Over the years, Alabama has made an annual theme of taking on a difficult opponent to start the season. Despite playing teams such Clemson, Virginia Tech, Michigan and now Florida State in the opening week of the season, the Tide current stands with a perfect 10-0 record in those games since 2007 — outscoring the opponent 412 to 120 during that span.

It’s been an incredible run for Alabama, but Saban’s strategy of opening the season with a tough opponent has often been questioned by others.

Well, we now know why Saban has always pushed for the Tide to start the season against marquee teams. The Alabama head coach went on the Dan Patrick Show earlier, and he had this to say when asked out about most teams wanting to “ease” into the season:

“At first, when we were here because we didn’t really have a good program, I thought it was important to get a lot of exposure,” Saban said, “But what I learned from those games is when you play a really good opponent the first game, the players are much more interested in the offseason, the spring practice, the summer conditioning, all camp preparation … everybody has their attention because of who they’re playing against in the first game.”

Saban went on to talk how it also lets you know where your team stands early on in the season, which gives you an idea of where you need to improve.

In hindsight, a legitimate argument could be made that these types of games — which have all ended in victory for Alabama — have given the Crimson Tide an enormous amount of momentum heading into the rest of the season. This only backs up the notion that Saban is playing chess, while everyone else is playing checkers.

The only question that is left to be answered is how would Alabama respond to a loss in the opening game of the season? That’s a question that could determine how often the Tide continued to schedule those types of opponents moving forward.

To hear Saban’s full answer to the question, check out the tweet below.