CFB AM: Nick Saban has classic response to first playoff rankings

CFB AM: Nick Saban has classic response to first playoff rankings

Published Oct. 29, 2014 9:15 a.m. ET

Tuesday evening was a lot of fun for college football fans everywhere, as the first College Football Playoff rankings were released.

The entire sport was enamored by who would be in the committee’s initial four.

Except Nick Saban, that is.

The Alabama coach was asked what he thought about the release of the playoff rankings and gave a priceless response that’s typical Saban, saying, "I don't even care, to be honest with you." From


"To me, none of it matters, What does it matter? I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how we do in each and every game that we have to play. We have four games left to play, and if we can be successful in those games, maybe there's a chance we will play in the SEC Championship Game as well.

"None of it matters if we're not successful in our games. So I don't even care, to be honest with you. Don't know and don't care.

“I'm happy that we're in the conversation based on what our team has accomplished at this point but the fact of the matter is it really doesn't matter at all, because what matters is the games you play and how you play in the games and how much success that you can have in the games that you play.”

Oh, Saban is right, of course. This approach is exactly how you keep a team focused amid the chaotic media attention that will surround playoff discussions for the rest of the season. Saban knows Alabama’s best shot to be in the playoff is to not worry about the playoff at all.

Here’s video of Saban’s remarks.


1. So the committee decided, in order, that Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss are currently the four best teams in college football. Having three SEC teams in the top four will undoubtedly make many fans irate, but relax – there’s a ton of football left to play. Stewart Mandel wrote for us after the release that Ole Miss at No. 4, which surprised most, is great news for fans. Why? Because it means the committee is truly valuing strength of schedule, which will inspire more teams to schedule better non-conference opponents and leave us with fewer blowouts. This is a good thing!

As Chris Fuhrmeister at SB Nation points out, one of the best takeaways from the first poll is the realization that the committee is considering the big picture more than the BCS seemed to and isn’t overreacting to singular results. We all wanted a different system, and the first playoff rankings are at least a small indication that we got it.

2. Now for the negative Florida State story of the day, which seems to be a theme this season: Running back Karlos Williams was accused of domestic battery, and the alleged victim’s lawyer asked police to drop the probe and said she will not be cooperating with the case. Williams is also allegedly involved in an armed robbery case, which he has refused to speak to authorities about.

Despite all of this, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Williams will play on Thursday at Louisville. I wish we were kidding. 

3. So, like, is Michigan AD Dave Brandon trying to get himself fired or something? More alleged negative emails of his to fans have emerged. Apparently, Brandon has made it a habit of writing condescending responses to negative emails he gets from fans, including telling one to, “Quit drinking and go to bed.” Sure, it’s not right that fans send Brandon nasty emails, but it’s to be expected; they’re emotional and spend a lot of money to support the university.

But Brandon can’t respond in the way he reportedly does, ever. How does Michigan move forward with him as the AD? You can’t have any leader, let alone a high-profile one, acting like that with season-ticket holders and alumni who prop up the university with support and resources. It’s an awful look.


1. This is cool: Bill Snyder and AD John Currie will each donate $2,500 so K-State can reopen the dorms for students on Thanksgiving weekend when the Wildcats play Kansas. That week is K-State’s fall break, when the dorms are normally closed, and this money will cover the costs of opening them on Friday and Saturday so students can come back early to see the game. Good on Snyder and Currie.

2. If you care (I really don’t but feel obligated to pass it along): The Penn State board took a vote to review the Jerry Sandusky report that Louis Freeh produced in 2012 and decided against it. 

3. This is hilarious: Gus Malzahn’s wife wished him happy birthday on Twitter with a photo collage, and one of the photos showed off Malzahn’s huge head as a young child. Look at this thing!

We assume Malzahn’s head was that big only because he needed a place to store all of his intellect and offensive brilliance. Happy (belated) birthday, Coach.


1. A former Texas player, who played from 1969-72, has filed a $50 million class action lawsuit against the NCAA stating that repeated head injuries he suffered as a player, and the NCAA’s inaction, led to him being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Since a large part of the rest of the season will be spent debating strength of schedules and asking questions like, “Really? THAT’s your non-conference slate?” this is kind of interesting, if only for barroom argument’s sake: Prediction Machine ran 50,000 simulations with Florida State playing Mississippi State’s schedule, and the computers said the Seminoles would go 8-4 (rounded from 8.3-3.7). Four losses seems to be a bit high to me, but I don’t think there’s any question FSU would lose at least one game in the SEC and probably two.

3. Florida A&M fired head coach Earl Holmes during Homecoming week. Have you ever seen that before?


* Here’s this week’s radio hit on the Eric Hasseltine Show in Memphis talking all things college football (pre-playoff rankings release) and throwing a little chin music at Eric for missing last week’s spot. Don’t tell him, but I tease him about the Grizzlies only because he’s a good dude and I’m jealous he’s got a good NBA team in his city. My hometown Lakers? Sigh.

* Air Force has the fastest water boy in college football.

* George Schroeder on how the playoff committee came to its first decision.

* Speaking of my Lakers: Whatever you do today, just don’t be soft, guys.

Have a great Wednesday, all.

Teddy Mitrosilis is an editor and writer for Follow him on Twitter @TMitrosilis and email him at