Alabama Coaches too Busy to Worry About Hype

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The buzz surrounding Alabama football and coach Nick Saban was evident to offensive coordinator Major Applewhite on recruiting trips as far away as Texas.

However, it's not felt in the Crimson Tide football offices, where Saban and his coaches are busy working with their new team in spring practice.

But to Saban, the pervasive hype on fan message boards and talk radio is just an "external factor." In other words, something the intensely focused coach can ignore.

The Tide's first spring practice on Saturday drew plenty of fans, even though the workouts are closed to the public. Many sported Alabama apparel, including T-shirts proudly sporting messages like "Member of the Sabanation."

Likewise, offensive line coach Joe Pendry said the assistants mostly are busy in the football complex. That nose-to-the-grindstone existence is understandable for a new staff trying to prepare for the upcoming season.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)