Tide Players Unsure Of Bowl Future

Losing a sixth straight Iron Bowl wasn't exactly what Alabama had in mind when it traveled to Lee County Saturday night, but that the Tide did. "We just wanted to win. Everybody was pumped up," said tight end turned fullback Travis McCall.

"It is really hard to swallow," said Alabama senior linebacker Darren Mustin. "I think we played really hard. I hate to go out like this." "We didn't have any big, explosive plays," added junior quarteback John Parker Wilson.

One play that could have been explosive but turned into implosive was Wilson's late first half fade route to D.J. Hall in the end zone. Hall's bobble resulted in Jeraud Powers' game-changing interception in the end zone.

"Just playing fundamental ball," is how Powers explained the heads-up play from the hands-out Hall. "As a secondary, we were determined to come out here, and hold our own against these guys."

Senior defensive end Wallace Gilberry didn't' seem bothered by Auburn players taunting the Tide players by holding up six fingers before the final play. "It's all in the fun of the game. We allowed them to do that," he said. "It's not disrespectful at all. They won so it would be disrespectful for me to criticize them for that."

Travis McCall said his position change was less than earth-shattering. "It's nothing new for me," noted the junior. "Tight end and fullback are pretty much the same thing so it's natural."

Alabama fans may yet have a date in Memphis, but the Crimson Tide's players will take any place, any time for one more chance to right the ship and go out winners. "Hopefully we will [go to a bowl], but the way it looks right now I don't think we will," said Gilberry. "If we do, it would definitely be an honor and a privilege."

Mustin said he and his teammates have themselves to blame if they don't get a bid. "I would love to go to a bowl, but tonight we had an opportunity to guarantee a bowl and it's not in our hands anymore," Mustin said. "It's in the hands of the committees. I would love to go to a bowl. Who wouldn't? It's the best time of the year, bowl season. We're bowl eligible but so is everybody in the SEC but like two teams, so it's out of our hands."

Wilson felt similarly. "That's not for me to worry about," he said when asked about a possible bowl bid. "We lost the last four (games)."

Representatives of the Florida Citrus, Chick-fil-A, Auto Zone Liberty and Outback Bowls all scouted the game.

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