TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Nick Saban interrupted the breathless pontification about a weekend that jumbled the Southeastern Conference and national title races with a brief message.
See, I told you.
Saban took the losses of top-5 teams Florida State and SEC foes Georgia and LSU as support for his oft-repeated contention that pundits' predictions aren't worth much in college football.
"There's a lot of parity in college football," he told a gathering of reporters on Monday. "The teams that most of you in this room make head and shoulders above other teams, obviously shows you this last weekend how badly you can be mistaken. I know I can be mistaken and get criticized, but you guys are badly mistaken when you make teams that are like so much better than everybody else.
"This weekend kind of proved that your predictability is not very good. I think what it proved is the only thing predictable about college football is its unpredictability."
Saban's top-ranked Alabama team returned from an open date Monday to a very different landscape — except at the very top. Some poll voters and college football observers are say the Crimson Tide are "heads and shoulders above other teams." Saban can turn the Saturday surprises into a message for his own Tide (5-0, 2-0) leading up to a visit to Missouri (3-3, 0-3).
The gist: It can happen to you, too, if you let it. Linebacker C.J. Mosley thinks the message was received even before Saban addressed the team ahead of Monday's practice.
"We take it as a wakeup call to us that anyone can be beaten if we don't bring our A Game and be ready for everybody every week," Mosley said. "We could end up in the same boat."
Some of Alabama's veterans need only point to what happened at this point two years ago. That's when a 5-0, defending national champion Tide team stumbled badly in a loss at South Carolina. That team lost two more games, too.
Tide safety Robert Lester said this group is different.
"There's a lot more leadership," Lester said. "And there's a lot more guys that don't want those feelings to come back as we had in 2010. Leaving South Carolina after a loss, it was horrible. I knew what it felt like and a lot more guys knew what it felt like. We don't want our younger guys to go through that and we definitely don't want to go through it again. So we're doing as much as we can to keep that from happening again."