Nick Saban made some opening remarks to the assembled media. "I hope everybody had an enjoyable holiday. Things went extremely well at my house. You know, when you have a two-year-old grandbaby, it really makes it sort of special and unique. Especially when you see Tata, who is grandma, have so much fun. So that made me really happy.
“But we're really excited about the opportunity that we have here this week at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. I'd like to thank everyone associated with the Goodyear Cotton Bowl who works so hard to host this event. A very first-class event, to say the least. And special thanks to Cotton Bowl Chairman Dan Novakov and President Rick Baker and, you know, the entire Cotton Bowl committee and those who are working hard to host us.
“You know, we had a really good practice in preparation back in Tuscaloosa before the Christmas break. Now, I think the most important thing is everybody get the mindset back to get ready to play a football game and probably a very challenging game from any perspective. When you're in the playoff game with the four best teams in the country, I think getting back in the mindset investing your time in preparation, investing your time in the way you practice to get the most out of practice so that you can go play a complete game -- and I'm sure it will take a 60-minute game against any of the teams that you would play at this point in the season in this, you know, playoff format.
“I can also like to mention that I'm very proud of the fact that we have 29 guys who have degrees -- three master's degrees and 26 graduates on our team, which I think is the most of any bowl team in the country and says a lot about the program itself and the great academic support that we give our players and the investment that we make in their future so that they have a better chance to be successful in life.
“So we're excited to be here. We're excited about the challenges and the opportunity that we have and certainly looking forward to this week of preparation.”
Watch and listen to the video of additional comments by the Tide head coach.