Exactly one week to the minute after Nick Saban led his team on to the field at the Rose Bowl to meet the Texas Longhorns for the BCS national championship, I found myself chatting up the Alabama coach outside a crowded hotel ballroom in Houston.
He was in town as a finalist for the Bear Bryant Award (national coach of the year) and I expected to find him in a giddy mood.
I was wrong.
Now, I didn’t expect a goofy smile and one of those “I’m going to Disney World” statements we’ve come to expect from the MVP in a Super Bowl.
But I didn’t expect this either.