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Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz Makes Media Days-Like Winning Comment about Nick Saban

The Best of SI features a comment about Nick Saban that would normally win over media days, college football's biggest concerns and Shaquille O'Neal lends a big hand

Had things gone on as scheduled, Wednesday morning would have been Alabama's turn at 2020 SEC Media Days, which has been postponed indefinitely until the league figures out if it can get on the field this fall. 

Based on every other Crimson Tide appearance since Nick Saban arrived in Alabama in 2007, it would have probably gone first at the College Football Hall of Fame, and then everyone would have stuck around to see the debut of Mike Leach with Mississippi State (Aransas and Tennessee were also set to go through the rotation). 

However, new Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz has already set a high bar for popular comments, if and when some form of media days is held. 

You probably already heard about what happened the eve of the state's Republican runoff race, featuring former Auburn football coach and former Senator Jeff Sessions, who was trying to reclaim his seat. 

President Trump, who had endorsed Tommy Tuberville in the runoff against his former attorney general, was praising the former Auburn coach when he made the following comment: 

"Really successful coach," Trump said of Tuberville. "Beat Alabama, like six in a row, but we won't even mention that. As he said ... because of that, maybe we got 'em Lou Saban ... And he's great, Lou Saban, what a great job he's done."

Lou Saban was known "two point two," as in years, because he bounced around so much as a coach, everything to the high school to NFL levels. He was the first coaching of the Boston Patriots in the AFL, and had two stints with the Buffalo Bills, both in the AFL and NFL.  

He held 21 jobs as a head coach: Case Tech (1950–1952), Northwestern (1955), Western Illinois (1957–1959) Boston Patriots (1960–1961), Buffalo Bills (1962–1965), Maryland (1966), Denver Broncos (1967–1971), Buffalo Bills (1972–1976), Miami (Fla.) (1977–1978), Army (1979), UCF (1983–1984), Martin County High School (Fla.) (1987–1988), South Fork High School (Fla.) (1988), Georgetown High School (SC) (1989), Middle Georgia Heat Wave (1990), Peru State (1991), Tampa Bay Storm (1992), Milwaukee Mustangs (1994) and SUNY Canton (1995–2000).

Lou Saban did once face Alabama with Miami, losing 36-0 in 1977 (but pulled off a win over Auburn the following year, 17-15). 

Of course, Nick Saban ended Tuberville's six-year winning streak with a 36-0 victory in 2018, and with a 5-7 finish Gene Chizik took over the program. 

All of this brings us back to Drinkwitz, who instead of making his media days debut this week met with local reporters. When asked about possibly playing a conference-only schedule, which might mean adding more league games (and the Tigers possibly playing the Crimson Tide), he said: "Would Lou Saban or Nick Saban be the head coach at Alabama?"

The coach also went out of his way to encourage everyone to wear masks. 

“I’m frustrated with the fact that people argue against it,” Drinkwitz said. “It’s like, ‘Why are we not willing to try it?’ It’s gotten to the point where, supposedly on Twitter, you got the ‘Coronabros’ and then you got the guys who think it’s fake. Now you got both sides rooting against each other. I’m just rooting for the United States of America. I’m just rooting for us to defeat the disease.”

College Football

As for the latest on college football's efforts to get back on the field, Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated talked to numerous officials about what their biggest concerns will be if and when games start to be played. 

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The clearcut answers were in-season testing and game interruptions. 

Specifically, as cases spike, administrators are worried about with test availability and return speeds, which is something Major League Baseball is already struggling with as its season nears. 

The increasing interruptions is a big reason why conference-play schedules have already been announced in the  Big Ten and Pac-12. 

An important item that Dellenger wrote: "The NCAA Football Oversight Committee, a critical law-making body, is examining protocols for in-season game interruptions as a result of viral outbreaks, and the group is even considering extending the regular season. Meanwhile, conference commissioners, in conjunction with NCAA executives in Indianapolis, are drafting minimum testing standards and protocols, officials told SI. It is an attempt to create a uniform rule for all 130 FBS programs, something administrators feel is necessary for non-conference competitions—if there are any of those."

There are still more questions than answers,  but every effort is still being made to play in the fall (if possible). 

Did you notice?

• SI continues its three-part longform series on former Packer Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila’s involvement with an alleged cult.

• Chris Mannix reports from Orlando on what life is like inside the NBA bubble.

• A total of 11 umpires (15 percent) are opting out of the MLB season.

• Yasiel Puig finally found a new home, signing with the Braves for this season.

• A Michigan defensive lineman has been stuck at his family’s home in Scotland while the rest of the team is working out in Ann Arbor.

The Lighter Side 

• Hotel security had to respond to a complaint of quarantined Jimmy Butler dribbling in his room.

• Remember the whole thing about about how Shaquille O'Neal wanted to get into law enforcement? Tuesday, he was traveling through Alachua County on I-75 when he witnessed a crash. He stopped to check on the welfare of the driver and remained with her until police arrived. O'Neal also fist-bumped the deputies before going on his way.

• Going back to Tuberville, he won the runoff. But if you're wondering how well he did in Tuscaloosa: 

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