At the SEC Coaches’ Luncheon at the Hyatt on Friday, emcee Dave Neal asked Nick Saban if it was easier to keep a team motivated as a favorite, or if being an underdog was preferable. Whereupon Mark Richt said, “What does he know about being an underdog?”
Saban’s Crimson Tide is favored today by eight points over Richt’s Bulldogs, but an awful lot of folks — this correspondent included — are picking Georgia. Still, this matchup couldn’t have caught Saban unaware.
“Last summer I was at the lake (Burton, where every big-name college football coach has a summer house) and I was fooling around in the yard, and two guys rode up on JetSkis,” Saban told Richt at the luncheon. “One of them was your quarterback Aaron Murray and the other was your center (David Andrews). And they said, ‘We’ll see you in the SEC championship game.’ ”
And here both teams are, Alabama ranked No. 2 to Georgia’s No. 2, Alabama favored but not nearly a lock, Georgia trying to seize its biggest football moment in three decades. But you knew all that already. So enough of me talking.
I’ll be here until someone is the 2012 SEC champ, and I’d appreciate it if you’d join the fun and frolic. And I thank you, as ever, in advance.
By Mark Bradley