Coach Nick Saban: Nothing's been decided on Alabama's starting QB

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban released his team's first official depth chart Monday but neglected to say whether Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa will be his starting quarterback when the Crimson Tide kick off the season Saturday against the Louisville Cardinals in Orlando, Florida.

In fact, a miffed Saban told reporters he wouldn't even commit to both quarterbacks playing in the game.

"None of that has been decided yet," he said. "I wish we could talk about something else."

Hurts and Tagovailoa were listed as co-starters on the depth chart. Both have been competing for the job ever since the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in January, when Saban benched Hurts at halftime in favor of Tagovailoa, who threw three touchdowns in the come-from-behind win over Georgia.

"They've both done a good job in fall camp," Saban said. "We're excited about the progress both guys have made and what they're capable of doing."

Tagovailoa, a sophomore who appeared in eight games as a backup last season but has yet to start a game in his career, is considered the front-runner because of his ability to throw the ball downfield -- a skill that was missing at times under Hurts the past two seasons.

But Hurts, a junior who is one of the most effective running quarterbacks in the country, has an overwhelming edge in experience given his 26-2 record as a starter. What's more, he has shown he can be trusted to take care of the football, throwing just one interception all of last season.

At times this offseason, Saban has hinted at playing both quarterbacks, saying that "if both guys can contribute to our team, we'll certainly utilize it the best way we can."

But Saban warned reporters on Monday not to make any assumptions about the quarterback position.

Asked whether he planned to name a starter before the game, Saban said, "I don't think you should assume anything."

"If I'm ready to tell you, I'll tell you," he said. "If I'm not, I won't. You can assume that."

Alabama, the preseason No. 1 team in the Associated Press and Amway Coaches polls, opens the season Saturday against unranked Louisville.