The Alabama Crimson Tide and coach Nick Saban are trying to strike a delicate balance between responsibly preparing or over-analyzing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10 days ahead of the 2013 BCS National Championship.
Used to having four practices and one walk-through to prepare for opponents, the Crimson Tide will have practiced 14 times in addition to a walk-through by the time they kick off at Sun Life Stadium on Jan. 7, according to Mark Edwards of the Ledger-Enquirer:
"When you have this much time you really accumulate a lot of information on the other team, so you have a lot more things to cover," Saban said. "Notre Dame is a team, especially on offense, that they do a lot of stuff. There's a lot of adjustments that you have to make, a lot of personnel groups, utilize their personnel well, move guys around that can create mismatch problems for you."
Notre Dame will have held 15 practices before the championship game, but they started working out 11 days before Alabama. The Tide only took off three days for Christmas, compared to the eight-day holiday taken by the Irish. After five pre-Christmas practices focused on the basics, Alabama began preparing for Notre Dame in earnest Tuesday:
"You don't want to focus in too much, because if you focus in too much you start to over-analyze everything," Tide quarterback AJ McCarron said. "You over-analyze everything and try and find too many things that are (what) somebody's weak at, or what you can expose them in, rather than just going out and playing the game."
The Tide practice Saturday afternoon before taking two days off and resuming workouts New Years Day. Alabama is scheduled to leave for Miami on Jan. 2.