Alabama Begins Bowl Practice in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- It must be December because Alabama is preparing for a national title game and Nick Saban's future is a popular topic.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide started practicing Tuesday for the BCS championship game Jan. 7 against No. 1 Notre Dame with All-America center Barrett Jones on the mend and Saban laughing off NFL rumors.

Saban says his family is "really, really pleased and happy to be here." But he adds that nobody believes him whatever he says "so it's kind of funny to me."

What is certain is the former Miami Dolphins coach is preparing Alabama to play for the national title for the third time in four years.

Senior offensive lineman Barrett Jones won't practice until after Christmas with a sprained left foot. Receiver Kenny Bell (broken leg) has been cleared to get back to work.


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