Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tide Talk: Nick Saban, Greg McElroy, Mark Barron, and Javier Arenas









Video Courtesy of TideSports.com

NOTE: When the team arrives in California I will begin my “game week” reports just like I have done during the course of the season. I will provide a game overview, practice reports from Pasadena, a Texas “scouting report,” and finally personal thoughts and score prediction.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and ROLL TIDE!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Crimson Notes 12/28/09

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(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The University of Alabama football team returned to the practice field on Sunday evening. The team will continue to work in Tuscaloosa until they depart for California on January 1.

Upon arrival in Southern California, Alabama will hold “game week” preparations at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. The school is a good 50 miles from Pasadena, site of the national title game.

The Texas Longhorns will “set up shop” at UC Irvine, once the team arrives in California. Strangely enough…UC Irvine does not have a football program.

Both Alabama and Texas will have walk-throughs at the famed Rose Bowl on the afternoon of January 6. All practice and “game related” activities are expected to be closed to all media outlets, as well as the general public.

In respect to hotel arrangements, the University of Texas will be staying at the Fairmont Newport Beach, while the University of Alabama will be housed at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS and THANK YOU!

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Since the month of September this site has grown by leaps and bounds, and that would certainly not be possible without the support of loyal visitors and fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

I have several friends who frequent this site, but most of my support comes from people I’ve never met, and probably never will meet. The fact that so many outsiders have complimented my work via Twitter and Facebook messages has been very much appreciated.

In two weeks the Alabama Crimson Tide will play for the national championship, and covering the team via this site has been a personal thrill for me! I hope I’ve supplied everyone with the best information achievable, while also providing the best insight and detail possible.

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Many people have told me they come to this very site when they’re looking for the latest news on Alabama football. To all the people who look to this “simple” blog for ‘Bama football information…I say thank you!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to providing more exciting updates on University of Alabama football as we head for Pasadena!

This is a wonderful time to be a fan of Alabama football, and I hope the best “night”…is just around the corner!

Merry Christmas and ROLL TIDE!

~Bryan

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tide Talk: Nick Saban





Video Courtesy of TideSports.com

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tide Talk: Nick Saban



Video Courtesy of TideSports.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let's Go Bowling: 2009-10 Schedule

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All kickoff times are listed for the eastern standard time zone.

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New Mexico Bowl
Fresno State vs. Wyoming
Albuquerque, N.M.
University Stadium
Dec. 19
4:30 p.m. ESPN

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St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's
Central Florida vs. Rutgers
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tropicana Field
Dec. 19
8 p.m. ESPN

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R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee
New Orleans
Louisiana Superdome
Dec. 20
8:30 p.m. ESPN

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MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
Oregon State vs. BYU
Las Vegas
Sam Boyd Stadium
Dec. 22
8 p.m. ESPN

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S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Utah vs. California
San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 23
8 p.m. ESPN

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Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Nevada vs. SMU
Honolulu
Aloha Stadium
Dec. 24
8 p.m. ESPN

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Little Caesars Bowl
Marshall vs. Ohio
Detroit
Ford Field
Dec. 26
1 p.m. ESPN

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Meineke Car Care Bowl
Pitt vs. North Carolina
Charlotte, N.C.
Bank of America Stadium
Dec. 26
4:30 p.m. ESPN

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Emerald Bowl
Boston College vs. USC
San Francisco
AT&T Park
Dec. 26
8 p.m. ESPN

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Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Kentucky vs. Clemson
Nashville, Tenn.
LP Field
Dec. 27
8:30 p.m. ESPN

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AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Texas A&M vs. Georgia
Shreveport, La.
Independence Stadium
Dec. 28
5 p.m. ESPN2

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EagleBank Bowl
UCLA vs. Temple
Washington, D.C.
RFK Stadium
Dec. 29
4:30 p.m. ESPN

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Champs Sports Bowl
Miami vs. Wisconsin
Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Dec. 29
8 p.m. ESPN

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Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
Bowling Green vs. Idaho
Boise, Idaho
Bronco Stadium
Dec. 30
4:30 p.m. ESPN

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Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Arizona vs. Nebraska
San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 30
8 p.m. ESPN

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Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Houston vs. Air Force
Fort Worth, Texas
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Dec. 31
Noon ESPN

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Brut Sun Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Stanford
El Paso, Texas
Sun Bowl
Dec. 31
2 p.m. CBS

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Texas Bowl
Navy vs. Missouri
Houston
Reliant Stadium
Dec. 31
3:30 p.m. ESPN

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Insight Bowl
Minnesota vs. Iowa State
Tempe, Ariz.
Sun Devil Stadium
Dec. 31
6 p.m. NFL Network

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Chick-fil-A Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee
Atlanta
Georgia Dome
Dec. 31
7:30 p.m. ESPN

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Outback Bowl
Northwestern vs. Auburn
Tampa, Fla.
Raymond James Stadium
Jan. 1
11 a.m. ESPN

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Capital One Bowl
Penn State vs. LSU
Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Jan. 1
1 p.m. ABC

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Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
West Virginia vs. Florida State
Jacksonville, Fla.
Municipal Stadium
Jan. 1
1 p.m. CBS

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Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi
Ohio State vs. Oregon
Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Bowl
Jan. 1
4:30 p.m. ABC

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Allstate Sugar Bowl
Florida vs. Cincinnati
New Orleans
Louisiana Superdome
Jan. 1
8:30 p.m. FOX

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International Bowl
South Florida vs. Northern Illinois
Toronto, Canada
Rogers Centre
Jan. 2
Noon ESPN2

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PapaJohns.com Bowl
South Carolina vs. UConn
Birmingham, Al.
Legion Field
Jan. 2
2 p.m. ESPN

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AT&T Cotton Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
Arlington, Texas
Cowboys Stadium
Jan. 2
2 p.m. FOX

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AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Arkansas vs. East Carolina
Memphis, Tenn.
Liberty Bowl
Jan. 2
5:30 p.m. ESPN

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Valero Alamo Bowl
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech
San Antonio
Alamodome
Jan. 2
9 p.m. ESPN

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Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Boise State vs. TCU
Glendale, Ariz.
U. of Phoenix Stadium
Jan. 4
8 p.m. FOX

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FedEx Orange Bowl
Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
Miami
Land Shark Stadium
Jan. 5
8 p.m. FOX

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GMAC Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Troy
Mobile, Al.
Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Jan. 6
7 p.m. ESPN

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Citi BCS National Championship Game
Texas vs. Alabama
Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Bowl
Jan. 7
8 p.m. ABC

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Party of Six: 'Bama All-Americans

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(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The Alabama Crimson Tide have a total of six players on the AP All-American Team. The number is the most of any school represented this season, and also the most in University of Alabama football history.

AP All-American First Team

Quarterback:
Colt McCoy (Texas)

Running Back:
Toby Gerhart (Stanford)
Mark Ingram (Alabama)

Wide Receiver:
Golden Tate (Notre Dame)
Jordan Shipley (Texas)

Tackle:
Russell Okung (Oklahoma State)
Trent Williams (Oklahoma)

Guard:
Mike Johnson (Alabama)
Mike Iupati (Idaho)

Center:
J.D. Walton (Baylor)

Tight End:
Aaron Hernandez (Florida)

All-Purpose Player:
C.J. Spiller (Clemson)

Kicker:
Leigh Tiffin (Alabama)

Defensive End:
Jerry Hughes (TCU)
Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech)

Defensive Tackle:
Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska)
Terrence Cody (Alabama)

Linebacker:
Rolando McClain (Alabama)
Greg Jones (Michigan State)
Eric Norwood (South Carolina)

Cornerback:
Joe Haden (Florida)
Javier Arenas (Alabama)

Safety:
Earl Thomas (Texas)
Eric Berry (Tennessee)

Punter:
Drew Butler (Georgia)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Highest Mark: Tide Star Wins Heisman

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(AP Photo/Kelly Kline, Pool)



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(AP Photo/Kelly Kline, Pool)

1) Mark Ingram 227 1,304

2) Toby Gerhart 222 1,276

3) Colt McCoy 203 1,145

4) Ndamukong Suh 161 815

5) Tim Tebow 43 390

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Bama History: Emotional Mark Ingram Captures Heisman

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For the first time in school history…Alabama has a Heisman winner. Crimson Tide sophomore running back Mark Ingram claimed the coveted Heisman Trophy, Saturday night in New York City. In the closest vote in history, Ingram edged Stanford running back Toby Gerhart in the 75th presentation of the Heisman Trophy.

Ingram had a record breaking 2009 campaign, but his struggles against the Auburn Tigers almost sealed his fate in respect to the Heisman. However, in front of a national stage, Ingram delivered a spectacular performance against the top ranked Florida Gators. His performance not only helped Alabama capture the SEC title, and birth in the BCS title game, but also propelled Mark Ingram back into the Heisman race.

Ingram, who had been a very “cool customer” when asked about the Heisman and his prospects of winning, was emotionally shaken and rightfully brought to tears when his name was announced as the recipient of the highest award in college football. Overcome by the moment, and basking in the glory…Mark Ingram stood in awe and honor of the accomplishment.

Congratulations to Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram, from the entire BAMA NATION!

NOTE: Coming soon I’ll have more news regarding the Heisman, a complete list of all the awards received by the Alabama coaches and players, and finally I’ll provide a complete list for all the bowl games this year.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Crimson Consumer: Zappos.com/The North Face

Alabama coaches and players know the importance of teamwork and partnership, and so does Zappos.com. If The North Face is on your holiday shopping list, then head over to Zappos.com for the best apparel and products.

The North Face is a household name with a time-honored tradition, and if high quality without the shopping hassle is your holiday “game plan,” then Zappos.com is the perfect “play” for you.

Alabama fans know a winner, and they also know high quality. Team up with Zappos.com and The North Face for a game winner this holiday season.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Crimson Coronation: 'Bama 32 Florida 13







Scoring Summary

AL Leigh Tiffin 48 yd FG
AL Mark Ingram 7 yd run (missed kick)
FL Caleb Sturgis 48 yd FG
AL Leigh Tiffin 34 yd FG
FL David Nelson 23 yd pass from Tim Tebow (Caleb Sturgis kick)
AL Mark Ingram 3 yd run (Leigh Tiffin kick)
FL Caleb Sturgis 32 yd FG
AL Colin Peek 17 yd pass from Greg McElroy (Leigh Tiffin kick)
AL Mark Ingram 1 yd run (failed 2pt pass)

Team Stats

                                       FL             AL
First Downs:                      13              26
Third Down Efficiency         4-11          11-15
Fourth Down Efficiency       0-1            0-0
Plays-Net Yards                49-335      71-490
Rushes-Yds                      14-88        53-251
Passing Yds                      247           239
Kick Return Yds                 161            79
Punt Return Yds                12              8
Passes                            20-35-1     12-18-0
Punts                              4-195         2-83
Fumbles-Lost                    0-0            1-0
Penalties-Yds                   5-51           1-5
Time of Poss.                   20:23          39:37

Individual Stats

RUSHING
FL: Tim Tebow 10-63, Brandon James 1-9, Jeffery Demps 1-9, Chris Rainey 2-7
AL: Mark Ingram 28-113, Trent Richardson 11-80, Roy Upchurch 7-57, Greg McElroy 4-10, Team 3--9


PASSING
FL: Tim Tebow 20-35-247-1
AL: Greg McElroy 12-18-239-0


RECEIVING
FL: Aaron Hernandez 8-85, David Nelson 4-53, Riley Cooper 3-77, Deonte Thompson 2-22, Brandon James 1-9, Omarius Hines 1-4, Emmanuel Moody 1--3
AL: Marquis Maze 5-96, Colin Peek 3-39, Mark Ingram 2-76, Julio Jones 2-28

Friday, December 4, 2009

Florida/Alabama: The Great Second Chance

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You don’t get many second chances in life, in football, or anything else for that matter. Second chances are rare…and second chances are not promised. However, if you’re a player, coach, or fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide…your second chance is only hours away.

In 2008, Alabama led the Florida Gators, 20-17, as the game headed into the final period of play. Tide fans were on edge hoping the team could survive the game's final chapter. However, in storybook fashion, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was about to write his own final chapter. Almost singled-handedly, Tebow led the Gators back from the brink, and helped Florida to capture the SEC title…and ultimately the national title.

The hopes and dreams of Alabama came crashing down. ‘Bama not only lost any SEC or national title hopes, they would go on to be embarrassed by the Utah Utes in the Sugar Bowl.

It has taken 52 weeks, but thanks to hard work and perseverance, ‘Bama has returned to Atlanta…for the ultimate second chance. Alabama has the opportunity for revenge, but also the opportunity for redemption, against the Florida Gators.

I could discuss the “player aspect” and how Florida hasn’t been as sharp on offense since the departure of Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, from the 2008 team. I could also go into great detail about the absence of Carlos Dunlap, and how his watching from the sidelines will greatly impact the Florida pass rush and run defense on the field. However, to me this is not a game about players…at least not this time around. Florida/Alabama 2009 will be about passion and desire, not statistics and Heisman Trophy candidates.

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The illusive second chance has been captured by the Alabama football team, do they lose the opportunity like sand between your fingers…or do they seize the
day…and make history?

I have a strong feeling this contest will almost mirror the LSU/Alabama game. I see an emotional rollercoaster filled with big plays and critical moments.

I predicted the LSU contest to be 24-19 in favor of Alabama. The actual score was 24-15…in favor of Alabama. Florida is certainly a great team, but in my honest opinion, the wrong team is favored in this contest.

The 52 week torture is over, and in less than 24 hours Alabama has a chance to assume the “hero responsibility,” and capture the SEC title for the 22nd time in school history.

Heroes are never born…heroes are made. So, how long does it take to become a hero? Come Saturday night in the Georgia Dome everyone will know the answer is simply…52 weeks.

The great second chance...is now.

Alabama 24 Florida 19

The SEC championship game will be televised on CBS. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. central time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tide Talk: Roy Upchurch & Julio Jones





Video Courtesy of TideSports.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Irresponsible Gator: Florida's Dunlap Suspended

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If fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide needed more reason to prove the “haters” wrong and send Tim Tebow to the Sugar Bowl, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap has added fuel to the bonfire. Arguably the leader of the Gator defense, Dunlap (#8 pictured above), will not play against Alabama in the SEC championship game.

Dunlap was arrested in Gainesville on Tuesday and charged with DUI. According to reports, police spotted a red Chrysler at an intersection not moving...even though several green lights had come and gone. The officer at the scene found Dunlap asleep at the wheel of his automobile.

According to Gainesville Police spokesman Keith Kameg, police woke up Dunlap at the scene, but he would only open his eyes for a short period of time, before once again...falling asleep.

The Florida defensive end reportedly rejected a breath test and was subsequently booked and charged with DUI.

Simply regarded as one of the best players in college football, Dunlap was named the defensive MVP of last year’s national title game, and is currently tied for the team lead with seven sacks this season. To go along with his sack productivity, Dunlap leads the Florida defense in quarterback hurries with a total of six to his credit.

With the absence of Dunlap, the entire structure of the game will change in many respects. On the Alabama side of the ball, Dunlap was certainly a player who would need to be located and identified on every single offensive snap.

From the vantage point of the Tide coaches and players, nothing has changed…and nothing will change. However, if you’re a fan of the Crimson Tide looking for another crack in the Florida armor…today has been your lucky Tuesday.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tide Talk: Mark Ingram, Javier Arenas, and Greg McElroy

Mark, Javy, and Greg "talk up" the rematch with the Florida Gators.







Video Courtesy of: TideSports.com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Great Escape: ‘Bama Beats Auburn

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(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama didn’t play like champions until the final drive of the game, but the final drive is all they needed. The Crimson Tide survived the Auburn Tigers 26-21, in a heart stopper at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn jumped on Alabama 14-0 in the first quarter thanks to every trick play in the book. Courtesy of a nifty reverse by wide receiver Terrell Zachery, an on-sides kick courtesy of Wes Byrum, and plenty of fairy dust courtesy of the “magic hat,” Auburn seemed to have enough tricks to make David Blaine blush.

One could say, in typical “Iron Bowl” fashion…nothing went according to plan. The Auburn rush defense had all the answers for ‘Bama running back Mark Ingram. The Tide star, who averages over 120 yards per game, was held to only 30 yards on 16 carries.

If nail biting is one of your favorite hobbies, this game was ideal.

The contest was knotted at 14 at the half, and many thought ‘Bama would simply wear Auburn down in the latter portion of the game. However, this game was all about the experts being wrong…and the second half was no exception.

Instead of Alabama reclaiming the game and walking away with a victory, Auburn came out firing. Chris Todd found Darvin Adams on a 72-yard touchdown strike to give the Tigers a 21-14 advantage in the third quarter.

Leigh Tiffin would connect on field goals of 27 and 31 yards, to close the margin to 21-20. The sun was setting over Jordan-Hare Stadium, and the final period would be the final chance for Alabama.

With state, conference, and national title hopes hanging in the balance, Tide quarterback Greg McElroy orchestrated…“THE DRIVE.”

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(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

With the running game soured by the Auburn defense, McElroy and Julio Jones drove 79 yards and washed away more than seven minutes of clock. McElroy completed his final seven passes, four of them to Jones…including three critical first down receptions.

With just over a minute left in regulation, and the ‘Bama season on the line, the Tide faced a critical third down at the Auburn 4-yard line. After changing the original play call, a run to Trent Richardson, ‘Bama called…”Cody-5” to save the season.

Typically designed to be a run play behind Terrence Cody, the play was instead a roll out pass to running back Roy Upchurch. With everyone in the stadium expecting run, Greg McElroy found Upchurch for the go ahead touchdown.

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(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Following a failed 2-point conversion, Alabama led 26-21 with only a minute and change remaining in regulation.

On the final play of the game Auburn quarterback Chris Todd lofted a “Hail Mary,” but the ball was spiked to the ground by linebacker Rolando McClain. When the ‘Bama defense needed to stand tall…they responded.

Alabama has now won back-to-back games in the series, and now leads the overall series, 40-33-1.

Scoring Summary

AUB Terrell Zachery 67 yd run (Wes Byrum kick)
AUB Eric Smith 1 yd pass from Chris Todd (Wes Byrum kick)
AL Trent Richardson 2 yd run (Leigh Tiffin kick)
AL Colin Peek 33 yd pass from Greg McElroy (Leigh Tiffin kick)
AUB Darvin Adams 72 yd pass from Chris Todd (Wes Byrum kick)
AL Leigh Tiffin 27 yd FG
AL Leigh Tiffin 31 yd FG
AL Roy Upchurch 4 yd pass from Greg McElroy (failed 2pt pass)

Individual Stats

RUSHING
AL: Trent Richardson 15-51, Mark Ingram 16-30, Greg McElroy 4--8
AUB: Terrell Zachery 1-67, Ben Tate 18-45, Onterio McCalebb 5-23, Mario Fannin 1-14, Kodi Burns 2-5, Chris Todd 5--3

PASSING
AL: Greg McElroy 21-31-218-0, Mark Ingram 0-1-0-0
AUB: Chris Todd 15-25-181-1, Kodi Burns 0-1-0-0

RECEIVING
AL: Julio Jones 9-83, Colin Peek 3-53, Trent Richardson 3-31, Mark Ingram 3-21, Roy Upchurch 2-15, Darius Hanks 1-15
AUB: Darvin Adams 4-138, Mario Fannin 4-20, Ben Tate 4-17, Emory Blake 1-7, Eric Smith 1-1, Terrell Zachery 1--2

NOTE: Coming soon…’Bama/Florida…THE REMATCH!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alabama/Auburn: Too Much vs. Too Little

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(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

When all the facts, stats, and cheap talk have been scattered across the table, I ask myself one single question:

Can Auburn compete with Alabama for an ENTIRE game? No.

Auburn lacks depth in critical areas and also lacks team efficiency in many critical areas.

When you look at Alabama, you see a superior football who could be destined for greatness come January. When you look at Auburn, you clearly see a mediocre team with sparks of greatness…but also signs of atrocious play.

The crowning achievement for the Auburn Tigers was obviously the “get off the canvas” win against Ole Miss. However, a home loss to Kentucky is a prime example of an incomplete mediocre team.

Alabama is quicker, more physical, and simply better. It has been very difficult for any team to compete with the Tide this season. The deciding factor for this game will have more to do with Alabama being superior…than Auburn being mediocre.

From a candid objective point of view, (and yes I can be objective) I honestly can’t foresee a situation where Alabama will lose this game. I can however see a scenario were Alabama is forced to pull away early in the final quarter (even though that is a stretch), but I can’t see a situation where Alabama is defeated by Auburn.

I’m afraid the BEST possible game played by Auburn, will still fall 9 or 10 points shy of Alabama.

Mark Ingram is simply too much, and the Auburn rush defense is simply too little. The Alabama defense is simply too much, and the Auburn total defense is simply too thin.

I could certainly be more detailed, but if you’re reading this content I’m quite confident you’ve heard all the media predictions, and the overall “tone” heading into Friday afternoon.

I’m not going to take “cheap shots” at Auburn, but the Tigers are clearly overmatched and undermanned. On the bright side, the Tigers are in the midst of a great recruiting class and will certainly be a top 20 team in a very short
time…baring an unforeseen disaster.

However, until Auburn can build a sturdy foundation for the future, “Black Friday” could take on a whole new meaning…come Friday afternoon.

When the "talking heads" (myself included) have spoken the final word, the game will be rather simplistic.

Alabama, like last season, is simply the better team, and Auburn like last season...is simply in the way.

ALABAMA 34 AUBURN 13

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Iron Bowl vs. Alabama/Auburn

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Before you ask me if the title is a trick question…the answer is “no.” For those who will tell me the “Iron Bowl” and “Alabama/Auburn” is in fact the same thing…the answer is once again…”no.”

I’ve been pondering this idea for many days, and I would like to share my conclusions as kickoff draws near.

THE IRON BOWL:

In my opinion the Iron Bowl is the hype, the talk, the banter, the braggin’ rights, the arguing, and in some cases…the fighting! The Iron Bowl is where the records are thrown out the window, and the team with the better talent…will NEVER win! The mindset behind the Iron Bowl is the history, but it’s also the idea that anything can happen and the hope the UNDERDOG should be…the FAVORITE!

The Iron Bowl is the place where stats mean nothing, and the team with the better record…is destined to LOSE! The hatred many people have towards Auburn or Alabama is in large part due to the Iron Bowl, and the stories told and shared over the years.

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(AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

Simply stated, the actual Iron Bowl supersedes common knowledge, basic football logic, and can cause the most “sane and sound” fan to suffer from temporary delusions of grandeur.

No matter how big the odds, how honest the stats, how good the record of the opposition, or how “common” the logic, deep down his or her team will FOREVER have a chance to beat the in-state rival…regardless!

The “iron will” to win…is the epitome of the IRON BOWL!

ALABAMA vs. AUBURN:

The Alabama/Auburn game is what happens when the Iron Bowl is NOT taking place. In my opinion the Iron Bowl ends after each team has had an offensive possession in the game.

Once the game begins the emotion and tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. However, by the middle of the first quarter…the Iron Bowl ends…and basic college football begins.

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(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Once the actual “game” begins, all the things that didn’t matter in
the Iron Bowl…will matter. All the stats that were thrown out and all the logic that was discarded…will matter.

Even though the “anyone can win” premise is always a card to be played, upsets in the Alabama/Auburn game have rarely occurred. Once the talk and banter come to an end and the actual game is played on the field….9 times out of 10, the better team has won.

The Alabama/Auburn game in 2009 has the Alabama Crimson Tide playing in yet another typical road game, and it has the Auburn Tigers playing against a very tough opponent at home. Sound simple? It is very simple.

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(AP Photo/April L Brown)

Once the trim is removed and the sparkle is tainted, the game is still played on the field. Once the game is over you’ll realize all the talk…was merely talk…and this goes for both fan bases.

Does the game hold extra importance for the fans? It most certainly does. However, the game is played on the field, and once the clock hits zero…the better team usually wins. The better players will make the better plays, and the better team will win the game. The “Iron Bowl” is what makes the rivalry, but “Alabama/Auburn” is just another football game…despite what we all believe.

Contrary to popular belief, the “Iron Bowl” will never hold a candle to talented players, teams, and coaches.

We tell our kids about the “Iron Bowl”…but we witness “Alabama vs. Auburn.”