On the eve of the NFL draft, JaMarcus Russell, former LSU quarterback, let everyone know exactly where his heart lied in college.
Other people aren't really making as big a deal about this as we are...but they should. This is huge recruiting material, and actually pretty funny. LSU has a number one draft pick, and he's wearing Alabama garb the night before he's drafted. Hahahaha.
¶ 3:16 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Well, I am hosting this week's edition of the Crimson & White Roundtable, along with other Bama blogs from around the blogosphere.
This week's question is as follows: Do you put any stock into the superstition that anAlabama coach won't turn out well if he wins his first game? Bryant lost his first game, Stallings lost his first, and Franchione lost his first. Shula, DuBose, Perkins, and Curry all won their first games as Alabama's head coach. If this is the case, since Coach Saban is playing Western Carolina to start off the season, is this a sign of bad things to come?
If you don't put a lot of stock in this, give us a couple of your gameday superstitions, if you have any.
No, I don't really believe that superstition. There are too many variables involved to believe that a coach's fate (and ultimately the success of the team) lies in one game against what is usually weak competition. If the superstition is true though, we're doomed with Saban because I don't see us dropping a game to Western Carolina. Even if we did lose to them, we'd be doomed because we lost to Western Carolina.
I actually looked at the first opponents of all the post-Bryant coaches in a recent post and in light of this question I don't really see any pattern there that spells out a coach's success based on that first game. People talk all sorts of crap about Curry but he still has the best winning percentage of any post-Bryant coach. I don't think he was better than Stallings, but he won an SEC Championship, had a 10-win season, beat Tennessee and Penn State three years in a row and took two out of three against LSU. That's not a bad bit of history. Yes, I know he also lost to Auburn three years in a row, but I think we'd all be rejoicing in three years like now given the last decade (and the last five years against the Barn.)
As far as my gameday "superstitions," I don't really have any of those either. I guess that makes me a bad sports fan or something. I do usually wear some sort of crimson colored shirt to the games whether it's an Alabama jersey or just a crimson colored t-shirt that has nothing to do with the university. Oh, and I don't drink before Alabama games. I like to be completely lucid during games.
I'm really not sure which direction to go on this. We all see what happened when Fran left here (77-0 was awesome), and what happened after Stallings, and what happened after Bear.
I personally am incredibly superstitious. In 2005 my newborn daughter had to be in the room watching the game with me. That happened all the way up until the LSU game, when I was invited to watch at a friend's house. It absolutely killed me.
I think that Saban is strong enough to withstand any "curse" that may be placed on winning your first game. I mean, we are playing Western Carolina here. There's also the fact that Saban coached at LSU, which means he could still have some of the voodoo witchcraft vibes left over, killing any and all curses that may still haunt the Capstone.
All joking aside, I do not believe this will have any bearing on whether or not Saban will turn out as a good coach. As far as my personal superstitions - I wear the same "I HATE ROCKY TOP" shirt for every game. The shirt has holes and stains all over it and looks like it should have been tossed out years ago. My fiance hates the fact that I still wear it because I look homeless when I do, but it is what it is. Also, my mother cannot be in the same room with me during games (this started when Alabama was playing Mississippi State in basketball in late Feb of '04 - we had a lead, she came in the door, we began to lose the lead, she left, we pulled away). It's been like that ever since. I tried to go along with the Bama Bombs thing that the Bices would do from "Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer," but I tried it before the Florida game, and then decided, once we lost, that I had jinxed the team. So no more Bama Bombs.
Well, it's Western Carolina. What can you say? The curse is broken here.
One gameday suspicion of mine is that my mom has to jump in the shower when it's close in the fourth quarter. This started with the '96 Iron Bowl. With a little over two minutes left and nearly 80 yards to go, Alabama was behind by six. The offense hadn't made a first down the entire second half. So, my mom, pissed off, goes to take a shower. Immediately, Bama gets a first down. One thing leads to another, and it's 24-23 Alabama. She did the same thing after Texas Tech scored the touchdown in the Cotton Bowl, so it's now a irrevocable part of my paranoia.
I was actually unaware of this. Now that I know I don't put any stock in this superstition. I would say the difference between these two groups of coaches is that the group that lost the first game probably played tougher competition than the group that won their first game. I wouldn't say that a win over Western Carolina would be a sign of bad things to come. If we can't stop the Arkansas rushing attack in week three then I will say that will be a bad sign for the rest of this season, but I don't think we can project Saban's future success or failure based on the first game, especially if that game is against Western Caroline. Unless, of course, he loses that game I'm not sure I could take comfort in the fact that Bryant, Stallings, and Franchione also lost their first game.
This week I'm a stick in the mud because I don't have any gameday superstitions. My boss believes that we shouldn't do the wave because he contends that every time we do something bad happens. I have a friend who tries to be the first person in his seat on gameday. I have no data to support the assertion of either of these two that these superstitions produce viable results. I'm not a superstitions guy. They take to much work.
I don’t think it matters if a coach wins his first game or not. A coach is a coach and he wants to win every game more than the last one. So to think that he won’t be any good because he wins or losses his first game doesn’t make a lot of sense. People don’t label a coach for winning or losing their first game, they label a coach for his success or failures in the end.
If Nick Saban loses to Western Carolina there will be more media coverage than ever. People will say that Alabama spend X number of dollars and can’t be Western Carolina.
That’s not going to happen though. I fully expect the Crimson Tide to come out marching, and take out the enemy.
As far as game day superstitions goes; I used to wear the same pair of shoes to each game I went to. But between the dirty stadium rows, and people stepping on my feet in the concession stands, and as they were going to sit down, those shoes quickly became filthy. I also realized that I’m not superstitious and that wearing the same shoes was stupid to begin with.
I don't put a lot of stock into that first loss theory. Wallace Wade and Frank Thomas both won their first games at Alabama, and look at the success they had as coaches. Jennings 'Ears' Whitworth lost his first game and still stunk it up as Head Coach. The poor guy was forced to keep Red Drew's staff when he got here. Stallings and Bryant both took over messes. They won because they were great coaches.
On the flip side, I don't think winning the first game is a curse at all. They left or failed for other reasons. Perkins had some faults, but I know that one of them wasn't losing. As for Curry; when you hire a coach with a .423 win percentage at Georgia Tech, you're asking for trouble. DuBose had a number of issues that did him in. We fans are to blame for that man being coach though. We all know why Mike Shula failed, so I won't talk about him.
I can't say I really have any strange game day superstitions, maybe one the day before game day. On the Friday before, I usually try to be as clean and as good a person as I possibly can be. If I do something I consider to be bad, then I somehow feel that the karma will come back and cause me suffering in the form of an Alabama loss. I I also refuse to smack talk the days before the game for that karma reason alone; even though I tell myself that karma isn't real.
I dont think if Saban wins the game it is a portent he would fail as Alabamas coach. Likewise, I dont believe if he loses it means he is predestined for success. It is an interesting coincidence. And in sports we are always looking for signs and symbols. We talk about the Curse of the Bambino for Boston or the Curse of Billy the Goat for the Cubs. They make for great stories, but I doubt the curses have anything to do with the incompetent personnel decisions which have afflicted the Cubs for over a generation. As for Alabama, whether Shula, DuBose or Curry won or lost their first game, they were going to suck because they werent qualified to coach major college football. In 1959, Bryant lost to Georgia. The loss didnt predestine Bryant to greatness, it was his actions and his talent which did. In 2007, Saban faces Western Carolina. Win or lose, Sabans actions and abilities will be a greater influence on the future than the portents of circumstance.
I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into the whole "lose your first game and you'll be a winner, win your first game and you'll be a loser" myth, since it isn't taking into account the years before Coach Bryant. Ears Whitworth lost his first game and then proceeded to lose just about all the rest of them, posting an 0-10 mark his first year and going 2-7-1 each of the next two years. You could say he's the exception that proves the rule, but that would dicount guys like Xen Scott (29-9-3 overall), Wallace Wade (61-13-3 overall, with four conference titles and three national titles), Frank Thomas (115-24-7 overall, with four conference titles and one national title), and Red Drew (54-28-7 and one conference title), all Bama coaches that had successful careers after winning their first game, and I personally have never heard the expression "the four exceptions that prove the rule." So yeah, probably not a lot to that one. Plus, the idea of Western Carolina having that much influence over the destiny of a coach who's already won a national title is simply absurd.
Besides the obvious "you went to the bathroom and we scored, so you have to stay in there the rest of the game" spur of the moment ones that always seem to pop up, my only real gameday superstition is my somewhat embarassing "I Cheer for Bama!" shirt that I always wear underneath whatever else I'm wearing (because it's scandalously small and even though the sight of these mighty pythons would be a welcome sight for any and all, I'm humble like that) on Saturdays. I'm starting a new one this year, though, by wearing the hat I wore to A-Day for every game. I bought it specifically for that purpose and kind of wish I had gotten a different hat because I'm still not entirely certain I like it, but will wear it anyway so I can say that hat has seen every game Coach Saban ever coaches at Alabama. If all goes according to plan, that hat will see some big wins.
Alright, aside from all that, our boy Jermareo was drafted #36 by the Golden State Warriors last night and was then sent to Charlotte, where he'll get to play for Michael Jordan's team. Pretty damn cool, if you ask me. Read more here.
Alabama to Weber State. Wow. If you wanna read about a sissy, go here.
THE MIKE SHULA ERA
#28: Alabama 40 South Florida 17Aug. 30th, 2003 in Birmingham, AL
Ok, so you look at this game and go "alright, we've done ok. He's serviceable."
But when you really look at it, we were down 17-7 (and it would've been worse, had Charlie Peprah not had a 51-yard pick6) in the 2nd quarter. So we had to come back from a 10 point deficit - at home - to South Florida.
We're touching on a little bit of everything today...
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 65
Baseball coach, Jim Wells, announced his un-retirement yesterday. I dunno, but this doesn't really have the same "feel-good" story type-of-feeling that Billy Donovan going back to Florida had. He quit, and then decided he didn't wanna quit. But oh well. He's a helluva coach, so it's good to have him back.
Mark Gottfried is close to finishing up the '07-'08 basketball schedule - one that appears to be as good as any we've had in the past. We will have a 1-and-1 with Texas A&M and Clemson over the next couple of years, along with games against Georgetown, George Washington, Southern Miss, and Belmont. We will be playing in a tournament, probably over Thanksgiving weekend, in Las Vegas, which will include Purdue and Iowa State.
The week couldn't possibly be complete without us mentioning a Scarbinsky article. He lets us know just how seriously the NCAA takes contact with recruits during a "no-contact" period.
It appears Jermareo Davidson really should have gone into the draft last year. He is currently projected, over at nbadraft.net, as not being selected at all. The draft starts at 7:00pm CST tonight, so make sure you watch in the 2nd round and see if anybody takes a chance on our boy.
THE MIKE SHULA ERA
#29: Alabama 37 South Carolina 14Sept. 17, 2005 in Columbia, SC
Steve Spurrier just hasn't done well against any of Alabama's worst coaches. DuBose went 2-1 against him, and Shula was 1-0. That just doesn't make sense to me.
If you had told me before this game that we would have destroyed a Steve Spurrier coached team, I would have laughed in your face.
The most famous play from this game actually came during the opening drive. We had driven down the field, and had the ball on the SC 15 yard line when Brodie took off running through a gaping hole in the middle of the secondary. He dove for the endzone, giving us a 7-0 lead, and earning him the nickname "Vanilla Vick." I still laugh about that.
Other than that, we had Keith Brown's 46 yard touchdown reception for a touchdown, with Prothro's killer block on the play. Darby ran wherever he wanted to. He racked up 145 yards on the ground. Alabama, as a team, had 338 rushing yards. It was a beating on the line.
Not to mention that our defense only gave up 256 yards the whole game. And most of that was passing yards after the game was well in hand.
¶ 9:51 AM2 commentslinks to this post
...it's all I've got to my name. But that's cool. I only lost a little bit at poker last night, so I'm feeling better about myself this morning.
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 67
Prospects seem to really enjoy Coach Saban's summer camps so far. Read about it here.
Class attendance and academic appointments are of the utmost importance in the SEC - and if the athletes don't feel that way, their playing time and their wallets will soon feel the effects. UGA has started fining their athletes $10 everytime they miss a class or appointment. The concept looks like it will begin to spread, because it's working at Georgia.
#1: Alabama 31 Auburn 7Nov. 17, 2001 in Auburn, AL
This was the last win we've had over Auburn, and it was freakin AWESOME. Auburn was ranked in the top 25 and we were 4-5 coming into the game. Tyler Watts was "expected" to start, and Auburn geared up for our option game.
And then we threw Andrew Zow at them.
Talk about a big day. Zow was 22/29 for 221 yards. Santonio Beard ran the ball 20 times for 199 yards (yes, that's 10 yards per carry). Ahmad Gallow rushed 14 times for 127 yards. We were able to do anything and everything we wanted against them.
Santonio Beard's 47 yard run in the first minute of the 3rd quarter pretty much let Alabama fans know that today was the day that we would finally have something good happen to the program, after a year and a half of horrible news (with DuBose's last year, firing, the NCAA stuff, etc).
This was also the day that we went before the NCAA infractions committee in Indianapolis, IN. So I guess there's bad with every good, right?
¶ 9:47 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Kevin Steele is the perfect fit for Alabama. Follow his story here.
Cadillac and Freddie - what a matchup. Both of them were working a football camp and both had lots of stories. Freddie Kitchens told about how Coach Saban gave him his first opportunity to coach Division I-A college football at LSU.
For those that didn't already know, SportSouth will be airing a special on Nick Saban called "In My Own Words: Nick Saban" on July 14th at 9:30pm, so set your dvrs.
The Mississippi Press lets everyone know that it's not just the athletes that make the SEC the best conference...it's also the coaches.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#2: Alabama 34 Tennessee 14Oct. 26, 2002 in Knoxville, TN
Gerald Dixon's fumble return for a touchdown just a few minutes into the game pretty much setup a whippin'. Tennessee was without Kelley Washington, but even still, we manhandled them in the trenches on both sides of the line.
This game finally broke the 7 game losing streak to Tennessee. Talk about a painful streak. We forced 6 turnovers that night. Everytime they would get a little momentum, we would strike back with a huge play.
Nobody could get much going on offense, but we made WAY fewer mistakes than they did, which ultimately led to the final score being so one sided. This could have been my proudest moment over the past 5 years, because I had some Tennessee fans that liked to throw things in my face. I kept this one for a loooong while. :-)
¶ 10:19 AM1 commentslinks to this post
it's finally FRIDAY! But...now we have a new coaching search.
I'm participating in the Crimson & White Roundtable, which will be hosted on separate blogs each Friday, running all the way through the football season. This week RollBamaRoll.com is hosting it, so head on over there and check that junt out. This week's question was "Do you think Alabama should retire jersey numbers under special circumstances and, if so, what should those circumstances be? Is there any number you'd like to see retired?"
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 71
Baseball coach Jim Wells did, in fact, retire yesterday. He had been head coach here since 1995. Read more about it here, and here. He was the winningest baseball coach in Alabama history. He'll be pretty tough to replace.
Josh Moon proves, once again, that he's a clown with nothing better to write about. I guess picking fights with Coach Saban is the best way to get people to read your stories...especially since I had never read a story by Moon until the whole Saban thing came to fruition.
And for those that notice the new links on the right side of the page, let me explain a little more. I am in a band called Prosevere. We're hard rock. Check us out if you're into that type of thing. Haha. Next is the MAKE MONEY link to AGLOCO. You remember back a few years ago when you could download a viewbar and they would pay you to look at ads while you surf the internet? That's how netzero and juno, etc, were able to let you login for free. Well, people stopped paying for those ads, and people were getting paid without actually looking at anything. This is a small bar at the bottom of your page that you won't even notice. It's the size of your toolbar. So, anyway, I've been testing it, and the thing really works. If you want to sign up, click on the link, read the details, see if it's your thing, and then download the viewbar. Pretty simple, and we could all use some extra cash, right?
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#3: Georgia 27 Alabama 25Oct. 5th, 2002 in Tuscaloosa, AL
"Georgia's not man enough to beat Alabama." - Pat Dye, '02
Thanks Pat. We appreciate the bulletin board material.
This was a humongous game. We were ranked #22 at the time, and Georgia was undefeated at #6. This was yet another ESPN Gameday appearance, and yes, it was another loss. I don't think we've won a single game when Gameday has come to town.
Anyway, Georgia kicked things off with a 15 yard touchdown run, and from there the game went back and forth. They scored, we scored, they scored, we scored, and so on. They took a 14-9 lead into the half, and eventually took a 24-12 lead in the 4th quarter.
But, this team had some guts and came back. Brodie Croyle drove us down the field and scored to cut it to 24-19. Then Charlie Peprah intercepted a pass and ran 35 yards to the endzone, less than a minute later, to take a 25-24 lead. The 2 point conversion was unsuccessful. There were still 9+ minutes left in the game. Georgia eventually drove down the field after two unsuccessful drives by them and us. They kicked a 32 yarder to seal the deal and remain undefeated.
#4: Alabama 31 LSU 0Nov. 16, 2002 in Baton Rouge, LA
That's all that can be said about this game. It was a beating. Alabama ran for 300+ yards against the nation's number one defense. It was LSU's worst loss since a 37-0 defeat against Oklahoma in 1950. I had no freaking idea we would be able to completely manhandle them upfront on both sides of the football.
Needless to say, it was quite fun. :-) This is the game that started the "Nick Saban vs. Dennis Franchione" rumored rivalry...but as we now know, there was no such thing.
¶ 8:59 AM0 commentslinks to this post
YEAH....all about it, my friends. All about it. Only 2 days left until the weekend. The weekend I will spend doing nothing but hanging out with friends and passing out flyers for our next show - Friday, July 13th at the New Daisy Theatre down on Beale Street. :-)
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 73
Auburn defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, and new Alabama defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, will each be speaking at different events in the Shoals this week. Does it seem humerous to anyone else that our new coach basically jump-started the careers of two big time coordinators at opposing schools this season (Jimbo at FSU and Muschamp at Auburn)?
More news about Ramzee Robinson being "Mr. Irrelevant." I feel good for him...he's getting a lot of special treatment out there. Haha.
Alabama's camp for high school players started this past Sunday and has given Coach Saban and his staff a chance to look at some new possible players. Read more about it here.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#5: UCLA 20 Alabama 17Sept. 1st, 2001 in Tuscaloosa, AL
This was the dawning of a new era at Alabama. Everyone was excited about bringing in Coach Fran. The possibilities were endless as to where he could take this football team that, just a year early, was a preseason national title contender that flopped to a 3-8 finish.
The Gameday crew was in town (and yes, to this day we're still winless when they come to the Capstone). Coach Fran was all over ESPN. This game was payback for UCLA putting the first knife in the heart of our national title expectations a year earlier. It was the awakening of the beast that is Alabama football.
And then, when the game was over, we were 0-1.
The game started out great, with Tyler Watts hitting Antonio Carter for a 78 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. After a 2nd quarter field goal, we led 10-0. Then UCLA figured us out. They scored a touchdown midway through the 2nd, and then only a few minutes into the 3rd for a 14-10 lead. They then kicked two field goals and led 20-10 by the 4th quarter.
Andrew Zow came in for Tyler Watts late in the game and completed a 71 yard touchdown to Freddie Milons with only a couple of minutes left. We converted the onside kick and were only one broken tackle from winning the game on a hook and ladder on the last play. Game over. 20-17 Bruins win. My heart was broken.
Finebaum lets us know that Saban isn't worth the $4 Million he's getting per year - he's worth twice that.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#6: Alabama 14 Iowa St 13Dec. 27th, 2001 in Shreveport, LA
The Independence Bowl. This was actually my first bowl game experience. I remember walking to the stadium and bumping into Tiger fan Tim Brandeaux (that's actually Brando, if I'm not mistaken). He's a cool dude, for those that don't know. Anyway, this game honestly looked like we had no idea what the hell we were doing for most of the game.
The game was, for the most part, a snooze fest. It wasn't that the defenses were great or anything like that. It was more the fact that neither offense could really click at all. Alabama's best drive of the game was their final drive, when they finally got rolling, both rushing and passing. Andrew Zow hit Terry Jones, Jr for a 27-yard touchdown pass. The extra point finally gave us the lead with 4:44 left in the game.
Iowa State made big play after big play on their last drive. Seneca Wallace (yes, the same guy from the NFL) led them down the field fairly easily. They converted a 2nd-and-25 and a 4th-and-7 on the drive to keep it going. Finally, they attempted the game winning 47 yard field goal that wide right by just inches. It was Tony Yelk's 3rd miss of the game.
We are officially back from the road. Talk about a long four days. We closed off the Little Rock show by opening for a band called Black Light Burns and The Vanished. Black Light Burns is Wes Borland's new band (formerly the guitar player from Limp Bizkit). It was a pretty cool show. I woke up this morning tired as you-know-what though, so next time I'll have to try and take a day off work to catch up on my sleep.
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 75
Even though I'm doing the whole band thing and whatnot...my life still revolves around football, so here's what's up.
Read all 32 pages of Coach Saban's contract here thanks to the Decatur Daily.
Jim Rome, among other national sports shows, have picked up on the whole "Jimmy-Barnes-gate" scandal about how Coach Saban "mistreats" players. Josh Moon says the national media is ridiculous.
#7: Ole Miss 27 Alabama 24Oct. 13th, 2001 in Oxford, MS
Seriously, this game was tough to watch. Partly because I was getting rained on (as was everyone else), but also because we gave up so many damn passing yards again.
Eli Manning threw for well over 300 yards on a day when passing shouldn't have even been an option. It was raining its ass off all day. Once again, our secondary failed to stop ANYTHING. We had a 24-14 lead going into the 4th quarter and Eli picked apart our defense for two loooong drives, and capped off the game with the winning 3 yard touchdown pass with just a few seconds left. It was disgusting.
We won't be updating tomorrow, due to me being out on the road. Again, if you haven't heard my band, check us out. We're called Prosevere.
I believe we now know why Jimmy Barnes transferred: he's a pansy. His dad came out and said Jimmy didn't leave because he was homesick or disgruntled over playing time, etc. It's because of "the way he's treating kids down there." What a joke. Read more about it here.
Coach Saban's contract has been completed and is now in the hands of the Board of Trustees to be approved. Read about it here, here, here, and here.
Ramzee Robinson is the guest of honor in Newport Beach, CA for "Irrelevant Week." Sounds like a bunch of crap, but it's still pretty cool.
#8: South Carolina 37 Alabama 36Sept. 29, 2001 in Columbia, SC
This was a ridiculous ass game. We dominated this team all up and down the field. We held the ball nearly 40 minutes to their 20 minutes, out gained them in every category, had more first downs, etc, but when it mattered the most, our secondary gave them the football game.
We were up 36-24 with 9 minutes to go, but they stormed down the field and scored with 6 minutes left to make it 36-30 (they missed the PAT). Tyler Watts couldn't do anything with the football and we were forced to punt it back with a little over 3 minutes left. Petty, their QB led them down the field on a 4 play, 56 yard touchdown drive, and this time they hit the extra point.
You've all read about it by now...but if you haven't...there's a chance that the SEC could have their own television network. I think this is a GENIOUS idea, because you don't have to worry about the major networks picking what time your game will start, etc. Numerous positives with this.
I'm tired. Poker night was long. I lost my money. Argh.
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 81
Chris Walsh had a nice little interview with Mal Moore. In Chris's words, Mal looks like "the cat who ate the canary."
Alabama named Jeff Allen, from Central Florida, as head football athletic trainer on Monday. Rodney Brown, who formerly held the position, was moved to director of rehabilitation services. Sounds good to me. I'm going to guess that Lance had something to do with Jeff coming onboard.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#9: Oklahoma 37 Alabama 27Sept. 7th, 2002 in Norman, OK
This game was insanely exciting. Momentum swung like a pendulum in this game. From Alabama opening the game with an onside kick to the very last few seconds where Tyler Watts fumbled and gave them a 10 point lead.
We opened up with a 45 yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. And that was about the only good thing that happened in the first half. We were down 23-3 at the break, thanks to two insanely long touchdown passes by Nate Hybl, who came in after we broke Jason White.
2nd Half we took control and actually came back to lead 27-23 in the 4th quarter. Oklahoma hit two shovel passes for ridiculous gains (thanks to our line overpersuing) on their last drive and finally stuffed it into the endzone with 2 minutes left in the game to take a 30-27 lead.
We began to drive towards the end of the game, but Tyler Watts, looking at a wide open receiver, reared back to throw a pass and let the ball fly out of his hand backwards. It was picked up by a lineman and returned 45 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
Talk about heartbreak. But that game did show that we had a damn good defensive line (held OK to -23 yards rushing), and set us up to have a really good year.
¶ 8:36 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Whew. What a weekend. We missed the update on Friday due to me not being around a computer all day, so sorry about that. We left early, grabbed some lunch with some friends, and then were able to catch Sevendust, Puddle of Crud, and Breaking Benjamin at Edgefest in Little Rock before coming back home to Memphis. Props to Haley at Green Grass Entertainment and Dean at Mammoth for the hook ups. Two very cool people right there.
Well, I guess the biggest news from the weekend was that Jimmy Barnes is transferring to a Division 1-AA school. With Greg McElroy showing out in the spring, and Nick Fanuzzi coming in the fall, I guess I can understand why he would want to. JP has two more years at the Capstone, so playing time will be very limited.
John Adams from the Knoxville News Sentinel talks about how Nick Saban probably envies Billy Donovan. It took one day for Donovan to undo his mistake. It took Saban two years.
Mal Moore says the contract WILL BE SIGNED very soon. There are no more kinks to work out, so don't worry about it. Also, the Tide Pride waiting list is 6,000 names long, currently, and the idea to expand the student section could mean another stadium expansion.
Barry Switzer was in town this weekend. You'll be amazed at his ties to Alabama.
Our buddy, Josh Moon, chips in to tell us that the difference between Nick Saban and Billy Donovan is that Donovan treats people (ahem, the media) better. I think the difference is that Nick Saban has the nuts to make a decision and stand by it for as long as he can, even if it's the wrong one. Donovan doesn't.
Goin to see Sevendust tomorrow. Yay! Roadtrips are great...even short 2 hour ones.
The Tuscaloosa News goes in and talks with former players, and the verdict is the same all around: everyone's excited about the new coach.
The SEC meetings were boring at best. No action was really taken about anything, and, for the most part, the coaches could have been poolside and accomplished more.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#10: Tennessee 35 Alabama 24Oct. 20th, 2001 in Tuscaloosa, AL
You remember all those games we lost in the 4th quarter under Franchione in his first year? This is one of them.
We were absolutely manhandled in the 4th in this game. We took the lead at 24-21 with an Ahmaad Galloway touchdown on the last play of the 3rd quarter, and it looked like we had a shot to really go toe-to-toe with the MUCH bigger Vols, but boy were we wrong.
Jason Witten, their tight end, was their leading receiver, catching 7 passes for 91 yards. Talk about ridiculous. He steamrolled over our linebackers and secondary and turned short 5 yard passes into 15 yarders all day.
Tennessee held the ball for over 13 minutes in the 4th quarter. They converted 10 of 16 third downs, and they had over 480 yards of offense. They killed us.
YAY! We hit 400 posts today. That's pretty freakin cool. Started in October of last year, right after the Alabama / Florida game, we have now become one of the bigger Bama blogs on the net, so thank you to everyone that checks in every morning! Hopefully you'll continue to read my crazy opinions and my news updates, cause I think I'm going to be doing this for a looong while. :-)
Days 'til Season Kickoff: 87
The Clanton Advertiser chimes in to do a little bashing on Mark Gottfried. Gottfried had a prime chance to hire a premiere assistant coach to give the fans a little hope, and add a little bit of momentum to the upcoming season, but, as the article states, Gottfried failed miserably at that. Kobie Baker may be good, but the fans didn't want to see somebody from within the organization coming in to fill the role. Gottfried's seat may have just gotten a little bit hotter.
Read up on Bama day in Dothan this year. Looks to be a pretty good event, with Joe Kines and Barry Krauss speaking.
Scarbinsky tells us why you see more flip flops now than you used to: agents do the talking for the coaches. That's why you've seen Rich Rodriguez, Dana Altman, and Billy Donovan all flip flop in the past 6 months.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#11: Auburn 17 Alabama 7Nov. 23rd, 2002 in Tuscaloosa, AL
This was the first day that I heard anything about the rumors of Coach Fran going to Texas A&M, and I actually started to believe it after watching this team play. They were atrocious this game.
There was no gameplan. The team looked like they hadn't even practiced that week. They just took the game like "hey, we're better this year, so we're going to win." Coach Fran looked like he was in another world for most of the game, and Auburn, again, won in Tuscaloosa.
Ronnie Brown and Cadillac were both out with injuries, and we still let their running back get over 100 yards. Tre Smith ran for 125 yards. Pitiful.
Leave it to the basketball team to kill the good momentum that we've been having for the past few months. Gottfried, rather than go outside the family to get something fresh and new, decides to promote from inside the staff.
Now, don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against Kobie Baker at all. He's done a good job as president of basketball operations at the Capstone, but promoting him to assistant coach and giving Philip Pearson and James Holland more responsibilities is just not going to cut it.
Kobie's too nice. We were looking for someone that can put that fire under the kids and make them WANT to play HARD. Instead, we promote Kobie to assistant coach, and bring in Jeff Dunlap, an assistant coach at Western Michigan, to head up basketball operations after Kobie's journey to the coaching ranks.
We didn't get into Finebaum's article the other day, but I do believe he is correct regarding the fact that the Iron Bowl is bigger for Alabama this year. It could really kill the momentum we've got going with Coach Saban, but again, it wouldn't be the end of the world if we lost a 6th straight. It is at their place, after all.
I was listening to Jimmy Sexton on George Lapides's radio show this morning. They discussed the "improper meetings" with players, and Sexton informed George that coaches are allowed one phone call with players per week, and that the kids that spoke out about talking with Coach Saban had actually gotten phone calls from him. He said a lot of this has to do with the "Good ol' Boy" network between a lot of the coaches from waaaaay back when. Sexton said that before Saban joined the SEC, only assistant coaches would go out to high school during the spring / summer session, and when Saban started doing it, everyone cried foul until they actually read the NCAA rules. Urban Meyer started doing the same thing. Right now, all head coaches are out visiting during this session, and most of them want it to go back to how it was - they'll sit around and play in charity golf events while the assistant coaches make the rounds to high schools. :-)
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#12: Alabama 30 Arkansas 12Sept. 28th, 2002 in Fayetteville, AR
I remember this game for two reasons: 1) It was Brodie's first start, and 2) Shaud Williams broke the opening play for an 80 yard touchdown right up the gut of the Hog defense.
Brodie did very well in his first outing. He went 12 of 24 for 285 yards with 2 touchdowns and no picks.
This was an absolute beating. Arkansas had no idea what they were doing in this game, and they got smacked in the mouth on the first play. It really drew in those safeties to stop the run, which allowed a lot of deep passes. After the deep passes Santonio Beard and Shaud Williams were each able to surpass 100 yards on the ground. It was a steam rolling in Arkansas.
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...but I guess it's ok. I've taken off this Friday so I can go see Sevendust in Little Rock again. BOOYAH.
Days 'til Season kickoff: 89
We're under 90 days. Hell yeah.
Paul Gattis can't explain his fellow media members. He says that maybe the media does deserve their treatment from Coach Saban.
Scarbinsky looks at the difference between Coach Saban and Billy Donovan. Very interesting, to say the least. Of course, this was written before all the stories today about Billy wanting to stay at Florida now.
The Birmingham News Crystal Ball for this year's football season is out. They expect Alabama to win "one or two more" games than last year. Sounds good to me.
Coach Saban is the newly crowned "most hated coach" and the first since Coach Superior (Spurrier) back when he was with Florida through the 90s.
#13: LSU 35 Alabama 21Nov. 3rd, 2001 in Tuscaloosa, AL
This was obviously the worst performance by the Alabama defense in over a decade. Maybe the worst ever. And we still only gave up 35 points.
We were actually still in the game, midway through the 4th quarter.
I remember watching this game in disbelief as Rohan Davey passed for stupid-ridiculous numbers against us. He went 35 of 44 for 528 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 pick. Josh Reed broke an SEC record and caught 19 passes (!) for 293 yards (!). They had over 600 yards of total offense.
And yet, we were still in the game.
This was Franchione's first year, and there were still kinks to work out in the secondary. Luckily, they were fixed by '02.
This was actually the last loss that we had that season. We beat Mississippi State in the next game, then hammered Auburn, then beat Southern Miss on a rainy night in Birmingham.
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Does it seem like the week is so much longer when you have a Monday holiday? I mean, jeez. This is just ridiculous. It feels like I've worked 10 days straight. Oh well.
Mal Moore is being recognized as one of two distinguished sportsmen at this year's Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Sunday in Birmingham. Good for him. He deserves it.
Brent Maze, over at the Clanton Advertiser, says he's glad that the Iron Bowl is back where it belongs: on Thanksgiving weekend. I kind-of agree - partly because the last game I remember being on Thanksgiving was the 17-0 win in the '92 season. Maybe we need to get back to that. The Tennessee game is back on the third Saturday in October again, and now we're back to playing Auburn or Thanksgiving weekend. :-)
Alabama has a team-high 9 players in the Alabama vs Mississippi High School All-Star game on Saturday in Mobile. It comes on at 7pm, incase you didn't know. Players like Josh Chapman, Brandon Gibson, and Patrick Crump go into detail about how they like Coach Saban's intensity.
The rumor mill had been swirling, mostly by Auburn fans, about Rolando McClain's lack of work ethic, but McClain puts that rumor to rest.
If you were nervous about the fact that Coach Saban and The University not having the contract signed yet, don't worry about it. TideSports is all over it.
Apparently Les is still pretty damn bitter. His response to questions about himself and Coach Saban were "icy" at best.
THE DENNIS FRANCHIONE ERA
#14: Alabama 28 Southern Miss 15Thursday, Nov. 29th, 2001 in Birmingham, AL
Alabama had just destroyed Auburn in Jordan-Hare the weekend before this, so it was very possible to have a letdown in this game, but the fact that we needed this one to become bowl eligible wouldn't let them drop off at all. There were tornado watches / warnings and severe flood warnings, etc, but that didn't stop about 20,000 fans from showing up. The final number was about 79,000, but if you saw the television broadcast, they were lucky to have 20K.
It was Alabama 3rd straight win, and it avenged the 21-0 loss to Southern from the year before. This was also the game that changed the way bowl selections are done in the SEC. Ole Miss had a 7-4 record, but did not get selected for a bowl game because the Independence Bowl took Alabama with a 6-5 record. A lot of people viewed this as unfair, since Ole Miss beat Alabama in the regular season, but hey...we draw and they don't. :-)
The game itself was a little bit disgusting, due to all the missed / blocked PATs and field goals, and the lack of a decent passing game, but all of this can be blamed on the storm that was coming down that night. Our rushing game, with Ahmaad Galloway, was a force to be reckoned with. I can't remember why Santonio Beard didn't play, because he had owned Auburn the week before.
Anyway, Andrew Zow threw a couple of touchdown passes, tying Mike Shula's career mark at 35, Ahmaad Galloway ran for a couple of touchdowns, and that won the game for us. Southern Miss didn't really have a lot of punch this go round, and...again...we can blame the rain for that, I'm sure.