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Nick Saban Happy he Won Bye Week Challenge

How can you win when you don’t even play a game? Read and see what Nick Saban won this weekend and why he’s so happy.

It takes a lot to get a smile out of Nick Saban, but I'll bet he had one on Sunday Evening. (Photo-Cedric Mason)

Nick Saban Happy he Won Bye Week Challenge

By: Larry Burton

Confusing headline? Not really. Nick Saban is a very happy man this week. The team comes back to campus to work on LSU and even though the team didn’t have a game this past Saturday, they and Nick Saban still won a very important challenge.

What challenge you may ask?

All coaches and Nick Saban is no exception, knows a bye week is important to rest up mentally and physically, but coaches dread them for one big reason. Players usually use the time to leave campus for destinations all over and sometimes they get into big trouble during that time off.

You see, they get away from coaches who watch them, they get away from teammates who may keep them focused, they get away from the structure and routine that keeps them in line and they are around folks who may prod them to do things they might not otherwise do.

But unlike being a movie star, where any publicity or any headline could be a good one, in college football a headline on a bye week is usually a terrible thing.

And for Nick Saban, he won the bye week. His phone didn’t ring at two in the morning, no headlines were printed on any of the state’s newspapers about his men and everyone is safely back on campus and ready to focus on a tough LSU team. That was a challenge he’s glad to win.

One recent big bye week bumble was Ole Miss’ Chad Kelley, getting into a brawl at a high school football game. It made lots of headlines and could have been just one of the reasons Ole Miss has repeatedly lost games since that brawl. Not only did it give Ole Miss Football a black eye, but it’s something that will be in the back of NFL scout’s minds as they evaluate him and the decisions he makes.

I know from talking to former players on the Tide team first hand that before they’re released for a bye week weekend break that Saban reminds them all to “Be accountable”. By that he means to be accountable to your team, but mostly to yourself by doing the right thing.

So while 50% of the teams in college football lost this past weekend, to Saban, this “win” this past weekend means as much as any other win so far this season. The process, at least for this past weekend, is working.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter

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