Five years from arrival, Tide has really landed

Day 1 of BCS coverage in the books. Take a look at the first print story from the site of Alabama’s national championship appearance. Much, much, much more to come today. Stay tuned.

NEW ORLEANS — Five years and a day later, Nick Saban stepped off another plane.

Again there was a crowd, but not the mob that cheered his hiring in 2007. And the over-served, over-affectionate fans were nowhere in sight.

Yet the scene Wednesday in New Orleans was one many had envisioned when Saban took the Alabama head coaching job following a decade of mediocrity.

Five years later, his Alabama team is in the national title game for the second time, and Monday night it’ll face the same LSU program he led to the 2003 championship in the same — but now remodeled — Superdome.

It was all about the grand entrance, though, Wednesday.

A six-piece brass band and a media crowd that Sugar Bowl officials said was the largest they’ve ever seen waited as the Crimson Tide exited two charter airplanes. Airport officials told bowl spokesman John Sudsbury they’ve had two presidents land there without attracting as many cameras, reporters and satellite trucks.

But this is Alabama football. And this is national championship week.

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