Nick Saban wants fans to stop leaving early

Nick Saban wants fans to stop leaving early

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Nick Saban does not like seeing empty seats in the fourth quarter
Nick Saban does not like seeing empty seats in the fourth quarter. (USATSI)

When you've won three of the last four national championships, including the last two, and your team is currently 7-0 and winning its games by an average of 31 points per game, it's difficult to find things to get upset about. But don't worry, Nick Saban's found something.

It's not his team, though, as Saban has turned his attention to those Alabama fans who have taken to leaving Bryant-Denny Stadium early as the Tide are blowing out opponents.

"I've talked about players playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game," Saban said. "And, in some kind of way, everybody that choses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game.

"Maybe if you're not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go,"

One of the reasons Saban is so concerned about what the stands look like in the fourth quarter is the possible impact it has on visiting recruits.

"We have lots of recruits there, we like to see an enthusiastic full stadium," Saban said. "We have a beautiful stadium and one of the nicest venues in all of college football and I think we all should show our appreciation for it by staying and supporting our team for the whole game."

Now, I fully understand where Saban is coming from and why he'd feel this way, but I also understand why fans are leaving early. Nevermind the avoiding traffic, how about just dealing with the boredom of watching Alabama destroy an opponent?

The Crimson Tide have played four home games this season against Colorado State, Ole Miss, Georgia State and Arkansas. Alabama has won those four games by a combined score of 153-9. That's right, the average score is roughly 38-2. The closest any of those four games has been at the start of the fourth quarter is 17-6 against Colorado State. That game would finish 31-6.

So I have a hard time blaming fans for leaving, especially when it's 45-0 after three quarters like it was in Alabama's win over Arkansas last week.

The only way Saban can keep it from happening is by coaching his team to not be as good as it is, and we all know that's not going to happen.

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