Home SEC Football Alabama Players Bask in Being College Football’s ‘Most Hated Team’

Alabama Players Bask in Being College Football’s ‘Most Hated Team’

Every great story needs a villain. Alabama players are happy to fill that role.

After a 29-0 shutout vs. LSU in Death Valley, No. 1 Alabama (9-0) remains undefeated with three games left in the regular season.

Opposing fans across the nation can’t help but to hate watch each week to root against the “Evil Empire”. Yet the Crimson Tide constantly rises up and crushes their hopes.

Under Nick Saban, Alabama has captured five national titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017) and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for their dominance.

On The Paul Finebaum Show, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville rails that Alabama has “taken all of the fun out of it”, in terms of the College Football Playoff system.

That’s type of sentiment is music to the ears of Alabama players.

“Yes. I think we like being the hated team. I know I do,” Alabama safety Xavier McKinney to Saturday Down South. “It makes us play better, makes us perform well. So we try to keep that mind-set. We like that negative energy we get and try to turn it into positive.”

Alabama is toying with the SEC as they troll the competition by mimicking celebrations (vs. Ole Miss) and composing the other team’s band (vs. Tennessee).

That’s a right earned when you lead the nation with a 37.2 margin of victory. The closest game is a 45-23 victory vs. Texas A&M on Sept. 22.

Alabama is No. 1 in total offense and averages 51.3 points. Heisman Trophy candidate Tua Tagovailoa has amassed 2,361 yards, 27 touchdowns and just one interception. Jerry Jeudy has 39 receptions for 880 yards and 10 touchdowns. Joshua Jacobs has rushed for eight touchdowns.

Alabama is No. 11 in total defense and allows 14.1 points. Isaiah Buggs (8.5 sacks, two forced fumbles) and Deionte Thompson (50 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble) are a couple of players having standout seasons.

While all of that is great, Saban wants Alabama to keep avoiding the rat poison. That means no patting themselves on the back. There’s still games to win in order to repeat as national champions, including this week’s home matchup against visiting No. 18 Mississippi State.

“Moving forward, the battle gets very internal in terms of putting the last game behind you and looking forward to the challenges and the test of the future, so you can’t really be complacent or satisfied,” Saban said to Saturday Down South. “We need to put that behind us and get ready for the next team, Mississippi State, who is a very good team.”