Connect with us


Mike Gundy Talks Nick Saban and the Importance of Preparation



After Alabama beat Texas A&M 27-19 on Saturday (and didn’t come close to covering the spread), Nick Saban blamed … the media?

“We just didn’t play as well tonight, and you have to give them a lot of credit for it,” said Saban. “I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys. All that stuff you write about how good we are, all that stuff they hear on ESPN, it’s like poison. It’s like taking poison.

“Like rat poison.”

Amazing. Alabama has lost two games since the start of the 2015 season and has outscored teams 258-62 so far this season, and Saban is going off on how what the media says about his team is like the chemicals that kill large rodents!

Mike Gundy said on Monday, though, that he knows where Saban is coming from. When your team gets fluffed up by, uh, sites like this one, it’s easy for them to get out of their world and/or box a little bit which can affect on-the-field play.

Gundy said his assistant has his computer on “some website, I don’t know what it is. There’s news all over it” and that he read the Saban article for a paragraph.

“What I get out of what he’s saying that fits to what I do is this,” said Gundy. “If you read and listen to enough things out there, and it affects your preparation during the week … essentially you’ve been poisoned, and you get a chance to get really sick. That sickness is … that you can lose if you don’t watch it. That’s probably what he’s referring to.”

“… I understand what he’s thinking. We talk about it in here all the time. You can’t hide these players from social media. You can’t hide them from exposure from what’s going on out there. We would like to shelter them from that, but we can’t. We can only hope that they understand the importance of preparation and not what somebody’s saying about them outside the program, good or bad.”

It’s a fair point and one Gundy said he had to learn personally early on in his career as a head coach. He also, humorously, pointed out that he keeps his farming skills sharp just in case he gets turned on again.

Gundy (along with a lot of other coaches) has always preached about the importance of not believing the highs and lows that get written about. He said before the Tech game that inside the program wins don’t get treated the same as they do by us as fans.

“After the Pittsburgh game I said to you guys that you have to be a little hesitant about what you buy into,” added Gundy on Monday. “I was told by a guy one day they’ll name a street after you downtown, and then they’ll run you down it the next day. That’s kind of the way sports is, which is fine, that’s OK.”

But to Gundy’s (and Saban’s) original point, I think what they’re asking for is difficult. It’s hard for me as a 32-year-old to not buy into what people say about me or this blog, good or bad. How much more so a 19-year-old?! Oklahoma State has solid leadership, though, from its best players. Guys who have seen all college football has to offer and who are more immune to the trappings of it all than most. That provides a good infrastructure, one Gundy will no doubt leverage to keep the rest of his players away from the rat poison.

Most Read