Alabama head coach Nick Saban knows that when you’ve won well over 250 games and a staggering seven national titles, keeping a competitive edge comes down to focus and intensity.
The Tide have the most talent and the best coaching in the nation, year after year, so the only thing really holding them back from a national title each season is themselves.
Brain farts. Laziness. Lack of enthusiasm. Media hype. These are the “rat poisons” that Saban alluded to in 2017 as the main contributing factors for losing. And after a day of sloppy practice following his team’s convincing 44-13 win versus Miami, Saban publicly put his team on blast.
Maybe the team doesn’t respect their upcoming opponent Mercer, an FCS team, Saban pondered. “Or maybe it’s what they read on social media or in the media or whatever after one half of a game this season,” he said. “And then it was hot yesterday, so we have every external factor in the world that’s affecting our ability to maintain intensity and play the way we need to play and practice the way we need to practice to improve.
“The scoreboard affects us. Who we’re playing affects us. The heat affects us. The media and what you guys write every day affects us. So, to me, we have to prove we can play and maintain intensity … and do things the way we’re supposed to do it.”
Maybe sensing too much confidence from his team after such a dominating win over Miami, Saban also noted to the media that Alabama didn’t even play a full 60 minutes in the game, and how the score during the second half was much closer, 17-10 in favor of the Tide.
“You know, some people have the idea that exertion through the course of the week in some kind of way impairs your ability to play on Saturday, all right? But really, you gotta have exertion through the week to be ready to play on Saturday, and the key to that is, how do you take care of yourself? How do you recover? How do you sleep? How do you hydrate? How do you use the Sports Science Center and all the technology we have to help guys recover so that you’re gonna be good on Saturday? You know, I think we got some guys that got it backwards, and we’re trying to get it fixed.”
The Crimson Tide play at home this Saturday against Mercer at 1:00PM ET.