Revenge Will Be Sweet (Again) for Saban, Tide

Alabama more than a little motivated against A&M


To say Nick Saban bends the truth at times is like saying Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a tad arrogant and the UNLV football team is in a bit of a rut. Odds are, if Saban’s moving his mouth, he’s lying (that “Harrumph!” you just heard was from Miami Dolphins fans). So when you see the Alabama coach say—over and over and over again—that this week’s showdown at Texas A&M is “just another game” and that he “doesn’t believe in revenge,” remember this: This summer, as Crimson Tide players worked out in the weight room, A&M-logoed towels were hanging on all the machines while every TV in the facility broadcast last season’s 29-24 home loss to the Aggies. On an endless loop.

Remember this, too: Saban loses revenge games about as frequently as I twerk. In his last two college stops (Alabama and LSU), he’s 15-2 when seeking vengeance. The most recent occurrence was in the 2012 BCS Championship Game, when Alabama answered a regular-season 9-6 overtime loss to LSU with a 21-0 beat-down of the Tigers. Keep in mind Saban only had about five weeks to prepare for that one; he’s had nearly 10 months to dissect Johnny Manziel and the Aggies.

Given these facts, let’s make the leap and say Alabama wins in College Station on September 14. The question then becomes: Will the Tide (a 7½-point favorite) win in blowout fashion? I say yes, for three reasons: 1) Saban doesn’t call off the dogs in these spots (his seven revenge-game victories at Alabama have been by an average of 21 points); 2) he’s had two weeks to game plan (the Tide had a bye last week); and 3) A&M’s defense through two games has been as stiff as wet toilet paper, allowing a total of 59 points and 899 yards (546 rushing)—to Rice and Sam Houston State!

It all adds up to a very long day for the Aggies. On the bright side, because it’s a midafternoon kickoff, Johnny Football will have plenty of time to get shitfaced at the postgame kegger. …

Lucky Seven: Alabama -7½ at Texas A&M (Best Bet); Texas-San Antonio +26 at Arizona; Fresno State-Colorado OVER 66½; Tulsa +24½ at Oklahoma; Chiefs -2½ vs. Cowboys; Dolphins +3 at Colts; Panthers -3 at Bills. Last Week: 4-4 (0-1 Best Bet). Season: 7-4 (5-1 college; 2-3 NFL).

Marco D’Angelo (@MarcoInVegas) of says … Lay the points with the Panthers. So often, when a below-average team like Buffalo plays its guts out but still falls short, there’s a letdown the next week. Carolina is the better team with the better defense, and now has film on Bills QB EJ Manuel. Panthers 23, Bills 16.



Matt Jacob appears Wednesdays on’s First Preview, which airs 10-11 a.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1100-AM.