Nick Saban vs. Big Al: Picking ultimate winner between Alabama’s viral stars

It’s official: Alabama is the place to be for viral videos in the SEC.

On Saturday, the Crimson Tide’s mascot, Big Al, tickled Twitter by doing something — we’re still not quite sure what — during Alabama’s blowout loss to Villanova in an NCAA Tournament game in Pittsburgh. That followed Nick Saban’s cool Cupid Shuffle display from January, which earned rave reviews from people who know amazing on a dance floor when they see it.

You can witness both videos here:

So, it’s obvious a winner must be declared after Big Al challenged Alabama’s football coach for viral supremacy. The victor can hold a parade at Disney World and claim a mythical national title, because they apparently let anyone do that these days. Also, a Twitter beef over the result is encouraged.

We’ve broken down the Saban vs. Big Al matchup below. Let the talk over who’s the top viral presence in Tuscaloosa rage as March’s madness continues.


Saban is sneaky good with his steps. He’s light on his feet, and his hip action is admirable for a 66-year-old. It’s clear he’s no stranger to this dance, which is great considering it would have been super embarrassing for the coach to trip with the camera rolling. After all, such a gaffe might have cost him a few spots in 247Sports’ recruiting class rankings. He even cracks a smile for the room with the beats bumping. He’s no MC Hammer, but he did well enough to avoid getting hammered by critics online.

The effort by Big Al, meanwhile, leaves more questions than answers. Why a self-described inchworm imitation? Why not try breakdancing? And why not end the inchworm thing with a head stand or a back spin for variety? Granted, Big Al had much more weight to deal with while trying to pull off the stunt Saturday in that suit. But come on, you must admit crawling behind cheerleaders is more than a bit creepy.

Edge: Saban


Saban had the advantage of a much more intimate setting while recruiting Class of 2018 3-star cornerback/wide receiver Eddie Smith of Slidell, La. The coach didn’t know he was performing for so many eyes to enjoy online, but he made the most of the moment. But his environment was comparable to a rout of Fresno State in September, not an overtime thriller against Georgia in the National Championship Game. His situation was safer.

Big Al, meanwhile, put it all out there with thousands of fans watching at PPG Paints Arena. Was the mascot afraid of embarrassment? Heck no. Big Al took a big gamble, and those guts must be recognized. Next time you’re feeling nervous before a high-stakes work meeting, picture yourself in a giant elephant costume.

Edge: Big Al


Saban can roll up to a wedding reception and fit in with that tie and crimson blazer. Those khaki pants are perfect for nimble movement, too. But we would have liked to see him embrace a South Beach vibe. Perhaps lose the tie and the blazer and unbutton the shirt next time, Coach? And try some hair gel, please. But overall, he looks sharp.

As for Big Al? Find some pants. Good thing there weren’t any citations written. This is the NCAA Tournament, not a nude beach in France. And that shirt is fine for Buffalo Wild Wings, but it doesn’t score you points elsewhere. It’s obvious Big Al needs a makeover. Yeah, yeah, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne must save money for Saban’s massive contract. Still, you’d think a little dough could be dedicated toward fixing mascot fashion faux pas.

Edge: Saban

Outcome of viral act

Saban knows what he’s doing. Perhaps there’s hypnotic power in his dance moves, because Smith signed with the Crimson Tide in February. Note to SEC coaches everywhere: Shine those shoes, practice that smile and lose the fear of looking ridiculous. As they say, the road to the national championship begins with Cupid.

Sorry, Big Al can’t compete in this category. Unfortunately, top-seeded Villanova took Alabama’s hopes of an upset and gave them the woodchipper treatment. Frankly, it looked like Big Al hit the bottle too many times after watching the Wildcats treat the 3-point arc like a personal playground.

Edge: Saban


Nice try, Big Al, but Saban is King Viral. If the mascot adds depth to the inchworm stunt, there could be a different outcome in future years. But Saban’s suave demeanor is too much to overcome here. Forget the six national titles. This must be the greatest accomplishment of his career.

Winner: Saban

The post Nick Saban vs. Big Al: Picking ultimate winner between Alabama’s viral stars appeared first on SEC Country.

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