Nick Saban, the greatest college football coach since Bear Bryant, or maybe even before, turned 65 on Monday.

All the other SEC coaches, we hear, sent him an “Unhappy birthday” card.

Don’t even think of trying to celebrate, or baking him a cake, as Saban prepares for another monumental game at Louisiana State.

Truth is, almost all Alabama games with Saban have been important. Since 2008, only three in which he’s coached have not had national title implications.

Think about that, but don’t dwell on it to the point it distracts from the next important task at hand.

Saban said he received only one birthday gift, “one of those things where you push the button and it says ‘that’s bull-bleep.’ That’s the only one I got, so I don’t know if someone’s trying to tell me something or not.”

Oh, someone’s trying to tell you something.

Someone who worked for Saban once told me he had a rule that you could not talk to him directly once the season started. You could speak to him only if he has addressed you.

Now that’s focus, or whatever you want to call it. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.