College football is all about feverish devotion, but there are some characters in the game who generate passionate reactions regardless of your campus affection. Aflac Insurance spokesman and occasional Alabama head coach Nick Saban is possibly the most polarizing name in NCAA football. Because of this, his whine-fest after yesterday’s game is all the more amusing.
On Saturday his Alabama team played in-state rival Auburn for the annual game dubbed The Iron Bowl. It was a thriller of a game with constant scoring and barely any separation between the teams throughout. Late in the game with barely a minute and a half remaining Auburn held a 3-point lead. On a fourth-down play Auburn set up to run a standard play, but Alabama realized late they were going to punt and tried getting the correct squad on the field.
Alabama got flagged with a penalty for too many men on the field, leading to Auburn being granted a first-down and the chance to then run out the clock for the victory.
— James Crawford (@Mista_Craw4ed) December 1, 2019
“I really feel that it was a pretty unfair play at the end of the game,” Saban said after the loss. https://t.co/Z3ae3cYrcY
— AL.com sports (@aldotcomSports) December 1, 2019
Nick is not supposed to lose!! Something improper must have happened!!
What had Saban so flustered is actually a very legal play. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was leery of kicking to Alabama’s talented punt return man, so he sent his kicking team out but had then set up in a formation that looked like a standard play. His punter was placed on the outside in a wide receiver position and they would then change their formation for a kick.
Except they also left the quarterback in the game, so when Alabama recognized the ploy late they attempted to get the proper defensive players on the field and they were called for the penalty. Game over.
Nick Saban on Auburn tricking him by initially lining up its punter at wide receiver: “I really feel that it was a pretty unfair play at the end of the game. They substituted the punter as a wide receiver so we put the punt team in." https://t.co/DfxVxbBP8z
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 1, 2019
Saban’s claim of not being allowed time is a little more than questionable.
There was literally 21 seconds left in the 30 second clock, when he was substituting and the ref is clearly standing there letting them substitute. PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF OF HIS FREAKING LIE! pic.twitter.com/C0nTWf8TLx
— gr82bAnAUTiger (@gr82bAnAUTiger) December 1, 2019
Here is a decent breakdown of how Saban and his coaching staff got crossed up and led to the penalty.
Please watch this video. This is the play that Nick Saban called “unfair,” but in all honesty it was a brilliant play call by Gus Malzahn. https://t.co/HwPMbAeU3I
— Ethan Kennemer (@EthanKennemer) December 1, 2019
A number of fans found some satisfaction in both the loss and in the coach’s reaction.
Pretty weird to Saban that he didn’t get an officiating break.
— Ry (@Ry_Guy008) December 1, 2019
Saban complaining about the refs??? That’s cute 😂
— Doink (@AuburnedYou) December 1, 2019
He subbed when Auburn subbed. Then realized they way they lined up was different. The ref should only step in again if Auburn subbed again. He just got outsmarted on that play.
— Stacy McGehee (@coachmc46) December 1, 2019
Illinois has more top 25 wins then you.. let that sink in
— Dan in Canton (@DisillusionClev) December 1, 2019
— Sharon Rues (@sharon_rues) December 1, 2019
The Alabama punt team wondering why Coach Saban is yelling at all 12 of them pic.twitter.com/gFOA42M5Rm
— First Down Moses (@1stDownMoses) December 1, 2019
Middle-aged man who makes 157x the average Alabama teacher's salary & whose players do all the work for free dares to utter the word "unfair" before returning to his $11M home https://t.co/7C6AWnTO9X
— Matthew Miranda 🇵🇷 (@MMiranda613) December 1, 2019
That’s another perspective.