Alabama Football: Glad to hear Bo Nix is not scared


For Alabama Football fans finding a juicy highlight from the last day of SEC Media Days was difficult. There were lowlights; the most prominent of them coming from new Auburn Head Coach, Bryan Harsin.

Harsin said his first Auburn team is around 60 percent in players being vaccinated. Harsin explained his leadership style on the vaccine issue.

"I mean, this is a personal decision. It’s deeply personal for a lot of people. And so, that’s how we approach it: here’s the information, you make the decision."

This post is not intended to debate Harsin on vaccinations being a ‘personal’ decision. But Harsin’s comment begs the question. How many other personal decisions will he leave up to players? Leadership is essential to success when individuals come together to pursue a group goal. That is a major part of a coach’s job. In the absence of leadership, there is a lack of clarity. As we discussed years ago, no coach in the game understands this better than Nick Saban.

Despite the SEC’s announced forfeit rules for the 2021 season, Harsin appears comfortable in his players being tested weekly. Nick Saban’s players will not be tested because the Alabama Crimson Tide has around 90 percent of its players vaccinated. Nick Saban is expecting that number to grow.

The difference between the two programs in the 2021 season, the Auburn Tigers may lose a game (or more) by forfeit. Bryan Harsin apparently thinks that is okay. Nick Saban disagrees with that both specifically about forfeits and generally in terms of leadership style.

Lighter Auburn moments for Alabama Football fans

In recent days Auburn players have been talking about taking the head off the (Alabama) elephant. Perhaps the claim is Auburn’s main goal for the 2021 season. The goal is absurdly unrealistic – there will be no Iron Bowl decapitations – by either side. Almost any other bold claim about the Tigers physically dominating Alabama would be less embarrassing for Auburn.

Worse, the brashness amplifies Auburn’s biggest weakness. That is, for Auburn, the measurement of success is beating an Alabama Football team.

On Thursday, Auburn quarterback, Bo Nix opened himself and his teammates up to more scorn. Nix said,

"… we’re not scared of Alabama. I know a lot of people want us to be scared, but we’re really not."

Three observations jump out. People who talk about not being scared, are usually doing so to hide their fears. Any big-time college football player who wastes any time contemplating fear will, at some point, likely fold under pressure. Lastly, who are the “lot of people” Nix is saying wanting Auburn players to be afraid? Is he talking about Crimson Tide fans – or Alabama football players or the Crimson Tide coaching staff? If he is, the young man is delusional. That is not a helpful attribute for a quarterback.

Not to unfairly beat up on Nix, but his perspective on last season’s Crimson Tide domination of Auburn is also suspect. As reported by’s Tom Green, Bo said last year’s Iron Bowl was “close at the beginning.” Bo does know all games are close at the beginning – doesn’t he?

Next. Tide setting standard for vaccinations.. dark

Outcomes in the 2021 season are not pre-ordained. Auburn could surprise and become a strong team, showing Bryan Harsin as a capable leader. But, they are not starting off well.