Nick Saban doesn't do a whole lot to discredit the stereotype of him being an egotistical jerk-wad who just also happens to be a successful college football coach. I'm sure at some level someone outside of the state of Alabama thinks highly of the guy but it seems like every time he's opened his mouth recently it has angered people.
His most recent comments may have the Sooner Nation up in arms as he's tried to downplay the Crimson Tide's Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma last January by citing it as a "consolation" game that he had to try and get his team motivated to play in.
Nick Saban said playing OU last year had to convince team "getting them to try to play in consolation game"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 22, 2014
The problem is that this doesn't make the loss look any better in the eyes of college football fans, and it shouldn't in Tuscaloosa either. It you take the game for what it was, the Tide were thumped by an Oklahoma football team that was just hitting their stride and played the best football of the season over their final three games. Bama, being the heavy favorite, just couldn't adjust to OU's speed, particularly coming off the edge on defense. It looked bad for a SEC power to get scored upon in that fashion from a second place team in a conference that is deemed second rate by many SEC fans. It looked worse for AJ McCarron to get planted as many times as he did.
If you take Saban for what he said at the media days then it leads to the conclusion that the "mastermind" of college football is a poor motivator. It means that he either didn't understand fully the threat that Oklahoma was, he couldn't adequately explain that threat to his squad, or he lacks the ability to motivate his team to play in a high profile bowl game that isn't for a championship.
Any way you slice it, it doesn't look good for Saban. But then again, its hard to imagine that he would care about public perception.
To Nick Saban's credit, he did have a good compliment of Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight.
Saban on OU: "If that QB plays that way for Oklahoma (like in Sugar Bowl) this year, they’ll be hard to beat"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 22, 2014