Alabama Taking On Former OC Jim McElwain On Saturday

By Matt Virnig
SEC Football, Jim McElwain
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no better litmus test to see how well a team is doing than facing the two-time defending national champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Colorado State Rams head coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is looking forward to bringing his team to Bryant-Denny Stadium this weekend to see how his team stacks up to a Nick Saban team competing for their third straight title and fourth in five seasons.

The former Alabama offensive coordinator’s new program will not see a faster, stronger, more polished opponent and hostile environment than what they will face against Saban’s bunch in Tuscaloosa come Saturday evening.

When most coaches would not necessarily embrace a matchup between their massive underdog Mountain West club against the top-ranked team in college football right now, McElwain says he will not allow his team to be intimated of the Tide coming into Saturday’s. He has his team expecting to go into Bama and pull off one of the biggest upsets in the program’s history, and that’s great.

In all actuality, it won’t matter who the opponent is — Saban will have his team playing at a high level. A.J. McCarron and that offense will overpower that Rams defense, and McElwain’s one-back, pro-style offense will most likely not even not reach 100 yards in total offense come Saturday.

Everyone knows that McElwain is not naive thinking his team stands a chance, and everyone gets you have to have that mindset as a coach.

He gets it. Alabama is the best program in college football right now. He saw it first-hand as an assistant. Nick Saban has established a program of young men that not only wins on the football field, but also in the classroom and in life. He sees Alabama as the kind of program that he wants to build in Fort Collins.

McElwain wants to bring that program back to the glory days it witnessed under Sonny Lobick in the late 1990s to early 2000s, going to bowls and being a regular in the Top 25 each and every year. The future looks bright for that CSU program under McElwain going forward. Why not schedule Alabama? If you want to be the best, you have to see how you stack up against the best.

Just don’t mention their 1994 Arizona game to Saban.

Matt Virnig is a SEC Writer for, Follow him on Twitter @MatthewVirnig, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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