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Former Ohio State assistant Nick Saban talks Woody Hayes

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The coach whose team Ohio State head man Urban Meyer is having his player target not only was a former Ohio State assistant, but shared a Woody Hayes anecdote at a 2012 forum for students.

Didn't realize Nick Saban is a part of the Earle Bruce coaching tree as well? Saban coached the defensive backs under Bruce at Ohio State from 1980-1981 before he was summarily fired, as legend has it, for failing to secure the services of running back Napoleon McCallum, who was a native of Ohio but elected to go to Navy instead of staying home to play for Ohio State (that year's secondary, which included three sophomores and a freshman, was particularly vulnerable to boot).

But long before he became the head coach at Michigan State, LSU, or rebuilt Alabama back into a dynasty, Saban had Ohio State ties. The Alabama coach spoke at a 2012 conference for students where he was the keynote speaker. During his hour plus address (which if you're bored/interested, you can view in its entirety above), the Crimson Tide head man channeled OSU legend Woody Hayes.

Saban rehashes the story of the 2-loss 1981 team who headed to Ann Arbor for The Game as 17-point underdogs. He states that while morale on the team was low, at senior tackle the day before the biggest game of the season, Coach Hayes showed up at practice and spoke to the team. The thesis of Hayes' motivational speech was that "there can be no great victories in life without great adversity." Citing America's win in the Pacific in the wake of Pearl Harbor, Hayes stated that not in spite of, but rather because of, all the adversity against them, The Game represented a tremendous opportunity for the team.

They'd go on to upset the heavily favored Wolverines 14-9 the next day. After the game, Coach Hayes came into the locker room and said that effectively he was glad the season was over, because "there wasn't a damn team we could beat next week" after giving literally everything they had against their arch rivals.

Saban would be fired less than a month later, which some think have led him to become the relentless recruiter he is today.

(H/T C.J. Schexnayder)