Nick Saban certainly has a reputation of being meaner than a rattlesnake at times.
Saturday night folks saw a softer side of Saban.
Following Alabama’s 49-30 victory over Arkansas, the Tide’s head coach sought out Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, who lost his father to a heart attack the week before.
The two met on the field and shared a few moments together.
“It was just kind of a personal thing for me. I lost my father when I was in my first year of graduate school,” Saban told reporters after the game. “He’s a fine young man and a fine player. For him to have to go through that, our thoughts and prayers are with his family. I just wanted to tell him that and try to encourage him to, in some kind of way, embrace the good memories and good times that he had with his father. That will be something he can keep with him forever.”
Saban’s father, Nick Sr., died in 1973 of a sudden heart attack.
According to GridironNow.com, in 2014 Saban shared with the media his final conversation with his father.
“I said, ‘Dad, this is finally what I want to do. I know this is what I want to do,’” Saban said. “That was the last conversation I had. I told him what I wanted to do and that was to be a coach.”
Following his father’s passing, Ragnow posted a tribute on Instagram.
“You made me the man who I am today, you were the glue that held our family together, you were honestly my best friend and I’m so thankful for every moment I had with you. Love you dad.”
Winner of the Week
Texas A&M 45, Tennessee 38 (2OT): It looked like Tennessee was going to work its magic once again Saturday. The Vols trailed 28-14 after three quarters and outscored host Texas A&M 21-7 in the final frame to force overtime. Unlike in recent weeks, where the Vols found a miraculous way to win, the Aggies held on Saturday for a narrow victory. Former Stone and Gulf Coast standout Justin Evans continues to impress. The safety led the Aggies with 11 tackles and also registered a tackle for loss, one interception and two pass breakups.
Losers of the Week
Florida, LSU fans: Purely from a football standpoint, this weekend was a complete and utter mess in relation LSU’s game at Florida. Instead of worrying about the kind of destruction Hurricane Matthew was going to cause, football fans were up in arms about the “will they, won’t they” saga surrounding the game. I’m not one who’s wearing a tinfoil hat, crying about a conspiracy, but the whole thing has become a colossal embarrassment for the SEC. UF AD Jeremy Foley refused to budge and play the game on the road. LSU AD Joe Alleva all but called out Florida for being unwilling to play the game in Baton Rouge. Now, LSU says it refuses to lose its Nov. 19 home game against South Alabama. Something has got to give.
During a live interview on CBS Saturday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said the game “needs to be played.” And it will. There are several possibilities to reschedule the game, but that would require both sides quit playing hardball and find a compromise.
QB Trevor Knight (TAMU): Pretty hard not to pick the Aggies’ QB here. Knight did throw two interceptions on Saturday, but he also accounted for five total touchdowns. Knight completed 17 of 34 passes for 239 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for another 110 yards and three scores. His final touchdown, a 1-yard run in the second overtime, ended up being the difference in the game.
Six: Five games into the season and Mississippi State is 2-3. How do the Bulldogs get to the required six victories to earn bowl eligibility? MSU plays at BYU on Friday and then travels to Kentucky before hosting Samford Oct. 29. After that, the Bulldogs play Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss — all ranked opponents. Can the Bulldogs get to six wins? Sure, but it’s not going to be easy.
Associated Press: No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 9 Tennessee, No. 12 Ole Miss, No. 18 Florida, No. 22 Arkansas, No. 23 Auburn. Receiving votes: Georgia, LSU.
USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll: No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 13 Ole Miss, No. 14 Florida, No. 22 Arkansas, No. 25 LSU. Receiving votes: Auburn, Georgia.
1. Alabama (6-0)
2. Texas A&M (6-0)
3. Tennessee (5-1)
12. Kentucky (3-3)
13. South Carolina (2-4)
14. Vanderbilt (2-4)
Game to watch
Alabama at Tennessee (2:30 p.m., CBS): This was another no brainer for the Game to Watch. Yes, Ole Miss at Arkansas is intriguing, but Alabam and Tennessee could be memorable. The Tide just dismantled the Hogs while the Vols rallied — once again — only to come up short at Texas A&M. Will the Tide continue to roll or will the Vols have more magic up their sleeves?