Saban: Our focus on what we can control

Alabama had its shot last Saturday night at home to gain control of its own destiny in the national title picture.

That ship sailed with LSU's 9-6 victory over the Crimson Tide in overtime.

But as history as shown us, Alabama is hardly out of the race. During the SEC's streak of five straight national championships, three of those teams fought back from a regular-season loss. And in 2007, LSU did so despite two regular-season losses, including one on the final weekend to unranked Arkansas.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that he hasn't offered up any history lessons to his team. Rather, he reminded his players that the only thing they can do about anything at this point is handle their own business.

"What our players need to be focused on is the fact that we have a lot of football to play," Saban said. "It’s most important to us to play the best football that we can play, take care of what we can take of, which is take care of our business, continue to improve as a team, learn from the lessons of the last game in terms of what we did well and what we didn’t do so well.

"That’s the one thing that we can control, and that’s what I have tried to emphasize with our players so that they respond the right way when they play this week."

Alabama travels to Mississippi State on Saturday, then gets Georgia Southern at home before closing the regular season by traveling to Auburn.

The first thing Alabama needs to do, if it's going to play its way back into the national title picture, is win these next three games and do so impressively. Then, the Crimson Tide need Oklahoma State and Stanford to lose somewhere along the way. Stanford faces Oregon at home this Saturday, and Oklahoma State still has to play Oklahoma on Dec. 3, which is the same day as the SEC championship game.