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.

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.

Saban’s claim of not being allowed time is a little more than questionable.

Here is a decent breakdown of how Saban and his coaching staff got crossed up and led to the penalty.

A number of fans found some satisfaction in both the loss and in the coach’s reaction.

That’s another perspective.

 

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