Saban Likens Alabama's Loss to Catastrophic Events

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama fans aren't the only ones treating the Louisiana-Monroe loss as a monumental event.

Coach Nick Saban described the humbling defeat in almost apocalyptic terms.

He mentioned the 9-11 terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbor in talking about how his team must rebound like America did from a "catastrophic event."

If the comparisons seem over the top, well, it is Iron Bowl week.

Saban didn't compare the embarrassing 21-14 loss to Louisiana-Monroe to those events. But he picked those historical references to illustrate that this could be a pivotal week for the Crimson Tide.

That usually goes without saying when Alabama (6-5, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) is preparing to face its biggest rival, No. 25 Auburn.

The Tide is in a precarious spot leading up to Saturday's visit to the Tigers. It has having been stung by three consecutive losses that have put Saban's first Alabama team in danger of getting snubbed by bowls and having a .500 record.

A win over Auburn would take some of the sting off, and likely erase any doubt that Alabama is bowl-bound. Plus, the Tide wants to stop a five-year losing streak to its biggest rival.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)