First off, apologies for no post Wednesday. Benadryl and blogging don’t mix. And yes, I’m ready for winter to get here so this pollen will stop. On to the news and notes:

Chris Low posted an excellent piece on understanding Nick Saban. It examines why Saban limits his outside commitments—he won’t miss practice. He won’t miss practice for anything. He won’t miss practice even to visit Augusta.

And in case you missed it: “I have people invite me to some art show or something and can’t understand why I can’t go to it,” said Saban, who’s been pulled in a million different ways since the national title. “It’s like they think I should cancel spring practice and go to the art show. … Well, we had practice that day. Everybody got onto me about that deal with the President. Even the players did. But if you were a coach, would you miss practice to go to something like that?

“I’ve never missed practice. People ask me to go to Augusta, and I say, ‘I can’t go. We’ve got practice.’ They say, ‘You mean, you won’t miss practice to go to Augusta?’ and I’m like, ‘Hell, no,’ and I’d love to go to The Masters as much as anybody. But I’d never do that.”

There is much more in the Low piece. It is worth reading if you haven’t already checked it out.

Most people who follow football already understand this about Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, but it is worth repeating. Alabama’s football coach is focused on work. It is what allows him to be successful. While people are wasting time on some hobby, tweeting or surfing the Internet, Saban works. In an era when people covet spare time, Saban embodies a virtue that is lacking in a world of slackers.

Phelon Jones
There were some interesting bits of information in this story from the Don Kausler. Here is one: “A lot of people don’t know this,” Tony Jones said, “but (LSU coach) Les Miles would not give us a release to Alabama. He gave us a release to Auburn, but we never visited Auburn. Les is a good guy, but I had to talk to him many times. He finally gave Phelon a release to Alabama.”

LSU coach Les Miles was fine with a player going to a divisional rival that is insignificant, but it took convincing to get him to grant the release to a team coached by Nick Saban. Says a lot doesn’t it?

Big Ten expansion?
For those who follow conference alignment talks this is a nice analysis from Team Speed Kills: 16-Team Big Ten Makes Little Sense in Reality.