Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alabama 49 Arkansas 14

Bama's a serious player -
"John Parker Wilson couldn't help himself. After getting driven into the ground by Jake Bequette, fellow Arkansas defensive end Damario Ambrose felt the need to come over and get in the quarterback's face late in the third quarter of Alabama's 49-14 win over Arkansas. Wilson smiled, put his arm around Ambrose like an old friend and pointed at the scoreboard as if it was picturesque sunset he couldn't miss. "Look at that," he yelled. "Just look at that."

Nick Saban Post Game (9/20/08) Video

NCAA ranking and stats page - Alabama photo gallery

Glenn Coffee on another long run - Tuscaloosa News/

Listening to the pregame on the way to watch the game with my Dad in Huntsville:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tide ready to prove they're for real in SEC opener

Is Alabama for Real? Arkansas hosts No. 9 Tide

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)—For the fifth straight season, Alabama is 3-0—and nobody needs to tell the Crimson Tide how little that can mean.

“We are not disappointed in where we are but we are not where we can be,” coach Nick Saban said. “It is like an iceberg when you can only see a little at the top and there is a lot underneath the water. We just have to try and keep uncovering more and more of it and get more guys playing winning football.”

Saban was hired to bring championship football back to Alabama—and fans want more than just September victories. Last year Alabama started 3-0 and finished 7-6. In 2006, a 3-0 start became a 6-7 season and the end of Mike Shula’s coaching tenure.

There’s a sense that this year is different. Alabama is ranked No. 9, its first AP top 10 appearance since the end of the 2005 season. The Crimson Tide routed Clemson 34-10 in the opener. More >

Monday, September 15, 2008

Alabama 41 Western Kentucky 7

Alabama 20 Tulane 9

I'm a little behind here. I've been having so much fun living I haven't had time to write about it. That is not to say that when I do have time to write I am not having fun.

Let's take a look back at Alabama versus Tulane on 9/6/08.....

National Anthem

Halftime show

Game highlights narrated by Eli Gold

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mark Ingram

SW Grad Ingram shines in Alabama debut - Flint, MI Journal

In his first college game, Southwestern graduate Mark Ingram led Alabama in rushing in the Crimson Tide's 34-10 win over No. 9 Clemson on Saturday night. Ingram, a true freshman, finished the game with 96 yards on 17 carries. On the Crimson Tide's first possession, Ingram gained three yards to give Alabama a first down on a third-and-1. In the third quarter, Ingram ran in a two-point conversion. Ingram also caught two passes for five yards.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look from inside the Georgia Dome...

Alabama and Clemson Take the Field

Rammer Jammer Alabama vs Clemson

Bama - Clemson quotes

Tide Sports photo gallery

"The last time Alabama won a truly big-time non-conference game during the regular season, some members of the Crimson Tide’s vaunted freshman class were not yet born. It was 1989, when Alabama won at Penn State." - Cecil Hurt

Clemson’s star running back tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller were harder to locate than Osama Bin Laden, vanishing from the Tiger offense. - Cecil Hurt

“I cannot remember us getting physically beaten that badly in the last three years. We created no momentum. We did nothing offensively or defensively to do that. We’re obviously not the ninth-rated team in America.” Tiger coach Tommy Bowden

“We were more physical than they were. I would say our team played well for an opening game.” Nick Saban

“We’re winning the battle up front, and that is what we have to do. It opens up everything for us on both sides of the ball.” Nick Saban, at halftime

"I am really proud of this team and how it competed. It was a great win for our team. I'm happy for our team. But we got to learn how to play with consistency." Nick Saban

“I think the last drive, to take the air out of it for seven minutes, is what you call finishing the game and I was pleased and proud that we were able to do that.” Nick Saban

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"The world is now spinning correctly on its axis."

That is how Eli Gold, the voice of the Tide, called the end of Alabama's 34-10 victory over the ninth ranked Clemson Tigers. This will certainly go down as one of "Bama's Greatest Games".

My game notes:

First quarter:
- three mental penalties limited Alabama to field goals
- Rashad Johnson dropped an int
- Cory Reamer forced a fumble that was recovered by D Hightower
- bad pass by JPW on 3rd and 3 at the foyr necessitated another fg
- defense confused and dominated Clemson
- nice punt return by Arenas
- offensive line and Ingram dominating 13-0
- D gave up 42 yard pass
- big sack by Deaderick

Second quarter:
- nice passes by JPW and interference called against Clemson
- Ingram running, o-line blocking, and JPW passing looking good
- halfway thru 2nd quarter: Bama led rushing 102-5
- JPW TD pass, now 8/10 and score is 20-3
- Defense made a nice stand again and pressured QB
- scored on first 4 possessions
- 3 or 4 Clemson players already hurt
- Thunder and Lightning RB's for Clemson have combined for 7 yards
- R McClain deflects a pass and Marquis Johnson intercepts
- nice passing and running by JPW
- Bowden admitted at halftime that Bama was tougher
- at the half, 23-3, Ingram 57 yds, Coffee 44 yds, JPW 14/18 for 118 yds
- Bama led rushing 126-7, total yds 245-89, first downs 15-4

Third quarter:
- Bama special teams gave up a 96 yd kickoff return..."arm tackling"
- offensive line dominates and Coffee running well
- Bama punts first time during the game
- Andre Smith hurt...only Bama injury I noticed....not too severely I hope
- TD pass JPW to JJ on 3rd and 9/13 on on third downs
- standouts include Terrance Cody who stuffed the line
- Clemson's two big runners combined so far for 7 yds, 1/10 on 3rd down

Fourth quarter:
- D continues to stop Clemson
- nice 29 yard run by Ingram
- sack by Charlie Higgenbotham
- Eli Gold, "The world is now spinning correctly on it's axis."

Stats and notes:
Score: 34-10
Last defeat of a top 10 team: Florida on 10-1-05
Clemson had 0 yards rushing
Rushing: Coffee 17-92, Ingram 17-97, Upchurch 7-30, Wilson 5-25
Total yards: Bama 419 Clemson 184
Clemson made it inside the Tide 30 only twice

Game Day is here

Roll Tide!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Forbes features Saban on cover

The Most Powerful Coach in Sports - Forbes

"On New Year's Day in 2007 Mal Moore, the athletic director at the University of Alabama, boarded a private plane bound for Miami. A little over a month earlier the university had fired Mike Shula, its fourth football coach in eight mediocre years. The pursuit of a new coach to that point had been bungled badly--the once proud program was reportedly turned down by Steve Spurrier, from South Carolina, and Rich Rodriguez, at the time the coach at West Virginia. Moore was on his way to Miami to try to woo Nick Saban, then the coach of the NFL's Dolphins. It was all-or-nothing, with no real backup plan. "I told the pilots when they dropped me off in Miami that if I didn't come back to this plane with Nick Saban, they should just go on and take me to Cuba," Moore says." >> More

Really liked this article. I thought it was fairly balanced and filled some holes in my knowledge about Saban's contract.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Julio excels in scrimmage

Alabama knows it has catch in Jones - Huntsville Times
In a preseason abuzz with excitement over Alabama's newest signing class, one freshman continues to leap above the others. Receiver Julio Jones was the statistical star of Saturday afternoon's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium, all but cementing a contributing role this season with five catches for a team-best 125 yards and one touchdown.

Check out this video of a catch and run after the catch.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tide AP Preseason #24

Georgia first, Auburn tenth. Six SEC teams ranked - all are on 'Dawgs schedule.
Bulldogs! Georgia is No. 1 in preseason AP poll -

Nick Saban on Discipline Relative to Arrests Aight?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Remembering John Mark Stallings

This one gets me every time.

Nick Saban said, "John Mark was someone I grew to love in a very short period of time, in terms of his passion and spirit for the University of Alabama as well as for life and how he affected so many people."

Fan Day at UA 8/3/08

I will post more here later but here is a link to some of my pics for now.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Let's go Tide!

The Number one recruiting class in America takes the field in Tuscaloosa for the first time.

From / Tuscaloosa News

Was it a catch?

Here's a quick look back at a big turning point in last years's seaon. I was looking through my email this morning and my automatic email from Sitemeter showed how I had gotten about 700 hits this week on my 2007 Crimson Tide blog. Curiosity got the best of me and I looked a little deeper. It seems as though someone brought this subject up on the forum. There are some very interesting comments there about this call and the how the outcome of this call had a monumental impact on not only Alabama's season last year but also on LSU's and ultimately the national championship itself.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Rolling into August

Saban discusses start of football practice 7/31/08
Alabama will begin practice Friday with two sessions, approximately half the squad in each session. Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban pointed out that nothing should be made of players working in one session or another. It’s strictly administrative he said, trying to get an equal number of players at each position in each session.

It's Nick Saban, so what should Alabama expect LA Times 7/31/08
They're not quite sure how to feel right now in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the University of Alabama is coming off a 7-6 season and paying football Coach Nick Saban this season's portion of his estimated $35-million contract.

A taste of fall arrives with fan day Tuscaloosa News 7/30/08
I plan on being there and blogging about it next week...

SEC's hate-o-meter ESPN 7/29/08
Guess who's number one?

The SEC loves to hate Alabama ESPN 7/29/08
Maybe it's the fact that Alabama once dominated this league like nobody has since or before. Maybe it's the fact that Paul W. "Bear" Bryant is the most iconic figure in all of college football history. Maybe it's the fact that Alabama has been caught cheating each of the last two decades, serving three years of NCAA probation in the mid 1990s and five years of NCAA probation from 2002-'07. Maybe it's that obnoxious elephant roar at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Maybe it's Bryant's gravelly voice still being piped in over the loudspeaker at Bryant-Denny Stadium before every game. Maybe it's the fact that Alabama is ... well, Alabama.

Saban looks to lift Tide Chattanooga Times Free Press 7/28/08
Nick Saban may not boast the best collection of physical talent in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama is lacking at linebacker and wide receiver, and Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa was less prosperous than his first year at LSU. But Saban is still attempting to make his players the strongest in a different aspect — their minds. He employed The Pacific Institute, an organization that describes itself as “culture transformation experts” and works to improve lives through educational seminars, to teach 12 classes to Tide players.

Alabama players adjust to Saban
Cullman Times 7/26/08
Alabama’s players admit the first season under Saban was a bit overwhelming. “It was all kind of crazy,” senior offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell said. “None of us really knew what to expect.” Now heading into their second season with Saban, Alabama’s players said they have a better understanding of what the Crimson Tide coach expects. It’s not a secret that Saban is intense. The Alabama coach has built a reputation as a workaholic that demands a lot from his players.

Florida, Auburn picked to win divisions Montgomery Advertiser 7/26/08
No one can claim the media's predictions at Southeastern Conference Media Days are a rubber stamp of the 2007 season.

Saban Keeps playing mind games
New Orleans Times Picayune 7/25/08
For days Alabama football wires have quivered with news LSU Coach Les Miles thought last year's victory over the Crimson Tide was nothing more than one notch in a 2007 clean sweep of Alabama by Pelican State teams. On Thursday, Alabama Coach Nick Saban -- a one-time LSU icon who Tide fans expect will return greatness to Tuscaloosa -- winced when asked about the remark. But he declined to take the bait. "Well, he told the truth," Saban said. "He told it like it was. So, you know, I don't -- you know we need to earn it."

Cecil Hurt: Media Days has evolved into seminar Tuscaloosa News 7/25/08
One of the complaints that veteran observers of Southeastern Conference football have about the league’s annual Media Days are that they tend, after a while, to seem the same. The changes from one year to the next, according to conventional wisdom, are minimal. There are the same coaching cliches, the same answers to the same questions, a monotony relived only by the occasional flying subpoena. On Thursday, though, it was clear how much the event has changed over the years.

Saban counting on young players 7/24/08
Saban touched on a number of topics but mentioned few players other than quarterback John Parker Wilson. Wilson, who will be a third year starter with a third position coach and offensive coordinator, should benefit from the past and from the present, Saban said. The coach said that it was difficult for Wilson to have different coaches and coordinators and systems “when he was doing it,” but that having accomplished it will enhance Wilson’s decision-making process. Saban also called the offense that Wilson will operate under new coordinator Jim McElwain as “quarterback friendly.”

Cecil Hurt: Bryant made Waldrep part of the Alabama family Tuscaloosa News 7/23/08
Charley, the younger of the two Waldrep boys, was in Tuscaloosa this week as well. He’s about to enter his senior year at Celina High School, a perennial Class 3A football power in Texas. He’s rushed for over 3,600 yards on the Celina team over the past two seasons, earning honorable mention All-State honors in a state (like Alabama) where that means a lot. Accompanying Charley to camp, the Waldrep family made a new acquaintance – coach Nick Saban. Charley was a participant in Saban’s football camp, an experience he called “intense.” “I went to another camp,” he said, naming a program in the Big 12. “It was nothing like this. At that school, the head coach rode around in a golf cart one day and that was it. At this camp, Coach Saban has been out there coaching the entire team. And it’s tough. I’d rather go through five days of drills at the other school than a half-day here. It’s a totally different atmosphere.”

Miles: I have great respect for the University of Alabama Mobile Press Register 7/23/08
His answer today ..."I want you to know something. I have a great respect for the University of Alabama, the history they have represented to college football, the competition they put on every time they take the field. I promise you that any fun and entertainment I have with supporters is very respectful." So there you go.

Miles' Alabama comment causes stir WBRZ Baton Rouge 7/22/08
Miles’ Tigers beat the Crimson Tide, coached last season for the first time by former LSU coach Nick Saban, 41-34 in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers went on to win the BCS national championship. According to The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, Miles cautioned LSU fans “not to make too much of that game, as it seems like a lot of teams in Louisiana beat that team.” Miles’ reference was to Alabama’s 21-14 loss to Louisiana-Monroe last year, two weeks after falling to LSU. The defeats were part of a four-game losing streak to end the regular season for the Crimson Tide, which finished 7-6 after an Independence Bowl victory over Colorado. Miles’ comment was already the talk of local sports radio in Birmingham, two days in advance of his appearance with center Brett Helms and defensive end Tyson Jackson at SEC media days in suburban Hoover. Saban and Alabama players will make their appearance at media days Thursday.

UA to require more reservations Tuscaloosa News 7/21/08
This fall, more University of Alabama football fans are likely to have to open up their wallets before they even leave home. More areas of campus will require payment before fans can park or tailgate there. Aside from those changes, little else will change for football game days in 2008, said Gene Hallman, head of the Bruno Event Team out of Birmingham hired to manage UA events.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More articles as the countdown begins in earnest

It's hard to believe but college football season is just around the corner. Here are a few articles to help get you psyched up!

Alabama linebacker Ezekial Knight who has medical problems is shopping around for a college willing to clear him medically. According to his former high school coach, he has officially requested a transfer from Alabama. "He asked to be released at Alabama and he's going to try to go to a smaller school," Randy Boyd, his former coach at Randolph County High, told me today. - Birmingham News

Get to Know the 50 States (Alabama) - Sporting News

Flashback: Alabama vs Florida 2005

Most lopsided rivalries:
12) Alabama-Mississippi State (Roll Tide!!!), 92 games, .788 They say that the states of Alabama and Mississippi rank near the bottom nationally with virtually any comparison. However, we didn't know that the drop-off from 49th was this great...
11) Michigan-Wisconsin, 61 games, .795 This is pretty sad for Wisconsin, one of my favorite Big 10(11) teams. Being dominated like this costs big bucks at your local B & D parlor...
10) Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, 102 games, .799 The only intrastate rivalry to make the list. Oklahoma wasn't even a state yet and OU-Ron was still a young man when the Cowboys started getting owned by OU. A decent record against the Sooners is apparently something that T. Boone Pickens can't buy...
9) Ohio State-Northwestern, 73 games, .801 Nothing really earth-shattering here. Private Northwestern is the Vanderbilt of the Rust Belt. The 2nd worst team in the Big 10(11) has been dominated by Michigan, too.
8) Georgia-Kentucky, 61 games, .803 For decades, Georgia fattened up on Kentucky and Vandy every year before being mandated to play other Appalachian team Tennessee annually in 1992...
7) Alabama-Ole Miss (Roll Tide!!!), 55 games, .818 Curiously, Miss State has a better record against the Tide than the cross-state Rebels do. Can you call that being Croomed? Eh, maybe not...
6) Nebraska-Kansas State, 89 games, .826 K-State is also seriously owned by old Big Two, Little Six rival Oklahoma. With the Huskers dominating the Jayhawks, too, it's not unfair to say that the state of Nebraska should just move their entire border 200 miles south...
5) USC-Oregon State, 71 games, .845 They get a lot of rain up in the Pacific northwest. Forecast for the Beavers: Cloudy and bleak, with chance of heavy Trojans downpour...
4) Michigan-Indiana, 59 games, .847 Big 10(11) celler-dweller Indiana also gets clobbered by Ohio State, but who's counting? Is it round-ball season yet?
3) USC-Washington State, 67 games, .851 The Pacific bully feasts on yet another victim. If you're wondering why the Arizona teams haven't been included in the Trojan's feast, it's because they've only been in the conference for 30 years and haven't qualified for them--yet.
2) Notre-Dame--Navy, 81 games, .870 You guys thought this one would be number one. Hell, I did, too. Notre Dame only keeps this one alive to repay some eternal debt that they owe Navy. Here's a novel idea, perfect for military men: administer the coup de grace to the midshipmen and let this one die! However, Navy does currently have a one-game winning streak. Hmmm....
1) Oklahoma-Iowa State, 75 games, .919 Okay, I had to look it up, but Iowa State WAS a member of the old Big 8 conference. They decided to continue the despair and moved over to the Big 12, where they are also the designated beat-down'ees of Nebraska and Colorado. Too bad the Cyclones can't match that F-5 tornado that comes out of Oklahoma--they are indeed the drubbing kings in all of BCS Division 1-A.

Roberts to fill in for Stabler - Crimson White
Former Alabama quarterback and Crimson Tide Sports Network color analyst for Alabama football games Kenny Stabler has asked to take a leave of absence for the 2008 season. Stabler has been a member of the Alabama football broadcast crew for the last ten years. "We regret that Kenny will not be part of our broadcast team during the upcoming season, but accept and understand his decision," said Jim Carabin, general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing.

Alabama's Lawrence is one to watch
Alonzo Lawrence, a 6-foot-1, 187-pound cornerback from George County High School in Lucedale, Miss., who runs the 40-yard dash in a speedy 4.43 seconds. Lawrence also possesses a 36-inch vertical leap, speaking to his sheer athleticism. In fact, Rivals says he is the best athlete of all the cornerbacks in the 2008 class and the second-best overall CB.

Alabama sells out football tickets - Montgomery Advertiser

You'd better sit down: Price of SEC football seats soars - Birmingham News
Ten years ago, a face-value ticket to the Iron Bowl cost $30. Today, $30 can't get you into any Alabama or Auburn game, even against the nonconference bottom feeders. The price to watch college football has skyrocketed. The average SEC ticket price - including the minimum donations required for the right to purchase season tickets - has increased 80 percent since 1998, from $61.07 to $110.05, according to an analysis by The Birmingham News. Combined with escalating gas and food costs in a slumping economy, some fans and athletics administrators worry the average college football fan is being priced out of stadiums in favor of wealthier clientele.

UA flag finds new home in Alabama
A University of Alabama flag that greeted millions of hungry troops in a dining facility in Kuwait has been retired -- a new one, signed by football coach Nick Saban and Crimson Tide players, has taken its place.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Let's see the football team pull this off

UA gymnasts excel in the classroom -

TUSCALOOSA | Five Alabama gymnasts [That's a third of the team. JS] earned a 3.9 or better grade point average for the spring semester, including three who earned perfect 4.0s. As a team, the Crimson Tide earned a 3.62 GPA in the spring which followed a 3.515 average last fall.

“To earn a team GPA of 3.62 is an extraordinary accomplishment, and it makes us very proud,” Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. “Alabama Gymnastics enjoys an outstanding academic standing and this year’s team certainly built on that reputation, helping take it to new heights.”
More >

For the past ten years, UA has finished in the top ten in team GPA among NCAA Division I gymnastics squads while also finishing in the top 10 in the sport nearly every year. That's a hard-working bunch of ladies. Hats off!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jimmy Johns busted for selling cocaine

Tide LB Jimmy Johns arrested for possession, distribution (AP)
Alabama linebacker Jimmy Johns was arrested on felony drug charges Tuesday and kicked off the team, the latest in a string of off-the-field problems for coach Nick Saban’s squad. More >

Jimmy Johns arrested, dismissed from team (Tuscaloosa News)
Narcotics investigators have charged University of Alabama linebacker Jimmy Johns with selling cocaine. More >

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Recent Tide news

From making tackles to saving souls Tuscaloosa News
"When Wayne Davis was a linebacker for the University of Alabama, he was a silent leader. Now, he's taken the pulpit of his hometown church in a much more outspoken role for the congregation and the larger community. 'One of the first things I thought when I saw the Lord leading me to do this, is that I had to begin to teach and establish the fact that leaders are very vital as far as the church is concerned,' Davis said. 'Spiritual leaders are very important as it pertains to carrying out the mission of the church. Our desire is to win the lost. We have to do that through evangelizing. I'm a real big advocate of sound and solid leadership.'"

Bama signee Ray drafted by Dodgers, mulls decision - Mobile Press Register
"Alabama football signee Melvin Ray is considering a professional baseball career instead of playing for the Crimson Tide, according to his father Melvin Sr. The Los Angeles Dodgers presented Ray, a standout receiver and outfielder from Tallahassee, Fla., with the additional option by taking him in the 33rd round today during Major League Baseball's first-year player draft. "We're not sure yet," said Melvin Sr., a former pitcher in the Detroit Tigers' organization. "He's contemplating over this thing tonight or tomorrow. I'm going to call the (Alabama) coaches and everything once he makes that decision."

Self remembered for his integrity
- Florence Times Daily
"Hal Self, who started the modern-day football program at North Alabama in 1949 and served as the Lions' head coach through 1969, died Friday after an extended illness. He was 86."

Destin Hood goes No. 55 to the Washington Nats Mobile Press Register
"Alabama football signee Destin Hood was the first prospect with Crimson Tide ties selected in today's Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Hood, a receiver and shortstop/outfielder from St. Paul's in Mobile, was selected No. 55 by the Washington Nationals."

New Birmingham station for Saban's show - Birmingham News
"The Nick Saban Show" will move to CBS 42 in Birmingham when the Alabama football season kicks off this fall, the station announced today."

Who knows? Preseason sports annuals rank Tide 20th... and 30th.

The two leading sports annuals in our market, Athlon and Lindy's, have somewhat divergent ideas on the Tide's prospects this year. Both rave over the team's recruiting efforts, the nation's best, and agree Saban will produce a championship down the line. But one feels this will still be a major rebuilding year while the other is a little more optimistic.

Athlon cites heavy losses of starters on defense as cause for concern. The shifting of several players to new positions in the offseason (some have even switched sides of the ball) and the installation of yet another new offense will produce an early learning curve. Athlon also believes John Parker Wilson's stellar numbers are too riddled with inconsistency (and turnovers) in the clutch to allow him to carry the team. With Bama meeting virtually all their toughest SEC opponents on the road this year, they foresee status quo or a one win improvement at best. They give the Tide 6 likely wins, 5 probable losses, and 1 toss-up.

Final ranking: Nationally, 30th. SEC West, 3rd

Lindy's (published in Alabama, btw) grants a few of those points but believe there is potential for a breakout season for many freshman in Saban's merciless meritocracy. They believe JPW may finally shed his lingering insecurities. And they point to a tendency for new coaches to have a major spike in quality in their second season. None of these are as objective as Athlon's reasons, in my book, but I sure hope they are right.

Final ranking: Nationally, 20th. SEC West, 3rd

New fan

Just like Ashley Judd at basketball games and car races, we may have our own celebrity fan drawing the attention of television cameras during Alabama football broadcasts this fall. Jay Barker's fiancee, Sara Evans, has converted wholeheartedly to the Tide and appeared in left field during the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge sporting a Bama ballcap.

For you softball fans, Sara's team won 8-1, led by the pitching of the game's MVP JoDee Messina. Her shutout was spoiled in the ninth inning on a run scored by Carrie Underwood, who was helped by her experience with Louisville Sluggers. And a few "errors" by a gracious infield. Video

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sharp reviews...

Check out Sharp's review of "The Missing Ring" by Keith Dunnavant.

"This book's subtitle is "How Bear Bryant and the 1966 Alabama Crimson Tide Were Denied College Football's Most Elusive Prize." The Tide were the defending back-to-back national champions in 1966. They were ranked first in both polls as the season began. They finished the season undefeated and untied - yet managed to finish third behind Notre Dame and Michigan State, who had played each other to a 10-10 tie in midseason. This book was intended to explore why that took place...."

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saban on Julio

Saban speaks on Jones

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Roll Tide Roll" from the Statlers

Harold Reid of the Statler Brothers in 1983 made it clear who his favorite college football team was.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Kudos to Coach Saban for his new "recruit"!

Motivator another part of the 'process' - Paul Finebaum

"Nick Saban has a new recruit arriving on campus later this summer and he might be more important than Julio Jones.

He wasn't a five-star on the list. He didn't make ESPN's 150, either. But he may help Alabama win a national championship.

He is Kevin Elko, a 49-year-old former teacher from Brownsville, Pa. He has no recorded time in the 40. Nor is he much to write home about in the weight room."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some recent Tide news...

Alabama back to the Georgia Dome in 2010?
It appears that Alabama, which opens the upcoming season against Clemson in the Georgia Dome, likes the playing in Atlanta so much that it may do it again in the near future.

Catching up: Alabama news and notes
"A lot has happened in the past few weeks that we have not been able to address and give it a thorough rundown, so I'll attempt to catch up quickly on all of the news and give a brief look into each tidbit. Here goes..."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cecil Hurt

If you want an honest assesment of the State of the Alabama program from an insider, and college football in general, here is my first choice of a columnist to read...

"Then there is John Parker Wilson. The Alabama senior has more career starts than any other quarterback in the decision. It may (or may not) be worth mentioning that the last two times that Alabama has had a senior starting quarterback – Tyler Watts in 2002 and Brodie Croyle in 2005 – the Crimson Tide has had a 10-win season. The key phrase – and one which Nick Saban has used repeatedly in the spring – is for Wilson to make “better business decisions” on the field."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Post A-Day articles

Saban: Development is key - Dothan Eagle - 4/25/08

Recruiting class? What recruiting class? Best in the nation? Alabama head coach Nick Saban sought to temper the fervor surrounding players he hasn’t coached a day during his visit to Dothan on Thursday night. “Well, I don’t think you can put a lot of expectations on our young players,” the coach said moments before he met with several hundred Crimson Tide fans at the Dothan Convention Center. “We hope that some of these guys can contribute. We certainly need for some guys to contribute relative to the depth on our team.” College football fans saw Saban land what was widely regarded as the top-rated class in the nation on National Signing Day. But the coach cautioned that — talented as the freshmen are — they are still freshmen. “I think one of the things that kills young players quicker than anything is the high expectations that some people have for them — and then their frustration when they don’t feel like they meet those expectations,” Saban said.

Scrimages: The new Hot Ticket - Mobile Press Register

In the tradition of the wave and tear-away jerseys, there's a new fad sweeping college football. But unlike those short-lived phenomenons, this latest trend has legs -- specifically, in the case of Alabama, 156,400 legs. An estimated 78,200 Crimson Tide fans showed up at Bryant-Denny Stadium last Saturday for the most anticipated controlled scrimmage of the year. Officially, it was the Alabama A-Day game, but still, to borrow a line from Allen Iverson, one of the great philosophers of our time, "We're talkin' 'bout practice." That number would be hard to imagine if it didn't come just one year after Alabama crammed more than 92,000 into the stadium for last year's A-Day, or one week before Nebraska took the spring fling concept to a new level.

It's April, so I'm not ready for some football - Virginian Pilot - 4/21/08

Serious cases of spring fever have been identified elsewhere. More than 60,000 watched Florida run through a dress rehearsal that was televised last weekend by ESPN, while 78,200 turned out at Alabama a year after the Crimson Tide's scrimmage was witnessed by 92,138, the largest ever for a spring game anywhere. Besides getting a jump on tailgating, what do some fans really get out of these flimsy football exhibitions? Perhaps bragging rights. Take Ohio State, where there appears to be some discrepancy over the actual size of the crowd Saturday, as if it should matter in April. The school announced 76,346, but the Columbus Dispatch reported that the figure "appeared about 15,000 or 20,000 high." Out of vanity or some misplaced insecurity, could it be that the Buckeyes actually padded their attendance figures for a practice game? Has it come to that? Unlike pollen, spring football at some schools is nothing to sneeze at.
Tide freshmen will get a chance to contribute - Montgomery Advertiser - 4/20/08

Alabama coach Nick Saban took a moment immediately following the Crimson Tide's A-Day game to reflect on the February signees who were among the 78,200 fans watching the Crimson's 24-14 win over the White team. "One of the things that is probably most evident is the opportunity that some of the young people might have who were out there watching today to come here and get an opportunity to play early," he said. If there's one thing Saban has remained consistent about, it's the playing time available to the incoming freshmen. And Alabama's biggest question marks -- at strong safety, right tackle, linebacker and wide receiver -- remain unanswered after 15 spring practices. "From a talent standpoint, you guys can make your own assessment," Saban said after praising his team's improvement over the spring. "And that's something we have to continue to build because you need talented players. We have some very good players but we certainly need more of them to be a dominant team in the SEC, there's no doubt about that."

AU streak lacks aura of authority - Paul Finebaum - Mobile Press Register - 4/22/08

The last time Alabama beat Auburn in football -- Nov. 17, 2001 -- the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.20. And you thought Alabama fans were the only ones feeling the pinch over these many years. But in many respects, it almost feels like Auburn fans continue to have to justify one of the most remarkable feats in the school's storied football history. In some respects, they have allowed Alabama fans to put an imaginary asterisk by this six-game streak. Why do Auburn fans often find themselves having to defend the streak around the water cooler? It's an illegitimate streak, some Tide fans claim, because of NCAA probation and multiple coaching changes. The rest of the reasons, real or imagined, roll off the tongues of Tide fans with ease.

Deciphering numbers is tricky business - Cecil Hurt - Tuscaloosa News

One thing, more than any other, differentiates the modern 21st century world from everything that has gone before. That is the speed with which information – particularly raw data – can be delivered and disseminated. Almost as quickly as a number – a super-delegate count, or an interest rate – can be generated, it is available to almost anyone in the world who cares to access it. Numbers can be powerful things, too – even scary things.

New NCAA recruiting rule now in effect - Tuscaloosa News

Coming soon to a high school near you: someone other than Nick Saban. The University of Alabama's head football coach won't be visiting high schools to evaluate recruits anytime soon because of a new NCAA rule that prohibits head coaches from making such on-site visits during the spring evaluation period. Southeastern Conference coaches voted in favor of the rule, which was passed at the NCAA's convention in January. The new rule went into effect with the start of the spring evaluation period on Tuesday. The evaluation period concludes at the end of May. 'Now we'll have to do that in a little bit different way,' Saban said Thursday on a teleconference with league coaches. 'I'm going to spend a little more time trying to evaluate from afar looking at film.'

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A look back

Here's a look back at what was arguably the best catch in college football history.

A Clip from A-Day

This time last week I was enjoying the A-Day game with my sons at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Here is a clip of how things looked from where we sat. Pardon the rather poor filming.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Roll Tide" from Condi...

Condoleezza Rice repeats that she will not be a vice presidential candidate - Birmingham News

"Although her speech was heavy with the serious issues revolving around warfare and statecraft, Rice did take a little time to teach lessons about her native state to an audience filled with military personnel from across the country and world.

"When you address people here in Alabama, you say y'all. But, the plural of y'all is not y'alls. A lot of people just say, all y'all," Rice said as the crowd laughed. "There is also nothing called unsweetened tea. It just doesn't exist.

"But, if you really want to understand Alabama, become a part of us, you really need only three words: Roll Tide Roll," Rice said."

A-Day highlights

Check out what happens at 3:47

Monday, April 14, 2008

A few photos from A-Day

Saturday the boys and I woke up early and got ready to go to the A-Day game. We met my friend Tee Drake at the Cracker Barrel at Exit 310 on I-65 at 8:30. It was a good trip down and we were able to park beside the baseball stadium. It was a cool and breezy morning but with the sunny skies, it made for a perfect day to watch the game. We walked down Bryant Drive toward Bryant-Denny Stadium and ate at Rama Jama’s. By the time we finished eating it was probably around 11 a.m., which was an hour before the gates opened. A pretty good line had already formed and there were more people who arrived early this year than last year. We also met Tee’s friend Ralph there. While they saved our places in line, Matt and I went and bought some bottled water. When the gates opened, I had a bag so the inspectors had to look at it and everyone else in the group got out ahead of me. They got our seats but I was lost from the group for awhile. It was like a stampede of red elephants on the way in. I finally made contact with Ralph and Tee and found our seats.

Matt and I walked down to the field level to watch the players warm up and take some pictures. I also let David and Joe walk around a little before the game began. The game itself was entertaining. The offense did better than they had performed in previous scrimmages. They threw the ball more than in the past. There were a few big plays. The highlight for David was obtaining autographs from Athletic Director Mal Moore and star recruit Julio Jones.

David had to be very resourceful to get Julio’s autograph. He brought an Alabama football that I had given him. He found out where Julio was sitting behind us. Then he realized that this pen was not working so he asked me what he could do. I suggested that he find another kid who had a pen and for them to both go up there together. David did that but he wasn’t done with the obstacles. David spoke to a police officer and some fans who told him some inside information. They told him that if he approached from a certain direction the recruits’ girlfriends would not let them through. They provided him with an alternate route, which he took. When he got up to Julio, Julio’s girlfriend tried to stop him. She told him not to bother them as they were trying to enjoy the game. David went ahead anyway and said to Julio, “Would you please autograph my football?” Julio didn’t say anything but he very kindly signed the ball for David, though. We all had quite a bit of fun and enjoyed ourselves. We got home around 6:30.

Show dogs, hunting dogs, and big dogs

Crimson Tide not yet ready to run with big dogs
- Kevin Scarbinsky, B'ham News
It was the kind of question that's been known, on occasion, to light Nick Saban's fuse. Someone - OK, it was me - asked him late Saturday afternoon to compare his Alabama football team's status after this spring game to where the team stood after A-Day 2007. - More

Saban: "We've got enough show dogs around here," he said. "We're looking for some hunting dogs."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tide offense not in panic mode (yet)

Tide offense not in panic mode - Mobile Register
Offense hoping to learn from its many mistakes in Saturday's scrimmage

TUSCALOOSA -- In the aftermath of Saturday's lopsided scrimmage, Alabama's offense arrived at Monday's practice seeking payback.

"We kind of got after them this Saturday," Crimson Tide cornerback Kareem Jackson said, "and they got after us today."

How bad was it Saturday? Scrimmages often leave a gray area as to which side of the football enjoyed more success, but this wasn't like that. Statistics anointed a clear winner.

In a first formal exam under new coordinator Jim McElwain, Alabama's offense managed only three touchdowns. The Tide's four quarterbacks completed only 26-of-72 pass attempts (36.1 percent) while totaling seven interceptions. - More

Friday, March 28, 2008

A nugget from Coach Bryant...

I absolutely loved the last part of John Pruett's column in the Huntsville Times on Wednesday. I must mention that reading Pruett has been a part of my life since the mid 70's. I'm glad he's still doing it. The letter he references was treasure from Coach Bryant. Coach Bryant really was a classy guy relative to how he treated people with politeness and kindness. An excerpt...

"Dear Bobby and Phil:

Thank you very much for your letter. I am highly flattered by your comments, particularly since you are fans of Auburn.

Appreciate you writing and hope each of you has a most Joyous Holiday Season.


Paul Bryant


Nineteen days later, in his final game as Alabama's coach, Paul Bryant's team beat Illinois at the Liberty Bowl.

Four weeks after that, he died of heart failure in a Tuscaloosa hospital."

Bama stories from this week

Saban Equipping Tide to live up to Bama's storied past -
"For a place its critics insist is hopelessly consumed with the past, Alabama has never been more excited about its football future. Well, at least not since an icon by the name of Paul W. "Bear" Bryant was roaming the sidelines, which was 26 years and eight head coaches ago. Everywhere you turn in Tuscaloosa, there are reminders that it's a new day, a new game and a new way of doing things."

Alabama's new flagship radio station in Tuscaloosa is 95.3 FM, "The Bear" Country.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In Memory....Victor Ellis


Nick Saban March 24 Presser Parts 1 and 2

Part 1

Practice 3/26

Jay and Sara...

Listen to Jay and Sara talk about their love.....

What a lucky guy! "God bless the broken road!"

More on the life-saving shot....

Photo credit: Georgia State Signal

Co-author Sharp, who has more credibility on the subject than anyone (and I don't say that lightly) made a really good point when he said, "And a car is one of the most dangerous places to be in a tornado. Thanks, God. And Mykal."

Today I read a really good article from the Georgia State Signal on this providential shot:
"We were talking about it in the locker room during the delay," Riley told the AP on Saturday after the storm. "I think it was Brandon Hollinger who brought it up, and he and Ron Steele were saying that if we weren't in overtime, some people could be dead or injured and then everybody (the team) started talking about it (in the locker room). I've been thinking about it. I couldn't sleep last night because I kept thinking about it." It was a chilling revelation indeed; one that would keep anyone up at night. Some people do not believe in fate or God, but Riley saw it fit to be the only explanation for what happened that night. Riley continued, "A lot of people could be dead if that hadn't happened," the senior who set a record for eight three-pointers the night before the storm against Florida. "I believe it was God. I keep thinking about how the ball just rolled in. It was supposed to happen so that no one would be hurt. I believe God had His hand in that to protect the people who were in the Dome."

I also read a really good blog post about this by Sara Beth Fentress today. She writes, "I would like to take a look at God's sovereignty for just a few minutes. First Chronicles 29:11 confirms the sovereignty of God. "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all." Nothing happens to us without God's permission. Some of us picture God granting Satan permission to mess with our lives, then he frantically runs behind us trying to pick up the pieces because of the permission that He granted in the first place. The Lord is never surprised. Joni Eareckson Tada says it well: "Not only is God not frustrated or hindered by Satan's schemes, but God actually uses the devil's deeds to advance his kingdom and bring glory to himself. We can trust our sovereign God who works all things out for our good and his glory."

Offseason shocker

Okay. I did NOT see this coming. Lots of bachelors just got their hearts broken, I'm sure. Sorry, Mike!

Ex-Tide QB jay Barker and Country Superstar Sara Evans to Wed

Country music star Sara Evans is engaged to marry former Crimson Tide quarterback Jay Barker, reported Monday.
Evans, 37, filed for divorce from former political candidate Craig Schelske in 2006 while she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. A bitter and widely-publicized divorce was finalized in September 2007.

Barker, 35, who hosts The Morning Drive radio show on WJOX-FM, led Alabama to a national championship in 1992. On this morning’s The Morning Drive, Barker and Evans discussed a summer wedding date.

Evans also spoke of moving to Birmingham to be with Barker. “I love Birmingham and I want to move there,” Evans said. “Every time I come there, it’s just, the people are so friendly…. It’s a great city. I can’t wait to be there and I can’t wait to put myself into Jay’s world and Jay’s life.”

Paul Finebaum has blessed the union, so it must be okay, right? He says. "She's got a number-one hit on her hands if someone can write a song about their love story."

Monday, March 17, 2008

The shot that saved lives

Alabama's Mykal Riley hit a desperation three pointer at the buzzer to send the SEC tournament game against Mississippi State into overtime at the Georgia Dome on March 14, 2008.

Many meteorologists do not think it is an overstatement to say that this shot saved lives. If this shot was not made, thousands of people would have been outside the Georgia Dome during an EF2 tornado. These people would have been subjected to winds blowing debris at over 130 miles per hour.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 11 Saban Pressers Parts 1 and 2

Nick Saban's first spring press conference of 2008 (rather non-controversial and non abrasive with the press for a change).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Articles this week...

Under Center - Ivan Maisel -
"What Alabama hath wrought: If Shawn Garrity is right, spring football will never be the same. When 92,000-plus fans filled Bryant-Denny Stadium last April for coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide debut, they caught the attention of Garrity, an event promoter who lettered in football at Syracuse in 1986, and his friend, former Cal All-American running back Chuck Muncie. The two of them had been searching for a way to raise awareness and funds to support Cal's attempts to renovate Memorial Stadium and build a new football building."

Tide spring game will feature Jackson -
"Country singer Alan Jackson will perform at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 11, the eve of Alabama's spring game. It will be the first live performance held at the stadium since the university's Football Centennial Celebration in 1992."

Alabama Football: Wounded Tide gears up for spring practice
- Montgomery Advertiser
"Alabama coach Nick Saban said his team's offseason workouts are leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a year ago. The Crimson Tide is currently undergoing its "Fourth Quarter Program" in the weight room while a number of players recover from offseason surgery in preparation for spring practice in two weeks. "We've set a strong pace for our team to improve and most of the players have bought into it and worked very hard," Saban said. "Consistency in performance will determine our future success and that starts with a lot of hard work." Saban said one of the goals for the team is to play with more consistency. not to play up and down with the competition." He added that a higher level of play "is not something that happens in a day." This is like climbing a mountain. We're going to work hard and we're probably somewhere around base camp right now and we need to keep working at it."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Some recent articles....

Sounds of school spirit bring profit - LA Times - 3/1/08
Alabama football fans can buy pens, ties, video games, phones and socks that play the Crimson Tide's fight song, and a New York company is humming the tune all the way to the bank.

Saban commits to SEC Classic
- Columbus Ledger - 3-1-08
Blair Brown needed a headliner for the second annual SEC Celebrity Golf Classic, which will be played at the Country Club of Columbus in May. Former Alabama and NFL defensive back Jeremiah Castille, now the chaplain for the Crimson Tide football team, told Brown to come up with a wish list of celebrities to participate in the charity event. Wanting and getting are two different things, so Brown was a little shocked when he received an e-mail recently from the executive assistant for Alabama head football coach Nick Saban. Saban is the highest profile guest to commit to playing in the event scheduled for Mon., May 5.

It's Official: Gridiron Bash, Alan Jackson for A-Day - Birmingham News
The University of Alabama and New York City-based MSL Sports and Entertainment today announced that the university will host Gridiron Bash™ The Ultimate Fan Competition™ the day before the annual A-Day Game. The event - the first of its kind at Bryant-Denny Stadium - will take place April 11 and include a live performance by Grammy award-winning country singer-song writer Alan Jackson, as well as a giant pep rally introducing the team, appearances by coaches, video highlights, and other festive fan activities.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1961 Alabama 34 Auburn 0

This was the 10th win of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team at the University of Alabama on December 2, 1961 in Birmingham, AL.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

1961 Alabama 10 Georgia Tech 0

This was the ninth win of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team at the University of Alabama on November 18, 1961 in Birmingham, AL.

1961 Alabama 24 Mississippi State 0

This was the seventh win of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team at the University of Alabama on November 4, 1961 in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Friday, February 22, 2008

1961 Alabama 34 Tennessee 3

This was the fifth win of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team at the University of Alabama on October 21, 1961 in Birmingham, AL.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1961 Alabama 35 Vanderbilt 6

This was the third win of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team at the University of Alabama on October 7, 1961 in Nashville, TN.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1961 Alabama 9 Tulane 0

This was the second win of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team at the University of Alabama on September 30, 1961 in Mobile's Ladd Stadium.

1961 Alabama 32 Georgia 6

Now that it is the "off season", lets take a look back at some great moments in Tide history. I am posting some clips from Coach Bryant's first national championship team at Alabama. This was the first win of the 1961 season for the University of Alabama football team on September 23, 1961.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We're number one!

National signing day has come and gone. Most experts place the Tide number one in the USA! Let's start this blog off with a video clip from ESPNU...

Roll Tide!