McCullough Valuable Offensive Lineman

When Alabama offensive lineman Alfred McCullough looks at the Crimson Tide offensive linemen who will return for the 2012 season, he might be a little wistful. "If I had another year, I probably would [come back]," he said. "But I don't, so I'll keep going on with my life."

That is not to say Alfred McCullough is looking too far ahead. There is the little matter of the current Alabama football team playing for the national championship Monday in New Orleans. The Crimson Tide, 11-1, will meet LSU, 13-0, at 7:30 p.m. CST in the Louisiana Superdome.

The Crimson Tide was scheduled for practices in Tuscaloosa Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to New Orleans to complete preparations.

McCullough said he and his teammates are ready to head to Louisiana. "When we get to New Orleans, we'll be getting closer to the game," he said. "I think everybody is pretty excited about it.

"We've been practicing for it and we know what we're getting ready for. It's coming up pretty fast."

McCullough is a valuable member of the Crimson Tide offensive line, capable of playing either guard or tackle. He subbed for Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones at left tackle when Jones had to sit out a couple of games with a high ankle sprain suffered in the first meeting against LSU.

He has also alternated with Anthony Steen at right guard.

McCullough, a 6-2, 311-pound senior from Athens, started the Mississippi State and Georgia Southern games at left tackle and the Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn games at right guard.

He and Steen are in competition for the starting assignment in the BCS National Championship Game.

McCullough said "It would mean a lot to me" to start Monday night's game. "It will be my last game at The University of Alabama. I've been having a good time at the number one spot. It would be a great opportunity to go out there and get a victory."

He said he and Steen are handling the competition as friends and teammates. "We just split reps and no one knows what's going to happen," he said. "We both have good heads about the situation."

McCullough's action against LSU came at left tackle when he replaced an injured Barrett Jones. McCullough said he didn't know Jones was injured until he saw the trainers talking to him. That was McCullough's signal to get off to himself and work on his left tackle stance and technique in preparation for taking over.

Although Jones toughed it out and missed only a few plays, that was enough for McCullough to get a good look at the depth and skill of the LSU defensive front.

"I saw three or four different players during the game," McCullough said. "They rotate during the game depending on which defense they are in. But it really doesn't faze us. We know what we have to do each play."

He said that film study indicates LSU did the same things in finishing out the season they had done against Alabama. "They are a great team and they play hard," McCullough said. "I think it's going to be a great game."

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