It’s time again for the Nick Saban Radio Show, the second-to-last edition of the regular season. This version of Hey Coach! precedes the Saturday visit from Austin Peay at 11 a.m. CT in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Refresh the page for the latest news and nuggets from the hour-long appearance.
— Saban said he told the players Monday that he wants an outsider to not know who they’re playing if they come to watch practice this week.
— At Ole Miss, Saban said they “played to win” and things started to change in the third quarter when the blocks were better and RBs got more yardage on each carry. There was more dominance from that point. It’s about what you do and not what you say, Saban said.
— “It hurts my heart,” Saban said when former players think current players aren’t playing to the Alabama standard. “It breaks my heart,” he said.
— Saban didn’t like how they started the last few games, nor how they began offensive drives when first-down plays weren’t staying on schedule.
— Asked about what a 12-team playoff would look like, Saban said the idea is not to play the same team twice. He said he wasn’t a big fan of the playoff for a long time because of the bowl games losing some emphasis. Now, he’s a fan of expanding the playoff because it keeps more fans invested in the season later into the fall.
— Saban said he took one bite of the Oatmeal Cream Pie ice cream but he didn’t like it and will stick with the regular pies.
— Bryce Young’s biggest improvement this season came in the leadership category, Saban said. The injury at Arkansas set the offense back “for like a month” because Young wasn’t able to practice as much.
— Leadership didn’t necessarily come as naturally to Young because he’s such a nice guy who respects others so much. But he learned to use his voice and helped guide teammates since he arrived.
— How does Saban spend the rest of the day after an 11 a.m. kickoff? He said they won’t have any official visits this weekend so there won’t be as much time dedicated to that. He’ll get a chance to watch some of the games on TV but will spend time with recruits on unofficial visits.
— “I really have a hard time enjoying the game,” Saban said about the times he watches other teams play on TV. He can’t watch it like a regular fan because he’s always in coach mode. “So, what’s on Netfilx?” he said.
— Saban reflected on visiting Byron Young’s house on a recruiting visit. “It was like a wedding,” Saban said. His mom was an amazing host who made sure everyone was enjoying themselves and there were probably 25 people there. Saban said he always thinks back to recruiting trips.
— Asked about his pregame lap around the field before the game, Saban said it has a purpose. He wants to know the field conditions. He then looks for the wind conditions. Then he looks for how the stadium is set up to see where the clocks and scoreboards are located so he knows where to look when the play clock is winding down.
— Saban said he really went off on the team after the failed fourth-down play. “I cannot tell you on this broadcast what I said,” he said to laughter.
— Saban said he showed the team a few pictures before the Ole Miss game. The first was of an empty stadium late in the game at Arkansas after they put away the Hogs. Then he showed them pictures of Tennesse and LSU fans rushing the field to remind them “it’s personal.”
— “I’m not on the internet,” Saban said pretty much because he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
— Saban said he can now text one line. “It takes a while, but I get it,” he said after asking his wife what kind of phone he has.
— Asked about the early signing date, Saban said it continues to change the whole recruiting calendar. Now, 95% of the players sign in December. It moves up the evaluation period.
— The final word: The big thing that’s important is recapturing the culture of the program they’ve always had. Saban said Bo Scarbrough was pounding the table talking to the team about what it was like in his day.
— Saban said he doesn’t want to hear the former players coming to him telling him the culture isn’t what it used to be. He said last week’s game was a step in the right direction.