Blog Entry

Nick Saban has an incredible poker face

Posted on: November 18, 2010 12:45 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If there was ever a game in which you could give the coach and players of the favorite the thumbs-up on dropping the usual "we respect everyone/we're not looking forward to next week/no, seriously, even though our opponent is starting a cardboard cutout of Jar Jar Binks stolen from a shuttered Blockbuster at outside linebacker, we could lose this game" front, you'd think it would be tonight's matchup between reigning national champions Alabama and FCS Georgia State , a program in its very first year of existence. After all, the Crimson Tide rescheduled the game from Saturday to Thursday specifically to get some extra preparation in before next week's day-after-Thanksgiving showdown with Auburn . It is, almost by definition, a game you look past.

But give Nick Saban credit: even this week, even against the Panthers, the traditional coach's poker face has stayed resolutely in place :

"We're not concerned about anything else," Saban said. "We're not concerned about anybody else but the team that we play this week."

Saban has sold the Alabama-Georgia State as a strong test.

"This team (Georgia State) played to overtime against Jacksonville State who beat Ole Miss," Saban said. "We respect the players that they have. We respect the good job of coaching that they do."

This is the first time in recorded human history that "went to overtime against Jacksonville State " has been cited as a reason for Alabama to be concerned with an opposing football team. That Saban can offer it up with a totally straight face is a poor-mouthing job of truly Lou Holtz -ian proportions, and he should be commended not only for that but for apparently convincing his team of the same:
"We know that every game we play is important," Alabama defensive back Robert Lester said. "Every player in college is an athlete and can make plays. We can't look ahead to Auburn and look past Georgia State, because they could sneak up and beat us, which obviously wouldn't look good."
No, no it wouldn't. But even though the spectrum of all potential possibilities is wide enough that Georgia State could win tonight, in the quantum sense of the word, it's not something Lester and his Tide teammates actually have to worry about. That he's bothering to express sentiments to the contrary should tell you: yes, even in what qualifies as a disappointing season in Tuscaloosa, this is every inch Nick Saban's team.


Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2010 9:15 pm

Nick Saban has an incredible poker face

Correction:  Star Jackson isn't even the starting QB.    Surprising to me.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2010 3:34 pm

Nick Saban has an incredible poker face

If Alabama lost it would be the upset of the year, but the starting QB for Georgia St is Star Jackson.    &nb
sp;  Now, he transfered to Georgia St after going to 3rd on the depth chart, but he was a Saban recruit and is a good athelete.    &n

They also have a former SEC/Alabama coach.   So you know it's a well coached team as well.    Probably capable of beating a decent amount of FBS teams.

But you know, when a team is predicted to win by 52 points, it's not made on the team playing at half speed.   It's made on the team playing to it's full potential.    Anytime you overlook a game you are setting yourself up for failure.     I would suspect the coaches are going to work in some defensive looks that will be used against Auburn, and probably some offensive calls as well, but that isn't what the players need to be worrying about.     

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