NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A day after Alabama head coach Nick Saban was hit with the “Are you having fun?” question in his arrival news conference, the topic came up a few times when Crimson Tide players met with reporters.
Linebacker Rolando McClain was blunt.
“He ain’t too happy,” McClain said. “No, he has a mindset that’s been built in that carries over to this team. We always feel like we’re never satisfied.
“You might see him smile or you might see his chest bump after we beat Florida with Mark (Ingram), but he’s never really happy.
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“He’s determined and he’s always focused. He’s never satisfied. There’s never really time to be happy in his mind until after you win the national championship.”
But was Saban happy after winning the SEC championship?
“He was a little happy,” McClain said. “But as soon as he got on the plane, he was already watching film.”
The Sunday morning Texas practice wasn’t open to reporters and photographers for long, but one Longhorns assistant took full advantage of the moment.
Bobby Kennedy, the Texas wide receivers coach, saw one too many of his players slip and fall on the grass at the UC-Irvine complex.
“Click, click, click,” he yelled. “That’s the sound of (photographers) taking pictures of you falling on your butt.”
New turf in Rose Bowl
There wasn’t anything wrong with the natural grass in the Rose Bowl, but Alabama and Texas will play on a new surface Thursday. Following Thursday’s Rose Bowl game, the old turf was torn up and new sod was laid, the Los Angeles Times reported.
That revelation was news to Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin, who said UCLA kicker Kai Forbath told him the Pasadena surface was the best around.
“Are they really?” he said when told of the makeover. “I don’t think it will matter.”
No matter how nice the new turf is on game day, Tiffin is sure it will be better than the grass at Alabama’s practice facility here on the West Coast.
“The fields we’re practicing on aren’t too great,” he said. “I don’t think it could be any worse.”
UT kicks Collins off team
Texas receiver Brandon Collins, who was academically ineligible this season, was kicked off the team Sunday following his arrest on aggravated robbery charges.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown announced the decision a day after Collins was arrested in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, where police say Collins is suspected of driving a vehicle involved in an armed robbery.
According to police, the victim was approached in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant by a man holding a gun and demanding money. Police say the man jumped in a car as it sped off, and the car was pulled over a short time later.
Collins and two other men were charged with aggravated robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity. Pflugerville police wouldn’t release any other information, including whether Collins is still being held or has an attorney.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report