The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


December 28, 2013

McCarron hoping to finish Alabama career strong

— TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — AJ McCarron hasn't modified his goals all that much going into his Alabama finale.

The third-ranked Crimson Tide's quarterback wants to end one more season on top, if only in the minds of as many college football fans as possible. He's collected the final crystal trophy of his career, but hopes the senior class will leave with one more huge statement in the Sugar Bowl against No. 11 Oklahoma.

"We put a lot of work into this program to make it what it is today," McCarron said. "It's only right we finish out on top. We still have a chance for a 12-win season, Sugar Bowl championship, which is huge. It's a BCS bowl. Not a lot of teams in Alabama history have won 12 games.

"Not only that, I saw something someone sent me, that Vegas said if we played Florida State or Auburn again we'd still be favored in points. So we have a chance to show the country we are the best team. We might not win the national championship, but we can have everyone talking about us more than the national championship team. And that's happened in the past."

What do you give the quarterback who seems to have everything? The benefit of the doubt, perhaps. Alabama won't get another chance to prove it on the field after losing to No. 2 Auburn to close the regular season.

McCarron has already led the Tide (11-1) to two national championships and been part of a third. He's won 36 games in three seasons as a starter, an Alabama record and seventh-most in NCAA annals for a starting quarterback.

Individually, he won the Maxwell Award for college football's player of the year and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the top senior quarterback. He was runner-up to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for the Heisman Trophy.

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