Watch Nick Saban React to Being Called ‘Heavy Favorite’ vs. Middle Tennessee State [VIDEO]
Nick Saban respects Middle Tennessee State. In fact, he respects them enough that he will make sure to downplay any talk that might say otherwise.
So, when the Alabama coach was asked Monday if he might try to create more quarterback competition between Jake Coker and Cooper Bateman during the team's home opener against the Blue Raiders this Saturday because the Crimson Tide is listed as a "heavy favorite," Saban did not take too kindly to it.
"No, I don’t look at it like that at all," Saban said. "We’re going to do what’s best for our team in terms of getting ready for our game.
"Here’s the one thing that everybody’s got to keep in mind: Everybody’s got good football players and everybody needs to respect the opponent. And I don’t care if we’re favored in the game, or if we’re not favored in the game. The most important thing for our players is to focus on what they need to do to play their best.
"So, we took one step up on the climb, and we need to improve significantly. So we’re not approaching this game like it’s the most important game of the season for us, because it’s the next game, and it’s the next opportunity for us to get better.
"We’re not trying to create anything based on who we’re playing, because we respect who we’re playing and I suggest that everybody else does, too."
Alabama is currently listed as a 34-point favorite over Middle Tennessee State, according to OddsShark.com.
In the Crimson Tide's 35-17 win this past Saturday against Wisconsin, Coker threw for 213 yards and one touchdown on 15-of-21 passing, while Bateman completed 7 of 8 passes for 51 yards.
Saban's "heavy favorite" comments begin around the 9:49 mark in the above video from AL.com.
Watch player interviews from Monday below: