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Is Saban Making Excuses For Alabama Losing to OSU?

Nick Saban-1

HOOVER, Ala. – Nick Saban likes to use the podium at SEC Media Days as somewhat of a bully pulpit to preach on a couple issues most years.

This year he put the NFL’s process of giving draft grades out to prospective draftees in the month of December on trial. He makes some valid points, saying that it can be distracting for players to be thinking about how they are or aren’t a potential first-round pick during the month of December while making playoff preparations.

But was Saban using that as an excuse for his unexpected 42-35 playoff loss to Ohio State? The Buckeyes held a 42-28 lead late in that game, had a 537-407 edge in total yards and held a commanding 281-170 edge in rushing yardage. It seems that OSU clearly outplayed Alabama, but Saban attributed a lack of focus for Alabama on the NFL’s process.

“I just felt like, in our experience last year, our team chemistry from the SEC Championship game to the playoff game was affected by something,” Saban said. “I think that to have a December 15th deadline from when a junior can submit for a draft grade and then you get that assessment back sometime right before or right after Christmas, and then you have a playoff game coming up on January 1st or 2nd, and I think it’s my obligation as a coach to inform that young man when I get that information because it’s his information, it’s not my information, to make him aware of that.

“And we’re talking about a young person who has to deal with a lot now. We had six guys in this situation this past year and 11 the year before. So we’re trying to get ready for a game, and all of a sudden, a guy finds out he’s a first round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first round draft pick finds out he’s not a first round draft pick, and we’re trying to get ready to play a playoff game. I think that it would be better not to submit that information to a player until he was finished competing in college.”

You can be the judge, but Ohio State fans were happy to show up and remind Saban and the Tide of their loss to the Buckeyes.

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