Nick Saban uses Michael Jordan quote to inspire Alabama

Nick Saban, Nick Saban AlabamaWhat does a wildly successful college football coach like Nick Saban, who has won three national championships and has a chance for a fourth, use to motivate his football team? The inspiring words of one of the best athletes of all time — Michael Jordan, of course.

Saban has Bama playing in the BCS National Championship Game for the second year in a row. In order to keep his team focused for the title game, he shared a quote from Jordan, who was not satisfied with winning just one championship.

“We show our team a video of Michael Jordan talking about making the game-winning shot,” Saban said, via ESPN. “It doesn’t matter how many game-winning shots he’s made in the past. The only one that matters is the one he’s about to take.

“That’s the whole deal. Can you focus on the next shot? You’re so zeroed in on the next shot that you don’t have time to think about the other ones. You really don’t.”

Jordan of course finished with six NBA championships and is considered to be the best player of all time. Saban is up there among the best college coaches of all time.

Saban is often asked how he remains motivated despite having so much success. His answer is simple — he tries to forgot about what’s happened in the past and always thinks about the future, just like the MJ quote. As Saban says, it’s human nature to be satisfied, but he won’t allow that for himself. In other words, he’s a machine just like we all figured. We’ll see on Monday how well he managed to get his team focused for this title game. I’m expecting him to take home his fourth championship, and what would be his third in the last four seasons.

Jimmy Clausen has a ‘Catholics vs. Cousins’ BCS Championship shirt (Picture)


Jimmy Clausen is already prepared to watch his alma mater Notre Dame take on Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game next month. He has his shirt picked out and everything.

On Monday, Clausen tweeted a photo of the classy shirt you see above, which described the big game as a battle between the “Catholics” and the “Cousins.” If you don’t understand the reference, you’re probably not old enough to be reading even our family-friendly blog. Apparently the shirt offended enough people, because Clausen later pulled the tweet and sent the following apology:

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Alabama governor Robert Bentley criticizes Crimson Tide’s playcalling

After suffering a stunning upset loss at home to Texas A&M last weekend, Alabama has likely erased its national championship hopes for the 2012 season. As you may know, the people of Alabama take their football kind of seriously. Fans have not reacted well to the loss to the Aggies. Neither has the governor of Alabama.

Earlier this week, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was asked if he would have run the ball when it was on the 2-yard during what turned out to be the final drive against Texas A&M.

“I would actually have run the ball for four straight times,” he said as the room erupted with laughter, via AL.com.

You can hear the audio of the comment by clicking here. As the kid who spazzed out while playing “Call of Duty” during the loss would tell you, there are a lot of people who believe Nick Saban should have simply run the ball four times when it was 1st-and-goal with plenty of time left on the clock. Alabama instead called for pass plays on 3rd and 4th down — the first of which resulted in a scramble for a few yards and the second a game-ending interception.

Had A.J. McCarron thrown a game-winning touchdown pass on 4th down, Saban would have been praised for making a gutsy call that worked to perfection. Now that it didn’t work out, even the governor has something to say about it. Such is life in SEC country.

H/T Eye on College Football

Steve Spurrier believes Alabama could beat some NFL teams

Here we go again. All throughout last year’s college basketball season, we had to hear about how Kentucky was such a great team that they could probably beat some of the NBA’s weakest teams. Now, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is raising a similar discussion with Alabama.

During an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, Spurrier said he believes Alabama could beat a few teams in the NFL.

“Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I’ve watched on Sundays,” Spurrier said. “I think a lot of the oddsmakers out there, that usually know what’s going on, I’d guess Alabama would be favored by a little bit.”

According to several those oddsmakers, Spurrier couldn’t be more wrong. Our friend R.J. Bell of Pregame.com said the consensus among Vegas oddsmakers is that Alabama would be a 24-point underdog if it played the Jacksonville Jaguars (currently the NFL’s worst team) on a neutral field. To give you some perspective, the same oddsmakers said they would be a six-point favorite against Oregon, a 10-point favorite against Kansas State and a 13-point favorite against Notre Dame.

The leap between collegiate athletics to any professional sport is always a massive one, and Spurrier likely knows that and is simply trying playing mind games. Charles Barkley may have believed there were at least two NBA teams Kentucky could have beaten last year, but we tend to side with people like this NBA star in thinking there’s no way that would happen. The same is true of football.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE

Nick Saban upset with Alabama backups for giving up points

Alabama further proved that it is in a class of its own on Saturday with another dominant victory, this time over 11th-ranked Mississippi State. Those of you who like to gamble may have seen Mississippi State getting 24 points heading into the game and thought it was easy money since they are ranked so highly. Instead, Alabama covered another mind-boggling spread. Nick Saban still saw room for improvement.

“I got upset with the backup players because they are better than that,” Saban said according to Andrew Gribble of AI.com. “They can play better than that. They need to play with poise and confidence when they go in the game and compete just like everybody else competes. That’s being able to execute and do your job.

“Everybody has to understand their role and go out there and do it.”

Alabama won 38-7, but Saban was upset about Mississippi State’s lone touchdown drive which included a 15-yard facemask by freshman cornerback Geno Smith. The Bulldogs’ nine-play, 63-yard drive spoiled a potential shutout, but Saban insisted it is not holding his opponent to a goose egg that matters.

“It’s not about shutting anybody out,” he said. “It’s not about any of that. It’s about them playing their best football. We are trying to get our players to play their best that they can play in every regard. We need to keep improving as a team.”

Saban is a perfectionist, which is why he has his team in a tremendous position to repeat as national champions. As we have seen from some of the blow-ups he has had at the media, Saban obsesses over making sure his team never gets too cocky or underestimates its opponents. If that involves ripping reserve players for not preserving a shutout, so be it.

Alabama watched video of Tim Tebow’s promise speech to avoid upset

Tim Tebow is serving as a source of motivation for one of his biggest former rivals. Heading into what would be the perfect trap game scenario at home against Ole Miss, Nick Saban is trying to keep his No.1-ranked Alabama squad focused. One loss can cost a team a season, and that loss could come at any time if the Tide fail to take all of their opponents seriously. That’s where a famous Tebow speech comes in.

As The Birmingham News pointed out, Saban said he has played video of Tebow’s “I promise” speech that he gave after Florida — which was ranked No. 1 at the time — lost at home to none other than Ole Miss.

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Nick Saban calls out Alabama fans for not selling out Western Kentucky game

If Alabama was able to beat No. 8 Michigan by a score of 41-14 at a neutral site last weekend, what will they do to Western Kentucky at home? Tide fans have likely been wondering just that, which would help explain why there were still tickets to Saturday’s game available on Thursday afternoon. Nick Saban feels as though the defending national champions should never have to work to sell out a football game.

“A thousand tickets?” Saban asked according to the Montgomery Advertiser. “I’ll buy them and give them away. We can’t sell out with all the games we’ve won?”

Alabama has a tremendous support group, but that doesn’t mean people enjoy watching a snoozer. That’s exactly what this game will be, and all the fans know it. The game will still sell out eventually — especially since Saban also lobbed a compliment toward the fans.

“It’s important for fans to know that anytime we play in Bryant-Denny Stadium, they create a wonderful atmosphere for our team,” he said.

Saban’s argument is that the team has done enough to deserve playing in front of a sellout crowd, and he’s right. We already know he doesn’t want to hear the media underestimating this weekend’s opponent, so I’m sure Saban feels the same about the fans. Unfortunately, fans don’t think that way. Some of them just refuse to spend money on a game that is such a mismatch.