Alabama head coach Nick Saban is known for having a fiery demeanor on the sidelines. He is routinely caught on camera giving his two cents to officials, the headset, his own players and anyone else within earshot.
On Wednesday, the subject of that anger wasn't anyone on the field or on the coaching staff.
It was the media.
Speaking to reporters following Wednesday's practice, Saban berated the assembled members of the media for not giving the proper respect to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, this weekend's opponent.
The tirade, which was caught on camera by AL.com, focused on the assumption that last Saturday's 41-14 win over Michigan was an indication that this Crimson Tide team is the best team in the country and a shoe-in for the BCS National Championship Game.
Saban's quote (via USAToday.com):
I hate to be negative with anybody, but when you people start writing stuff about people that we're playing that doesn't give them the proper respect, that's not fair. It's not fair to them, to their players who work hard to earn it. It's not fair to our players, who need to respect them. And to make presumptions like you all make, it really really upsets me.
So is Saban wrong for berating the media for disrespecting the opponent?
It's not his responsibility nor does he have the authority to control the message, and it's clear after last weekend's beatdown that Alabama doesn't rebuild, it reloads.
His fans are optimistic, and they should be.
The big picture is always going to be there, and with Alabama's trip to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks looming on the horizon, the big picture is only going to be magnified.
What Saban is trying to caution against is the trend that his teams struggle the week after kickoff games.
In 2008, after Alabama beat Clemson in the inaugural Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Crimson Tide beat Tulane 20-6. Not exactly stellar.
The following year, after beating Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome to start the season, the Crimson Tide beat Florida International 40-14, but only led 20-14 at halftime.
The media caters to readers, not coaches. If his teams lose focus on weeks after big season-openers, that's a coaching problem, not a media problem.
If Saban is upset about the coverage of his team, the blame should fall on him for laying a whipping on Michigan on Saturday night.
That's a good problem to have.