Weeks away from the first ever College Football Playoff, the head coaches of Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon and Florida State, sat together in Orlando to give a little taste of what's to come. Urban Meyer and Nick Saban sat right next to each other as they addressed the media for the first time leading up to their highly anticipated match-up.
Saban opened the press conference noting the history of Alabama teams playing in the Sugar Bowl, and went on to show respect to the other coaches. He specifically noted the excellence of Urban Meyer and how great the team is at Ohio State this year. He knows that it will be a tough but exciting game.
Meyer greeted the media by acknowledging how honored he is to be apart of the first College Football Playoff; he's excited for his players to be apart of history. He gave special thanks to the players for never giving up during a year filled with challenges and tragedies to overcome. He's seen some Alabama tape and knows his players have a lot of work ahead of them to prepare.
- Someone just had to bring up the 2009 SEC championship game when Florida lost to Alabama. If you look at the SEC Championship as a Playoff game, Meyer and Saban are 1-1 (2008 and 2009). Meyer remembers everything from those two games, and he's already shared those stories with the Buckeyes.
- When asked about the redundancy of answering questions about the playoff selection, Saban spoke up and noted that his staff doesn't pay attention to rankings each week; saying they'd rather focus on mechanics than a ranking. Meyer said he has a young team, and after the Virginia Tech loss, he would use it as motivation to control the conversation about the potential with his players.
- Saban was asked how he plans of preparing his defense to face Cardale Jones, who has limited tape to study from the season. He notes that the style of Ohio State quarterbacks is different across the board, especially because Urban does a great job of utilizing what his players does well. Saban quickly pointed out that Ohio State made a lot of big plays during the Wisconsin game, and speed is a real weapon. It's hard for Alabama to figure out how Jones will be different than Barrett or Miller, but they have to be ready for anything
- Meyer didn't buy in to questions about the media being SEC biased; in fact he conceded that the SEC is top-to-bottom the best conference in the country. Winning against Alabama is important not because of SEC bias, but because they are arguably the best program in the country.
"Its an exciting time in Columbus, Ohio," said Urban Meyer.