BUFFS

Nick Saban had some nice things to say about Deion Sanders

Sep 20, 2023, 12:39 PM | Updated: Jan 10, 2024, 3:41 pm

Deion Sanders’ Colorado Buffaloes are off to a better start than Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide, but when the AP Poll dropped this week Saban’s unit was out of the top 10 for the first time since 2015, whereas Sanders has coached his team to its highest ranking since 2016.

Nobody’s disputing Saban’s legend in the sport, not even Coach Prime, who says he’s the best coach in college football but then will throw a ton of praise toward Saban.

“What– you think I’m gonna sit up here and tell you somebody else? You– you think– you think that’s the way I operate? That somebody else got that on me,” Sanders asked in his 60 Minutes interview on Sunday. “But I tell you this, I love and I adore and I respect and every time I do a commercial with Coach Saban, it’s a gift. Just sitting in his presence and hearing him and– and throwing something else out there so I can hear his viewpoint on it. Because he’s forgotten more things than I may ever accomplish. So I’m a student looking up to this wonderful teacher saying, ‘Just– just– just throw me a crumb of what you know.'”

Sanders has seemingly turned the sport on its head through the same player empowerment and brashness that stunned the sport when he was a player at Florida State. Now using the transfer portal, NIL and his popularity and strong relationships in the game, it’s this type of new era in college football that may put Bama finally on the backfoot. But he does have a good relationship with Saban, with the duo staring in commercials with each other.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Deion Sanders,” Saban said Wednesday. “First, he’s a great person and he’s done a great job of marketing the program to create a lot of national interest. But I see their team playing well on the field. They play with discipline, they do a good job of executing, they’ve been able to score points, playing decent on defense. So all those things, to me, are indicators that he’s a really good coach.”

Colorado is off to a 3-0 start, is by far and away the most interesting team in the country, and may one day go passing ships in the night back at Alabama. Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa saw the Crimson Tide face the Buffaloes in the 2007 Independence Bowl,  the start of a near-decade decade bowl drought that characterized the decline of Colorado Football. Now on the rise, could the Buffs path back to the top include some battles with Bama? They’ve already broken out in the recruiting world, the gridiron might be next.

“He’s always been successful whether it was Jackson State, high school or now in Colorado,” Saban said of Prime. “His teams have always been well coached.”

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