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Irish Insights


Kelly, Saban ready for sleepless nights

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and Alabama coach Nick Saban are anticipating plenty of sleepless nights as they prepare their teams for the Jan. 7 BCS championship game in Miami.

Kelly and Saban were asked at a news conference Wednesday at NASDAQ in New York about what has kept them up at night as the No. 1 Irish (12-0) and No. 2 Crimson Tide (12-1) wait to play for the title.

"Are you kidding me? Really?" Kelly said. "Everything about them.

"How they are coached; their attention to detail I think is what stands out. When you talk about Alabama, there's an attention to detail in everything that they do. So you're going to have to beat them. They are not going to beat themselves. And as coaches, we always look for those opportunities where there's a weakness somewhere, and try to, you know, product and find that weakness.

"With this Alabama football team, the way it's coached and the way it's constructed, they are not going to beat themselves. You're going to have to beat them, and that's the uphill challenge."

Saban jokingly talked about never sleeping well, and that he liked having the excuse of preparing for Notre Dame for not getting a lot of rest.

"It gives me something to worry about," Saban said. "I think the first thing is they are a great defensive team, fantastic front seven, very physical, great size and play exceptionally well together as a team. They are very well coached.

"Offensively, I think they do a tremendous job getting the ball to their playmakers, lots of formations, lots of motions and shifts to try to make sure that their playmakers are getting the ball, and the quarterback does a really good job of implementing the whole process. It's just a really well coached football team, and they don't beat themselves much, either. It's going to be a great game with two really good teams."