Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will come back next season for his senior year, andNick Saban said that's a good decision, even if he had gone high in the NFL draft. "I think AJ's decision was based on the fact that, with the quarterbacks, if you're not going to be one of the very, very top picks, one of the first few guys picked in the draft, where they're going to make an investment of you being the guy, where you'll develop as the guy, just like a couple of the guys have this year, it's very difficult to develop because you don't get to play very much," Saban said. "If you play in college you can certainly have a better chance of improving and enhancing your draft status in the future in how you're evaluated." Saban added McCarron loves college football
McCarron is hardly Alabama’s only junior to think about leaving early for the NFL. Right tackle D.J. Fluker, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, cornerback Dee Milliner and even running back Eddie Lacy will have a chance to explore their options before making a decision. "We always have that issue here with several guys," Saban said. "We don’t press guys to make the decision. Some guys are more driven to do it than others. I think everybody’s got their priorities of what’s important. "I think philosophically, we think if a guy’s going to be a first-round draft pick, from a business standpoint, he’s certainly got a decision to make about what he does with his future. But it’s in each and every guy’s heart as to what he would do."
When asked about the foot, Jones recited the answer as if he had been asked 1,000 times: "Sprained foot. Going to be fine. Can’t wait to play. How’s that?" In other injury news, nose guard Jesse Williams (knee), receiver Kenny Bell (broken leg) and running back Jalston Fowler (knee) rode exercise bikes during Tuesday’s practice. Running back Dee Hart (knee) and receiver DeAndrew White (knee) did light running. Williams was held out as a precaution, like Jones. Fowler, Hart and White are not available to play against Notre Dame. All three had knee surgeries this season. Bell, however, is a possibility to play, even through he had surgery to repair his broken leg just three weeks ago. "How he does, how he manages, what his tolerance is to activity will be determined as we go," Saban said. "I can’t make a call as to whether he’ll play in the game or not at this juncture.
On the process of stressing fundamentals early in postseason preparation: "When we've had a couple of weeks off, you really want to go back and almost reinstall the basics of things we need to do. The things in games like this that are important is tackling, block protection, doing a good job of blocking, being physical, getting your conditioning level back to where it needs to be so that you can sustain. Ball security is always something that we want to have a lot of focus on. This is a really important time, these five practices before Christmas, I think, to get those basic fundamentals down pat."
Saban likely will be haunted forever by a comment he made Dec. 21, 2006, while coaching the Miami Dolphins when reports linked him to Alabama, which had fired Mike Shula: "I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach. ... I don't control what people say. I don't control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I'm just telling you there's no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here."
They’re discounting Orange Bowl tickets by 50 percent at Florida State and giving them away at Northern Illinois. The University of Florida, for all of the professed excitement of its fan base for an unexpected 11-1 season, is lagging far behind Louisville in ticket sales for their Sugar Bowl matchup. Meanwhile, at the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl, a game between Northwestern and Mississippi State seems to be quickening pulses only in Evanston, Ill., and Starkville, Miss. In Orlando, Georgia fans are bouncing back from the shock and disappointment of losing the SEC championship game and are close to selling out the school’s 12,500-ticket allotment. The Bulldogs’ opponent … not so much. Nebraska is reporting ticket sales of only about 4,000 for its second trip in a row to Orlando. It’s not just the economy or high ticket prices. At issue is the current bowl system, which is leading to tepid matchups in BCS bowls because of the requirement to give non-automatic qualifying conferences access and more questionable games in non-BCS bowls because of the desire of conferences to "protect" their championship game losers. There is still more than two weeks before New Year’s Day, time for schools and bowls to continue with marketing efforts to fans. But there’s no sugar-coating the current reality:
..no boot no crutches the process slowly getting better.. — Kenny bell (@TheKennyBell7) December 6, 2012 It would be a big boost for Alabama if Kenny Bell could play in the BCS Title game. Missing college football.. 28 days away — Nick Perry (@NIckPerry_27) December 11, 2012 Me too. 20 more. The finish line doesn’t come…