What now? Six weeks separate Tide from next kickoff

Now that the buzz is wearing off from Saturday’s Iron Bowl, things are returning to normal somewhat in Tuscaloosa. I wrote about the next step in today’s newspaper:

TUSCALOOSA — There was no 1:15 p.m., game-planning meeting in Tuscaloosa on Monday.

The practice field was vacant at 3:30.

Day 1 of what Alabama coach Nick Saban called “limbo week” for the Crimson Tide began the physical and mental tests that separate champions from the others. No. 2-ranked Alabama won’t play in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game and its postseason fate remains a mystery until the BCS standings are released Sunday evening.

So, without a firm opponent in mind, the multi-dimensional conditioning resumed two days after beating Auburn 42-14.

Forty-one days separate Alabama from its likely destination — the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans — and Saban said Monday his team won’t begin traditional practices for at least three more weeks.

Saban also addressed the potential for poll voter backlash against a possible rematch of the Nov. 5 Alabama-LSU game, which the Tigers won 9-6 in overtime.

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