Nick Saban already playing disrespect angle ahead of national championship vs. Georgia: ‘It’s going to be a challenge’

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is already embracing the “underdog” mentality ahead of the Crimson Tide’s title bout rematch vs. Georgia, a team they throughly dismantled to win the SEC championship.

The mental gymnastics Nick Saban and the Alabama football team can do to convince themselves they are the “underdogs” is nothing short of Belichickian.

As a noted disciple of the New England Patriots head coach from their days working together in Cleveland, one would expect nothing less. Alabama may have a slightly less talented roster this year over Kirby Smart’s team (they did lose a ton to the 2021 NFL Draft), but the Crimson Tide have had the Dawgs’ number since the infamous 2008 Blackout Game at Sanford Stadium.

Even if falling in Atlanta to Alabama can be viewed as a blessing in disguise for Georgia, the Crimson Tide will still find a way to harness every perceived slight in the hopes of channeling them towards winning another national championship. An “underdog” Saban-led team playing with a chip on its shoulder is an absolutely terrifying proposition for whatever opponent they are facing.

“The team has an opportunity to win the national championship, so you expect to play a good team,” said Saban to Chris Fowler on ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday morning. “We’re still going to be underdogs in the game, I’d assume. Georgia played an outstanding game last night. At least the part I saw, they were dominant. I can see why people would think that. It’s a challenge.”

According to WynnBET, Georgia opened as a 2.5-point favorite over Alabama on a neutral site.

Nick Saban, Alabama embracing the “underdog” role vs. Georgia in CFP

“I think our players have a tremendous amount of respect after playing Georgia for how good of players they have and how good a team and how well-coached they are and what it would actually take to have success against them,” said Saban.

“So I think that’s got to be the way we start and mental edge we have to have. If we don’t have that, we’re not going to be able to compete against a team like this.”

Even if the point spread opened with Georgia laying points, the smart money is going to be on Alabama getting points. That’s not to say Alabama will win this rematch by any means, but it is foolish to bet against the Crimson Tide, especially when they are getting points. Georgia may have the deeper roster, but Alabama has the Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback in Bryce Young.

While Young is better than Stetson Bennett IV, “The Mailman” delivered in a big way in what was arguably the greatest game of his life in the Capital One Orange Bowl. He, finally, removed all doubt that he should be Georgia’s unquestioned starting quarterback over the often-injured backup JT Daniels. 10 days from now might be Bennett’s final game in Georgia football uniform.

Ultimately, Alabama should view itself as an underdog because it serves the Crimson Tide to do so. It doesn’t matter what anyone outside of that locker room thinks about them. Then again, the same thing applies to Georgia. Everybody thought Smart’s team was dog food after losing to Alabama. Well, they obliterated Michigan, something his team has done to others all year long.

Anticipate a one-score game between Alabama and Georgia in Indianapolis for all the marbles.

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