"We are disappointed to lose Carl for the remainder of the season," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "Carl is a very valuable member of our team and will be greatly missed. However, the hard work and determination that he has displayed throughout his career will also assist him going forward as he rehabs and prepares to continue his career next season. We are fortunate to have an outstanding medical team that will assist him during this process."
"I had many goals for myself when I came to the University of Alabama," McCarron said. "I have been lucky enough to achieve some of those goals, but some are still ahead of me. There were many factors in my decision to return to Alabama for my senior year but, after talking with my family and coaches, I knew it was the right choice for me. "I love the University of Alabama, my coaches, my teammates and our fans. I am excited to have the opportunity to play with my brother (sophomore tight end Corey McCarron), continue to grow as a leader, continue to help our team win football games and develop even further as a quarterback. The NFL has long been a dream, but I think another year at Alabama can only help my chances of being successful at the next level."
"He can be one of the greatest," Williams said of Cooper. "I don't want to put that on his head but you see it. Before long, y'all would start saying that always. Y'all can see what he has. You see the talent. As long as he keeps his head straight, I think he'll be one of the greats." Williams was right. Cooper's talent was obvious at Tennessee. His speed and ability to get behind defenders was clear on his first touchdown grab. His ability to go up and get the football was evident on his 54-yard reception with a defensive back draped on his shoulders. He put it all together on his second touchdown of the game, a 42-yard reception that sealed the victory for Alabama. "He's had some big plays all year long," Saban said after the game. "He caught eight passes against Ole Miss. We think he's an outstanding player. He's just a freshman and he's gotten better and better every week. He's really learned to be very consistent. He plays fast and he plays hard."
Biggest high-flyer: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. Cooper became AJ McCarron's top weapon all season. He also became one of the best deep threats in the league during the second half of the season. He averaged 16.9 yards per catch, but showed real top-flight speed on more than a handful of plays this year, especially that 45-yard, game-winning touchdown catch in the SEC championship game. Barrett Jones describes him as a player who has gear that normal people don't have.
The do-it-all athlete from Fultondale kept a close eye on all that Alabama's Amari Cooper was able to accomplish this season. It ultimately made the position most appealing to Stewart, who played quarterback and defensive back for the Wildcats. "That's what makes me want to be a receiver because I know those guys are just coming in," Stewart said. "I believe I can have a chance coming in, too, even though they're going to still be there when I get there. I'm going to give them a little competition."
If it hadn't been for C.J. Mosley's hand, Aaron Murray says there's no question in his mind the SEC championship game would have ended differently. Because if Mosley didn't tip Murray's pass intended for Malcolm Mitchell the end zone on the last play of Alabama's 32-28 win, Georgia's quarterback has no doubt what would have happened. "Oh, it's a touchdown," Murray said Wednesday, as quoted by ESPN and several other outlets. "It's a 50-50 ball, and the guy (Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner) is facing Malcolm and Malcolm's supposed to just go up and catch the ball. It's not like the guy's facing me where he could have made a play on it. He would have had to, when Malcolm had his hands on the ball, had to strip it out of his hands. So it would have been up to Malcolm to make the play."
More money for the power conferences will come from ESPN's separate contracts with the Rose, Sugar, and Orange Bowls. The Rose and Sugar will be passing out $40 million annually to each of their conference business partners, while the Orange will give at least $27.5 million to the ACC every year (Notre Dame won't get that much when it appears). That math comes out to a $91.75 million guarantee to the SEC each year, and it will go up to $119.25 million in seasons when it puts a team into the Orange Bowl. By contract, the league will have at least three and up to five appearances there. The conference will get even more money from teams participating in the playoff games, and individual schools will receive some of the pot for staying above an Academic Progress Rate threshold. So there you go. That's how the rich are going to continue to get richer beginning with the 2014 football season.