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Alabama head coach Nick Saban has made it very clear over the past week – don’t listen to the pundits or the betting odds when heading into any ballgameregardless of the opponent.
In the week leading up to the matchup against TexasSaban let his feelings be known about Alabama being favored by 20 points, referencing Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M as heavy favorites during the 2021 season.
“Everybody has heard that we’re 20-point favorites in this game,” Saban said last week on “Hey Coach,” his weekly radio spot. “And last time we were 20-point favorites, and we went to Texas, we got our a– kicked.”
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Saban was correct to caution against buying into the hype, as then-No.1 Alabama squeaked by with a 20-19 victory.
And as Alabama prepares for its Week 3 game against non-Power 5 opponent UL Monroe, Saban is doubling down on his message.
“That’s your opinion on the quality of the opponent. It’s not mine,” Saban said Wednesday when asked how he judges offensive growth considering the variations in the quality of opponents each week. “I respect all of the people that we play, and I respect winning and what you have to do to win.
“And every player should not be focused on who they’re playing against relative to their motivation, but every player should want to be the best player they can be. So, why would it matter whether we’re playing Texas or playing somebody else ? That’s how you get good. That’s how you develop the right habits. That’s how you’re consistent.”
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Saban then really got going, referencing his days as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
“I’ve told you guys more than once when I was in the NFL, I watched players and I didn’t know who they were playing against,” Saban said. “I was just evaluating them. So, that means when we play a team that’s not as good as somebody else, you don’t play as good? So you let the opponent determine how you play? You let the score determine how you play “You determine where you’re playing, that determines how you play?”
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Week 2 of the college football season was filled with upsets, with two top-10 teams losing to unranked opponents. Texas A&M lost at home to Appalachian State and Notre Dame fell to 0-2 after losing to Marshall in South Bend, Indiana.
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“So, I respect what it takes to win,” Saban continued. “Didn’t I say this on Monday? What does what you’re favored in a game mean? When you’re favored by 20 points and you lose like two teams did this week, what does it mean? It means the people favoring you either don’t know what they’re talking about or the players playing got affected by that. Neither one of them are good.”
Alabama is favored by 49.5 points on Saturday, according to FOX Bet.