Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 10/16/14

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team onto the field to face the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
It’s not like Nick Saban needs any advice on how to win a BCS Championship, but watching Florida in the Sugar Bowl is a good place to see what not to do. Saban and Alabama were in a similar position as Florida when the Tide played heavy underdog Utah and lost 31-17. It’s hard to believe the Crimson Tide would have a letdown, but you would be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Louisville who thought the Cardinals could pull off the beat down they put on the Gators. The best thing going for Alabama is that Saban won’t have a coaching meltdown like Will Muschamp, who was totally outclassed by Charlie Strong. Still, here are five things Alabama should have learned from the Gators’ surprising loss to Louisville when the Tide face Notre Dame on Monday. 1. Stay composed. You can forgive Florida for losing big, but the Gators should be ashamed for their lack of class in losing. The Gators were flagged for multiple personal fouls, Chris Johnson was ejected for throwing a punch, and they finished with 98 yards on nine penalties. If you give Notre Dame this many free yards, then the Irish will capitalize on it. 2. Don’t give up big plays. Florida’s John Brantley opened up the game by throwing a pick six and Louisville rolled from there. Alabama can’t give up any quick scores to the Irish. Notre Dame’s offense should have trouble moving the ball on the Tide. But if Alabama must play catch up football that could be tough going against the Irish defense. 3. Keep the other team’s superstar from dominating. For Louisville, it was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. It’s linebacker Manti Te’o at Notre Dame. Te’o makes big-time plays and he won’t be in awe of that great SEC speed. He’s an emotional leader. He’s going to be tough to stop because of Notre Dame’s outstanding front seven. Alabama can’t let Te’o make too many big hits or create turnovers. If he does, that will take a lot of pressure off of the Irish’s very average offense. 4. Don’t underestimate a motivated opponent. Louisville was a 14.5-point underdog, while ND is a 9.5-point underdog. When you spend a month listening to how you are supposed to easily win the game you start to believe the hype a little too much. Even a Saban-coached team can’t avoid it. Florida wasn’t a team bummed to be going to the Sugar Bowl. The Gators thought they would show up and the SEC-mystique would overwhelm the Cardinals. If Notre Dame jumps on Alabama early, watch out. 5. Check the SEC arrogance at the door. We all know the SEC is going for its seventh-consecutive BCS championship and Alabama is looking to win three of the last four. There’s no question a certain amount of arrogance surrounds the Crimson Tide (and deservedly so). But that confidence can also create a belief that you can’t lose.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

One Direction promotes tour by acting like bandwagon NFL fans

Jimmy Howard unveils pink mask for 'Hockey Fights Cancer'

Louisville Athletic Dept. asking for donations at gas pump

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.