Nick Saban’s excuse: Alabama distracted by NFL Draft grades

Alabama had few answers for Ezekiel Elliott and the Ohio State offense in the national semifinal game. (AP photo)

Alabama had few answers for Ezekiel Elliott and the Ohio State offense in the national semifinal game. (AP photo)

Nick Saban had about six months to figure out how Ohio State manhandled Alabama in a national semifinal game.

The best he could do?

He blamed the loss on the NFL.

MORE ON THIS STORY: NFL Draft distracts Alabama players before national semifinal game.

More specifically, the timing of the draft grades his players received after the SEC Championship game and the playoff. The draft grades were handed out on Dec. 15 last year.

“So we’re trying to get ready for a game, and all of a sudden a guy finds out he’s a first-round draft pick or a guy who thought he was a first-round draft pick finds out he’s not,” Saban said at the SEC Media Days. “I think that it would be better not to submit that information to a player until he was finished competing in college. We moved the draft back. We have not moved the date that a player has to declare back.”


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