Shannon Sharpe unveils how Nick Saban’s strategy led Alabama to his 5th title with the Crimson Tide

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In his discussion with Skip Bayless and Joy Taylor, Shannon Sharpe unveils how Nick Saban led Alabama to his 5th title with the Crimson Tide.

- Shannon, what happened last night?

- What happened?

- I known Nick happened.

- You all know what happened.

- Just say it, say Nick happened.

- Saint Nick.

- Saint Nick happened.

- Moving forward, you're no longer allowed to say "ain't Nick."

- We'll see about that.

- All I know, he got five of these in nine years. There's only like five schools they got that many, total, or more. But that's neither here nor there. Saint Nick, what happened? No other coach is winning that game, except Nick Saban. You know why? Because no other coach would do what he did.

Jalen Hurts was the first freshman to win SEC offensive player of the year since Herschel Walker in 1980. So that's what he's regarded. He's special 25 and two, got him to back-to-back National Championships And at the half, Coach Saban says, I've seen enough. He brings a true freshman off the bench. Skip I've watched him play. I've watched all the Alabama games. And I watched him throw the ball. He had 53 pass attempts, eight touchdowns.

But I'm saying to myself, is this kid really that good? Or is he in mop-up duty? Is Mercer, is some of these lesser-tier, SEC school? Is he really that good? Because he can really spin the ball. I don't know. I said, well, we'll never find out. Not this year.

Then old Sant Nick. Saint Nick says, hey. Tua Tagovailoa, get your fast ball ready. You and I both know, had Jalen Hurts stayed in that game, they were not winning that game. Only Nick Saban is making that move, with a guy as decorated as him. You know why he made that move, Skip? Because he has freshmen on the bench. His freshman on the bench is a top five. His backups would be a top five team in the NCAA.

SKIP: That is correct.

- But they're backups at Alabama. Ooh. You keep telling me, you lay this game. He gave up this many yards to Kelly, Chad Kelly. What about Trevor Knight? What about this?

SKIP: What about Johnny Manziel, what about Deshaun Watson? I could go on and on. What about Ezekiel Elliott, 230 years rushing?

- Yeah. Yeah. But at a National Championship game, when Georgia was having they way, they put Tua in. It's Tua from here on out.

SKIP: You can with Tua.

- Yeah, I'm going to. It is Tua from here on out. Skip, what happened was, is that Coach Saban saw, what happened last year is that they kept going three and out. It was wearing his defense down. Coach Saban says, if I can just get a couple of first downs, if I could give my defense just enough rest, let alone get a touchdown, then, boy. That defense started rolling.

The last 22 minutes of the ball game, you will get nothing. Interception. Punt, punt, punt, punt. Skip, think about this, now. Tua comes in, throws the touchdown. It's 13 to seven. Alabama on third-- not Alabama, Georgia comes right back. 80 yard touchdown. Now they up 20 to seven. Tua comes in. All the receivers are blocking, and he throws a pick. Everybody saying, it's over now. Coach even saying, no it ain't. Coach Saban saying, they don't know what they got.

SKIP: I'm not sure everybody said it was over, but go ahead.

- Don't stop me, Skip, everybody said it was over.

SKIP: How do you know? You don't even turn up the sound?

- Oh, I know!

SKIP: What are you doing, looking at Twitter? I don't know.

- No, no, no, Skip. Coach Saban called them up, called them over to the sidelines, said guys. This is where we make our stand. This is our Waterloo. He said, OK. Woo, Skip.

- He used Waterloo on the sidelines?

- Yeah, he said, this is the Alamo.

- Kids had no idea what he was talking about.

- Yeah they do, they at Alabama. They smart. They could go anywhere in the country, but they chose Alabama. . They could be at Harvard or Stanford or MIT, but they chose that factory. Chose that factory that is Alabama.

And then all of a sudden, Fromm makes the mistake. And ooh. Raekwon.

- All of a sudden he makes a mistake on the next play.

- Hey, that's what we do.

- Did Nick call that shot?

- Raekwon Davis.

- I don't know if he did.

- Alabama D-line, got the best hands for the ball.

- You know what? Nick called the play that put the Alabama helmet right in the way of the awful pass that Jake Fromm attempted. Way to go!

- Skip, don't do that. Skip.

- Saint Nick. I'm just saying.

- The man was down with that office, 13-nothing. That's like being down 21-nothing with Oklahoma's offense. One of the up and down aerial assaults. Skip, you saw Jalen Hurts in the first half. You know it deep down, and you're going to say it right here today.

Alabama's not winning that game if Jalen Hurts stays at starting quarterback. You know that. I know that. But the only person that needed to know that was Nick Saban. He realized that. He inserted two into the lineup, and look at the spark. Ooh, that defense started rallying. They started hunting. Turn them loose. Turn them loose, Jeremy Pruitt. Let them hunt.

Georgia, they got a good team. You're 70 miles from where you normally play. You're in the Georgia Dome, Atlanta. The crowd is raucous. But the one thing I tell you about Coach Saban, he'll go anywhere, anytime, and play anybody. And put foots in them, like he did his older sister Kirby Smart.

Now I'm going to tell you something. Now you might get a job working under Nick Saban. You might go somewhere. You go to Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt going to be at Tennessee. He got Coach Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. But you better not put him on your schedule. Because he going to put foots in you. Whether this be a regular season game, for the national title.

I ain't got no more to say about this. This game here.

Really Really? You mean it's almost my turn?

- It's all your turn, hey-- Alabama going eat they heart [INAUDIBLE]. I was so hard for-- I couldn't sleep a wink. I didn't sleep a wink, Skip Bayless. You have an eye over here? Well I had, you know, a little hint. Popped a few gummies, popped them, get me through that game. I'm ready.