Tag Archives: Duke

Issues to consider on Christmas Eve

Twas the day before signing day …

Quiet as a mouse? Hardly. There is a truckload of chatter out there on the day before faxes roll into coaches offices.

Before we talk about tomorrow, it looks like Alabama could secure another commitment this afternoon when Memphis offensive lineman Cameron Clear decides between the Tide, the Vols, Duke and the hometown Tigers at a 1 p.m. news conference.

If he commits, that would make 22 new members of the team next fall with only a few departing. Thus, the oversigning issue comes into play.

Per request of loyal blog reader Mike Finney, why not examine the topic?

There is actually a website dedicated entirely to football programs offering too many scholarships. According to Oversigning.com, Alabama is tied with USC as second worst offender out there since it has 10 more commitments than departures. Only Ole Miss (14) is worse. LSU (sorry Mike) follows Alabama with nine and Arkansas has eight more commitments than availabilities.

This opens a whole new can of worms. How these teams slim down to 85 scholarship players can get controversial. Read this story from the USA Today that addresses shortcomings in the rule book.

I hope to dive deeper into this topic later on, but it’s always something to consider when a small senior class cycles through. More updates to come.

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A video look back of season so far

Since the season is a third of a way over, it seems like a decent time to take a look back. Check out this video I put together featuring the best of the previous videos of the season. Enjoy.

Do your Florida homework

Maybe it was just me or my computer, but I was unable to find the full-game replays of SEC games on the league website until this week. In the world of a beat writer, those are huge for doing homework on the next opponent.

So you can study along side the rest of us by checking out the full Florida vs. Kentucky game online. Just click here for the link.

For the full Alabama/Arkansas replay, click here.

Penn State at Alabama is located here and Alabama at Duke is here.

If you ever need a quick reference for these videos along with full game stories and notebooks, just go to the “2010 schedule” button in the menu above or just click here.

What a day for a huge game

The weather is perfect in Northwest Arkansas and this town is ready for a huge game. You can feel the difference between Durham last week and Fayetteville today.

Spending the evening with a few fellow writers downtown on Dickson Street gave us a good idea for how much this one means to the Hog fan base. There weren’t many Alabama fans on the strip, but they could have simply blended in since team colors and the script-A are common denominators between Hog and Tide supporters.

I also appreciate the $70 parking ticket I received for no good reason. The Fayetteville economy will certainly take a hit when this writer leaves town.

Either way, it’s almost time to clean up and head to the stadium. More to come from there.

What’s important this Monday afternoon

It’s back to the weekly grind this Monday afternoon. Here’s what is making news in the Alabama universe this week.

  • The Alabama/Florida game will air in prime time next Saturday. CBS picked up the SEC Championship rematch for its 7 p.m. (Central) broadcast. It will be the third night game of the year through five games.
  • Nothing major came out of the afternoon news conference with Nick Saban and selected players.
  • On the injury front, the only player Saban won’t practice today is defensive end Luther Davis. He sprained an ankle and a knee against Duke, but Saban expects he’ll be back for Tuesday’s practice.
  • Mark Ingram said he was a little sore after his big debut at Duke, but it wasn’t anything unusual.

Check out this video of former Tide linebacker Rolando McClain getting nasty in yesterday’s game with the Raiders. More to come later.

VIDEO: Alabama invades Duke

Before heading to the airport, I offer you this final look around the gorgeous Duke campus. From Cameron Indoor Stadium to Wallace Wade Stadium, it’s hard to come away unimpressed by the scenery. Enjoy and I’ll catch you back in Alabama.

Internet works, Coach K appears

For now at least, the press box wireless is operable, so I can report the crowd is about 50/50 at this point. There are Bama fans everywhere including Cameron Indoor Stadium which is right next to Wallace Wade Stadium.

A few writers and I walked over to the legendary home of the Blue Devil basketball program. There were a few hundred fans — mostly wearing crimson — milling about taking pictures when Coach K walked through. (I’d look up the proper spelling, but there are more important things to do right now.

Punters and kickers are booting it around with 76:33 showing on the countdown to kickoff.

Will the internet work at Duke?

Wallace Wade Stadium as seen Friday night.

The rumors aren’t positive surrounding the internet situation at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium tonight. Alabama writers have been warned all week about the potential pitfalls of covering this afternoon’s game in a stadium not accustomed to crowds this size.

So, with that, I hope it all comes together this afternoon so I can provide some insight from the game.

If wireless isn’t working, I hope my phone can still provide updates on twitter. Click here to follow along via the popular microblogging site.

Durham is heaven for sports fans

This is one of those shameless posts that brags about the perks of the job. Today, that meant checking off two items on my unofficial sports bucket list.

I can add the ballpark made famous in “Bull Durham” to my list of cool sports movies sets visited that includes a few from “Hoosiers” and “Field of Dreams.”

Can you spot Crash Davis?

After that, I spun over to Duke and slipped into Cameron Indoor Stadium. It is one of those iconic structures that lived up to its reputation. It’s old, cramped and super cool.

They don't build 'em this cool any more.

Here is an album of all the pictures I took while geeking out to the awesome sports landmarks located in Durham.

Bull Durham/Cameron Indoor

Ingram to play Saturday at Duke

It’s not a stunning announcement, but Nick Saban said Wednesday morning that Mark Ingram will see the field Saturday at Duke.

Speaking on the weekly SEC teleconference, Saban said the extent of Ingram’s playing time had not been determined, but he will play a role Saturday in Durham.

The Heisman Trophy winner has been running and cutting just fine on the knee that suffered minor damage late in a Aug. 30 practice. It kept him from playing the first two weeks, but he’ll be back in the third.

Check out video of him practicing Monday and Tuesday.

VIDEO: Ingram practices again Tuesday

Click to enlarge a panoramic view of practice

Here is the most recent video of Alabama practicing for Duke shot just this afternoon. Notice the power with which Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson attack the sled to start the video.

Arkansas kickoff time released, other Monday notes

The weekly wait for kickoff times began today when the league and its television partners rendered their first verdict this afternoon. Next Saturday’s SEC opener at Arkansas will be the 2:30 p.m. (Central) game on CBS.

Times and TV assignments are released 12 days in advance of the games, but the networks have the opportunity to postpone that decision a few times if it needs another week’s worth of results to decide which games mean more.

In other news…

  • Mark Ingram is expected to practice some this afternoon. It’s been exactly two weeks since he hurt his knee late in practice. His status for Saturday’s game at Duke is still up in the air.
  • Ingram’s replacement, Trent Richardson, shared SEC offensive player of the week honors with South Carolina freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. Remember, Richardson ran for 144 yards against Penn State.
  • Greg McElroy’s Rhodes Scholarship application took the next step after he earned UA’s endorsement. The quarterback earned one of the two endorsements after last week’s interviews. He said five applied.
  • Walk-on safety Will Lowery made his interview room debut today and was a hit. Talking about his first-quarter interception, he said a cousin later texted him say she’s “wet herself” after the big play.
  • I’m never surprised by anything anymore.
  • There was plenty of talk about Duke’s offense scoring 48 points against Wake Forest and even more about its defense allowing 54.

On a side note, I have to brag about scoring a 103-point word on “Words with Friends.” If anyone wants to challenge the master, my username is MCasagrande.”

Read more later and come on back for practice video.

A final look at Penn State

Click to view larger version

It’s almost time to move on, but let’s take one final look at Penn State. There are many angles to take whether it be the defense holding a second straight opponent out of the end zone or the offensive balance that led to a quick 14 points.

There certainly isn’t a shortage of stories about the game with a huge national media presence in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. Here’s a quick taste.

New York Daily News: Joe Paterno accorded iconic status, but Alabama thumps coach’s Penn State Nittany Lions, 24-3
ESPN: Bama rolls, but inexperience shows
Centre Daily News: Nittany Lions missing guns in dual with Tide
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penn State defense rolled by Alabama
New York Post: No. 1 Alabama handles Penn St.

In that New York Post story, you read about Joe Paterno’s postgame news conference blow up. Here’s video of it.

It’s time to look at Duke now. Buzz kill, I know.