Alabama football coach Nick Saban spoke at a press conference at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama on Thursday — and boy did he have a lot to say at the wide-ranging three-hour session.
Let’s get the jabs at rival LSU coach Les Miles out of the way first.
Saban acknowledged that the rivalry between the two teams is “like two heavyweights going toe-to-toe…Our expectation is always going to be that that’s going to be one of the most difficult games that we have in our season.”
However, as far as the Les Miles gripe that the two teams don’t have an equal path to the SEC championship, coach Saban added, “There can never be an equal path to the championship unless everybody plays everybody.”
As far as Les Miles’ frustration with having to go through Florida, Saban added, “I coached at LSU, so if anybody understands it, I understand it, you understand?”
Nick Saban also addressed the fact that his opponents in the SEC are using a hurry-up offense to try to stop Alabama football’s Crimson Tide:
“Should we allow football to be a continuous game? Is that the way the game is designed to be played? Is there a safety issue with that? They play 64 plays in the N.F.L.; we play over 80 in college, and up-tempo teams play more than that.”
But the big elephant in the room was the SEC media poll, also released on Thursday before Saban’s speech. The sports reporters picked Alabama over Georgia for the three-peat in a lopsided 182-38 poll.
Nick Saban more or less brushed off the poll, pointing out that it got the SEC champion right just 4 times out of the last 21. “If I was 4-17, I would be back in West Virginia pumping gas at my daddy’s gas station,” he joked.
As for the Bear Bryant comparisons and three-peat talk? The Alabama football coach tried to be cautious:
“I think Bear Bryant is probably the greatest coach in college football in terms of what he accomplished, what his legacy is. There’s no way that we have done anything close to what he’s done in terms of his consistency over time, how he changed what he did to impact the times.
“Just because you were successful, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna continue.”
You can hear a video excerpt where Nick Saban talks about Les Miles posted at The Times-Picayune.
Some thoughts from Twitter:
Bama fan on Nick Saban: "He just does what he wants to do. He's kind of like Hitler…. Money well spent." http://t.co/92CNCbe420
— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOzone) July 18, 2013
This isn't the first time I've seen Nick Saban compared to Hitler. But it is the first time as a compliment. http://t.co/4rG0ZAGJYr
— Good Bull Hunting (@GBHunting) July 19, 2013
When someone says, "I hate Nick Saban" what they really mean is I would give up my first born child for him to be the head coach of my team.
— Auburn Jokes™ (@AuburnJokes) July 18, 2013
— LivingTheCrimsonLife (@LivingCrimson) July 19, 2013
Nick Saban on why he doesn't wear title rings: "cause I let the players design & they're as big as ashtrays." #bama
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) July 18, 2013
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Alabama football coach Nick Saban made a statement yesterday.