Alabama head coach Nick Saban had an interesting message for his team in preparation for the upcoming Ole Miss game Saturday.
Saban has talked constantly to his team about overlooking opponents, regardless of their record or how the fans and media perceive them. To remind his team of the pitfalls of such attitudes, he reminded his players about a time when an Ole Miss team beat a widely favored opponent.
“I saw a videotape a couple of weeks ago when we played somebody about Tim Tebow giving his famous speech after they were undefeated for a year and won the national championship,” Saban said. “Guess what? Guess who? Guess when? Somebody beat them. At home, in their place and then there was the famous speech.”
Saban said he is trying to make his team realize the potential threat of every team before Alabama plays them, rather than after.
“Well, do you have to have an ‘I told you so’ game and does somebody have to give that speech for you to do what you need to do to realize what’s at stake?” he said. “To realize the opportunity you have to have a very successful, significant season if you can play one game at a time and respect the people you play, and play to your very best each and every time that you play?”
Saban’s message seems to have stuck with his players. Senior tight end Michael Williams said he’d rather not be in the same boat as the 2008 Florida Gators.
“We don’t want something bad to happen for something to wake us up,” Williams said. “So we’re very aware of that speech and how everything happened there, and we’re going to come out and play for 60 minutes.”
Alabama champions to be honored in Saturday’s game. The Alabama football team will honor the exploits of its former champions on Saturday against the Ole Miss Rebels.
Gene Stallings and the players of the 1992 national championship team at Alabama will make an appearance at the game, as well as last season’s national champion gymnastics program.
“All the SEC games that we play are really special,” Saban said. “We want Bryant-Denny Stadium to be a special place for our players to play and a very difficult place for other teams to play. That’s always been that way, and we certainly appreciate that from our fans, and we’ll certainly need it from our fans for this particular game Saturday night.”
Saban said he still remembers watching the game in which Stallings and his team won Alabama its 12th national title in football.
“I still think, of all the games I remember or I ever watched,” Saban said, “the game they played to win the national championship in the Sugar Bowl was one of the most fantastic teams and fantastic games I can remember watching.”
Saban said he was also proud of the way the gymnastics team performed last season and was happy it was going to be honored alongside the 1992 national title team.
“We’re really, really proud of all of our other sports who have a lot of success,” Saban said, “especially the three women’s sports that won national championships [last season].”