Friday, November 30, 2007

Once bitten...

Auburn DB Jerraud Powers was bitten by a security dog during the UA / AU game in Auburn last Saturday night. Too bad the Tide couldn't have been as sucessful as the dog.

The pine box is warming up...

Tommy Tuberville has allegedly been seen buck, I mean duck hunting in Arkansas. KHOG TV broke into programming last night to report that Arkansas has offered him $37 million over 10 years. Remember how he said the other day that he is not leaving Auburn? Today we are not so sure.

Right before he left Ole Miss to go to Auburn he made the statement that the only way that he would leave Oxford was in a pine box. Do I hear the pine box's motor cranking again for another trek across the SEC?

As an Alabama fan, I am not overly concerned either way. If he stays we have an opportunity to finally defeat him the next few years. On the other hand, he has done a good job with Auburn and the balance of power towards Alabama might be more likely and occur sooner if he leaves.

This cannot help Auburn's recruiting. Coach Saban is cleaning up in the recruiting battle and this will do nothing but help!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Alabama + Nick Saban = ???

I do not know who to credit (or discredit) for the above "photo". It is circulating in an email that I got the other day. Notice Coach Croom lurking in the back?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Looking back and looking forward

There is basis for hope for the future of Alabama football.

Alabama is ranked 3rd so far in recruiting. That is a good sign. The Tide has not been able to say anything close to that for years. While it is true that Alabama finished 6-6, how many times does a team lose 6 games and none of them were by more than 7 points? I expected something around 8-4.

But Coach Saban didn't lose the team. There were certainly some players that did not have the character necessary to win. There were definitely not enough leaders and good followers. Those people will be replaced by recruits who come to Alabama to play for Coach Saban, knowing up front what his expectations are. That will make a huge difference.

We knew before the season started that it would take a few years before Alabama could compete seriously and consistently for championships. I still say that can and likely will be the case. I realize we live in an instant gratification society, but these things take time.

Alabama didn't shipwreck overnight. It was a 10 year process of damaging a winning tradition. It might take at least a few more years to restore it. Don't give up hope Tide fans. There is reason for it.

CECIL HURT: Saban must first fix history to make it Tuscaloosa News
"There was no single moment that a person could pinpoint as the difference. It was not just the inability of a wide receiver to catch a ball that hit his hands late in the first half, turning what looked like a go-ahead touchdown into a drive-killing interception. It was not just the inability to avoid crucial second-half penalties: a drive-wrecking holding call, a critical penalty for running into the punter that deprived the Crimson Tide of what would have been excellent field position, yet another flag for roughing the passer, a close but devastating call that prolonged Auburn’s last touchdown drive.It was the accumulation of those things, slow drop by slow drop, that added up to a sixth straight loss. Auburn made some mistakes, too, and Alabama capitalized on a few of them — but not nearly enough.“When you are in a close game like this,” Saban said, “all those little things are critical.”

IRON BOWL NOTEBOOK: Bowl scenarios slim for Alabama Tuscaloosa News
“I thought [McClain] did a great job and made a great interception,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “At the end of the game I know he had a lot of tackles. I know that he’s probably contributed as much as anyone relative to responsibility.“Being a freshman, starting early in the season and Prince Hall coming back and starting, Rolando did a good job of getting out there and starting today. I am pleased with the progress he has made this year.”

Tigers' streak grows to six Tuscaloosa News
"The last time Alabama beat Auburn, the Tide’s current freshmen were in seventh grade.“It’s hard, man,” senior receiver DJ Hall said. “That’s something you’ve got to live with the rest of your life.”Defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry, another senior, believes many of Alabama’s wounds sustained against Auburn in his four years have been self-inflicted, both on and off the field. He isn’t willing to concede that the Tigers have been the better team each year.“I would lie if I said that, but I will say they’ve been the more disciplined team four years in a row,” he said.“I know one thing: Next year I can bet all 11 guys on the field will be on the same page. I’m just sad I won’t be here for it. I’m not saying we were and I’m not saying we we’re not [on the same page], but you can look at the results on the field.” Alabama head coach Nick Saban got his first taste of Alabama’s rivalry against Auburn, and was impressed.“This is a great rivalry, a great football game, and I have never been involved in a football game with as much excitement and enthusiasm as this game,” he said."

This year's crazy ride Cecil Hurt Tuscaloosa News
"Saban was asked on Wednesday night if Alabama was “where he expected” after his first year on the job.“That’s not really the point,” Saban said. “What I expected or didn’t expect isn’t the point. What matters is the choices we make every day. I preach it all the time. I’m responsible for it. I’m the head coach. I’m responsible for what happens. I’m responsible for everything, even if it happened before I got here.“But it is all about making the right choices. Our players have to do that. We have players missing class. They aren’t supposed to miss class. Sometimes, they come in late. Sometimes, we have to make guys stand up in meetings so they don’t fall asleep.“We also have some guys who do it the right way. We have guys who will do anything to win. You are always going to have eight or 10 guys like that on a team, guys who are always going to do it right, and you are always going to have about the same number who do it wrong. So the question is, how do you reach the ones in the middle? That’s what we are trying to do now.“We’re going to get it fixed.” 2008 Football Recruiting Rankings

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post your prediction...

Mike: Alabama 17 Auburn 15
Joe: Alabama 13 Auburn 6
Matt: Alabama 24 Auburn 20
David: Alabama 42 Auburn 31

Weather...Alabama at Auburn...7 p.m.

UPDATE: At 3:50 p.m. my forecast hasn't changed much for the Auburn area. Rain has increased earlier than expected over North Alabama. I do think there is a good chance that it will rain some before the Alabama-Auburn game is over. Most of the rain will fall after the game.

I have been hesitant to post this forecast. The weather pattern that we are in today is a tricky one to predict. The models, helpful as they are, tend to not handle shallow layers of cold air well nor the timing of precipitation in "overrunning" situations.

Our weather remains under the influence of a slowly retreating high pressure system. Cold air lingers near the surface (high pressure causes air to sink) flowing in from the east. At the same time, warmer and moist air is beginning to rise up and over the cold air at the surface from the southwest. As I write at 8:45 this morning, a thin layer of altocumulus is spreading over the Tennessee Valley.

As the day progresses clouds will thicken as moisture increases from the top down. The trick will be in determining when the airmasses reach the critical point when the moisture condenses and a cold rain begins to fall over a given point.

Light rain will gradually overspread the state from the southwest. It will be a cool evening in Auburn, Alabama with temperatures around 50. The game will begin under cloudy skies. A few sprinkles may occur during the first half. A little rain may fall before the game is over, but the majority of the rain will occur after the game. Depending on how long the game lasts (that is harder to predict than the weather these days), rain probably will not be a factor most of the game.

For those travelling home after the game need to drive carefully, though, because most of you will be travelling in rainy conditions.

Here is a look at the tornadic weather from the 1983 Iron Bowl in Birmingham. Here is what it looked like on television. Thanks to Bill Murray and Tim Coleman for those interesting posts over at No tornadoes tonight!

One more prediction: Alabama 17 Auburn 15


My friend Sharp shared this article with me. It really put the Saban Press Conference controversy into it's proper perspective.

Saban, remarks make news ... in that order
"The moment the phrases '9-11' and 'Pearl Harbor' came out of Nick Saban's mouth Monday morning, I cringed just slightly from my usual third-row seat in the Naylor Stone Media Room. Not because I was offended that a war analogy was used in football context (I wasn't), but because I knew exactly what was coming. As this is a non-premium opinion conceivably read beyond the Alabama fan base, a brief paraphrase is in order: the Alabama football coach mentioned 9-11, Pearl Harbor and the bottoming out of alcoholics as moments in which real unity and clarity begin. He then suggested his team may have reached a similar low point after losing its third consecutive game to Louisiana-Monroe. Wal-Mart must have sold out of torches and pitchforks, because the lynch mob was on the march before Saban even stepped away from the microphone."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sad news

AP Photo

Some very sad news occurred in the Alabama family yesterday that puts sports back into perspective. Former star running back Siran Stacey, his wife Ellen Bible Stacy, and his children were involved in an automobile crash that allegedly was the fault of a drunk driver. Siran Stacy was likely driving his family to their Newton home when a 1999 Ford truck struck the 2007 Honda van he was driving, killing his wife, and four children. Siran Stacy and Shelly Stacy, 4, survived the crash.

Alcohol likely factor in crash which killed six Dothan Eagle

Mal Moore Issues Statement on Siran Stacy Fox 6 Birmingham
Words cannot express the depth of the heartache we share with the Bible and Stacy families at this tragic time,” said UA Director of Athletics Mal Moore. “I am sure I speak for all the members of the Alabama athletics family in expressing our shock and sadness for the tragedy that has befallen these two families. I also want to let both families know that we stand ready to assist them during this time of need and ask all Alabama fans to keep the Bible and Stacy families in their thoughts and prayers.”

Ex-Alabama star in crash; 6 dead Chicago Tribune

6 Dead in Wreck Involving Ex-Athlete AP
A van driven by former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy was struck by a pickup at an intersection and six people were killed, including Stacy's wife and four of his children, state troopers said Tuesday. The driver of the second vehicle also was killed, said Dorris Teague, a spokeswoman for the state troopers. Stacy, 39, a star running back for Alabama during 1989-91, was listed in stable condition in surgical intensive care at Flowers Hospital in Dothan. His 3-year-old daughter, Shelly, was taken to Children's Hospital in Birmingham, which did not release her condition.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We don't have a chance?

To listen to any sports talk radio show, you are led to believe that Alabama has no chance to beat Auburn. I heard Scott Griffin and Matt Coulter on 690 WJOX this morning talk about the possibility that Auburn will blow Alabama out. Paul Finebaum is giving the Tide no chance either.

I understand. But wait! NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS!

Consider this:

  • Alabama gets all of its suspended players back.
  • Alabama has been ridiculed and feels it has something to prove.
  • This is the same team that wiped out the Vols and nearly beat the (now) #1 LSU Tigers
  • Auburn is really not that good (they were blown out by UGA, who Bama at least took to OT)
  • AU has lost by 3, 5, 6, and 25
  • Alabama has played close in all of its games (losing by 3, 7, 7, 5, 7).
  • After Saban lost to UAB in his first year at LSU, he defeated the ranked UT Vols the next week.
Bottom line:

As usual, turnovers and big plays will determine the winner. If John Parker Wilson throws no interceptions and the Tide does not fumble, expect an Alabama win. Alabama has the incentive of redeeming itself and changing the conversation in this state if it can beat Auburn. Auburn does not have as much incentive as Alabama. Auburn is not that good and Alabama is not that good either but better than everyone thinks. No one thought ULM would beat Alabama. No one thinks Alabama will beat Auburn. Maybe they won't, but they have a better chance than ULM did against Bama.

This reminds me of 1984.

My prediction:
Alabama 17 Auburn 15

UA vs. ULM ... my version of the day...

Last Saturday was a great experience for me. I invited my sister, who lives in Chicago, to visit for the weekend and attend the Alabama vs. ULM game. I thought it would be a good game for her to see, with Alabama probably winning by at least three touchdowns. I was wrong.

We left our parents’ home in Huntsville at 7:50 am and arrived in Tuscaloosa a little after 10 a.m. We parked just off Bryant Drive near the baseball stadium. We walked across the Quad to the Ferguson Center. That was a cool experience as we discussed which buildings we had classes in as students. Her undergraduate major was in English and she had many classes in Morgan and Ten Hoor halls. She mentioned that her library classes (she has an MLS degree) were on the sixth floor of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. I didn't know that.

We ate at the Ferguson Center (student union building) and watched a little of the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. We browsed at the Sup Store before walking back towards the Quad and Bryant Denny Stadium. We “snuck” some diet cokes into the stadium and got there about an hour before kickoff.

I wandered down from our seats to take a few pictures of the Alabama players and coaches as they warmed up for the game. It was great to see a former co-worker at the game. Randy, who was a supervisor of another unit when I first began my current job way back in 1993, and his brother David were sitting next to us. His wife Joyce is my boss (and by the way, an Auburn fan). She bought two of my tickets for Randy and his brother. It was funny. I originally told her they were $45. When I delivered them to her I had a chance to look at them and told her they were actually $40. She told me not to tell Randy and she would keep the extra $10 until I told her that they might actually look at the tickets and see the price. At the game Randy told me to ask her why she charged him $60 when they were really $40.

Before the game, Randy and David were thanking me profusely for selling them the tickets and asked me to remember them in the future. By the fourth quarter, Randy held up the two tickets and jokingly asked for a refund! I cannot say that I blame him. It was a very disappointing performance by the Tide. The crowd was just as disappointing as the team. It was sluggish from the beginning. The loudest cheering might have been during the “wave” in the 4th quarter. I refused to participate in the wave as I was so ticked off by the poor performance of the Tide. Actually it took at least 5 or 6 tries before the wave got going. Waves in college football games are NOT a good sign when your home team is losing to ULM.

Despite the loss, my sister and I had a great time! I would say that we bonded more and talked more than we had in years. We were not that close in college as we both went our separate ways. The beauty of the day was that we learned more about each other and enjoyed each other’s company more than ever when we were both students. The last game she attended was about 17 or 18 years ago with me.

We talked about the game and our personal lives on the way back to our parent’s home like never before. I have been through a lot lately in my personal life and my sister has as well. We talked a lot about our parents. We are so thankful for the sacrifices they made to enable us to attend college. My Dad has some health problems and we talked a lot about that. My sister “interviewed" him this weekend and it was some fascinating stuff. In the process he produced his resume. His resume is a history of computers from 1950-1990. I had no idea the huge number of people that he supervised and the degree of responsibility he had over so many people and his technical knowledge. I ended the weekend with a greater appreciation than ever for my Dad and my sister.

Yes, the Tide lost. But I won.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tide articles this week

Alabama's Tiffin turning into Mr. Reliable Fox 6 Birmingham
"Leigh Tiffin is turning into Mr. Reliable for Alabama, making long and short kicks, big ones and not-so-big ones. It's a big transformation from the freshman kicker who had a disastrous game against Arkansas as a freshman and even from the guy who started the season in shaky fashion. Tiffin made four field goals, including a 50-yarder and a 51-yarder, in a 17-12 loss at Mississippi State. Tiffin has now made nine straight and is 21-of-28 this season, ranking third nationally with 2.10 field goals made per game."

Alabama Crimson Tide's Chris Capps still working to be starter despite criticism B'ham News
Wayne Brantley reads your posts on Internet message boards. The former Landmark Christian (Ga.) School football coach hears your calls to talk radio shows, too. He is sensitive to the often-harsh criticism of his former star pupil Chris Capps, now a University of Alabama senior tackle. Sometimes, he just doesn't get it.

Alabama notebook Huntsville Times Britt's mother to attend La.-Monroe game
TUSCALOOSA - Senior guard Justin Britt will play his final game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. And his mom, Vera, plans on being there to see it. Britt said Tuesday his mom would be at the game less than two months after sustaining life-threatening head injuries in a fall Oct. 6.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

End of MSU-Bama game video

I have received so many kind, classy, and grateful notes from MSU fans that I couldn't resist posting this video of the end of the last Saturday's game.

Before this becomes Bulldog blog, I will revert back to my usual fare soon. ; o )

Really...THANKS for all of the comments and good luck the rest of the way Bulldogs!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kudos to the State fans

I posted the interception video here and someone else posted it here. Another one is here. The State fans who have posted have been unbelievably kind and comlimentary. Thanks to you all for your positive feedback.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome State fans!

Apparently I am getting a lot of hits to the site from MSU fans. Welcome. I hope you enjoy the 100 yard interception video. I could have done without it!


100 yard interception return

This is my video from Section V of Davis-Wade Stadium on Saturday November 10, 2007 of the game changing interception thrown by John Parker Wilson. Mississippi State's Anthony Johnson returned it 100 yards, putting State ahead 10-9. They never looked back.

Cecil Hurt column

Mr. Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News always does a good job analyzing the Alabama football games and the program in general. Here is a really good column rearding the big mistake that pretty much decided Saturday's MSU gameat the end of the first half.

CECIL HURT: One play is one play, even if it stands for much more
It’s an oversimplification to blame any loss on one play.That’s true even if it is a disaster of a play. Even if it’s a catastrophe of a play – it’s just one play. Even if it is a headphone-throwing, dog-cussing, dream-wrecking meltdown of a play – it’s just one play. Even if it is as bad a play, in terms of its outcome, as a committee of worst-case-scenario pessimists sitting in deck chairs of the Titanic could draw up in their worst bad dreams – it’s just one play.Yes, Alabama’s final offensive play of the first half was a train wreck of the sort you would have if the northbound train was filled with cute, cuddly kittens and the southbound train was loaded with enough nitroglycerin to blast a crater the size of Mark Mangino in solid granite. There is no arguing that. But before taking a look at that play, it’s worthwhile to mention that a lot of things happened after that play as well. And not very many of the things that happened were very good for Alabama.

Friday, November 09, 2007

If you don't think tomorrow's a big game....

....try losing it.

Gene Stallings knows as well as anyone that every game poses a threat, especially games you are supposed to win. If Alabama defeats Missisippi State tomorrow in Starkville they will have surpassed last year's win total with three games remaining. They will still have a chance of extending their NCAA record of 10-win seasons. They will be in good position to finish 2nd in the SEC West (which may not sound like much, but it represents great improvement). An last but not least, they will build some much-needed confidence.

If they lose it will be a major step backward in their resurgence. It will show that they have not improved as much as previously thought. It will diminish their momentum and confidence. Some fans will even become a little disillusioned. It will give MSU the upper hand in a series that has been dominated heavily by Alabama forever. It will prove that the Tide made a poor choice in overlooking Sylvester Croom when they hire Mike Shula. It will "become" a bigger game than the loss to L.S.U.

This is not lost on Coach Saban, his staff, and probably not the players. But they will have to fight the tendency of dropping their guard after last week's valiant effort. Stallings was right.

My prediction: Bama wins it in an exciting finish, 27-24. I hope I'm right.


Bulldogs Set For West Showdown With 'Bama

Croom faces 'Bama with need for win Sporting News

MSU gameday factsheet gameday fctsheet

Looking back to the LSU game

On Saturday November 3, David and I traveled to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama vs. LSU game. We left home at about 6 a.m. and arrived at our parking spot near the Sewell-Thomas baseball stadium around 8 a.m. We visited the Bryant museum and picked up a few free programs from the Alabama-Tennessee game. After that we saw the football tam walk around the block in front of our parking place for their morning walk. The fans were a little later arriving than they were for the Tennessee game, which started at 11:30. We say my friends Gary and Tee Drake who parked near our vehicle.

We walked down Bryant Drive all the way to the Rama Jama restaurant which is on the southwest side of Bryant-Denny Stadium. We ate breakfast there and then walked up 10th Avenue (west side of Bryant-Denny) and went on towards the Quad and the Ferguson Center. We watched some of the Vanderbilt vs. Florida game there with Tee and then we shopped a little while at the Sup Store. David even took a bit of a nap while we watched the game on TV.

We then walked to the car, got our stuff together and walked to the stadium around 2:00, two hours before kickoff. When we went in the stadium we stood down by the field for about an hour, watching the team practice. David met former coach “Brother” Bill Oliver and got his autograph.

The game itself was extremely entertaining. David and I shared numerous “high-fives” with each other and the fans around us. WE saw my friend from college, Greg Sanders, at halftime. The Javier Arenas 61 yard punt return in the fourth quarter was probably the most exciting moment of the game. The crowd noise that followed was the loudest sound I have ever heard at a sporting event. Of course, Alabama ended up losing to a very good LSU team which is now ranked number two in the nation.

Coach Nick Saban said after the game that he does not believe in moral victories. I cannot argue with that philosophy. Nevertheless, most Tide fans came away from this game realizing that this is no longer the Alabama team that we have been used to seeing during the last several years. The Tide can play with anyone in the nation and the future looks bright.

Now it’s on to Starkville tomorrow. Let’s go “teach the Bulldogs to behave.” Roll Tide.