Nick Saban knows how much the Iron Bowl means to his Crimson Tide. As he readies to face Auburn once again, the Alabama coach made a declaration that puts the importance to the game rivalry game in perspective.
“It’s all about the players when you’re playing this game,” stated Saban, in his press conference earlier this week. “If you don’t have success in this game, I don’t care what else you accomplish.
“There’s always a but. What comes after but usually isn’t good — you’ve heard me say that before. It’s a big game for us to be able to continue to build some momentum for the rest of the season.”
Moreover, Saban has seen some great Alabama teams on their way to glory — only to lose it all to Auburn. Who could forget the Kick Six in 2013 — the game that sent Auburn to the BCS National Championship Game and previously No. 1 Alabama to the Sugar Bowl.
More recent, a thrilling 48-45 victory for Auburn in 2019 dashed Alabama’s College Football Playoff hopes. Just two seasons later, the Crimson Tide will be hoping to avoid the same fate this year.
Evidently, Saban believes Auburn ruined some tremendous seasons for some fantastic Crimson Tide players. This weekend, Alabama will attempt to avoid a gigantic upset — in turn, avoiding giving Auburn the satisfaction of ruining another season.
Saban: ‘You seem to remember the ones that didn’t go well the most because they hurt the most.’
In his tenure with the Crimson Tide, Nick Saban has coached numerous memorable Iron Bowl games. All in all, he holds a 9-5 record against Auburn in his time at the helm.
Prior to another showdown, Saban revealed one of his most memorable moments from the Iron Bow. Surprisingly, it came just last year during a run-away 42-13 victory for Alabama — a rather uneventful turn in what’s otherwise been an exciting rivalry.
“I guess my memories from last year’s game. When I was sitting at home, watching it on TV. Probably would be the most different memory,” Saban said with a smile.
Though the reporter asked Saban to recall his favorite Iron Bowl memory from his time at Alabama, the Crimson Tide head coach instead responded with the one that was most memorable. And unsurprisingly, the first that came to mind was last season’s — not just because of its recency. Saban tested positive for COVID-19 before last year’s contest and was forced to sit out the game against Auburn.
“Look, there’s been some crazy things happen [in the Iron Bowl],” Saban said. “The last time we played down there [at Auburn], we had a chance to get the ball back, they had the quarterback in the game, I already mentioned the kick-six. One year we had like five chances to score inside the red zone in the fourth quarter. Never scored a point. They came back and tied the game and we got beat. Then we’ve had some really, really good games that we’ve played as well. You seem to remember the ones that didn’t go well the most because they hurt the most.
“What we’re focused on is not what happened in the past but what we need to do to play well in this game this week.”