"This wasn't an easy decision and we appreciate the way Lane handled this in terms of doing what is best for our team". "We did what we did for the reasons that I've stated many, many times before, and there's really nothing else to talk about".
Maybe Sakisian can help the Tide's offensive execution, which was lacking against Washington.
Although Kiffin already had one foot out the door as he previously accepted a head coaching job at Florida Atlantic University, it was expected that the veteran offensive mind would remain at Alabama through their playoff run. Throw in his 3-0 record at LSU - the 2001 SEC championship game win over Tennessee, 2003 SEC championship game win over Georgia and 2003 BCS national championship win over Oklahoma - and that's a glistening 14-2 record on championship stages.
Saban answered a few questions about the situation in a CFP teleconference Tuesday before running out of patience, and he answered a few more following Alabama practice Wednesday. "Energy level has been good".
The problem he faces is having just a week to earn the trust of true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Tide offense.
Asked how the players have responded to Sarkisian during practice this week, Saban had nothing but positives to share. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to prepare well. "We're getting ready to go out there and show what the new offense is going to be about".
Said Tide OL Cam Robinson:"When the world hears new offensive coordinator like the week before".
"It's hard sometimes when you're in a situation when you have a new opportunity and a new job, and we mutually agreed that in the best interest of everyone that this would be the best thing for us to do relative to the experience that we had in preparation for Washington and playing in the game", Saban said. He knows the offense. "I thought they played, just, you know, really, really outstanding against Ohio State in terms of well-prepared, knowing exactly what they had to take away, and played well together to get it done".
Given the shakeup, Saban wouldn't say how involved he plans to be in the offensive game plan but made it clear any plan would be a group effort by the entire offensive coaching staff. I just feel like I have to make decisions based on what's best for the players to have the best chance to be successful.
"We're moving forward and we're looking forward and everybody is going to do everything they can to support the people that are here now to make it work".
The unusual move of parting ways with Lane Kiffin a week before the big game was a substantial risk for Saban.
That is exactly what the head coach is looking for as they prepare to face a unsafe Clemson defense. All of our guys know the system.