Tide’s tough task


HOOVER, Ala. — Nick Saban made it clear where his eyes are focused.
Not in the past where his team won a national title. But to the future where his team is expected to be the preseason No. 1 team.
“This is 2010, right?” he said at SEC Media Days on Wednesday. “Everything I hear is about last year. I want to make sure we talk about this year.
“We’re not really defending a championship. That championship is a part of history. We’re not going to be defending anything and we’re not into repeating.”
Saban’s team will be dealing with the same thing Florida was dealing with a year ago, returning the nucleus of a team that won it all and having high expectations entering this season. But Saban pointed out that his team lost 11 starters on defense as well as its kicker and punter.
“We lost a lot of good football players,” he said.
Still, the lobby at the Wynfrey Hotel was thick with Alabama fans early Wednesday morning waiting for a glimpse of their rock star coach and the three players who came with him. Some were there as early as 6:30 a.m., armed with paraphernalia to be signed. They let out a few “Roll Tide” cheers and greeted Saban’s arrival with a huge roar.
It’s obvious what they expect in 2010.
“Even if we had all the same players coming back it would be difficult to have the same chemistry,” Saban said. “I was watching a cooking show the other day and this guy put all of the ingredients into a pot. I put the same ingredients into a pot and what came out of his wasn’t the same as what came out of my oven.
“Our fans have high expectations. I wouldn’t want to coach at a place where they didn’t have high expectations. I hope our fans are always realistic.”
One of the players Saban does have coming back is Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. The junior running back knows that teams will be gunning for the Tide.
“We know we have a bull’s-eye on our backs,” Ingram said. “They’re going to bring their best. We’re focusing on ourselves. We are the only thing we can control.”
Quarterback Greg McElroy, an aspiring Rhodes Scholar, said this season won’t be any different for Alabama.
“We get the best shot because we’re Alabama,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Vanderbilt or Florida.
“I think the word target is overused. It’s kind of a cliche. There are a lot of coaches who are going to put great gameplans together, especially with so many of them having a bye week before they play us.”
Six of Alabama’s opponents have bye weeks before they play the Tide this season.
“We’re looking forward to this season,” he said. “We’re looking forward to playing football again.”


  1. I find it humorous that in your blog about Saban and agents that you left out what Urban had to say about agents. If you missed it you can go to websites in Alabama that covered what ALL the coaches had to say about the agents. Biased much?