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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.

Tennessee DL Darrington Sentimore wants to take it to Nick Saban

Tennessee defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore wants to win every game he plays, but he especially wants to win on Saturday. The Vols will be hosting No. 1-ranked Alabama on Saturday, and Sentimore has extra motivation to beat his former coach.

Sentimore was a four-star recruit who signed with Alabama in 2009, redshirted for them, and then played the 2010 season with the Crimson Tide. He left the program and played Gulf Coast Community College in 2011 before joining Tennessee this year.

Sentimore told reporters that he has some personal feelings against Bama coach Nick Saban and wants to beat him.

“I kind of regret going to Alabama,” Sentimore said, per AL.com. “I like Saban, but I wouldn’t want to be under him. I wouldn’t rather be under him.

“It’s his personality. With some players, he’ll see you in the hallway and he’ll just walk right past you like he doesn’t see you. I don’t like stuff like that.”

Sentimore’s example of Saban’s behavior is not too different from what we’ve heard about the intimidating coach. Heath Evans told a story about Saban once stepping over the body of his player who was convulsing.

“I ain’t going to lie to you, I want this game more than any other game,” Sentimore said. “I want to beat Saban.”

Video of Sentimore’s comments is below. Skip ahead to the 5:00 mark for the good stuff.

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Nick Saban rips no-huddle offense, says it’s a way to get players hurt

Some teams work with the no-huddle offense and others don’t. Most coaches prepare their defenses to face the no-huddle regardless of whether they use it or not, but rarely will you hear someone criticize it as being bad for the game. It’s things like that that make Nick Saban so unusual.

Saban understands why teams run the no-huddle, but he sounds like he wishes it didn’t exist.

“(The no-huddle)’s obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points and we’re averaging 49.5 points a game,” Saban said during an SEC teleconference Wednesday according to the Birmingham News. “With people that do those kinds of things, more and more people are going to do it.

“I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking, ‘Is this what we want football to be?'”

For fans of some of the nation’s powerhouse teams like Oregon and lesser teams like West Virginia and Baylor, the spread offense is exactly what they want football to be. It is also what quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers want at the NFL level, so Saban’s opinion is pretty unique. He also added that he thinks the no-huddle puts players at risk of injury.

“At some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety,” he said. “The team gets in the same formation group, you can’t substitute defensive players, you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they’re snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can’t even get lined up. That’s when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they’re not ready to play.”

The idea of the no-huddle is obviously to tire out your opponent. There are plenty of things that happen throughout the course of a football game that you could say increase the risk of injury, so the argument seems a bit lame. Alabama is pretty successful not running the no-huddle and defending their opponents that do, so we’ll just leave it at that.

H/T Eye on College Football

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.

Nick Saban blows up on media again (Video)

Nick Saban blew up on the media during his press conference on Wednesday in what appeared to be an attempt to control the media’s coverage of his team.

The Alabama coach is upset that his team is getting pumped up by the media and fans after one big win over Michigan, and he’s fearful that his players may get too cocky and be thrown off in their quest to win another national championship if they begin reading their clippings and listening to what everyone says about them. He wants the media to take things one game at a time and only focus on Western Kentucky — the Tide’s next opponent.

“I hate to be negative with anybody, but when you people start writing stuff about people that we’re playing that doesn’t give them the proper respect, that’s not fair,” Saban said. “It’s not fair to them, to their players who work hard to earn it. It’s not fair to our players who need to respect them.

“And to make presumptions like you all make really upsets me,” Saban vented. “It’s so unfair. You don’t need to write about that. There are so many more good things that you can write about happening around here that people would be interested in. I’d hate to see some of you do a little bit of research and figure it out. It’d really do my heart good.

“It’s work everyday around here to try and keep our guys on track to have a little bit of humility and confidence. We win one game, and I can’t believe what gets written.”

Saban finally acknowledged he was trying to bully the writers into saying what he wants them to say.

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Nick Saban responds rudely to Heather Cox during interview (Video)

Nick Saban has never been known as a media-friendly coach, but his response to Heather Cox during a halftime interview on Saturday was rude even for his standards.

Bama was leading Michigan 31-7 at the half and running backs T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, and Eddie Lacy had all seen action. Cox decided to make that the focus of her halftime interview as Saban was coming off the field.

Here’s how their exchange went:

Cox: Offensively you do have three running backs that are making an impact. How does running back-by-committee help your offense?

Saban: I don’t think it’s running back-by-committee. I think it’s a lot of good players getting an opportunity to play, so, you know, I don’t know what’s wrong with that.

Easy there, Saban. Nobody said there’s anything wrong with it. The only thing that’s wrong is you lashing out against Cox over an issue of semantics. She was throwing you a softball question that was a lead-in to praise your running backs, but instead you bite her head off. I’m not sure if Saban dislikes the term “running back-by-committee” for recruiting purposes, but that was really overboard.

I’ve always been against in-game interviews because I feel like they are extraordinarily invasive and that they add very little to telecasts, but there’s still no reason why Saban had to react the way he did. Now you know exactly why high school players voted him the most intimidating coach in the country.

Video via Ride The Pine

Nick Saban sticks it to Steve Spurrier with response

Steve Spurrier, master disturber that he is, tweaked Nick Saban and a few other SEC coaches during an interview with ESPN’s Chris Low in April.

The South Carolina coach said of Saban, “if he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.”

Of course, Spurrier also labeled Saban the best coach in the SEC in the same interview, so his jabs shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Saban finally had a chance to respond to Spurrier during an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show,” and boy, did he ever put Spurrier in check.

“Well, you know, he had the best job in the league for a long time, and he wasn’t making those kinds of statements when he was at Florida,” Saban said of Spurrier. “He’s done a great job at South Carolina.”

Saban was just warming up.

“LSU wasn’t winning when I went there. Michigan State wasn’t winning when I went there. Toledo wasn’t winning when I went there. And Alabama really wasn’t winning when I came here. I guess I gotta go someplace else. I don’t know.”

Game, set, match, Saban.

Surprisingly, the Alabama coach doesn’t mind the smack talk from the ‘Ol Ball Coach.

“I think it’s great, I love Steve. I’m always anxious to hear what he has to say — it’s always funny.”

Well of course he doesn’t mind it — Saban has an impeccable track record in the collegiate ranks, and he’s one of the few coaches who can stand up to Spurrier. I just hope the detailed response from Saban doesn’t deter Spurrier from his typical trash talk. College football wouldn’t be the same without it.