Nick Saban and Houston Nutt have seen quite a bit of each other over the years. Only Saban has had much fun during the meetings. The veteran Southeastern Conference coaches face each other for the 10th time when No. 2 Alabama travels to face Mississippi on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. ''I feel he's one of the best coaches in the league in terms of how his teams play, the difficulties in preparing to play his teams and utilizing the personnel they have,'' Saban said. ''All the things in consideration from my standpoint, I have the utmost respect for Houston and the job he has done for a lot of years.''
When McCluster was in Oxford, Rebels coach Houston Nutt openly fretted over his work load, at times limiting his carries in order to avoid wearing him down. With the early-season injuries to Bolden and Davis, however, he hasn't had that luxury with Scott. "I do worry about it," Nutt said. "I was in a position where you're trying to get first downs, you're trying to win a game, so we basically had to just turn him loose and let the chips fall. I think we're aware of how many times we can run him in between the tackles, but he's very physical and tough for his size at 175 pounds, and just does a good job. "He's really matured so much," Nutt added. "He's a student of the game now. He comes in early, whether it be catching punts or wanting to know a blocking scheme. It's been fun to see him grow, especially this year -- really matured, really takes care of his body. He's really been a difference for us."
"Everybody having ball security awareness is very, very important," Saban said. "It's something that we emphasize a lot, especially after the first game, when we really emphasized it. The players responded, and we have not turned the ball over. That's something that we need to continue to pay attention to detail on, because I think that turnover ratio is a critical factor, the most critical statistical factor in winning and losing."
"I feel like they've turned it up a notch," senior wide receiver Darius Hanks said. "They don't want us to come out like we did against Vandy. The coaches want us to get on ahead immediately, from the start of the game to the finish. They're just on our butts more. They're being real critical about the little things."
Following a six-hour meeting in late September, the Resource Allocation Working Group, chaired by Georgia President Michael Adams, agreed to consider a reduction in FBS football scholarships from the current number of 85 to 80 and a reduction in the number of FCS football scholarships from 63 to 60. The reductions would likely follow a move toward a full cost-of-attendance scholarship that is expected to be passed in early 2012. In addition to football, the group agreed to consider a reduction in the number of men's basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 and in women's basketball from 15 to 13.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Alabama's closest call through six games this season is a 16-point victory over Penn State. The last time that the Crimson Tide started a season by winning its first six games without one being closer than 16 points was 1920, when Alabama shut out its first six opponents and the smallest margin was a 21-0 win over Sewanee. The 1920 team beat Vanderbilt 14-7 in its seventh game.
Alabama football players have pint-size pen pals, and the benefits go both ways. Language arts has never been so engaging for the grade-schoolers, while the players regain perspective lost in the sometimes cluttered life of a college student playing for the country’s No. 2 football team. "It’s just a really cool thing to know you have people out there watching you and reminds you of the responsibility you have of being in this position, and that’s something I take really seriously," Barrett Jones said. "I didn’t deserve it, but I have people looking up to me."
After a series of coaching changes, some of which drew the displeasure of Bama fans, Moore made what likely will be remembered as his most significant move as A.D.: the hiring of Nick Saban as Alabama's head football coach. Moore had heard that Saban, then the head coach of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, wanted to be back on a college campus. The A.D. fl ew to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to talk with the former LSU head coach. "It was a tough time for Coach and for me," said Moore. "Word had been sent out that he wanted out of the NFL, and I knew what he was feeling."