"It feels like we've been preparing for every other team, not really anything different," he said. "We all know it's a huge game and we're going to play our hearts out, preparing like we normally do."
Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah said every player learns the significance of this rivalry early in their careers, even minus the high rankings. But he said with the losses by Baylor — a game Uzomah watched on TV — and Oregon and the high rankings, the game has been magnified even further.
"You step on the campus and that's the first thing you hear," Uzomah said. "You get recruited and that's the focal point that can define the season, like it is this upcoming Saturday."
Uzomah said when he saw the packed RV lot a week before the game he realized, "This is going to be huge."
"It's going to be the most unbelievable atmosphere I've ever gotten to play in," he said.
While the Tide (11-0, 7-0) was romping over Chattanooga 49-0 Saturday, Auburn had an open date following a thrilling win over Georgia in another matchup of traditional rivals.
Saban quickly turned his attention to the regular-season finale after Chattanooga, even if players mostly cited the coaches' 24-hour celebration window allowing them to savor even that win.
"Our focus obviously needs to immediately shift to the opportunities that we have created for ourselves and the games that we have in the future," Saban said after the game. "Obviously the one that we have this week coming up against Auburn is a very important game. They have a great team. They've had a great season.
"It's going to be important for everybody in our organization to make a commitment to doing their very best job to play their best football, because that's probably what it's going to take to have success against a very good team."