Nick Saban gives initial thoughts on Michigan, asked if any Alabama players will sit out bowl game
Alabama learned its bowl destination on Sunday as it was placed in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. The Crimson Tide and the Wolverines will meet for only the 4th time in program history, with each team winning twice.
For Alabama, it’s an appearance outside of the traditional New Year’s Six bowls, but it will still play in one of college football’s headlining bowls, and against a traditional power in the Wolverines.
“I think this is an opportunity for us to sort of try to reestablish the standard that we want to play to,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said on the Citrus Bowl conference call shortly after the announcement was made. “I think when you play against a great opponent, that certainly enhances that opportunity. I think it’s an opportunity for a lot of players on our team to have time to practice and prepare for the future. That’s certainly what we’re focused on right now, is the future.”
With Alabama facing a rare year out of the playoff picture, a number of players weighing NFL Draft decisions could potentitally sit out to avoid injury and a risk of seeing their draft stock decrease. Saban gave no indications on who might sit out and who might play, instead stating that the focus was primarily on the game.
“I’m sure guys are going to make individual decisions based on their circumstance, their situation,” he said. “What we want to focus on is the guys who want to look to the future, look to trying to improve themselves as players, improve our team, getting back to the standard that we want to play to.”
Outside of that, Saban hopes the game against the Wolverines helps the Tide get back to the “standard” he expects from the program on a weekly basis.
“I think every player should be looking toward the future in terms of trying to get back to that standard and do the things to the level that we want to do them so that we have a chance to be successful in the future. This bowl game that we have is the next game that we have. This is going to be the first opportunity we have to do that.”