TUSCULOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) — Birthdays are typically a day full of cake, presents and celebrations — but not for Nick Saban.
The Alabama Crimson Tide head coach turns 72 Tuesday, but it won’t be a day of celebration for him. Instead, Saban will spend the day as he does most days of the calendar year: working with his football team.
“The game is the most important thing. That would be an outstanding birthday present if we could play well in this game,” said Saban. “That’s what I’m focused on and that’s what we are really trying to do.”
A longtime football coach like Saban knows that having a birthday in the middle of football season and not getting to celebrate is just an occupational hazard.
“You know when your birthday and holidays come up during football season they’re really not holidays and they’re really not birthdays,” said Saban. “You get older but you don’t really celebrate much.”
Although his birthday typically falls on Alabama’s bye week, Saban has coached twice on his birthday.
The first time, in 1998, Saban coached the Michigan State Spartans to a 29-5 win over the Northwestern Wildcats.
In 2020, Saban coached the Alabama Crimson Tide to a win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs 41-0 on his birthday. In that game, Mac Jones threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns. Devonta Smith caught 11 passes for 203 yards and four touchdowns.
This year, Saban’s birthday falls on the week of a top-15 match up for the Crimson Tide as they take on the LSU Tigers Saturday.
LSU comes into the game as the best total offense in the country and the game has major implications for the path to the SEC Championship Game, which would make a win a great birthday gift for Saban.
The Alabama and LSU game will kick off at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.