Remember the old Iron Bowl days when the two head coaches didn’t seem to get along?
In some cases, it was a manufactured thing, rather than any real dislike (Alabama’s Dennis Franchione vs. Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville). In other cases, the coaches really didn’t get along all that well (Alabama’s Mike DuBose vs. Tuberville, Alabama’s Mike Price vs. Tuberville, and especially Alabama’s Gene Stallings vs. Auburn’s Terry Bowden).
Now, if Alabama’s Nick Saban and Auburn’s Gene Chizik don’t like each other, they’re not letting it go public. At all.
“We don’t have any kind of an adversarial relationship,” Saban said about Chizik today on the SEC teleconference. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the job that he has done. Their program, how they play, how they’re coached, I have a mutual respect for the way they go about professionally.
“There’s no personal animosity here from my standpoint. I’ve never felt any from his.”
When Chizik was asked about Saban on Tuesday, he poured on the praise.
“Coach Saban is a great football coach,” Chizik said. “His body of work wherever he has been really tells the story. I don’t think that there is anything that I can say that can inform anybody any differently. On a professional level, he’s always been very professional, very respectful with all of his opponents and all of his peer coaches, likewise, everybody with him as well.
“That’s my dealing with him. He’s very successful for a reason, and I think I don’t need to tell people all the reasons. I think it’s very obvious.”