Who said Ohio State was the best team in last year's College Football Playoff? Not Nick Saban, at least not today.
The Alabama coach said at today's SEC Media Day that he thinks the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl loss was due, in part, by his players' lack of focus following NFL Draft ratings being released before the game.
"I just felt like, in our experience last year, our team chemistry from the SEC Championship game to the playoff game was affected by something," Saban said. "I think that to have a Dec. 15th deadline from when a junior can submit for a draft grade and then you get that assessment back sometime right before or right after Christmas, and then you have a playoff game coming up on Jan. 1st or 2nd, and I think it's my obligation as a coach to inform that young man when I get that information because it's his information."
Saban added, "We're trying to get ready for a game, and all of a sudden, a guy finds out he's a first-round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first round-draft pick finds out he's not a first-round draft pick, and we're trying to get ready to play a playoff game. I think that it would be better not to submit that information to a player until he was finished competing in college."
Ohio State won the first ever College Football Playoff after OSU's win against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl followed by defeating Oregon in the National Championship Game.
Ohio State had five players go onto be drafted in April's NFL Draft. Alabama had seven players selected in the Draft.
The Crimson Tide had two players drafted in the second round, safety Landon Collins and running back T.J. Yeldon after Bama wide receiver Amari Cooper went fourth overall.
The comments drew an interesting reaction from Ohio State fans.
After Alabama's loss to Ohio State, Saban thought his team was out-played by the Buckeyes.
"You have to congratulate Ohio State who played a really, really good game, and we probably didn't play our best game," Saban said after the game.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.