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.