Shortly after the crystal trophy had been raised for all to see and the confetti stopped fluttering around the Rose Bowl on Jan. 7, Alabama coach Nick Saban had a message for his newly crowned national champion following the victory against Texas.
“Coach Saban came down on us immediately after the (title) game, because we didn’t play well in the fourth quarter,” senior quarterback Greg McElroy says. “And that’s the great thing about coach. He never allows you to sit and relax.”
Saban might always seem to be going about 100 miles an hour, but there’s no doubt the man and his style get results. Three years after taking over a program that had slipped to mediocrity in the Southeastern Conference with the ascension of Florida and LSU, Saban guided Alabama to its first national title since 1992 with the 37-21 victory against the Longhorns.
Right after that, he wanted to remind his players that they still could have done better. Perhaps a seed was planted concerning 2010, when they’ll likely need to do better, as they open the season atop the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll and as the biggest targets on every opponent’s schedule. There will be no resting on laurels in Tuscaloosa, where fans expect nothing less than a national contender every year.
For the poll, click here.