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Alabama Football: Nick Saban Isn't Talking Michigan, but He's Thinking About It

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Alabama Football: Nick Saban Isn't Talking Michigan, but He's Thinking About It
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Alabama head coach Nick Saban

It's the biggest game of the first weekend of the season—No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Alabama, in Cowboys Stadium, on ABC in prime time.

It doesn't get much bigger than that.

It's the type of game that can set the tone for the season for both the winner and the loser, as Alabama knows from its experiences in the 2008 and '09 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.

Despite the hype, Alabama head coach Nick Saban says that it's too soon to start talking about Michigan (via AL.com):

I really don't think it's time to start talking about Michigan. Most of the time we talk when we've got one week to get ready for the game. With the first game we can take a few more days than that.

Saban then went on to talk about Michigan.

Denard Robinson is one of the most explosive players in college football. Their offense really is geared to his talent, his ability. It's going to be very challenging for us when we start getting ready to play Michigan to be able to come up with a system and a scheme and enough discipline for our guys to play things the way they need to play them to contain this player.

He may not want to talk about Michigan—much—but you can bet your bottom, top and middle dollars that he is thinking about the Wolverines a lot.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Michigan QB Denard Robinson

It's not just because the game is huge for both squads, it's due to the roster turnover on the defensive side of the ball that the Crimson Tide has been working through this offseason.

Robinson is the type of quarterback that can make an undisciplined defense pay. While Alabama is filling the holes left by departures for the NFL with relatively experienced players, the game against Michigan right out of the gate is still a tough test.

Saban is a master of getting his players in the right place mentally. it's clear that he recognizes what Robinson is capable of, considering he's willing to talk about him immediately after saying that it's not time to talk about Michigan.

That's a good thing if you're a Tide fan.

The Big Ten as a whole isn't viewed as a strong conference due in large part to its lack of success vs. the SEC on big stages. However, Robinson is the kind of player that can make any defense pay, especially when assignments are blown.

Saban may not want to talk about the Wolverines, but he's clearly thinking about them. If he's thinking about them, his staff and his players are preparing for them.

 

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