Nick Saban is the best coach in college football. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it–the guy just wins (85.8% of the time).
So when Saban said on his Thursday night radio show that the Iron Bowl, the second biggest rivalry in college football, isn’t the biggest rivalry game that Alabama plays each year, I couldn’t help but smile uncontrollably. Sure, I don’t like him and I don’t like their confidence, but you have to respect the evil genius that is Nick Saban.
“I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Saban said Thursday evening. “I think you get, very quickly, a feel for what your own players on your own team, even that were here before you came here, what’s important to them. And it was very obvious to me that the Tennessee game was always the biggest game, was always the biggest game for us. That’s no disrespect to Auburn or the great Iron Bowl rivalry, but to our players and a lot of our fans, the Tennessee game — because of the tradition of the game. It didn’t take long to figure that out.” [source]
Obviously, the best part is when he took it a step further and said that Tennessee (!) was their biggest rival. The Alabama vs. Tennessee games have been extremely well-attended and hyped up, but that’s old news. The hate that the two teams have for each other doesn’t even come close to the quality of games between #RollTide and #WarDamnEagle.
Obviously, I’m sitting up here in New York City making this observation, but c’mon Saban. You know exactly what you’re doing… And I love it.
Obligatory greatest football highlights in the past decade: