Alabama, meanwhile, might be the SEC's only realistic hope of continuing its staggering run of national titles. Missouri's overtime loss to South Carolina leaves Alabama as the lone SEC unbeaten. A late-season loss might keep the Tide from the big one in Pasadena, Calif., but the SEC's credibility continues to resonate in the BCS standings, as six of the top 14 teams are from the league.
Y'all still think the SEC as a whole is elite? I don't. The East continues to be an inflamed dumpster fire, the West is owned at the moment by Alabama, with only Auburn and LSU competing for the West and the middle of the SEC is a complete mess.
"It's a little bit of a work in progress with these guys, first of all to get them to grind through the season to be able to continue to stay focused and have the kind of mental focus that you need day in and day out and the carryover you have to have. You can't practice everything every day, especially in the offensive line and especially in the secondary.
They've got 1,000 formations and receiver locations and every time you're going to do something, it's going to be affected by what they do. "If you can't remember what we did last week, and now that presents itself again -- and most people that we play do different things against us; we don't see what we practiced all the time, we see something different -- if you don't have guys that have a good foundation and an understanding and basis for what they need to do, they struggle. And then when they don't have success, they get frustrated. That's what you deal with when you have young players."
Saban took two minutes last week to address the issues that true freshmen, like Jackson, face early in their career. His response is lengthy so you'll have to click the link to read his entire quote.
"I certainly appreciated our fans today," Saban said. "They stayed for the game and did a great job of supporting our team, and it was a great atmosphere for our players to play in." "I think everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do, especially our students," Saban said.
"We work hard, and we represent this whole university and all the students that go here so that we have a program they can be proud of. I want them to feel as a part of our team, and I know our players love it when they feel as a part of our team. We just ask them to do the same thing that we ask our players to do."
LSU probably regards Alabama as its biggest rival anyway, and the series of games since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa has been compelling. In the meantime, more and more administrative types in the Alabama-Tennessee press box seem to think the rivalry as a permanent fixture on the Crimson Tide schedule may only survive for two or three more years. One thing has certainly happened, and it continued Saturday.
The rivalry has grown uninteresting. There have been streaks of dominance before, but even when one side or another was winning, the games themselves had a little excitement. In the past four years, Alabama has won by 31, 31, 31 and 35 points, and not one of those contests has been closer than the lopsided scores indicate.
LSU fans nod in agreement..
"I always talk about the opportunity we've created for ourselves by what we've done to this point and the challenges we have ahead and our focus needs to be on improving, maintaining focus and discipline so that we can improve," Saban said. "We need to because I think a couple of these teams that are ranked pretty high up there, we have to play between now and the end of the season. "How we do week in and week out is going to determine where we end up, which is the most important thing."
"Like we were talking about last night, somebody else of an opponent's strength of schedule's strength of schedule doesn't matter how good of a Tuesday we have."
In the first start of his career, Lake impressed his teammates. "I think he played faster than he usually played," Stinson said. "He stepped up to the plate too. ’Cause usually he’ll play slow and come off the ball slow and not play fast, but today he played faster than he did."
The front seven totaled four quarterback hurries, two by freshman standout A’Shawn Robinson. "I thought the guys up front did a good job," Saban said. "Lake played really well. A’Shawn Robinson just keeps getting better and better. We moved Ed inside some. Jonathan Allen played some. All those guys did a nice job for us."
Take away the one long run in the 3rd and Tennessee only ran for around 80 yards and 2-3 yards a carry. Not bad I say. I do find that comment about Lake not playing fast in previous games kind of odd...
Watch a photo-sequence as Alabama defensive back Landon Collins (26) runs back an INT of Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley
Wanna see how strong CyKo is? Check out this block he had against Kentucky. He had a similar one against Tennessee but I can't find the .gif. If someone has it, please post in the comments below.
Edit: Found it. He is a bad, bad man.