TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - It's Nick Saban's debut, the moment Alabama fans have been ardently anticipating for the past eight months.
The start of a new era. Step one on the Crimson Tide's hoped-for return to glory. Of course, the players are excited.
Even Western Carolina's players, who will be on the opposite sideline in tomorrow's Nick-at-Night show at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
This game will be mostly a symbolic beginning in that endeavor. Whatever the score, it's hardly likely to supply much proof that 'Bama's on its way back on the strength of a first offseason and recruiting class under Saban.
It's also not the type of game Alabama's paying him four million dollars a year to win or that lured him back to college ball from the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
But it's a start. For Tide fans, it's The Start with their most famous and heralded coach since Paul "Bear" Bryant.