Perception is that the University of Alabama football schedule was easier when Utah State and Louisiana-Monroe were on the opposite sideline in Tuscaloosa than when Texas was the opponent in Austin.

Nick Saban was asked during his press conference on Wednesday if it’s tougher to evaluate his team’s performance against teams such as Utah State and Louisiana-Monroe than it is against better teams.

Not surprisingly, the Alabama coach bristled at the question. He used the opportunity to deliver a point to his team as they move past last week’s narrow win at Texas and prepare for Saturday’s visit from Louisiana-Monroe.

“That’s your opinion on quality of opponent, it’s not mine,” Saban said.  “I respect all the people that we play and I respect winning and what you have to do to win. Every player should not be focused on who they are playing against for motivation. Every player should want to be the best player they can be. Why would it matter, whether we’re playing Texas or playing somebody else? That’s how you get good, that’s how you develop the right habits, that’s how you’re consistent.”

Saban was just getting started.

“I told you guys more than once, when I was in the NFL, I watched players (and) I didn’t know who they were playing against,” Saban said. “I was just evaluating them. That means when we play a team that’s not as good as anybody else, you don’t play as good? You let the opponent determine how you play? You let the score determine how you play? You determine where you’re playing, that determines how you play? When you get evaluated, what does somebody think, ‘Well, this guy plays pretty good at home. I don’t think we’ll draft him.’ Does that make sense?”

During his Monday press conference, Saban talked about favored teams that got beat this past Saturday and using that as a lesson.

“I respect what it takes to win,” Saban said. “Didn’t I say this on Monday? What does what you’re favored in a game mean, when you’re favored by 20 points and you lose, like two teams did this week. What does it mean? It means that favored you, either don’t know what they’re talking about or the players playing got affected by that. Neither one of them are good.”

Consider the message delivered.

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