Monthly Archives: October 2011

Media from all over converges on Tuscaloosa

Barrett Jones surrounded by cameras.

The media following that comes with the Alabama football program is naturally large. TV stations and newspapers from around the state and region regularly descend upon Tuscaloosa on a normal Monday for Nick Saban’s news conference.

But what we saw today was on another level.

I counted 14 TV  cameras in the room today as affiliates from all over made it to the Alabama football complex. I think there were three stations from Louisiana on hand as well as a print reporter who’ll be here all week.

There was even a national writer from New York here for 23 minutes of Saban and a few rounds with players.

It’s a circus, but who didn’t expect this? Just wait til the weekend crowd arrives.

 


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Les Miles has an interesting take on Twitter

Maybe I’m taking this completely out of context, but this is too hard to resist.

The official transcript from Les Miles’ weekly news conference in Baton Rouge came out a little bit ago. In it, there’s a question and answer about the use of Twitter among his players.

“My Twitter account that I have had for 10 years hasn’t really changed a lot. I think these games are played in between the white lines. It is overly important not to spoil an opportunity. Our guys have been guided along those lines as we approach this game. To be honest I told them that we needed no Twitter personalities in this game. We want to as a team honor this opponent and play with our very best effort.”

So 10 years on Twitter, huh? This might be Miles being Miles, but Twitter wasn’t invented until 2006 — five years ago if my math is correct. Funny, nothing more.


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Video of extra-intense drill from Monday practice

Take a look at the Monday tradition of the offensive line pull drill. There was a little extra juice in today’s version. It’s my favorite part of the week because there’s competition involved. Enjoy.

 

And the poll question still applies. Answer if you’d like.

 


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Photo of Alex Watkins practicing with new arm cast

Alex Watkins (91) on Monday.

Tide linebacker Alex Watkins broke his arm nine days ago against Tennessee, but he was practicing without the black non-contact jersey this afternoon.

Take a look at the modified cast he wore this afternoon under perfect blue sky in Tuscaloosa. Keep in mind Nick Saban said he’d be out two to three weeks when addressing the injury last Monday.

We also saw just a limited portion of practice, so how much he’s able to do today and the rest of the week is hard to gauge.

Video to come soon. Stay tuned.


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Players surprise Saban with birthday party

It worked best because he never saw it coming.

A surprise birthday party for Nick Saban, who turns 60 today, was held before a team meeting late last week. Offensive lineman Barrett Jones set the scene.

“We had the lights off when he walked in and yelled, ‘Surprise!'” he said.

The players signed an Alabama jersey with the No. 60 on the back. Saban wasn’t sure how to take it at first.

“I held that thing up and said Saban and 60,” Saban said. “First of all, I wasn’t thinking about age. I was thinking I’m a skill player. There’s no way I can sport this 60. I’ve got to have a lower-than-50 number of some sort. That’s how I feel and that’s how I think.”

Jones said the birthday boy seemed to enjoy the surprise.

“Yeah, he smiled,” Jones said. “He seemed very happy. He was a little taken aback by it. He quickly said thank you and then moved on to his speech for the day.


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Video of Trent Richardson talking LSU

There were 14 TV cameras in the media room this afternoon for the weekly feeding session. Here’s a look at Trent Richardson talking about LSU, his friendship with Tiger receiver Russell Shepard and his recruitment involving Saturday’s opponent.

 

Much more to come. Don’t leave your computer under and circumstances today.


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UPDATED: Scalpers already on campus

20111031-114234.jpg

Update 2:35 p.m.: Mike was nowhere to be found at 2 p.m., after the Nick Saban news conference, birthday extravaganza. Anybody out there buying scalped tickets? How much are you paying?

Original post: The ticket grab is on.

Ticket reseller Mike, who didn’t want to use his last name, is waiting outside Coleman Coliseum trying to buy tickets from students.

These seats are going for $800 a pair, the highest this veteran reseller has ever seen. And he’s been at it three decades now.

He’s been out for an hour today and has yet to land one yet. Mike said he’s among the resellers licensed by the city of Tuscaloosa.

More later. Nick Saban news conference about to begin.


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A first look at your weekend weather

Hey, it’s Michael in the Daily Bama Blog weather center. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I don’t need a meteorology degree to talk weather for the biggest weekend the world will ever experience.

Assuming we make it through the week, the forecast is looking good if you trust the folks at the Weather Channel.

Click to enlarge.

Stay tuned for full coverage of birthday boy Nick Saban’s news conference coming up soon.


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Can you fit 60 candles on a Little Debbie?

Not likely. But if you could, send that combo over to the Alabama football complex this morning.

As you might already know, Alabama football coach Nick Saban turns 60 today as the Crimson Tide officially kicks off LSU week. Perfect timing.

And since I couldn’t find a recording of The Eagles singing it, from all your close friends in the media room, here’s the Beatles’ version of that so familiar song.


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Week of the century upon us

Let’s kickoff the week of insanity with a scene-setter that ran on A1 of The Decatur Daily. Here’s how it starts:

Front page news. Click to enlarge.

TUSCALOOSA — Cast in an eerie malaise, Tuscaloosa didn’t feel like itself all weekend.

College students home on fall break, Crimson Tide football on hold for an open date, all while the quiet anticipation builds in relatively quiet calm.

Game week officially begins today.

And this one is hardly routine. This one might be the most anticipated midseason contest in Alabama football history. Never before has the Crimson Tide faced a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in the regular season, much less in its home stadium.

That streak ends Saturday when No. 1 LSU strolls to town to face No. 2 Alabama. No longer sleepy, Tuscaloosa will swell by several thousands beyond the 101,000-plus who’ll occupy Bryant-Denny Stadium.

What they’ll see promises to be among the most evenly matched games between like-minded teams that take slightly different paths to the same destination. Both rely on punishing defenses — Alabama’s tops every major statistical measure nationally, while LSU falls within the top five in each category.

The Tide does it with linebackers; the Tigers with defensive backs.

Both offenses like to pound it on the ground and play it safe through the air.

Les Miles is the coach of LSU. Nick Saban was the coach of LSU before leaving for the Miami Dolphins, then Alabama two years later.

Click here to read the rest.


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The complete history of No. 1 vs. No. 2

As you might know, the rare regular-season meeting of top-ranked teams is scheduled for Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is involved. The Associated Press noticed too. It put together a complete history of No. 1 vs. No. 2. (Top-ranked teams hold a 26-17-2 advantage).

Nov. 5, 2011 — No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama
Jan. 10, 2011 — No. 1 Auburn beat No. 2 Oregon 22-19, BCS National Championship
Jan. 7, 2010 — No. 1 Alabama 37, No. 2 Texas 21, BCS National Championship
Dec. 5, 2009 — No. 2 Alabama 32, No. 1 Fla. 13, SEC Championship
Jan. 8, 2009 — No. 1 Florida 24, No. 2 Oklahoma 14, BCS National Championship
Dec. 6, 2008 — No. 2 Fla. 31, No. 1 Alabama 20, SEC Championship
Jan. 7, 2008 — No. 2 LSU 38, No. 1 Ohio State 24, BCS National Championship
Jan. 8, 2007 — No. 2 Florida 41, No. 1 Ohio State 14, BCS National Championship
Nov. 18, 2006 — No. 1 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Michigan 39
Sept. 9, 2006 — No. 1 Ohio State 24, No. 2 Texas 7
Jan. 4, 2006 — No. 2 Texas 41, No. 1 Southern Cal 38, Rose Bowl

Continue reading

UPDATED: Vegas lines open with Alabama a slight favorite

Update 4:37 p.m.: A few more books have offered odds by this afternoon. The Tide ranges between a 4-to-5-point favorite over LSU in the Vegas odds.

Well-known odds maker Danny Sheridan also posted his first take on the game on the USA Today website. He made Alabama a 4-point favorite in the only college game on the board so far.

Original post: The sports books of Las Vegas just put out the first official lines for this Saturday’s little game between Alabama and LSU.

The host Crimson Tide opened a 4.5-point favorite in the Las Vegas Hilton book in the first of many to offer odds on this one. Remember the home team typically gets a few points thrown its way because it plays in a friendly environment.

Click here to track all the movements and additional lines when they hit the board.


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And now, the latest Harris Interactive poll

Here’s another 1/3 of the BCS formula just released on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Find all three major polls by clicking here.

1. LSU (93) 8-0 2,853 1
2. Alabama (21) 8-0 2,775 2
3. Oklahoma State 8-0 2,594 3
4. Stanford (1) 8-0 2,552 4
5. Boise State 7-0 2,438 5
6. Oregon 7-1 2,266 7
7. Oklahoma 7-1 2,158 8
8. Arkansas 7-1 2,015 9
9. Nebraska 7-1 1,918 13
10. Clemson 8-1 1,697 6
11. South Carolina 7-1 1,696 14
12. Virginia Tech 8-1 1,594 15
13. Michigan 7-1 1,426 16
14. Houston 8-0 1,320 18
15. Kansas State 7-1 1,126 10
16. Penn State 8-1 1,117 19
17. Michigan State 6-2 1,049 11
18. Wisconsin 6-2 960 12
19. Arizona State 6-2 825 20
20. Georgia 6-2 724 22
21. Georgia Tech 7-2 466 NR
22. West Virginia 6-2 456 23
23. Cincinnati 6-1 335 24
24. Texas 5-2 323 25
25. Auburn 6-3 199 NR

Other teams receiving votes: Southern Miss 186; TCU 101; Texas A&M 94; Washington 48; Ohio State 39; Virginia 9; Florida State 4; BYU 3; Illinois 2; North Carolina 2; Notre Dame 2; Syracuse 1; Temple 1; Texas Tech 1.


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The latest AP poll is in

Like the USA Today poll, LSU and Alabama remain atop the Associated Press poll. The Tigers picked up two more first-place votes while both were on bye weeks.

1. LSU (47) 8-0 1,439 1
2. Alabama (10) 8-0 1,401 2
3. Oklahoma St. 8-0 1,305 3
4. Stanford 8-0 1,278 4
5. Boise St. (1) 7-0 1,241 5
6. Oregon 7-1 1,148 7
7. Oklahoma 7-1 1,096 11
8. Arkansas 7-1 1,035 8
9. Nebraska 7-1 976 13
10. South Carolina 7-1 861 14
11. Clemson 8-1 851 6
12. Virginia Tech 8-1 755 15
13. Michigan 7-1 718 17
14. Houston 8-0 611 18
15. Michigan St. 6-2 586 9
16. Penn St. 8-1 553 21
17. Kansas St. 7-1 536 10
18. Georgia 6-2 446 22
19. Wisconsin 6-2 420 12
20. Arizona St. 6-2 384 23
21. Southern Cal 6-2 323 20
22. Georgia Tech 7-2 230 NR
23. Cincinnati 6-1 128 24
24. West Virginia 6-2 111 25
25. Auburn 6-3 107 NR

Others receiving votes: Texas 99, Southern Miss. 67, Washington 52, Ohio St. 37, TCU 26, Texas A&M 25, Florida St. 4, Notre Dame 1.


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A first look at the USA Today poll

Neither Alabama, nor LSU played football this weekend.That didn’t punish either in the coaches poll that kept the No. 1 vs. No. 2 status in tact for Saturday’s game. Here’s a first look at the USA Today poll courtesy of the Twitter feed of reporter Nicole Auerbach. First-place votes remained the same as well.

Update 12:35 p.m.: Here’s the complete poll.

1. LSU (41) 8-0 1457 1
2. Alabama (18) 8-0 1434 2
3. Stanford 8-0 1323 3
4. Oklahoma State 8-0 1314 4
5. Boise State 7-0 1237 5
6. Oregon 7-1 1175 7
7. Oklahoma 7-1 1117 9
8. Arkansas 7-1 1046 8
9. Nebraska 7-1 973 13
10. South Carolina 7-1 919 14
11. Virginia Tech 8-1 871 15
12. Clemson 8-1 779 6
13. Michigan 7-1 734 17
14. Houston 8-0 679 18
15. Penn State 8-1 646 19
16. Michigan State 6-2 528 10
17. Wisconsin 6-2 463 11
18. Arizona State 6-2 445 20
19. Kansas State 7-1 440 12
20. Georgia 6-2 410 21
21. West Virginia 6-2 270 24
22. Cincinnati 6-1 232 23
23. Georgia Tech 7-2 193
24. Southern Mississippi 7-1 160 25
25. Texas 5-2 122

Others receiving votes: TCU 55, Auburn 41, Washington 38, Texas A&M 30, Ohio State 21, Florida State 11, Notre Dame 9, North Carolina 2, Missouri 1.


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