Bama players motivated by sour ending to season - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Bama players motivated by sour ending to season

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama coach Nick Saban speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama coach Nick Saban speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala.
(AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama safety Landon Collins speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama safety Landon Collins speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala.
(AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala.
(AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones, displayed on a tablet device, speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones, displayed on a tablet device, speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala.
(AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama coach Nick Saban speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill). Alabama coach Nick Saban speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala.
By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Alabama receiver Amari Cooper has been through the offseasons filled with talk of repeat national championships, and now he's endured one that began with sour memories not celebratory confetti showers.

Cooper has no doubt which is more motivating.

"The losses," he said Thursday. "It humbles you and it makes you hungry and aware of how losing feels, and you don't want to feel that way again."

The Crimson Tide was once again declared the Southeastern Conference favorite in media voting at the league's media days, and is regarded as one of the likely national contenders.

That's nothing new.

Nevertheless, the mood has been as different as the memories. Alabama was roughed up by Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and that came after Auburn's 109-yard return of a missed field goal on the Iron Bowl's final play, which has seemed to Landon Collins to be on an endless loop ever since.

"It shows on TV every day," the Tide safety said. "It beats in our heart every day. I get sick. I have to turn it off."

The unhappy ending to last season left coach Nick Saban's concerns less about complacency and more about getting back to doing what led to three national titles in four years. As he put it, players and coaches must "check your ego at the door."

Alabama is still seeking a replacement to quarterback AJ McCarron, a race that has come down to Blake Sims and Florida State transfer Jake Coker. Plus the latest crop to leave for the NFL must be replaced.

"We're basically an unproven team in some areas," Saban said. "There's a lot of question marks because of the players that we lost and the players that we have coming in."

It hasn't changed the way Alabama is regarded: As the team to beat in the SEC.

League media picked Alabama to win the West over defending league champion Auburn, and the overall title, in balloting released Thursday. South Carolina was picked to top Georgia in the East.

Saban noted that SEC reporters have only been right five times in the last 22 years.

"You've been wrong the last five years in a row," he said. "Every year that we won the championship you picked somebody else. To be kind, it doesn't mean anything. I'm rooting for you now. You're all my good buddies."

Despite that light note, Saban spent much of his time at the podium talking about disciplinary issues both on his team and, in general, college football and today's youth.

The Tide had a pair of players arrested in the two weeks leading up to media days, running back Kenyan Drake and defensive lineman Jarran Reed.

Saban said both players are "suspended from activity" with the team.

"When they prove that I think or we think that they're ready to come back and show a little bit more responsibility and discipline for how they handle themselves, their decision-making, how they represent the university, their family and themselves, then we'll allow them to come back on the team," he said. "We're not making that judgment right now."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

    Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:15 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:15:02 GMT
    A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds two-thirds of Americans now say illegal immigration is a serious problem for the country, a figure that's up 14 points since May.More >>
    For nearly two months, images of immigrant children who have crossed the border without a parent, only to wind up in concrete holding cells once in the United States, have tugged at heartstrings. Yet most Americans now say...More >>
  • $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice

    $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:00:35 GMT
    A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans.More >>
    The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million.More >>
  • US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

    US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:53:08 GMT
    European Union ambassadors are meeting to discuss a dramatic toughening of the trade bloc's sanctions against Russia.More >>
    Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks....More >>
Powered by WorldNow

P.O. Box 8 Tulsa, OK 74101-0008

Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTUL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.