With the Rose Bowl kicking off earlier in the day Monday, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban could get an early look at his team's potential opponent in the College Football Playoff National Championship. However, Saban's focus is firmly on the Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl.
"I personally don't choose to watch other games," Saban said, per ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson. "I'm sure we'll have some people who want to watch and some who don't. It's a little bit of a distraction for me personally to get involved emotionally and watch another game the day we play."
Saban's comments bring to mind Urban Meyer's reaction upon hearing the Oregon Ducks defeated the Florida State Seminoles 59-20 in the 2015 Rose Bowl, the CFP's first semifinal of the day. The Ohio State Buckeyes head coach hadn't watched the game—despite leading his team to a win in the 2015 Sugar Bowl later that night—and was as shocked as everyone else by the final score:
There's little reason for Saban to concern himself too much with the outcome of the Georgia Bulldogs' matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners until the Crimson Tide book a place in the national title game.
For one, it needlessly complicates his pregame preparations ahead of the Sugar Bowl. Alabama will already have its hands full taking down top-ranked Clemson.
There probably isn't much strategic advantage, either, to watching the Rose Bowl immediately before his team takes the field. The CFP National Championship isn't until Jan. 8, which leaves more than enough time to plan for the game.
Of course, the Rose Bowl will be of even less concern for Saban and his assistants if Alabama doesn't win the rubber match against Clemson on Monday night.