Saban Discounts Pre-Season Poll

The Associated Press poll is the most authoritative during the college football season, then becomes irrelevant in the post season because it is not part of the BCS equation. Nevertheless, the poll of sportswriters and sportscasters is most followed week-to-week.

It was no surprise that Alabama is given high regard by the AP voters. when the pre-season poll was announced, the Crimson Tide was ranked second, behind Oklahoma. Most polls have had those teams as the nation's most likely to reach the BCS National Championship Game.

Also not a surprise was Bama Coach Nick Saban's reaction to the news. He was asked about the rankings following the Crimson Tide's Saturday scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

"I always say that preseason rankings are really for fans," Saban said. "It really doesn't have anything to do with the kind of team you have, the kind of team you re going to have.

"It's nice to be recognized and respected in that regard, but at the same time, how this team does will be what happens on the field. How do we do when we play the games? How much consistency do we play with? How do we compete for 60 minutes in a game? What kind of team chemistry do we have? What kind of positive energy do we have? How responsible are we to do the things we need to do to be successful? How willing are we to work to earn what we want to accomplish?

"I think you do all that stuff on the field. You don't do it based on any kind of preseason predictions, polls or anything else. "So it's pretty meaningless, actually.

"We're looking forward to the competition and what we need to do to try to have a good season. That s all going to be determined by what we do in the future, not what we ve done in the past."

The coach added, "Everybody wants to win, but you don't get what you want in this world, you get what you earn and get what you deserve. We've got to go earn it.

"The players have worked hard. We need a few days off. We need to continue to improve next week before we get into game week so that we can get more guys playing winning football for us."

Alabama players will take off Sunday and Monday. The Tide opens the season September 3 hosting Kent State.

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