backhanded shot at the Buckeyes:
Saban asked about Ohio St.: "How many would they have won against those top 6 (in SEC) last year? Would they have won three? I don't know."— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) May 28, 2013
The top six teams Saban is referring to—Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida and LSU—all finished within the top 14 of the final AP poll last year. Saban's comment, of course, was a very thinly veiled shot at Ohio State's strength of schedule.
How many of the SEC's top teams would Ohio State have beaten last year?
Whether you think the 2012 Buckeyes could have beaten those teams, it's worth noting that no one in the country was asked to. Alabama only played three of those teams and went 2-1 against Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M. South Carolina and Florida were not on the Tide's schedule in 2012.
Regardless, it was certainly an interesting comment from Saban, especially considering how robotic the coach usually is during interviews. One thing we can certainly assume, though, is that this news will come to Urban Meyer's attention.
If things work out for Meyer and the Buckeyes this year, there won't be a bowl ban to prevent us from gaining the answers to questions about how Ohio State and an SEC powerhouse would match up.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.