HOOVER, Ala. — It's the time of year that starts to awaken the bear.

(Not Bryant, but close).

Strange things happen around SEC Media Days, as the college football season sits up, yawns, stretches, and wipes the sleep from its eyes.

Fans gather for a glimpse at a coach.

At least one of those fans will wear a ring on his head.

Nick Saban's knee starts popping.

I didn't make that last one up. That is a literal line from the Crimson Tide head coach at the podium for SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday.

And with that, let's take a look at some of Saban's other notable quotes and quips from the unofficial official start to the college football season.

"I think this is always about the time, you know, this week, when I'm like, start shaking my leg again, start -- you know, my knee starts popping."

That sounds alarming, but honestly, it's better than his hip popping. Saban had hip replacement surgery in April.

"I've had just enough of sitting around, relaxing, jumping in the lake, playing golf in the morning, and really get excited about, you know, the season," the coach said.

Wow. That sounds like an ideal summer. Saban had to play with his five-iron (no driver) in the weeks after surgery. He shot a 77 from the forward tees.

The legend grows.

Here's what Saban had to say about a variety of different topics pitched his way.

Saban on his spotless 16-0 record against former assistants:

"I think that's not a very fair stat. All of the former assistants that we have, they get jobs. They don't take a program over that has the established, you know, talent, culture, and all that we have at Alabama."

That includes Georgia, if you're keeping track at home. So does this next part. 

"So when they get the opportunity to establish those things in their program, they're going to be able to beat Alabama and compete with Alabama."

Saban on Heisman-favorite quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's upcoming season:

"Tua is a great competitor, so he's going to try to make a great play every play. And sometimes those things have worked out extremely well. And other times they've led to some disasters. So, having a little better judgment about when to say when can be an asset from a health standpoint as well as eliminate negative play standpoint, even though sometimes he's done that, and it's worked out great."

Saban on the transfer portal:

"In my opinion, if we're going to have a transfer portal that's good for the players, then we ought to have a rule that says, regardless of what happens when you transfer, you have to sit out a year. That's how it's been for years and years and years. All right."

Saban on how he's found success:

(After giving credit to personnel and athletic departments) "I'm sort of a perfectionist by nature. And I know you can't be perfect, but we're always working to try to close the gap on perfect if we can, and get everybody in the organization to try to do the same."

Saban on if he is difficult to work for:

"You have to ask some of the people that work for me. Always interesting that, you know, they may say that but then when they get a job and they go do it, they do it exactly like we did it. So, I don't know."

(If Saban were holding an actual microphone, instead of speaking into the podium, he could have dropped it there.)