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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban talks Michigan game, retirement questions

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. Pickings are a little slim today. The women’s basketball team opened up SEC play with a ten point home loss to Ole Miss. The ladies are 11-3 on the season. The men will open up at Vanderbilt tomorrow afternoon, and we will have coverage of that later as usual.

Nick Saban did his Pat McAfee Show appearance yesterday, and spoke about how Michigan’s huddles caused some difficulty for a defense that is unaccustomed to seeing them in the modern game.

“They’re the only team that we played all season that got into a huddle. So, you know, it used to be every team was in a huddle. We play our first team of the season where we’re playing a team in a huddle, so you don’t have the advantage of seeing those formations until they come out of the huddle, so you got to make the calls.”

In other words, unless your no-huddle has a tempo, the defense can call its play, knowing the opponents’ formation. In the Rose Bowl, Alabama’s defensive coaches had to call alignments without seeing the Wolverines’ formation because there wasn’t time.

This actually makes a ton of sense. It should be noted that Michigan didn’t have a ton of success on offense in this game or in general this season, so I doubt that this will start any new trends. The no-huddle advantage of the offensive staff seeing the defense’s alignment against the offensive formation is probably greater overall. Still, having less time for the players to diagnose what was going on may well have led to some of the confusion we saw on the three touchdown drives.

On the last play of the game, Saban notes that they should have called two plays so that Milroe had something to check to if they didn’t get a good look.

Oh, well. What’s done is done, hopefully lessons were learned that can help in the future.

Saban was asked about retirement, again. Here’s what he said.

It’s no secret the Alabama coach has taken issue with the evolving landscape of college football, whether it is NIL or the transfer portal. Still, Saban led his team to another SEC Championship, a CFP appearance and snapped two-time defending national champion Georgia’s 29-game win streak.

“Look, I ask everybody who asks me that question, ‘Are you going to be here for four years?” he said. “Some players ask me when I’m going to retire. I look at them and say, ‘Can you guarantee me that you’re going to be here for four years? They look at me like, ‘Hell, no.’ ...

“I just think it’s the way of the world now.”

Yes it is, Coach. Yes it is.

Kool Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold announced their intention to enter the NFL Draft, as expected. Terrion is one of the players quoted in Matt Stahl’s piece below, which is well worth your time.

Even with the loss, the season will long remain in the minds of the Crimson Tide.

“I love this group, man, unconditionally,” Arnold said in the locker room. “This group here, I went to battle with them. I went to war with them. I put my life on the line with them and I wouldn’t want to do this with anybody else. And I mean that wholeheartedly.”

If nothing else, this seems to have been a close knit group. Chris Braswell declared as well, but few expected him to come back.

Last, Seth McLaughlin posted a warm farewell to Alabama.

Seth leaves Alabama with Master’s degree in hand. He was set to visit Ohio State yesterday.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.