The biggest game of the season will take place in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saturday afternoon.
The No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to face the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide with teams and fans around the nation eagerly looking on to see how the College Football Playoff will be influenced by the outcome. Despite being the lower-ranked team, Alabama is actually considered the betting favorite to win the contest.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban isn’t hearing any of it.
“We’re not playing Mississippi State — we’re playing the No. 1 team in the country,” Saban told The Anniston Star. “They deserve what they have by the body of work and what they’ve done to this point.”
Saban’s intentions are clear, and they’re advantageous for Alabama.
First and foremost, Saban won’t allow his team to gain a false sense of confidence. Despite being the favorite in the game, Mississippi State is a talented team that is capable of going into Bryant-Denny Stadium and claiming a victory.
Second, the phrasing Saban used is important. He specifically pointed out that Mississippi State is the No. 1 team in the country and deserves respect. It doesn’t matter what team Alabama is playing; it’s the ranking that is important. If Alabama then beats the Bulldogs, it makes a stronger case for the Crimson Tide to climb to the top of the College Football Playoff standings.
Saban is one of the most brilliant coaches in college football history. He meticulously chooses his words. When he emphasizes a certain aspect of an opponent, it’s not without reason. And the Alabama coach wants us all to know just how good the Bulldogs are to make the Crimson Tide look even better if they win Saturday.