Junior offensive lineman Barrett Jones spoke highly of McCarron and said the team is very pleased with his progression. "I think we feel great about it," Jones said. "AJ, I was really impressed with this past game, with his poise. Especially when something like that happens, where they go out there and score a touchdown way early, and he never panicked. I think we’re really impressed with the way he is coming along and with how poised he was in a hostile environment like that."
The second-ranked Crimson Tide was in a similar position this time last season and got pushed around by South Carolina in Game 6. Two more games slipped away in the fourth quarter, creating painful memories that might keep ‘Bama players from getting too carried away this year. "We let it get away from us last year," tailback Trent Richardson said. "We were a few plays from being in the national championship game. We sat down as a team and said it can’t be like that next year."
"I just think it's important after so many games that they have a little extra recovery time, and I think it's important that everybody knows that regardless of what happened in the last game, this was planned for this week, and we've done it every year," Saban said. "If we don't have a bye week and the season doesn't get broken up, we're never going to play more than six games in a row without doing this."
Richardson might shy away from the Heisman hype, but his performance five games into 2011 is helping fuel it. Does he think he'll get Ingram's vote should he become a finalist? Ingram gets one as a former winner. "I'm pretty sure I've got a good chance at his vote," Richardson said, smiling. "He's got to think about somebody from Alabama anyway. And he is my big brother, so I may have a little advantage."
"C.J. Mosley will do some things on the practice field this week," Alabama coach Nick Saban said today at his news conference. "I don't know where he'll be by the end of the week. "Eddie will probably be in a boot for a couple days, but we'll make a determination on him later in the week as well."
"I wish we would kick it in the stands. I can't tell you why." Foster kicks well in practice, Saban said. "He has to have confidence that if he carries over those same fundamentals in the game, that that's going to be the best way to get the best results," Saban said. "That's something that he has to continue to work through psychologically, so that he's confident and believing in the process.
"I was trying to get him to settle down," Saban said, "and after about the fourth or fifth time of saying, 'Will you settle down?' - 'Settle down! Settle down! Settle down!' - then I probably said something I wish I wouldn't have said. "Because when your daughter tells you, it really makes you feel bad."
The main takeaway from Alabama and Wisconsin's respective victories was that a Tide-Badgers matchup in the BCS title game (or anywhere else) would be a mouthwatering collision between two teams that border on NFL-level physicality. Nick Saban is still the master, Will Muschamp the Padawan. It means apprentice, Coach, as if you didn’t know, you Dungeons & Dragons-playing liar, you.
Ole Miss has a bye this week before playing Alabama and Nick Saban on Oct. 15 in Oxford. "I wish Alabama was more towards later on down the season, or if like they even wanted a bye," Nutt said, drawing huge laughs from a largely pro-Alabama crowd. "I mean, come on, Nick. You know what Nick can say? Nick can say, 'Next.' When you can say 'next' and then 'next,' you got it. They've got a good team. He can say it on the defensive line. Those guys in the trenches, they can dominate you and they can intimidate you. They can do both. That's the steps we're trying to take."
In the final analysis, Saturday night's game between No. 3 Alabama and No. 12 Florida was not about the Teacher (Nick Saban) vs. the Student (Will Muschamp). It was not about the NFL flavor provided by the coaching matchup of Saban vs. Charlie Weis, Florida's offensive coordinator. No, this SEC showdown came down to one simple and undeniable fact: Alabama had Courtney Upshaw and Trent Richardson and Florida did not.
First-quarter adjustment? Alabama has allowed half its points in the first quarter. Saban said the first problem was Alabama didn't play well in the first quarter at Florida. "We need to play better in the beginning," Saban said. A lot of it has to do with a player's mentality before a game, he said.
The most important lesson he must learn is that his coach, Nick Saban, doesn't suffer fools. So when Fulton got caught up in a scrum with Florida's Jelani Jenkins on a punt return with 7:19 left in third quarter and the Tide leading 17-10, Saban ripped off his head phones and bolted off the sidelines to grab his player and bum-rush him off the field. If I were an experienced lip reader I would swear Saban's lips uttered the following the words, "Get the bleep out of here." The seemingly innocuous play actually highlights the subtle reason why Saban's teams are so successful: They are accountable.