Alabama coach Nick Saban discusses the impact of the College Football Playoff, what got him dancing at his daughter's wedding and more.

By Dan Patrick
June 12, 2015

This story appears in the June 15, 2015, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.

Dan Patrick: How was your daughter Kristen’s wedding?

Nick Saban: Fantastic. The bride was happy, and the bride’s mom was happy. So everybody’s happy.

DP: How emotional did you get?

NS: I was just really excited and happy. We’ve known this young man [Adam Setas] for a long time. They actually rode the school bus together when they were five years old [when I was] at Michigan State. I didn’t feel like we were losing a daughter. We were gaining a son.

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DP: Song that made you dance at the wedding?

NS: “The Electric Slide” is one of my old favorites, so we were out there for that. I tried to learn the Wobble. That took a little more expertise, knowledge and experience. The groom is Greek, so we also had Greek dances. I learned one.

DP: How did he ask for her hand?

NS: It took him about a month. They told me that he was going to ask, and every time I’d see him, I tried to put us in a situation where he could ask, but he never did. Somebody finally had to beat it out of him.

DP: Don’t you realize how intimidating you are?

NS: No, I don’t realize that. I still feel like I’m a kid from West Virginia. It’s hard for me to understand why anyone would be intimidated.

DP: Really?

NS: That’s a fact.

DP: What if she wanted to have the wedding in the fall?

NS: We’ve had a few of those. Sometimes people in the family get mad that I can’t come. My response to that is, I’d love to come, but if you want me to come you have to schedule the wedding when I can come.

DP: What if you’re playing a Division I-AA school? Is there a chance you’d take that off to go to a wedding?

NS: Never. As a coach your responsibility is to your team and players.

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DP: You’ve expressed concerns that with the SEC no longer allowing coaches to participate in satellite camps, the conference isn’t on an even playing field with other schools.

NS: If we’re going to have a playoff between these conferences then we should try to level the playing field as much as possible. After eight years in the NFL, I look at their model. They do try to create parity and competitive balance, so it’s even.

DP: Is the College Football Playoff good for the SEC?

NS: I like the playoff. I think it creates a lot of fan interest and a lot of excitement. I think I was a little misunderstood when I said that I hate the fact that the playoff has minimized the impact of bowl games a little bit. Hopefully these things can survive together.

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