TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Nick Saban could have done without all the drama.
After all, the Alabama coach figures that game-winning drive capped by a touchdown pass with 8 seconds left wouldn't have been necessary without a couple of blown leads, turnovers and a 28-point
turnaround in Saturday night's 41-to-38 win over Arkansas.
Saban says he would "like to have the killer instinct before the end so you don't have to go through all this."
OK, so it wasn't perfect.
It was certainly the first big gauge of how far the 16th-ranked Crimson Tide (3-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) has come in Saban's nine months on the job, in attitude and confidence if not talent.
Plus, the win vaulted Alabama back into the Top 25 for the first time since the final poll of the 2005 season.
The euphoria is lasting even longer, especially with rival Auburn losing to Mississippi State earlier in the day.