But Saban and the Tide are not infallible, Tillman said. Texas A&M showed us that last season under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, winning 29-24 in Tuscaloosa.
“Texas A&M is the model. If anybody is scared of Texas A&M, it’s Alabama,” Tillman said.
“Nick Saban is scared to death. Because now Kevin Sumlin not only has a system that has been proven to work as a counterpunch at lesser programs like the University of Houston, where you can win 12 (with) the scheme (and) the pace of the game. Now he’s got the Jimmys and the Joes that look just like Alabama’s guys getting off the bus.
“I spoke with (Sumlin) in the preseason, I said, ‘Coach, if you don’t screw this up, you’re gonna have something special.’ (A&M’s success in 2012) was not a surprise to me. A proven system with the type of caliber athletes that can make a difference, and the guy who’s concerned about it more than anybody else is Nick Saban. You’ve got a new player on the block in the West, and it’s A&M.”
Now he’s got the Jimmys and the Joes that look just like Alabama’s guys getting off the bus.