College Sports

Alabama’s Nick Saban says he can never get over loss to Clemson. The hard part is ...

Even with four other NCAA titles to console him, Alabama head coach Nick Saban says he won’t ever get over the 35-31 last-second loss to Clemson in the 2017 National Championship game.

Saban told ESPN that his Crimson Tide, which blew two 10-point leads and gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter, didn’t play well. That gets to him.

“I’ll never get over it because you never do with those kind of losses,” Saban said earlier this week. “... In this game, we didn’t play well, and Clemson did when they had to. That’s what eats at you.”

In the ESPN article, Saban takes full blame for the loss, the Tide’s first after 26 straight wins.

“We didn't play to our strengths, and that's my fault,” Saban said. “That's the part that's hard to get over.”

It’s unlikely anyone in Tuscaloosa is holding a grudge, though.

And for the record, Saban wasn’t short on praise for the Tigers and quarterback DeShaun Watson, respectfully saying “... they were the best team we played against with the best quarterback.”

Saban, of course, isn’t the only one from Alabama that might still wake up in cold sweats seeing Hunter Renfrow hauling in the game-winning pass with one second left.

Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick brought up the game after his side lost the A-Day spring game on Saturday.

A targeting call with under a minute left kept the Crimson team on the field and they capitalized with a chip-shot field goal for a 27-24 win.

“So basically it was like we lost the championship game,” Fitzpatrick said. “They capitalized on our mistakes.”

Different circumstances, sure, but Fitzpatrick couldn’t help but tie the two games together. And it’s likely not the last time we’ll see a reference to Clemson loss from Tuscaloosa this season.

Follow Mike Reader on Twitter.