McCarron’s Popularity Surging Past Saban’s?

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Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) - Nick Saban remains, perhaps, the most influential man in the state of Alabama.  He's won three of the last four national championships and he has his own statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Still, there was an incident that happened last weekend that suggests Saban's quarterback might be more popular than the head coach.

The incident happened at Talladega.  Organizers asked A.J. McCarron to drive the pace car.  They didn't ask the same thing when Saban paid a visit to the Superspeedway.

"I told (Saban) he was one of the most important guys in the state of Alabama and he had to ride in the passenger seat," said A.J. McCarron, Alabama quarterback.  "So what does it say about me that I'm driving it?"

While McCarron's popularity transcends college football and continues to grow nationally, Saban is warning his quarterback about becoming too famous.

"Well I think A.J. can't put himself out there when people are going to criticize him and things don't go well for him and I think he understands that," said Nick Saban, Alabama head coach.  "A.J. is pretty mature about what's important for him in the next 365 days as far as what he wants to accomplish at the University of Alabama and his future."