Saban's Tide rising

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - This time Nick Saban has only himself and his team to blame if Alabama fans are fervently talking titles again.

The 16th-ranked Crimson Tide has earned some of that buzz on the field. And that talk of an instant turnaround ever since 'Bama got its $4 million-a-year man as coach no longer seems quite so crazy. Premature maybe, but not crazy.

A come-from-behind 41-38 win over Arkansas and a 3-0 start have catapulted Alabama back into the national rankings and at least into the discussion about the Southeastern Conference Western Division contenders.

But Saban has a term for all that renewed hype: External factors. He's not a fan, and points out it might only take one loss to drop from the rankings.

The coach said he is happy to be recognized as a Top 25 team, but that his players can't let that go to their heads.

Cornerback Simeon Castille said the coaches' talk at a 90-minute film session yesterday morning didn't sound like the Tide had won Saturday.

Instead of focusing on the victory, Castille said, they stressed the need to focus on what needs to get better.


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