After beating No. 1 Houston on the road Saturday, their second win over a No. 1 ranked opponent this season, Alabama jumped up to No. 4 in the country, their highest ranking since 2006. With the Crimson Tide basketball team ranked No. 4 and the Crimson Tide football team ranked No. 5, this marks the first time since Saban has been at Alabama that the basketball team has been ranked higher than the football team. Alabama football has not lost its fastball, but it is more of a testament to how great of a job Nate Oats has done with this basketball team.
Monday, Oats was informed of this unique feat his team had accomplished.
"I think that speaks to the level of football that Nick Saban's brought to Alabama," Oats said. "How long has he been here? Sixteen years. So for 16 years, there's a lot of polls that have come out. My guess is he's been No. 1 or 2 in half of them. The basketball team would have had to be pretty good to be ranked ahead of them. Maybe when he was getting it built in his first year or two. Obviously, the basketball program wasn't at the level that we've gotten it to now. I think it speaks to how ridiculous the football program is around here for it to go that long.
Nate Oats had a message for his players: continue to get better every day, not let the high ranking go to their heads, and take care of business.
"Look, on our end, we're just trying to get a little bit better every day, and we're obviously coming off a big win over a No. 1 team Carolina ranked today? They're not. They were No. 1 two weeks ago. It's nice to be ranked high. Lm on the road. Some people recognize it. We also realize how fleeting that stuff can be. What's Nortet's build it up for our fans. Let's get everybody out here Tuesday. We've got the No. 4-ranked team in the country playing at home against Memphis, who's a really good team and will be a good game.
"But if you don't take care of business, it's going to be gone. If you don't take care of business tomorrow, the rankings are out the window."
The Crimson Tide will not have long to celebrate their big win from Saturday as they welcome to Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday a very talented Memphis team that just missed having a spot in the top 25 and coming off a big win over Auburn on Saturday. That game tips off at 8 p.m.
Then later in the week, on Saturday, December 17, Alabama will face No. 15 Gonzaga in a neutral-site game at Birmingham's Legacy Arena in the second annual C.M. Newton Classic, a game to honor the former Alabama men's basketball coach and the impact he made on and off the court.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.