Will Anderson Jr. raised eyebrows on Monday when he said Alabama is entering the Cotton Bowl with the belief that the Crimson Tide are underdogs, and that they’ve been disrespected all season.

After Jeff Saturday dismissed Anderson’s comments and said that no one believes Alabama is an underdog to Cincinnati, Marcus Spears, who played for Nick Saban at LSU, said it’s vintage Nick Saban for playing the strings with his players.

“This is why Nick Saban is the greatest coach of all time,” ESPN’s Marcus Spears said on First Take. “He really got them believing that they’re underdogs, and that is no good for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Look I love (Luke) Fickell, I think Fickell is a great coach, I have enjoyed Cincinnati be in this moment, great job by them getting in the Playoff. But this is why Nick Saban is the greatest coach of all time.”

Spears believes that Anderson’s comments are a direct reflection of what Saban has told the team about outsiders, and possibly opponents, not respecting or caring about Alabama, and that success is not a continuum.

“He’s probably been grilling them in practice,” Spears said. “He legit has this team in Alabama feeling like they are the underdogs going into this Playoff game.”

Spears thanked Saturday for his opinion, and said it was music to his ears.

“It ain’t no way in hell in real life that Alabama think they’re underdogs to the Cincinnati Bearcats,” Spears said.