Why Nick Saban said Alabama football players play hard no matter the opponent or score

Jarod hamilton
The Tuscaloosa News

HOOVER Ala.ー During SEC Media Days, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that it does not matter whether the Crimson Tide is playing the No. 1 defense in the SEC or an FBS opponent: He wants his players to give it their all every game. 

Alabama has made its way to the College Football Playoff in all but one season (2019) and has an immense amount of roster turnover and shuffling among the coaching staff. That type of success and turnover can blur a program's vision and focus.

But not Alabama's. For many teams on Alabama’s regular-season schedule, the game versus the Crimson Tide is the most important.

“Who the opponent is should not determine the level that you play at, because if you're controlling what you control, you want to be the best player that you can be, and you want to do that every single down because that's what creates value for you," Saban said.

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“I always use the example that, when I was in the NFL they made me a cut-up of a player, so every player in the draft, I would look at a cut-up. I didn't know who you were playing against, whether it was a good guy, bad guy, good team, bad team. I didn't know what the score was, but I was evaluating how you played.”

Alabama's 2021 football schedule

Sept. 4 - vs Miami (Atlanta)

Sept. 11 - vs Mercer

Sept. 18 - at Florida

Sept. 25 - vs Southern Mississippi 

Oct. 2 - vs Ole Miss

Oct. 9 - at Texas A&M 

Oct. 16 - at Mississippi State

Oct. 23 - vs Tennessee 

Oct. 30 - BYE

Nov. 6 - vs LSU

Nov. 13 - vs New Mexico State 

Nov. 20 - vs Arkansas

Nov. 27 - at Auburn