For two years now Nick Saban has preached to his team to finish. What he meant was finish the play, finish the game, finish the season.
Last night I had a chance to be with Saban after the game, and he was not in a good mood though his team had finished strong against an obviously weaker opponent.
It was the weak start that had him scowling.
The scowling continued as he continued breakdown of the kickoff return team that allowed yet another touchdown.
Then it was the red zone failures.
It was dominating the statistics yet again while not dominating the scoreboard for much of the game.
It wasn't until I asked him about Terrence Cody that I finally saw a smile.
He is not only happy Cody is pushing the pocket and forcing action of pass plays now that he's lost weight, but also that Cody has now apparently become his new best friend.
It seems that when they're on the bus, Cody shares the front seat with Nick, and that's no small feat considering both the size of the bus' seat as well as Cody's.
When Saban took them to a movie the night before the game, guess who his seat mate was? Yes, you guessed it.
Nick said with a devilish grin that Cody is being "really nice" to him. He's also doing a lot of begging for playing time.
Saban is happy that there's at least one player who not only wants to start a game, but also continue it on third down and then finish strong as well. Last year, Cody was not very effective.
Cody is begging, kissing up to, and trying to become Nick Saban's new best friend so he can do just what Saban wants this whole team to do: Start strong, play strong the whole game, and finish strong.
No wonder Cody brings a smile to his face.