BRYAN, Texas -- Alabama will once again be the team to beat not only in the SEC, but in the nation when the 2013 college football season kicks off in a few weeks.
Raising the crystal football that comes with a BCS National Championship has been a habit for Nick Saban, as the Crimson Tide rolled to their third title in the past four years a year ago. The trick for Saban now is making sure his team stays motivated to go for three in a row.
"Why do the mighty fall? It's complacency," said Saban. "It happens to societies. It happens to teams. That's the part of human behavior that we're always working toward not being complacent, not being satisfied with where we are. Continue to challenge yourself to achieve more in the future and look forward and not look back. That's the challenge that we have."
Quarterback AJ McCarron said, "He's never satisfied. 48 hours after we won it the past two years he's moved on. You go ask him about a championship and he doesn't even know what you're talking about. That's the type of attitude and mindset I've taken on. I think it's made me the player I am today."
Alabama has lost just five SEC games over the past four seasons, a tough task to do with everyone's full attention.
Tide guard Anthony Steen said, "In this conference it's hard every week. It seems like everybody has a target on your back. That being said, that tells us that we have to go out every single day and try to work that much harder than our opponent."
One of those losses was at home to Texas A&M last season. Losing to the Aggies is something Alabama players and fans remember, and they'll have September 14 circled on their calendar.
"Right now it's one of things that we won't ever forget, obviously. I wish we could go back and play that game," Steen said.
"It's gonna be another great game," added Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. "The first game was great. They did a great job coming in and beating us on our home field so we have to make sure that we practice up the right way because they know what we're going to do and we know what they're going to do. When the time comes we have to prepare ourselves right and just have great preparation for that game."
The Crimson Tide returns six starters on offense and seven on defense. Alabama opens the season August 31 against Virginia Tech in Atlanta, their only game before making their first trip to Kyle Field since 1988.