While the general feeling is that those in Tuscaloosa are on pins and needles watching Championship Saturday, Alabama coach Nick Saban sure seemed cool as a cucumber while sitting on the set of ESPN College GameDay.
Rece Davis asked Saban what his approach is as the Crimson Tide’s fate will be decided by a number of matchups with College Football Playoff implications.
“I think what we have to focus on is what we can do right now, which is basically focus on recruiting and see what happens today in some of these games and see if we have any opportunity to move forward.”
What about that opportunity? From the sound of it, Saban is confident in the Tide’s chances.
“I hope that everybody wants to put the best four teams in there,” Saban said. “And if they look at the total value of the total body of work that every team has done, then I think if people do that, we’ll be fine.”
Meanwhile, two other SEC teams are playing for the right to play in the four-team field, including the school that put Alabama in this tenuous situation last week.
Auburn is looking to cap an impressive late-season stretch by beating Alabama once and Georgia twice when it faces the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. That contest kicks off at 4 p.m. ET on CBS from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Saban broke down what he feels will be the two keys in the second volume of The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry in 2017.
“I think its going to come down to the quarterback being able to connect on downs where they don’t expect them to pass, and then again doing a really good job on third down to keep the ball and keep drives alive.
“So those two things to me are going to be the real key to this game. Auburn did a better job in all those regards in the first game, and it’s going to be real critical for Georgia to be able to do a better job in that regard in this game.”
Of course, Saban is aware of Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham’s ability to live up to his end of the bargain.
“I’m going to tell you something. Auburn’s quarterback is really, really playing well,” Saban said. “And that guy could be the difference in this game. He was certainly the difference in our game.”