Saban Sees Bowl Game As Positive

Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban hasn't been concentrating on bowl preparation for the past couple of weeks, but now work on that task will begin to take at least part of the time he and his coaching staff have to give. Meanwhile, recruiting has been top priority.

In a casual meeting with beat writers Thursday, Alabama Coach Nick Saban was emphasizing the positive, particularly as it pertains to Crimson Tide participation in the PetroSun Independence Bowl.

Alabama will take on Colorado of the Big 12 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., at 7 p.m. CST Sunday, December 30. Both teams were 6-6 in regular season play but both had impressive victories – Alabama over Southeastern Conference East Division champion Tennessee, Colorado over Big 12 winner Oklahoma.

Saban said the bowl would give Alabama additional practice. He pointed out that gives time for younger players to get work in the Crimson Tide system, as well as more repetitions for starters. While there is obvious advantage for the team and its returning players, Saban also cited the plus of Bama seniors having a final chance for "positive gratification." He pointed out "the season didn't end like we would have liked, so it's an opportunity to have a good finish."

The Tide coach also pointed to the advantage of the program continuing to receive exposure during preparation and the game being the only bowl game on December 30.

Playing against a "quality opponent," he said, is good for development.

"There are a lot of positives," he said. "I can't think of any negatives."

Saban said that Tide coaches had completed work on the "due diligence" following the final game of the regular season, then spread out to recruit. He said he had been "all oiver" and that with seven assistant coaches on the road recruiting there had not been an opportunity to work on the bowl plan.

While players have been involved in off-season work, with no football practice there has been an opportunity for some players who have been injured to get healthy, Saban said.

The coach said bowl practice time may provide an opportunity for some experimentation.

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