Auburn, tighten your chin straps

Ranked number one in the nation has its benefits, but it can also add pressure to the players. Two year head coach of Alabama, Nick Saban, wants his players to hold a strict mentality: focus on this next game. Saban recently quoted Brett Favre, NFL quarterback of the New York Jets, who said, "what you do [in the last game] matters, but it doesn't because there's always the next game."

After 17 years of starting as an NFL quarterback Brett Favre knows about football. When Alabama plays the Auburn Tigers in Tuscaloosa on the 29th this approach is Saban's strategy. With both teams coming off a bye week giving them two weeks of extra practice where only the best play is expected from both teams, especially with Alabama holding the number one spot.

Luckily, this pressure has not hit the Alabama football players. When Cory Reamer, junior starting linebacker, was asked about the upcoming game against Auburn he said, "It's just like every week we've been doing for the rest of the season. We always talk about how we take it one game at a time."

After pulling out a win in overtime against LSU, it's a good thing the Alabama players don't spend time thinking about their last game. Reamer talked about another addition to their winning: the Fans. Reamer said the noise from the stands helped them in their win against MSU.

"You know we got some great fans, and they're dedicated," he said. "They come through no matter what. Especially when it started raining a little bit. I figured they might leave, but they stuck in it."

So apparently, those 92,000 people straining their voices in the stands and waving red and white pom poms will assist the Crimson Tide when they combat Auburn Saturday.

Senior starting center, Antoine Caldwell, points out another addition to their success in games, "I think we have a lot of leaders on this team, and a lot of people are stepping up."

Caldwell is one of these leaders who the players look up to who has chosen to take an initiative and help lead the team to staying focused on each individual game.

This leadership along with coach Saban's "one game at a time" method is another way the Crimson Tide hopes to defeat their biggest rival, Auburn, "We need to play one game at a time all right and try as best we can so that we can play the best football that we can play, and we're going to continue to approach it that way, and I would like for our players to continue to approach it that way."

With other players also stepping up like quarterback John Parker Wilson, the Tide expects to have fun while taking this hands-on approach to a victory. On the upcoming Auburn game and SEC conference championship Wilson said, "There's a lot of memories left to be made."

And some kind of memory will be formed after the Auburn game with the Tigers' record being the lowest since Alabama's six year losing streak. The Sunday morning memory will read as one the greatest upsets since 1961—the last time the number 1 team (Texas) was beat by an unranked team (TCU)—or a solid victory over a hated rival.

Coach Saban confirms the pressure of the Auburn game, "We have to line up to play the next game and what we did in all those game before really doesn't matter."

This strategy—not gloating over a win, but focusing on the next game each week—has helped Saban's players stay mentally focused throughout the season. Saban expects his team to continue to improve, try their hardest and become consistent each week, "all of what you do in the last game only sets up the opportunity for you to do more in the next game."

Auburn, tighten up your chin straps, because this Bama team has a whole new approach—and they're not stopping until they get a ring on their finger, one game at a time.

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