Alabama-Texas A&M: Nick Saban keeps his cool

by Berry Tramel Published: September 13, 2013
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The game of the year, or at least September, arrives Saturday in College Station, Texas.

Alabama vs. Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel against the World. The school of Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Jackie Sherrill and Dennis Franchione against the school of Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Jackie Sherrill and Dennis Franchione.

Just don't tell Nick Saban. The Alabama coach doesn't recognize the existence of big games.

“He was never about a rivalry or the importance of one game,” Colorado State coach Jim McElwain, formerly Saban's offensive coordinator, told ESPN.com. “Now, the players could sense the bright lights. They were like thoroughbreds. They know when that Derby bell goes off. But I never saw us where we were too high or too excited, and Nick was a master at that.”

So don't expect Alabama to play the revenge card, even though A&M stunned the Crimson Tide 29-24 last year in Tuscaloosa, a game that largely delivered the Heisman to Young John Football.

Even if Saban is 7-1 in his last eight games against opponents that won the previous meeting. Even if Bama's margin of victory is 20.9 points in those so-called revenge games.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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