McClain, Woodson on the mend

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Alabama All-American linebacker Rolando McClain is expected to be ready for the Citi BCS National Championship Game against Texas, coach Nick Saban said Wednesday.

McClain and backup defensive back Rod Woodson were both feeling better Wednesday after being limited in practice the previous day with a stomach virus, Saban said. He said he wouldn't let anybody play in Thursday night's game if he was sick or at risk for dehydration.

The Butkus Award-winning McClain was a no-show at the game's media day because of the ailment.

Saban said the focus now is on execution and keeping things simple for the players. He compared it to a baseball hitter going through his normal routine even with the game on the line and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Texas coach Mack Brown arrived as Saban was finishing, then the pair posed for photos with the BCS trophy. They also exchanged gifts, with Saban handing over a large gift basket and a cooler full of food from Tuscaloosa's Dreamland Bar-B-Que, and Brown offering a pair of spurs.

Then Brown shared stories about the way his team has come together and the similarities between this group and the one that won the national championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

While the folksy Brown seems an opposite to his businesslike counterpart Saban, Brown said, "in truth, there are probably a lot more similarities than differences."

As for his final preparations, Brown said his evening was based around watching Troy and Central Michigan play in the GMAC Bowl.

"I'm pumped," he said, smiling.