As you probably know, Duke will be taking on mighty Alabama to open the season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
Alabama is in a different world in football from the Duke - well reverse it to basketball. Alabama is usually a tier or two below Duke on the hardwood. That’s just the way it is, for better or worse, and it’s the same in football.
Nonetheless, Alabama’s Nick Saban has begun, in classic coach speak, to blow smoke at Duke and coach David Cutcliffe.
He said this at SEC Media Days Wednesday:
“I don’t know of anybody in the country that’s done a better job with the program than he has at Duke. Not only in terms of taking the program from being fairly unsuccessful to very successful now, but also, the way he goes about it — the honesty, integrity, you know, doing things the way it’s supposed to be done when it comes to college football in terms of emphasizing personal development and academic support and player development.
”I just think he’s one of the best around.
“He’s offensively probably one of the best minds in this era of our game. Quarterback development, he’s very, very talented in terms of how he’s been able to develop a lot of good players at that position.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for David, what he was able to do when he was at Ole Miss and we played all the time and what he’s done at Duke with that program and the success they’ve had there,”
Taking it out of coach speak: “David’s a really good coach but I’ll never understand why he took the Duke job. He doesn’t bend the rules like the clowns in our Situational Ethics Conference so I know I’ll have a big talent advantage over David. Where he does worry me is that he has a great offensive mind and I have no idea what to expect from his quarterback. Can’t really scout him. He’s so good with them that I have to expect a solid performance.
“Also he’s honest and his players really take what he says to heart because they know they can trust him to do what he says. They’ll run through a brick wall for David. We’re Alabama and my players all came here because we’re Alabama and they know it’s the highest level college football there is outside of Clemson anyway. Speaking of our betters, did you see that Duke hung with Clemson for a half last year? With all those injuries?
“I fully expect to beat Duke but do I think they could go App State and beat our ass? Hell yes. It’ll be our own fault if we do but certainly it’s possible. That guy’s a hell of a coach. I just can’t figure out why the hell he took the Duke job. “