During halftime of Saturday’s Alabama-Auburn basketball game, while accepting the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy that goes to the winner of the Iron Bowl, Saban mentioned the “tremendous” respect he has for “the University of Auburn.”
Not getting the name of your biggest rival correct is hardly what you’d call tremendous respect.
On the other hand, at least Saban said “Auburn.” One former Alabama coach thought it was cute never to mention the name, and instead referred to Auburn as “that school down the road.”
And another even more famous former Tide coach referred to Auburn as the “cow college.”
So in the big scheme of Auburn slights, this wasn’t much. But was it an honest mistake? As careful as Saban has always been with his words, could this really have been accidental?