Tag Archives: BCS

Photos from Alabama football visit to White House

Group shot with team and President Barack Obama (AP photo)

Take a look at a few more photos from the Alabama football team’s trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., this afternoon. Read more about the experience in tomorrow’s newspaper. All photos from the Associated Press.

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Tide heads to White House, Barrett Jones says he might be too conservative to move in

Alabama last White House trip in 2010 (AP file photo)

The Alabama football team will head to Washington today. Read all about the trip in today’s newspaper …

TUSCALOOSA — Barack Obama got away without a Barrett Jones handshake when the Alabama football team last visited the White House.

Not this time, the Crimson Tide senior promised. He’ll get to the front of the line to meet the president when the Alabama delegation makes its return this afternoon. Per tradition, a 1:20 p.m. reception at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave will honor the 2011 BCS national champions.

So will Jones, a star student with a history of humanitarian trips, size up the landmark as a potential future residence?

“You never know. I might be too conservative,” he said. “Maybe I could be the governor of Alabama, but I don’t know if I could be president. But yeah, it’s always fun to go there. It’ll be my second trip to see the president. Hopefully I’ll get to shake his hand this time. I was a little mad the last time. I was a scrub, I guess. … A scrub starter.”

Nick Saban got considerably more face time with Obama on the White House mission following the 2009 national title. This will be his third after winning the 2003 BCS crown with LSU, but he best remembers his first few trips to the nation’s capital.

“When I was a kid, I was a patrol boy,” Saban said. “Everyone knows what a patrol boy is, right? He holds the flag out so people can cross the street when people go to school. Well, for being a patrol boy, you go to go to Washington D.C. every year.”


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Nick Saban’s oops moment involved the lake, not crystal footballs

Yeah, another story about the trophy. I’ll keep it brief.

Speaking with a few of us reporters yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked if he ever had an oops moment. He flashed back seven or eight years to his lake house.

“I fell off my boat and about killed myself once,” he said with a smile. “I was cleaning up after the kids went wakeboarding. That could have been real disastrous.”

For real? Any more details?

“I fell off my boat, hit my head, and knocked myself out,” he said. “I was sitting at the bottom of the lake. … I just about had one of those bad moments.”

Saban was also asked about the media response to the quirky trophy-busting story. His response …

“Nothing you all do surprises me,” he said. “You stop nothing short of creating some news. I respect you, I love you and all that, but that’s a fact. Is it not?”


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Nick Saban comments on broken crystal football

The news cycle has eaten up the unfortunate story of Alabama’s broken BCS championship trophy. If you’ve been in another galaxy universe today, a parent of an Alabama football player accidentally shattered the crystal football at a team function Saturday night.

By Tuesday evening, Nick Saban had a say in the matter when meeting with a few of us reporters at a Crimson Caravan stop in Huntsville.

“Breaking the crystal ball, even though it’s very meaningful, nobody got hurt,” Saban said. “Nobody meant to do any harm and I’m sure we can replace it. It’s (not as) bad as everyone’s making it out to be and I don’t want the parent of the player who had the mishap to feel bad about what happened.”

Read much more about this and other topics in tomorrow’s newspaper.


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BCS changes on the horizon, commissioners say

Commissioners Wright Waters (former Sun Belt), Britton Banowsky (Conference USA), Mike Slive (SEC) and Ted Gumbart (Atlantic Sun) gathered Monday in Birmingham. (Daily Bama Blog photo)

It was a two-story day in this morning’s newspaper. Here’s No. 2 that addresses the bigger issues in college athletics today …

BIRMINGHAM — Changes are a coming.

Four current and former conference commissioners agreed on that much regarding postseason college football at a Monday forum sponsored by the Associated Press Sports Editors. Various topics on the state of college sports were discussed, but the volatile issue of postseason football was the hot issue.

Specific opinions remain close to the vest, but the conference leaders took turns addressing the fringe topics in play.

SEC head Mike Slive said previous discussions among the commissioners were “30,000-feet thinking” as the criticism mounted of the Bowl Championship Series. But the serious work was coming soon with a meeting set for April 24-26 just miles from the 2013 BCS title game site in south Florida.

Options including a plus-one championship game have been discussed. That would allow four teams to play a small playoff to determine a champion. The idea is to simplify the system, and Slive isn’t in favor of all the proposals.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 hope to preserve their traditional Rose Bowl matchup, but their plan could meet resistance next week.

“It’s not one of my favorites,” Slive said after a brief pause and a slight smile.

Automatic qualifiers, another point of debate, was discussed by Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky.

“From our conference’s perspective, it’s been one of the real negative, unintended consequences of the BCS when it was formed,” he said. “With the AQ, unranked teams leapfrog teams that are high quality and put a lot of strain on the events themselves in terms of quality of the ratings and attendance. And what we’ve done is create divisiveness among the conferences.”

Click here for the complete story.


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Fumbled football trophy joins list of crystal mishaps

Decatur Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.

And now, the story from today’s newspaper about the unfortunate incident that turned a treasure into trash …

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama loved its crystal football to pieces.

By Saturday night, that’s all that remained of the Crimson Tide’s glittering reward for winning the last BCS national championship.

The Coaches Trophy met its early demise following Saturday’s A-Day Game at a team function. Only shards of Waterford Crystal remained today. Valued at $30,000, the now-iconic award was first presented in 1986. Athletic department spokesman Jeff Purinton said the parent of a current player stumbled on a rug that was under the trophy display.

This wasn’t, however, the first time such a mishap required a broom and dust pan.
Florida’s 2006 crystal football was famously fumbled, or knocked from its pedestal, by a recruit. The culprit, Orson Charles, ended up playing for archrival Georgia.

Alabama is still exploring options to replace its version, but if the case ends like Florida’s, someone will be forking over some cash. The Gators reportedly had to pay $4,000 toward replacing the sparkling ball, which was insured for $8,000.

Florida State also lost two of its Waterford footballs, but without the violent crash and a happier ending. The Seminoles 1993 and ’99 trophies were stolen out of a locked case in 2004.

Despite its sometimes troubled history, the American Football Coaches Association has strict rules regarding the use and handling of the fragile hardware.

“The trophy may not be shown to be broken or shattered, even in simulation,” reads a four-page instruction sheet that comes with the trophy. “The crystal ball may not be shown being dropped, thrown in the air or rolled on the ground.”

Alabama’s fallen trophy had a busy, but short lifespan. A statewide tour allowed fans to pose with pictures at various retail outlets. The football was displayed up until Saturday morning when fans grabbed a few final photos before the A-Day Game.


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A first look at Alabama’s 2011 national championship ring?

A Sunday morning Twitter posting revealed the first view I’ve seen of the new national championship rings for the 2011 Crimson Tide football team.

This was the picture posted on the UofAEquipment account comparing the 2009 ring to the 2011 version.

Players had a say in the design. I ran into Brandon Gibson, a senior receiver last season, who was in town designing the ring in February.


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Almost-exclusive video of 2011 plaque installation on Walk of Champions

There was one TV crew and some passers-by getting footage, so here’s almost-exclusive footage of the action outside Bryant-Denny Stadium this afternoon. As you can see, a commemorative copy of the Crimson White student newspaper went under the plaque.

 


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Short distance, fewer days saves Alabama cash on BCS trip

And now, the second print edition story from today’s edition. This time it’s a dollars and cents matter as it relates to Alabama’s trip to New Orleans for January’s BCS title game …

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama spent less in January than it did in 2010 and Auburn did last year when traveling to the BCS National Championship Game.

Playing just four hours down the road in New Orleans and staying for a shorter period made a difference.

Alabama spent $2.3 million for travel, lodging, meals and other expenses on the team’s seven-day trip to the Jan. 9 title game showdown with LSU in New Orleans.

Auburn’s expenses for the 2011 BCS trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., were $2.9 million.

A year before that, Alabama spent more than $3 million on its trip to Pasadena, Calif., for the 2010 title game.

Alabama still didn’t turn a profit based on the SEC postseason revenue-sharing bylaws. Teams playing in the BCS title game are reimbursed $1.925 million by the league plus a travel allowance.

The rest of the $28.4 million payout is divided, along with the other bowl bonuses, 13 ways by the SEC. Each member institution and the league receives a cut.

The Crimson Tide’s New Orleans trip was still 28 percent more expensive than last season’s $1.8-million visit to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl.

Alabama and Auburn used slightly different accounting methods in the reports filed to the NCAA.

The Crimson Tide includes coaching bonuses for winning postseason games under the “other” category both years while Auburn left that line blank.

With the bonuses, Alabama’s total expense rose to $3.9 million last season and $4.3 in 2010.


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Auburn actually spent more in 2011 than Alabama did in ’12 for BCS trip

Oops.

It appears as if I jumped the gun on the original post under this header. After inspecting these documents closer new conclusions are formed.

First, Alabama and Auburn can’t even agree on how to fill out standardized forms. Second, Alabama’s trip to New Orleans did not cost more than Auburn’s to Arizona for the last two BCS title games.

It came down to the “other” category in the form required by the NCAA. Alabama included coaches bonuses on that line. Auburn did not. There you find the disparity. Here are the travel costs for the past three BCS games when subtracting the bonuses:

  • Alabama 2010: $3,039,715.00
  • Auburn 2011: $2,901,706.00
  • Alabama 2012: $2,321,698.00

More on this in tomorrow’s newspaper.

——

Original post

 Alabama’s trip to 2012 BCS game cost $1 million more than Auburn’s a year earlier

Only a few hours separate Tuscaloosa from New Orleans, but that doesn’t drive down travel costs for the BCS Championship Game.

In fact, it’s $3.9 million price tag was significantly higher than Auburn’s expenses from the 2011 national title game played in Arizona. Auburn spent a total of $2.9 million a year earlier.

Still, the $3.9 million was a savings for Alabama compared to its 2010 journey to Pasadena. That trip totaled $4.3 million in expenses.

All figures were reported to the NCAA by the participating schools. They include transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, etc., for the team, cheerleaders, band, and anyone else in the official traveling party.

Read more later about what these numbers mean and where the two schools differed in expenses.


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BCS cable telecast still tops NCAA title game’s network audience

Less than 24 hours after the final buzzer, CBS announced viewership for Monday’s NCAA basketball title game rose five percent from last season.

It still couldn’t match the cable audience that watched Alabama beat LSU in January’s BCS title game.

An average of 24.2 million saw the Tide beat the Tigers 21-0 on Jan. 9. It was the second* BCS championship televised by ESPN on cable. Last year’s Auburn-Oregon matchup had 27.3 million viewers.

The average audience for Monday’s game totaled 20.9 million viewers, according to a CBS news release. Both games, interestingly, were played in New Orleans’ Superdome.

*Corrected from previous version.

Read more notes like this one in tomorrow’s newspaper.


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Video of former Tide LB Eryk Anders’ MMA debut fight

The professional football route didn’t work out for former Tide linebacker Eryk Anders. (Remember him? He made the blindside hit on Garrett Gilbert that forced the BCS clinching fumble in the Rose Bowl two years ago).

Well, he has a new athletic endeavor in mind. He competed in his first mixed martial arts fight over the weekend in Cullman.

And he won.

Click here if you’d like to watch the Twitvid of the fight posted on the Twitter page of former Tide defensive back Will Lowery. I know nothing about this new sport, so make up your own mind on this one.


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Video of complete day at Alabama’s national championship celebration

This is the full view of the scene in Tuscaloosa this afternoon for the national championship celebration. From the line to get in to the clean up after the fireworks, it’s all here.

 


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Nick Saban statue already updated

As seen Friday evening.

It took a year and a half to build the statue of Nick Saban outside Bryant-Denny Stadium following the 2009 national title.

Updating it for his second took less than two weeks. As you can see above, the 2011 season was added to the 2009 on the bench surrounding the bronze statue unveiled in April.

Expect lines to get the updated photo with the coaches’ likeness before the 2 p.m., national championship celebration in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

In case you wondered, there are no fans camping out for tomorrow’s festivities. I checked. Nothing.


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Shelley kicks his way into spotlight in BCS

If you have a minute, take a read over my football story for today’s newspaper. It’s about Alabama’s scoring machine Jeremy Shelley.

NEW ORLEANS — Carson Tinker had a hard time getting to his locker late Monday night.

So the Alabama long snapper sat back and smiled as the crush of reporters descended upon his neighbor. He also had a message for everyone hurling questions to kicker Jeremy Shelley, the MVP in his mind.

“He deserves it,” Tinker said. “he won’t say it, but he deserves it.”

There just wasn’t an official category to honor the player who scored 15 points — three at a time — in Alabama’s 21-0 beating of LSU in the BCS championship game. Quarterback AJ McCarron was most outstanding on offense while linebacker Courtney Upshaw took the honor on defense.

So, Shelley settled for Tinker’s unofficial title and redemption for a once-troubled special teams unit.

No kicker in the history of bowl games had attempted seven or made five as Shelley did Monday. He made short ones (23, 34, 35 yards) and a two deeper tries (41, 44 yards) that easily beat his previous season long of 37.

Shelley said having a night like that was a dream. The media attention wasn’t part of the vision, though.

“Maybe in the eyes of a game winner,” he said. “But not like this.”

Click here to read the rest.


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