Saban's Thoughts On Coaches' Poll

As would be expected, Alabama Coach Nick Saban was not enthusiastic about his team being picked first in another pre-season poll, the Coaches' Poll. Even if he voted in it.

Alabama had its first day of Fall camp with all players participating together Friday, and Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban pronounced it as better than the first day on Thursday, when the squad had been split in half, older players in the morning and younger players in the evening.

Saban had a lot to say about this early preparation, but was not surprised to have to address the latest poll to pick Bama number one. Almost every pre-season poll has had the Tide as the pre-season favorite after Alabama went 14-0 and won the national championship in 2009.

Saban said, "Everybody sort of appreciates the fact of being recognized as a good team, but as I've said before I don't think it means a whole lot. I think a lot of those polls are based on what the team did last year. I don't really think any of the things we accomplished last year are going to help us win any games this year.

"I think our players need to understand that. Their commitment to developing an identity for this team will be the key to how successful this team is.

"We have a very challenging schedule. I get stuff sent to me every day about how teams have a (script Alabama) ‘A' on the front of their workout clothes. Players from Florida talking about they can't wait to play Alabama. Same from Penn State. We're a target for everyone.

"Our players need to undertstand that and they need to prepare for it, even though we don't control that. But we do control what we do, and how hungry we are, and how motivated we are to do the things to become a good team. That's what we control and we need to be focused on it so we can improve and become a good team. That's what will determine what we do in the future; not where we got voted in the polls."

Asked if it was true he had voted Ohio State number one, Saban said he didn't remember, that he didn't have to reveal his vote, and that it didn't matter anyway. He also didn't reveal where (or if) he voted Alabama.

"I don't think a pre-season poll has anything to do with anything," Saban said. "It's something that's out there to create interest for the fans."

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