Nick Saban Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

On the rare occasion that Alabama doesn’t reach the College Football Playoff, they have struggled when they aren’t playing for a national championship.

Alabama fans and head coach Nick Saban hope that isn’t the case Saturday when the Tide faces Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.

Despite the team having a disappointing season in their eyes, Saban believes his team is ready for the challenge against the Wildcats.

“Well, I think they have practiced well,” Saban said Saturday morning on ESPN’s College GameDay. “I think they’ve done a really good job of staying focused on the things they need to do to prepare for a game. But you know, when you play these 11 o’clock games, you know, you got to get your mind right. When your feet hit the ground in the morning, you got to be ready to go. So that’s going to be important for us as well.”

It also didn’t hurt that the Tide didn’t have any players opt out of their final game including linebacker Will Anderson and quarterback Bryce Young.

Saban says he appreciates the dedication that this team has shown to each other.

“I think those two guys have done a lot for the program here as all of our seniors have,” Saban said. “So I think there was great team chemistry. Those guys were leaders, the captains, they wanted to be with their teammates. So that should rally everybody, I think, a little bit in terms of winning the game and playing a game for each other.”

We will see if it pays off in this game.

{ESPN College Gameday}

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.