Alabama football notes: Saban praises job done by FSU's Jimbo Fisher

Anniston StarNovember 20, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- If both teams win out, Alabama and Florida State will likely meet in the national championship game.

The Crimson Tide has been No. 1 in the BCS standings since the initial release of the rankings, while Florida State switched places with Oregon a few times before taking a strong hold over the No. 2 spot when the Ducks fell to Stanford.

The Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher served as the offensive coordinator under Tide coach Nick Saban while at LSU. Saban called Fisher "one of the best coaches we've had" on his staffs throughout the years. He also praised Fisher's team.

"If you look at the whole body of work and the way they beat people, they're arguably the best team in the country right now," Saban said during his Wednesday news conference. "And they weren't that way when he went there, so he made a significant amount of improvement."


Alabama could be without two key contributors in Saturday's game versus Chattanooga.

Tide coach Nick Saban said both running back T.J. Yeldon and tight end Brian Vogler were "game-time decisions."

Both players injured their ankles in the second half of last week's game at Mississippi State.

Vogler sat out of the first two days of practice and wore a black, non-contact jersey. He was with the tight end group during Wednesday's practice, but was limited.

Yeldon has been limited during drills all week.

2014 schedule

Alabama finalized its 2014 schedule on Wednesday by adding a game with Southern Miss in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 13, 2014.

The Crimson Tide's schedule includes seven home games, four road games, and one neutral site game next season.

The Tide will open the 2014 season against West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

The Tide also opened the 2008 and 2009 seasons in Atlanta with wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech, respectively.

Alabama defeated Virginia Tech this year in the Georgia Dome on Aug. 31.

Home games in 2014 include Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Florida, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Western Carolina and Auburn. Road games are Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU.

By adding the date with Southern Miss, Alabama will have byes before trips to Ole Miss and LSU.

Coach of the year

Alabama coach Nick Saban was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Club's Coach of the Year award.

Saban is one of three coaches from the SEC, along with Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Missouri's Gary Pinkel.

In his career, Saban hasn't won many coach of the year awards. He was the Associated Press' coach of the year in 2003 at LSU and 2008 at Alabama. He was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2003, 2008 and 2009.

Saban is a three-time winner of the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club's Bobby Bowden Coach of the Year award. Penn State's Bill O'Brien won the Maxwell Club's award last year in his first season as the Nittany Lion's head coach.

Greatest ever?

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is the latest Crimson Tide player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Under the headline, the cover asks a simple question: "KING CRIMSON: Is it time to think about AJ McCarron as one of the best ever?"

McCarron has a chance to become the first quarterback in the history of college football to win three national championships.

While his stats won't blow people away, the way he's won as a starter makes the topic very debatable.

This is Alabama's third time being featured on the cover this season. Running back T.J. Yeldon was on the magazine's season preview edition, while wide receiver Christion Jones earned the cover following his performance against Virginia Tech.

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