05 November 2008
The theme continues today with Nick Saban insisting that this game is about the players and not the coaches:
The focus needs to be on the game. The focus needs to be on what we need to do to play well. When the game comes on Sat, the field's gonna be 53 yards (wide) and 100 yards deep, just like it is everywhere.
The man speaks the truth.
Injuries shouldn't be much of an issue in Baton Rouge.
Terrence Cody has continued to practice and hasn't had any issues. Saban is not sure how much he'll play, due mostly to conditioning after taking a couple of weeks off.
Tyler Love and Barrett Jones are both still in black shirts. As we've said more than twice, it's likely they'll be wearing the redshirt for this year. It's interesting that Love and Jones were more highly regarded coming out of high school, but John Michael Boswell is the only freshman lineman that has continued to play.
When asked about the election, Saban noted that he was not into politics, and didn't even know who won until this morning. He pointed out that millions of people voted for each of the guys, and saying he was for either candidate would only serve to anger a whole bunch of folks. Finally, "who won the election is not going to have any effect on the outcome of the game Saturday."
Someone pointed out that Barack Obama was in favor of a playoff. Saban said he had always supported a four team playoff - "until we figure something better out".
Then, he was asked about the rivalry between LSU and Alabama and if it resembled the Bo Schembechler (Michigan) and Woody Hayes (Ohio State) rivalry from a bit ago:
I like Les Miles. I have nothing against Les Miles. He's done a fantastic job. He's won more games than I would have won if I'd have stayed. I don't know why anybody is upset that I left because they've done better since I left than when I was there.
When the reported pointed out that "Bo and Woody liked each other", Saban replied:
Les might not like me - I don't know. I have no personal problems with any of this stuff.
I suspect that Saban knows exactly how Miles feels about him, and it ain't warm and fuzzy.
Then, he was asked about the job at Alabama, and what his thoughts were about the tradition:
Everybody says what a hard place it is to coach, but I don't see that at all. I appreciate the interest. It wouldn't be good if there weren't any expectations, as long as they're realistic.
LSU reporters were clearly in the house this week.
Finally, he talked a bit about Greg McElroy, noting that he'd pleased with McElroy's progress, and that he'd been a good game manager and a smart quarterback:
It's a challenge for every backup player to prepare for a game, especially a quarterback, not knowing whether you're ever going to get the opportunity to perform. That's where maturity and being a smart guy about what you're doing really comes in handy because you're smart enough to know "I need to do this right because if I do get an opportunity, I need to take advantage of it."
That's the last we'll hear from the coach until the bus riddled with bottles pulls up to Tiger Stadium on Saturday. If there's more news to report, you know you'll hear it here.
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