Smiley: Saban is underrated; Tiffin will win it

2010 BCS National Championship

Former Alabama offensive lineman Justin Smiley thinks Nick Saban is underrated and predicts a Leigh Tiffin kick will win the National Championship. Smiley shared his thoughts about the National Championship game on PlayMaker Mobile, a new mobile application that allows top professional athletes connect with fans in real time. Smiley’s post is below.

Justin Smiley:

I watch every game and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, the blowouts and the close games. It’s really refreshing to watch. I have a lot of pride and I talk a lot of trash in the locker room with the rest of the guys so it has made it a lot of fun. We are back where we belong. Alabama is an elite program and Coach Saban has helped get us there. We had a really good team in 2003. We were one of the top five programs in the country but we were on probation so we’ll never really know what that team could have done. Let’s face it, people live and breathe football in Alabama, so with the Crimson Tide doing so well it gives the entire State a lot of hope and excitement.

I really like the defense. The offense has done a nice job all year and Ingram won the Heisman. That was cool because Alabama has never had one, but that really is a team award. The defense has been playing lights out all year. The offense had not been an elite offense until that last game against Florida. McElroy played great. People thought that was a weakness for Alabama, but if they play like they did in the SEC Championship game no one can beat us.

If I was planning for this game my mentality is to run the power play and smack them in the mouth on the first play. Let ‘em know you’re here to play and that you’ll be there all day long. If we win the toss I’d put the defense out there first so that they can make a stop and get the ball for the offense. Then I’d set the tone with a good punch in the mouth from the get go. It will help set up the play action. I think that would be the perfect way for Alabama to start the game.

Coach Saban has done a great job, but I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves. He finished third in Coach of the Year voting. His team is undefeated and playing in the National Championship. They killed the #1 team in the country in the SEC Championship game. How does he not finish in the top 2? He has had a lot to do with the success in Alabama. They like to run the football and the defense, they’re killers. I played against LSU when Coach Saban was there and they played lights out on defense. LSU was known for its defense and he has built Alabama the same way. The Tide has played great on defense and that has a lot to do with the scheme and the way they are coached.

Texas is a good football team and it’s the National Championship so both teams will pull out all the stops. I mean it’s Texas-Alabama, I really think it’s a classic just waiting to happen. We have the best kicker in college football. Leigh Tiffin has made some big plays all year and we’re lucky to have him. I will be glued to the game because it’s going to be tight. Alabama will win on a kick 21-19, National Champions!

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