The infamous rat poison is back in Tuscaloosa, albeit wrapped in slightly different packaging this year.
Through four games, top-ranked and defending national champion Alabama hasn’t even remotely been tested. They have outscored their four opponents 215-51, including a 45-23 win over No. 22 Texas A&M earlier today that didn’t feel as close as the 22-point final margin.
In early October of last year, following a win over A&M ironically enough, Nick Saban was lamenting “[a]ll that stuff you [in the media] write about how good we are,” likening it to “rat poison” for his players. Nearly a year later, the head coach is asking the media to, in essence, find something negative about his team and write about it “so I can show it to the players and say, ‘Look here, man. Here’s something you can do better.'”
I don’t want to get into the rat poison again. We have a good team, but our team needs to do a lot of things to improve, all right?
“If what our team has accomplished to this point makes them in any way not take into account the kind of teams that we have to play in the future, and they underestimate what we need to do to improve so that we can become a better team and don’t just take things for granted, all right, that we’re going to show up because we have an Alabama uniform on and win the game, it’s not going to happen that way, and it’s going to be everyone’s choice in the organization.
“So I would appreciate it if you would sort of look at some of the things we didn’t do so well, all right, and write about that so I can show it to the players and say, ‘Look here, man. Here’s something you can do better.’
One, Saban is simply the best. Ever. Two, It’s really, really, really difficult, at least statistically, to find much of anything negative to say about what could be his best-ever Crimson Tide team.
In the 45 statistical categories on NCAA.com, Alabama headed into the weekend in the top third in a full 34 of them; they were in the top half in another three. There were, however, some areas that Saban could sound the alarm to his troops:
- T-80th in red zone defense
- T-87th in fewest penalties
- T-93rd in fewest penalty yards per game
- T-92nd in fumbles lost
- T-80th in fumbles recovered
- 90th in net punting
And then there’s this: Alabama is one of a select few teams that have yet to block a kick or a punt this season.
So, there ya go, coach. That’s all I got at the moment.