Nick Saban Still Tossing Out Excuses for Losing to Utah

Jeremy@jeremymaussSenior Writer IApril 22, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02:  (L-R) Quarterback Brian Johnson #3 and wide receiver Brent Casteel #5 of the Utah Utes celebrate after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 31-17 during the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


That was the final of the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

And if Nick Saban, Alabama players, or fans wish to relive this game—well, they can go to Hulu.com and watch the beat down Utah put on Alabama. 

The reason for this Sugar Bowl rehash is that a reporter asked Nick Saban about the Sugar Bowl, and he had this to say:

“There’s very little interest from our fans, our players or anybody else to play in the Sugar Bowl, which to me is a tremendous opportunity,” Saban said. “I tried to tell everyone, you’re only going to remember one thing about this game and that’s the outcome.

So there’s no interest, there’s no passion and everybody is embarrassed because of how we played.

Well, it’s because you didn’t have any passion for it, you didn’t have any interest in it, you didn’t have any enthusiasm to do it, and that’s across the board. And that’s not right. We go to a BCS bowl game, everybody ought to be positive and enthusiastic about what we’re doing.”

Kind of hard to believe that, from a team that had not been to a major bowl since their 1992 National Championship team who played in the Sugar Bowl against Miami, FL. 

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Alabama’s excuse for not being into the game holds no value, because in 2007 this team was only 7-6 when they went to the Independence Bowl. During that year they were 6-2 before losing four of their last five.   Adding insult to injury was the home loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

The prior Sugar Bowl, Georgia smoke Hawai’i 41-10. They probably not psyched about playing Hawai’i, but they showed up. 

The fact is that Saban does not or will not give Utah credit for a win, but instead tries to hold onto some type of sense of superiority by saying the team, the fans, and the staff were not into the game.

If you just look at the coin toss for the game, one of the Alabama players says ‘I’m gonna kill ya’ or something along those lines while trying to intimidated the Utes.  That did not work, but it points out that the Crimson Tide were ready to play—because once the game starts no one wants to lose, or in this case, get embarrassed.

This reflects poorly on Nick Saban, who is supposed to be some master coach who makes four million dollars a year, yet can not motivate his team in their biggest bowl game in 16 seasons.  Wonder what the athletic director said after hearing the comments that the team was not ready to play in this game.

The fact of the matter that Nick Saban is never going to give Utah credit that they were the better team that day.  Also, for some humor Saban somewhat blames the fans for not being ‘into’ the game.  That is also false, because knowing people who were down there, the Alabama fans were pumped and talking trash about how they would beat Utah.

I doubt that many people would travel to a game that they were disappointed in attending, and here is a quote about Saban bashing the fans:

When we didn’t have the same enthusiasm, the same energy, as a team, as an organization, as a group of fans — which was the Sugar Bowl — same people, same team, but played at a completely different level.

That’s a great lesson for all of us, in terms of, we know what we want to accomplish, everybody has a positive attitude and positive energy and knows what their role is.

So, it was the fans that who did not have the energy to cheer on a team that was down 21-0 before any one finished their first beverage or plate of nachos. 

Saban can not let this go about the entire organization not being pumped for the game. But that game came down to coaching and the players—both of which were outperformed by Utah.

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