For the past two seasons, Alabama has lost a game in November (LSU 2011, Texas A&M 2012), but managed to make the BCS National Championship Game with help from around the nation.
With the November stretch on the horizon, Saban was asked if his team could still make the title game with a late-season loss. But Saban didn’t want to play the what-if game.
“I really can’t answer that question because it’s kind of hypothetical in terms of what’s going to happen,” Saban said. “I think the thing we can control here is to try to get our players to play the best that they can play, do the best job they possibly can in every game we play, focus on the things they need to do to play winning football against the very good football teams we have to play against coming up down the stretch here. That’s what we’re going to try to focus on.”
Alabama will have its first test of the month when LSU rolls into town hoping to spoil the Crimson Tide’s perfect season and a shot at a potential third straight national championship.
And, with so many remaining undefeated teams from major conferences, Tide quarterback AJ McCarron understand the team can’t afford a loss.
“Probably not, but I’m not thinking about everybody else,” he said. “I could care less about what their record is. It’s no disrespect to them. They’re all having great seasons, but we're worried about us and what we need to do to take care of business.”
Added wide receiver Kevin Norwood: “No, we definitely couldn’t afford any losses. November’s always tough. It’s a battle, especially when you’ve got LSU, State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, and Auburn. All those guys are just really good. November’s a time where everybody’s hurting. So everybody’s got to get healthy and just come out and keep pushing for this last month.”
Saban wants the Tide to approach its remaining games like a heavyweight fight.
“I think everybody’s got to buy into that and everybody’s got to do their job when it comes to that because in all of these games, it comes down to three or four plays,” Saban said. “You never know when those plays are coming up so you’ve got to be in the right place every play.
“You’ve got to do it with a whole lot of effort and a whole lot of toughness because I can only tell you that every one of these games we play with these guys has been very, very physical. It’s a little bit like a heavyweight fight and you certainly can’t fade in any round.”