Head coaches for LSU and Alabama met with the media for the final time today to give one final breakdown of this year's BCS Championship game.
These two teams have played in a series of classic juggernaut ballgames since Nick Saban came to Alabama in 2007. This year's showdown on November 5th was the latest instant classic of that series. LSU won that game 9-6 in overtime, Armaggedon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Two months later, it's round two. So what did the teams learn from their first meeting?
"Our team learned some things from the first game," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "Sometimes when you have a negative experience, you're more willing to maybe learn some of the things that can be valuable to you in the future in terms of the execution. The inability to finish in critical times in certain situations in the game."
"It's really all about what you did well, you do well, and how you can operate that in this game and so I think maybe the over-analyzation can be counter-productive," LSU head coach Les Miles said.
The Tide and Tigers have worked all year to reach this point. Saban and Miles have spoken to their team countless times throughout that process. Tomorrow just before kickoff, they'll do it one more time.
"Focus on everything that they need to do to play their best football. That's the goal, that's the objective," Saban said.
"I'd expect it to be big boy football," Miles said. "I'd expect it to be very very physical and it would be a game that will be represented by two quality football teams."
The teams have been waiting 43 days to play this game. They've still got one more to go, meaning that they must kill nearly 24 hours before the game finally arrives tomorrow night.
"I want them to relax and get off their feet," Miles said. "You can't play the game until the game and yet it all should focus when you're preparing for something that's significant that will provide you with significant lifetime memory. You need to qualify your want to participate."
"You can't be a great competitor if you can't overcome adversity," Saban said. "That kind of mindset is going to be very very important because every game I think we've played LSU, the last five have come right down to the wire in some kind of way. Whether we won, they won, it doesn't make any difference, there's one common theme, all the games come right down to the wire. So, you have to be prepared to sustain your performance for sixty minutes in a game."
Both head coaches seemed really loose in the press conference, Nick Saban especially. He even drew a few laughs from the room today, so it's going to be interesting to see how he handles the time between now and the game, but there will be no laughs tomorrow.