Monthly Archives: August 2010

BREAKING: Ingram to miss opener

This just in: Mark Ingram suffered a knee injury at the end of Monday’s practice and will miss Saturday’s season-opener with San Jose State. That’s the word we’ve just received in a statement from Nick Saban.

According to the release, Ingram had his knee scoped Tuesday morning by the world-famous Dr. James Andrews.

“Mark will definitely be out for this week’s game against San Jose State and we will manage this on a week to week basis beyond this week, Saban said in the release. “We will make every decision in the future based on what’s best for Mark and his career as we consult with Dr. Cain and Dr. Andrews on his progress. This is not an injury that will affect Mark’s future ability to make a full recovery in a relatively short time frame.”

Update 11:56 a.m.: Here are a few resources on arthroscopic knee procedures courtesy of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. To put it simply, a knee scope is a minor procedure in which a tiny camera looks inside the patient’s knee for damage.

Update 12:05 p.m.: It is also interesting to note that this announcement was made the morning after the injury was suffered. Since there was no media access after the practice, Alabama had the option of holding onto this news until after the scope was performed.

Update 12:11 p.m.: Is this reason to freak out, Alabama fans? No. Not yet at least. There wasn’t much concern about the Tide’s chances against San Jose State (ranked 10th worst team in the country by ESPN) even with the scout team on the field.

Everyone knows Trent Richardson is for real, but how will he respond to being the featured back in the opener. This also means a lot for redshirt freshman Eddie Lacy who moves from third to second on the depth chart for Saturday.

Should Ingram remain sidelined for the Sept. 11 visit from Penn State, more issues crop up. Defenses might not have to split as much strategy between stopping both the pass and run without the double-headed monster in the backfield. But, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves already. The news of Ingram’s knee issue is only an hour old.

So, for now, breath easy Alabama.

Listen to Kevin Bacon:  All is well.

For now.

Update 1:16 p.m.: I just through campus and the sky, in fact, has yet to fall.

Update 4:29 p.m.: No Ingram sightings on practice field during media viewing period. Please don’t be surprised.

Update 5:37 p.m.: “Mark Ingram” is officially the most searched term on the net, according to Google Trends.

Check back for more later.


VIDEO: Step inside defensive game planning

Check out the view opposing running backs might get when they face down Dont’a Hightower on the game field. In the video, defensive coordinator Kirby Smart plays the role of the San Jose State quarterback as he teaches the Crimson Tide linebackers how to read the running plays from the pistol formation. The hardest part about putting this video together is editing out all the naughty language coming from coaches on other parts of the field.

Pay-per-view info for San Jose St. game

UA just passed along a little information concerning Saturday’s pay-per-view  telecast of the San Jose State game. Here are the basics:

  • It will cost $29.95 if bought in advance. Game day purchases will set you back $34.95.
  • Chris Stewart will do the play-by-play, former Tide quarterback Tyler Watts will handle the color commentary and ex-Tide linebacker Barry Krauss will do the on-field reporting.
  • See the complete listing of cable operators and satellite companies who’ll carry the game by clicking on the rest of the post.

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The depth chart is in

Without delay:

LT: James Carpenter, Alfred McCullough or Tyler Love
LG: Chance Warmack, John Michael Boswell or Brian Motley
C: William Vlachos, Davis Ross or Brian Motley
RG: Barrett Jones, Anthony Steen
RT: D.J. Fluker, Arie Kouandjio or John Michael Boswell
TE: Michael Williams, Chris Underwood
HB: Preston Dial, Brad Smelley
QB: Greg McElroy, AJ McCarron, Phillip Sims
RB: Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Demetrius Goode or Corey Grant
WR: Julio Jones, Earl Alexander or Brandon Gibson
WR: Marquis Maze OR Darius Hanks, Kenny Bell or Kevin Norwood

DE: Marcell Dareus, Undra Billingsley or Darrington Sentimore
NG: Josh Chapman, Kerry Murphy or Nick Gentry
DE: Luther Davis, Damion Square, Brandon Moore
SAM: Chavis Williams, Alex Watkins, Jonathan Atchison
MIKE: Dont’a Hightower, Chris Jordan or Nico Johnson
WILL: Jerrell Harris, Nico Johnson or C.J. Mosley
JACK: Courtney Upshaw, Ed Stinson, Adrian Hubbard
CB: DeQuan Menzie, B.J. Scott or DeMarcus Milliner
CB: Dre Kirkpatrick, Phelon Jones or John Fulton
Mark Barron, Nick Perry or Will Lowery
FS: Robert Lester, Jarrick Williams or Will Lowery

PK: Cade Foster or Jeremy Shelley
P: Jay Williams or Cody Mandell
KO: Cade Foster
AJ McCarron, Greg McElroy
SNAP: Carson Tinker, David Ross
PR: Julio Jones, Darius Hanks or Marquis Maze
KOR: Trent Richardson, Julio Jones, Mark Ingram

A depth chart Monday?

Could it be? A depth chart today?

That’s what we’re expecting to see at Nick Saban’s noon news conference along with a definition of words like “or” and “and.”  This is what we got on Monday of game week last year.

So check back in the neighborhood of noon CST for updates.

On a side note, Jimmy Fallon and the producers of the Emmys should be in jail this morning for their disrespect of Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” Don’t mess with The Boss.

A little extra on the airplane story

If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve already checked out this story (also found here) in today’s paper about the airplane at Alabama. I just wanted to pass along some extra information that didn’t make it to print. Enjoy.

  • A link to the ProRepublica story that first reported the tail number blocking can be found here.
  • Try searching for N1UA on and you’ll find this message.
  • But there is some info on the plane owned by The Crimson Tide Foundation on this page.
  • A detailed explanation of the Block Aircraft Registration  Program is found here on the National Business Aviation Association website.
  • The USA Today also wrote a little on the topic back in April. Find that story here.

This is a story I’ve been working on here and there since May.  It’s a little bit of a departure from the normal preseason story, but I thought it could offer a small glimpse inside just how competitive all realms of college football has become.

Feel free to leave a comment on the topic by clicking the “Leave a comment” button below.

The calm before the season

I hope you’re enjoying your last Saturday free from college football for the rest of the year. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you enjoy the sleepy Saturday evening including very good news on the Mikhail Torrance story.

  • Check out tomorrow’s print edition for a different kind of look at the secretive world of college football as it relates to Alabama (and a little to Auburn). I’m not revealing too much now, just read more in the morning.
  • In case you missed the game televised live on ESPN, Crimson Tide commitment Phillip Ely quarterbacked his Plant (Fla.) High School to a 48-10 loss to Manatee on Friday night. Ely’s night was spoiled even further when he injured his ankle in the second quarter. He returned to the game, but it was already over by then. He went 7-for-20 with 157 yards.  Read more here.
  • Another member of the committed class of 2011, Russellville’s Brent Calloway had a much better evening. He ran for a career-high 210 rushing yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns in a Week 1 win over Deshler, 34-14. Read more in the TimesDaily.
  • Mikhail Torrance’s agent just sent out the following tweet: “Great news on Mikhail Torrance. He walked today! He had assistance, but he followed commands! He knows his right from his left, and he is recognize some things. This is great news and everyone is excited. We hope that he will be able to follow some commands soon!”
  • Check out Happy Walters’ twitter account for more Torrance updates.

VIDEO: Offensive line and linebackers practice

This might look similar to some of the previous practice videos, but we are limited in where we can go during our brief period inside the fences.

This first one, though, shows some quality coaching time offensive line coach Joe Pendry gave freshman Austin Shepherd.

Second, linebackers and defensive backs get drilled by Kirby Smart, Sal Sunseri and Nick Saban. Notice DeMarcus Milliner (28) working with what appears to be the first team.

Everyone appears to practice Thursday

There were no black jersey-wearing Alabama football players riding the bike this afternoon as practice resumed in still-hot Tuscaloosa.

Cornerback DeMarcus Milliner had extra tape on his previously sprained ankle, but he was on the field working with the first-team defense.

There had been reports that Athens (Ala.) product Alfred McCullough had been working with the first-team offensive line at right guard, but he seemed to be with the backups during today’s media viewing period.

Stay tuned for video to come soon.

Basketball schedule released

Without further delay, I present the 2010-11 Alabama men’s basketball schedule just released by the school.

Nov. 8 Alabama-Huntsville (Ex) Tuscaloosa
Nov. 12 Florida A&M Tuscaloosa
Nov. 15 Troy Tuscaloosa

Nov. 19 vs. Seton Hall U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov. 20 vs. Iowa/Xavier U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov. 22 vs. TBA U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov. 27 Alabama A & M Tuscaloosa

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Football tickets still available

No, not for the Penn State or Florida games, but there are still seats available for two Alabama home games this fall.

UA just announced single-game tickets remain for sale for the season-opener against San Jose State (Sept. 4) and the Georgia State debacle (Nov. 18).

The San Jose State seats cost $55 a piece with a limit of two per person while the Georgia State passes come with a discount for $45 and you can buy as many as you could possibly want. Remember the $45 game is scheduled for a Thursday night.

If interested, you can always swing by to snatch up those not so hard to get tickets.

On a side note, readers don’t like the Crimson Tide mascot or the mystery who represented my alma mater, Western Kentucky.

A little extra on nutritionist story

Amy Bragg

As promised in the print edition, here are a few of the extra details from today’s story about Alabama sports nutritionist Amy Bragg. In case you missed it, Bragg is Alabama’s new director of performance nutrition who is in charge of properly feeding and hydrating Crimson Tide athletes.

  • Bragg laughed when she revealed one of her degrees came from the University of Texas. She said a few Alabama players know she graduated from the school they defeated in January’s BCS National Championship, but she doesn’t claim to be a Longhorn fan, so it’s cool.
  • When asked about Bragg’s impact, Nick Saban could hold his dry humor back: “She hasn’t been here long enough to really change us all. I haven’t got any better looking or lost any weight since she’s been here. Hopefully, in time, there may be some results in that direction.”
  • He was, of course, just kidding.

Continue reading

A few Wednesday afternoon updates

Relatively speaking, this is one of the most pleasant August afternoons I can recall. So, to celebrate, here are a few updates on stories that have been in the news recently.

  • AOL Fanhouse is reporting Mikhail Torrance is breathing on his own now. The site that’s been on top of this one from the very beginning is saying Torrance suffered a heart attack Friday in Florida. Read the rest of their report here.
  • Dot Davidson made headlines nationally when her campaign doctored a photo involving Nick Saban. Apparently, the false endorsement didn’t do the trick. She did not make the runoff in the Bessemer mayor election after yesterday’s balloting. She got just 13 percent of the vote.
  • Speaking of Saban, how many college football coaches have a profile on Internet Movie Database? That’s IMDB for those in the know.
  • Two former Alabama basketball walk-ons are doing well at the University of New Orleans, according to Sports Illustrated.

Practice resumes, Milliner still sidelined

For the first time since Saturday, the Crimson Tide practiced. Two days separated Saturday’s scrimmage from today’s return to the practice fields.

DeMarcus Milliner was the only  wearing a black non-contact jersey for the injured as Blake Sims was back with the healthy.

And now, some video.

Updating Alabama’s NFL rookies

Kareem Jackson takes a good look at Reggie Bush in this AP photo

The NFL preseason continues on. Here is a quick look at a few of the stars from the 2009 Alabama squad who enjoyed a certain degree of success in college.

It is still early in the process and there is still time for these guys to impress the front office before cutdowns.

  • Rolando McClain picked up three tackles in Saturday’s 32-17 Raiders win over the Bears. The Decatur native got his first stop on the Raiders’ opening play on defense stopping the Bears for a two yard gain.
  • The sequel to Terrence Cody’s big debut with the Ravens wasn’t as big, but not bad. He had two tackles — both for losses — in a 22-3 win over Washington.
  • The kick returning that made Javier Arenas a star in Tuscaloosa isn’t hurting his cause in Kansas City.  He picked up a 54-yard kickoff return in the Chiefs 20-15 loss in his hometown of Tampa.
  • The “other” first-round pick, Kareem Jackson made a pair of tackles and broke up a pass in the Texans’ 38-20 loss to Super Bowl champion New Orleans.
  • Brandon Deaderick didn’t make a tackle in last week’s game in Atlanta, but this writer thinks he’ll make the Patriots’ final roster.

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