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Saban Liking His 2014 Alabama Team So Far

gfx-they-said-it4When you win a national championship, it’s only natural to become a bit complacent.  When you win two in a row, it’s even easier to take the foot off the accelerator.  ”We got this,” the mind assures.

So it was little wonder that Nick Saban’s 2013 team — a squad going for a third crown in a row — failed to improve after an emotional win over LSU.  ”We got this,” they must have thought.  Instead, Auburn got them on the weirdest final play this side of a Cal/Stanford game.  And then Oklahoma got all over the Crimson Tide in a Sugar Bowl rout.

This year’s Bama players have no reason to believe they can just roll their helmets out onto the turf scaring their foes into a pregame surrender.  And one scrimmage into spring practice, Nick Saban says he likes his team’s attitude:

 

“I thought that for the first scrimmage (on Saturday), I was really pleased with the effort and intensity that the players had.  I really like the attitude of this team, in terms of how they go about what they try to do, how they word and the effort they give, the mental and physical toughness they play with.  A lot of guys come out and be conscientious to do a good job, and I think it shows in the way we play and the way we compete.”

 

That’s about as effusive as Saban gets when it comes to praise.  Let’s see if Saban is still just as happy when the curtain falls on his team’s spring drills.

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Pac-12 Releases Trailer For New Networks; Could The SEC Follow Suit In Lay-Out?

With so much talk focusing on “Project X” these days — that’d be the potential ESPN-SEC union known as the “SEC Network” — we thought we’d show you the trailer for the Pac-12′s new channels that was released by the league earlier this week.

The Pac-12 is actually taking a unique approach to its network and will create six different channels.  There will be some uniform programming across all six, but thanks to the geographical make-up of the league, the conference will pair off schools by channel.  This allows for more targeted programming and — quite frankly — appears to be another genius by commissioner Larry Scott.

Oregon and Oregon State fans should in theory be more likely to demand a network featuring more OU and OSU coverage than a network featuring coverage of all 12 schools, ’round the clock.  Ditto Washington-Washington State fans, Cal-Stanford fans, USC-UCLA fans, Colorado-Utah fans, and Arizona-Arizona State fans.

It’s a different model than that of the Big Ten, so it will be interesting to see how much fruit this plan bears.

In case you’re wondering, the SEC could also decide to go this route.  LSU-Texas A&M, Arkansas-Missouri, Ole Miss-MSU, Alabama-Auburn, Florida-Georgia, and Tennessee-Vanderbilt would all seem to be natural programming partners.  South Carolina-Kentucky might not be the most natural fit, but then again, fans in those states would most likely still prefer half of a network’s coverage than one-fourteenth of a network’s coverage.  (And, yes, we’re ballparking that because even multiple SEC networks would include quite a bit of umbrella coverage of the league as a whole.)

All that said, here’s the trailer for the Pac-12 Networks which launch in August:

 

Pac-12 Networks: Launching August 15

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