In case you’ve been under a rock, Nick Saban hasn’t been willing to go there when folks start talking about his Alabama Crimson Tide program as a dynasty. After winning its third title in four years Monday night, however, that title seems more and more appropriate. Saban takes his dynasty non-talk to the next level in this interview as he refuses to even define what the term means to him.
Nick Saban joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss how much sleep he got after the national title game, his level of confidence before Monday night’s game against Notre Dame, quarterback AJ McCarron, why he won’t define the term “dynasty,” the best team he went up against this year and if he and the Tide are aiming to repeat next year.
How much sleep did you get last night?:
“Not much, just a few hours. But it’s nice not to sleep when you’re sort of wound up about enjoying an accomplishment rather than worrying about something.”
Where was your confidence level entering the game?:
“I think the anxiety as a coach is always a concern about, ‘Have you prepared your team well? Are they ready to go? Are they in the right psychological disposition to go out there and compete and play the way they need to to sustain their performance level and standard for every play in the game for 60 minutes in the game?’ I think you’re always concerned about that. I can usually tell in pregame — just from an intensity standpoint, a mental energy standpoint — if we’re where we need to be. … I really felt like, in pregame warmup [Monday] night, that we had sort of the right psychological disposition from an intensity standpoint.”
Why is it that we don’t look at AJ McCarron as one of the elite quarterbacks, perhaps a Heisman candidate?:
“Maybe it’s our style of play a little bit. It’s not really our style of play or philosophy, it’s the kind of team we had this year. We had a really good offensive line; we had really good running backs. … Our team just evolved into a little bit more of a running team. We certainly trust AJ. We certainly feel like AJ’s capable of being a good passer. … Maybe next year that’ll have to be the style that we need to be. Guys like AJ, when they come back next year, that’s when they sort of get recognized for all their accomplishments.”
What do you consider a dynasty?:
“I don’t really have a definition for it. I guess, if you look over the last five years, winning 61 games is pretty good for any program. Regardless of all that, the team I’m going to start coaching today or tomorrow or whatever day you want to say, they’re 0-0, so we’ve got a lot of work to do. … I think it’s going to be pretty obvious that when you have that kind of success, everybody that you play, you’re going to get their best game. … Players have to understand that. I think it’s OK to appreciate what you’ve accomplished, because if you appreciate it, you understand what it takes to do it. If you revel in it, then you get lost and you lose sight of where you’re going.”
What was the best team you faced this year?:
“The best team? We played a lot of good teams. Obviously, the one that beat us was the best the day we played them, and that was Texas A&M. … Georgia came five yards from getting in the championship game. I think Notre Dame is a very, very good team. We played extremely well in the game we played against them. I think the way we played offensively and the way we controlled the ball probably wore them down a little bit.”
Do you expect to repeat again next year?:
“You’ve got to reboot the process of what we have to do and the team that we have coming back next year, and do a good job of developing them, and try to develop the kind of team chemistry that’s going to help us be as successful as possible. We’ll certainly start working on that tomorrow.”