And I ask this honestly with no agenda or presumed answer in mind.
LSU played Bama pretty evenly in the 2 regular season contests. The NCG in between those 2 match ups wasn't even close. Did Bama need an army of analysts for the NCG? Maybe not, but there seemed to be a distinct advantage or dominance that didn't exist in the other games.
And Saban has a history of embarrassing teams when he's had time to prepare.
While at either LSU or Alabama, Saban has led 6 teams to BCS games. His teams are 5-1 in those games and a perfect 4-0 in "national championship" games. His one loss came when Bama lost the Sugar Bowl to Utah in 2008, which is somewhat understandable as the Tide went from potentially playing in the national championship to facing off against a non-BCS team in the Utes. I could see motivation being a factor in that game.
He just does not lose big games in the post-season when he has time to prepare.