No. 3 Alabama, No. 11 Oklahoma welcomed in New Orleans for Sugar Bowl

Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks to the media at a Sugar Bowl news conference in New Orleans, Friday, December 27, 2013. (

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Alabama and Oklahoma have arrived in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl and now have about six days in the Big Easy before Thursday night's clash in the Superdome.

The third-ranked Crimson Tide was on track for a third straight BCS title game berth in Pasadena before falling to Auburn in the final game of the regular season, but Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron says Tide players "aren't just going through the motions."

The No. 11 Sooners enter the Sugar Bowl on a three-game winning streak during which they derailed rival Oklahoma State's Big 12 title bid.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops speaks to reporters after arriving in New Orleans on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Oklahoma plays Alabama in the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says his quarterback situation is purposefully unsettled, and that he doesn't plan to discuss who'll start, or how much Trevor Knight and Blake Bell will play, before the game.