Busy living or busy dying: Upset-filled Saturday reinforces Alabama's weekly approachBy Elliott Propes | 11/14/2016 3:58pm
Alabama now sits as the only Power five undefeated team in the nation. On Saturday, Alabama handed Mississippi State a 51-3 defeat, but other top teams didn't fare so well. The nation’s No. 2, 3 and 4 teams were upset.
The Crimson Tide was voted a unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll on Sunday, and is set up well for another College Football Playoff run. What does Coach Nick Saban think?
“Nobody can be satisfied with where they are right now, and I'm certainly not satisfied with where we are right now,” Saban said.
How is the coach of the No. 1 team in the nation not satisfied? The truth is Saban is never satisfied, because he knows well that if his team relished its success, then the Crimson Tide might have joined the other top three teams in the losing column. Until the trophy is put in his hands, he knows that one play can change everything- just ask the 2013 team.
This season Alabama might be able to lose one of its final two games and still make the playoff, but Saban wants Alabama to be the best it can be, and so do the players. One big reason Alabama sits at 10-0 is because of this mindset.
“Nah, we can’t be satisfied at this point because we’re just a game away from losing everything,” defensive tackle Da’ Ron Payne said. “So we try to keep our heads straight.”
The Crimson Tide still has five games left to win if it is to go back-to-back this season. That is still 350 minutes for a mistake or two to happen. Anything is possible in college football, and last weekend only strengthened that theory. Saban knows his team has to be on its toes at all times.
“I think that this week the old 'Shawshank Redemption' statement [applies], you're either busy living or you're busy dying,” Saban said. “From my perspective, we're either going to get better or we're going to get worse. We're probably not going to stay the same.”
This week FCS opponent, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga comes to Tuscaloosa. Saban knows the team has a good chance to win, but he knows the players have a good chance of losing their focus if they are not careful.
“Well, you know, it's a standard that we hold ourselves up to,” outside linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. “That's one thing I feel that really helps this team out. Coach Saban, coach [Jeremy] Pruitt, they always preach to us, 'Guys, you're either going to get better or get worse today.' That's something that we're taking when we go out on the practice field. When we hold each other accountable you never got to worry about anybody slacking.”
Talent will most definitely get you a long way. Last week, many argued that the top four teams in the nation had the most talent, but three of them lost. Mindset plays a big factor in sports, and Saban knows his team can not be satisfied. One of his predecessors believed the same.
"I think the most important thing of all for any team is a winning attitude. The coaches must have it. The players must have it. The student body must have it. If you have dedicated players who believe in themselves, you don't need a lot of talent," coach Paul “Bear” Bryant once said.