“I think more than anything else, it's the anticipation of the game because there's such a lead-up for this one with all of the media attention, where at Grand Valley State, we were staying at the Best Western,” Kelly added. “I don't know that anybody knew where we were. It was just another game. It was the championship game, but it certainly doesn't have the same kind of feel.
So when you're in a playoff structure like we were at Grand Valley State playing for a national championship, it's the next game. It's the third and fourth game in a row, where this you have such a layoff. So it's a totally different feeling.”
Saban, meanwhile, has been here before and gotten the T-shirt – in addition to the crystal football that goes home with the winner. He led the Tide to national titles in 2009 and 2011.
Despite the media’s focus on Saban, the Tide coach said it’s all about the team.
“Everything that we've put into this year from the time two days after last year's game to have a team meeting and talk about what that team would be able to accomplish,” Saban said. “I think it's really all about trying to get this team in a position to be able to stay focused on the things that they can control to accomplish and challenge something for themselves.
“It's not really about me at all. It's all about this team, this game, this year, and none of that other stuff really matters from my standpoint. I mean, I'm really all about our team this year.”
Neither coach knows yet what exactly he will say to his team before they take the field for tonight’s game.