During the first press conference of the run up to the national championship game, Alabama head coach Nick Saban kept it textbook, praising the opponent and emphasizing the scope of the challenge ahead for his program and players.

While Saban, like Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, has inherent respect for a football that plays a full slate of games, he did nothing as outrageous as Swinney, who ranked the 6-0 Ohio State Buckeyes the 11th best team in the country the week before being blown out by them in the College Football Playoff semi-final in New Orleans. Saban did, however, rank the Buckeyes 5th, which would have left them out of the playoff entirely as well.

Now Saban, like Swinney before him, will get a chance to pit his number-one ranked team against (in his mind) the fifth-ranked team in the country with the national title on the line. No doubt he is ready to do this. Swinney got embarrassed over the course of a 49-28 thumping in the Sugar Bowl, while Saban’s squad rolled to an easy 31-14 victory in Arlington during the re-located Rose Bowl Game.

A few of Saban’s comments from the presser have been catalogued below. The national championship kicks off next Monday, January 11, at 8 pm ET on ESPN.