Two years ago, if someone had told you that Alabama would lose to Ole Miss consecutively in 2014 and 2015, what would have been your reaction? Nick Saban’s most assuredly would’ve been a disgruntled shrug and 10 minutes of coachspeak blather before boarding his TIE fighter and jetting off to go stomp on baby ewoks.
Some 24 months later, Saban and Lane Kiffin appear to have circled the Ole Miss game on their calendars as an occasion for Rebel comeuppance. To that end, the Crimson Tide have taped up photographs of Ole Miss football players in the weight room as constant reminders that REBS WHOOPED THAT ASS two years in a row and NEVER AGAIN will that happen.
Now, perhaps the Tide’s coaching staff engages in this sort of motivational tactic every week. Just maybe a slew of Western Kentucky players graced Bama’s strength and conditioning facilities in the buildup to last week’s blowout win. After all, RollTide’s players are adamant that the “redemption” narrative is bunk, and no, not at all, certainly not, good sir, are we in any way whatsoever shook by the fact that Hugh Freeze has our number in September. At least that’s what Bama defensive end Jonathan Allen told the AP’s John Zenor. To wit:
I feel like we put too much pressure, too much emphasis on revenge and all that stuff, so we are definitely not focusing on anything like that this year ... We are just focusing on playing well.
We are just focusing on playing well ...
Fun fact: The Alabama weight room has pictures of Ole Miss players taped on machines.— Terrin Waack (@terrinvictoria) September 12, 2016
... and also literally on Ole Miss and its players.
But let’s take Allen at his word, here. What other reasons could Saban and his staff have for slapping pictures of Ole Miss Rebel Bears all over the weight room? Well:
- Saban really admires those snazzy powder blue helmets.
- Lane Kiffin wishes he had Chad Kelly in his stable of quarterbacks.
- A great swath of Alabama players are colorblind, so it’s important to know who to tackle.
- To enhance the strength program, do 10 reps for every time the Rebel Bears were caught cheating.
- “These wide receivers are going to be drafted ahead of you in the first round someday.”
It’s of course impossible to know the mind of Saban, but something tells us he really hates losing to Hugh Freeze.