ATLANTA — The disappointment Nick Saban was feeling was visible in his face.
His No. 1-ranked and previously unbeaten Alabama team had just lost the SEC championship game to Florida, 31-20, on Saturday and with it lost a chance to play for the national championship.
But Saban spoke at length of the pride he has for his team and what it was able to do this year, just one season after a 7-6 finish in Saban’s first year as the Crimson Tide’s coach.
“I’m very proud of what our football team was able to accomplish this year,” he said. “The only team that plays in a real BCS conference that went 12-0, which is very difficult to do, and I’m so very proud of the way our players played, with consistency all year, the way they competed.
“You know, we didn’t get the result that we hoped for today. (But) I’m very, very proud of the way our guys competed in the game and the way they’ve played all year. We kind of ran out of gas in the fourth quarter a little bit in what was a very tough, physical game.”