But if Florida State wins, Saban can sell something much simpler. "See Jimbo Fisher coaching out there? He was my offensive coordinator at LSU," he could say. "See Jeremy Pruitt leading the Noles defense? I took him from a high school assistant coach to an SEC defensive coordinator," he could flaunt. "Defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri? Offensive line coach Rick Trickett? Wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey? Yeah, those were all my guys at one point, too," he could add for good measure.
I'm still torn on who to cheer for in this game. I typically go against SEC teams in bowl games but how in the world can I pull for FSU, whilst living in Tallahassee???? On the other hand, I couldn't even will myself to cheer for Auburn against Mizzou. I may have to skip the game altogether or split the baby and pull for the defense (or an atom bomb)
C Gabe Ikard: Think of him as the Sooners' Barrett Jones. The AFCA All-American center is one of the best at his position on the field and a whiz in the classroom away from it. He's been playing at a high level for a while now, as he was an AP third-team All-American in 2011, an all-Big 12 first-teamer in 2012 and the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in 2013. The 6-foot-3, 298-pound, Oklahoma City native is projected as one of the top-ranked centers in May's NFL Draft.
For the seniors in the group such as Bell and Mandell, the trip is a celebration of their careers. This is their last week with the team. "Looking back freshman year, it feels like yesterday that I was stepping out onto the field for San Jose State (for the first game)," Mandell said. "I look back, and I wish I could go back to those days and appreciate them more, but being here four years has made me appreciate every moment that I have had."
"He's really the total package," Herndon says. "If he is allowed to sit back and have time to throw against this Auburn secondary I think he will pick them apart, which brings us to the key to the game for Auburn, the pass rush."
What will happen when FSU has the ball?
"He did a fantastic job here for us, regardless of what his role was," Saban said Sunday. "He did a great job of coaching our secondary. I certainly felt like because he had been a coordinator in high school, he had a really good, sort of, big-picture view of things, that he would make a really, really good coordinator."
Perhaps Jeremy will take a page out of Saban's play book by taking the high road for once when talking about Alabama and Nick Saban. I mean, that would be the mature thing to do, instead of taking every opportunity afforded him to take a stab at his old boss and former employer who gave him his shot.
After-all, without Nick Saban, Jeremy is still coaching high school football. So please, shut yo ungrateful mouth Pruitt and be thankful for everything Saban taught you...
BTW, here's a fascinating interview of Jimbo from last December after he hired Pruitt away from Alabama. He talks Saban and why everyone tries to poach coaches from Alabama.