Nick Saban warns of falling for rat poison ahead of Alabama's game vs. Texas A&M

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Fall for the rat poison once, shame on you. Fall for the rat poison twice, shame on me. Or something like that.

Alabama football got tripped up by the rat poison last year before an eventual loss to Texas A&M, and Nick Saban shared that as a cautionary tale on Monday.

The No. 1 Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) will face the Aggies (3-2, 1-1) on Saturday (7 p.m., CBS) at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

"I was talking about rat poison last year when we played this game," Saban said. "Nobody would listen, players wouldn’t listen, you all didn’t listen. They had lost the week before. We were big favorites. It was like no big deal to show up at this game and go play the next game."

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Heading into the 2021 matchup, Texas A&M had lost two games. Alabama was undefeated, fresh off a big win over Ole Miss at home.

Then the Crimson Tide traveled to College Station, Texas, and lost 41-38.

This year's matchup doesn't have an identical lead up, but Texas A&M once again isn't on a hot streak by any stretch. The Aggies just lost to Mississippi State this past week and already had a major blemish on the schedule with a loss to Appalachian State.

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Texas A&M fell out of the major polls this week as a result of the second loss of the season, but Alabama can't fall for the same trap as last year. The Crimson Tide is considered a 24.5-point favorite by Tipico Sportsbook.

"I really don’t have any interest in what anybody thinks about any of the stuff," Saban said of the outside noise. "I do have an interest in how it affects and impacts the players on our team. I think it does. I think they have to show maturity in how they manage it and know that external opinion, external noise, whatever you want to call it, rat poison, whatever it is, absolutely has nothing to do with the outcome of the game."

Saban said Alabama can't let external factors affect how players think so that they continue to have respect for winning and what it takes to win.

"Knowing that we are going to get the other teams' best game because they can all get well beating us," Saban said. "That's how I try to handle it. Does anybody listen? Sometimes. Sometimes not."

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Nick Saban shares rat poison tale before Alabama football vs Texas A&M