Friday, May 28, 2010

Crimson Notes 5/28/10

Gene Stalllings Alabama
Even though the “Bama Nation” currently lives in the glory of Nick Saban, a former Tide coach is finally receiving the credit his is due. The National Football Foundation has named a total of 14 players and coaches to enter the prestigious College Football Hall of Fame…and Gene Stallings is on the list.

Coach Stallings joins Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin as the only two coaches to be inducted in this year’s Hall of Fame class.

The official ceremony will be held at the National Football Foundation Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the famed Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

During his tenure at Alabama, Gene Stallings was responsible for some of the “golden years” in ‘Bama history. Stallings roamed the sidelines from 1990-96 and accumulated a winning streak of 28 games, and obtained the 1992 SEC and national championship.

Courtesy of the National Football Foundation:

A member of College Football Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant's "Junction Boys" as a player at Texas A&M, Stallings returned to his alma mater in 1965 as head coach. In his third season, the Aggies captured the Southwest Conference title and defeated Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. After spending the next 17 seasons as an NFL coach, Stallings took over as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide in 1990. Following back-to-back bowl appearances in his first two seasons, Stallings led the Tide to the 1992 National Championship, posting a 13-0 season record. Stallings coached 13 First Team All- Americans during his head coaching career.

Since his retirement from football, Stallings has served on President George W. Bush's Commission on Intellectual Disability and wrote a book about his late son, John Mark, who was born with Downs Syndrome. In 2005, he was appointed to the Texas A&M Board of Regents by Governor Rick Perry.

Stallings has been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Texas A&M Hall of Fame, Gator Bowl Hall of Fame and Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. He and his wife Ruth Ann reside in Powderly, Texas, and have five children.

Finally, courtesy of the Paul W. Bryant Museum, I give you a look at
Denny-Stadium (yes, Denny-Stadium) from 1968.

The video provided below contains no audio, but fans of the Crimson Tide get a rare chance to see the stadium empty and complete with BRAND NEW artificial turf.

Via the video description, and I quote…

“Paul Bryant recommends artificial turf be installed at Legion Field in Birmingham and Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and notes the University will immediately begin installing the synthetic grass on the practice fields on the University campus. The approximate cost of putting in a 100-yard field is $200,000. City officials in Birmingham seem to concur with Bryant's wishes, noting the atrocious playing conditions that exist with the seemingly ever wornout grass at Legion Field.”

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

'Bama QB Star Jackson Expected to Transfer

Alabama Spring Game
Star Jackson arrived in Tuscaloosa with great potential and great promise. However, many times you can simply be in the wrong
place…at the wrong time.

Due to the massive productivity of Greg McElroy, and the rising star that is AJ McCarron, Alabama backup quarterback Star Jackson is expected to transfer.

Jackson met with Tide coach Nick Saban last week to discuss a scholarship release and transfer.

All signs point to Jackson landing at a
Division I Football Championship Subdivision school (formerly known as Division I-AA), where he can play immediately and not be subjected to miss a year of action due to the transfer rule.

The Georgia State Panthers will debut a college football program (FCS) this fall under former Alabama head coach Bill Curry. One of the schools being mentioned in the transfer of Star Jackson is Georgia State.

In 2009 with Alabama, Jackson participated in five games completing 13-18 passes for 116 yards.

All signs indicate that lack of playing time was/is the most paramount reason for Jackson to seek a scholarship release and transfer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Crimson Notes 5/17/10

BCS National Championship - Alabama v Texas

Give me your verbal, please? Certainly!

The Alabama Crimson Tide have received yet another verbal commitment for the 2011 season. On this occasion the verbal comes from wide receiver Bradley Sylve of Port Sulphur, Louisiana. Sylve is considered to be an “early” four-star prospect according to many recruiting prognosticators.

In other news, Alabama has extended its contract with Nike through 2018.

UA Media Relations:

With this seven-year extension, valued at nearly $30 million in cash and product, Nike will provide the athletic department with shoes, uniforms, coaching gear and other equipment. Over the life of the contract, the Athletic Department will allocate funds for all sports teams' apparel and equipment as well as for the athletic department's annual Power of Pink initiative in which the company will provide specific "pink garments" to be worn by each women's sports team at one contest per year. Additionally, Nike will provide funds for paid internships for two UA students each summer at the company's world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. In the contract, Nike will continue to have licensing rights granted by the University and will pay UA a premium royalty on the sale of Alabama-logoed merchandise at a minimum rate of 12 percent.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bryant-Denny Turf War

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When a company decides to sell chunks of your stadium grass...that you aren’t even selling…you know you’re popular!

Earlier this year, a New York based company thought a deal had been reached with the University of Alabama which would allow the group to sell 3-inch freeze-dried chunks of the famous Bryant-Denny sod for $79.99

Long story short, Alabama has decided not to sell portions of the grass, and the school currently has no plans to remove any of the stadium surface for resale at a later date.

Alabama Spring Game

So…what’s the problem?

The issue currently sits with Steiner Sports Memorabilia, the New York based company. Even though a change in plan put an end to the selling of turf, Steiner Sports Memorabilia continues to advertise the turf online.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I hate buying stadium turf online that isn’t being sold. Isn’t that a kick in the teeth?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crimson Memories: Siran Stacy (1989-1991)

Take a trip down 'Bama memory lane with a look at former Alabama running back, Siran Stacy!

Video Courtesy of: Paul W. Bryant Museum

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The Price is Right: ‘Bama Hires Saban

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship 2010 - Alabama WINS 37-21 Over Texas

As the "dead period" of college football carries us closer to September, I thought I would take this time to share a piece I composed just weeks after Nick Saban was hired at the University of Alabama.

This article was written in the cold month of January, long before Saban ever coached a game in Tuscaloosa, and long before anyone could have envisioned a national championship.

In early 2007 the only thing 'Bama fans had was hope...nothing more...nothing less.

Alabama Spring Game

He was born on Halloween, but the University of Alabama is banking on the fact he can make the “horror story” disappear. In the biggest hire since Paul W. Bryant, the University of Alabama has named Nick Saban to be the 27th head football coach in school history.

After Mike Shula was dismissed on Nov. 27, 2006, speculation and innuendo had been flying around Tuscaloosa every moment of the day.

At 10 a.m. on Jan 4, Nick Saban was named head coach, and Alabama could finally move forward.

Nick Saban has an impressive track record and is thought by many to be one of the best college coaches today. After a short stint with the Miami Dolphins, Saban is back in the college ranks…and back in the SEC.

Coach Saban first made waves in college football in 1990, as head coach of the Toledo Rockets. He led Toledo to a 9-2 record and finished the year co-champions of the Mid-American Conference.

After Toledo, he took his act to the NFL, and the Cleveland Browns. Saban was defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick from 1991-1994. In 1990, the Browns allowed 462 points on defense, the most in the NFL. In 1994, under Saban, Cleveland allowed only 204 points all year, the lowest in the NFL.

From 1995-1999, Nick Saban was in Big Ten country, and coaching the Michigan State Spartans. In 1999, his final season at State, he led the team to a record of
9-2. That record included wins over Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and bitter rival…Michigan.

On November 30, 1999, Nick Saban was named the head coach of the Louisiana State Tigers. Saban would find the biggest success of his career at LSU and in the SEC. Coach Saban won the Peach Bowl in his first season, the SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl in his second season, the Cotton Bowl in his third season, and the SEC, Sugar Bowl, and national championship in 2003.

Heisman Trophy Presentation

Saban would finish his time in Baton Rouge in 2004 with a 9-3 season and a victory in the Capital One Bowl.

As you can see, this isn’t his first “hay ride”…as we say in these parts. Only time will tell if Nick Saban will put his $30 million dollar deal to good use. Without question Alabama will now have a better shot at the elite high school talent and will make better strides in every aspect of the game.

Alabama fans can already feel proud of Nick Saban and the future of the Alabama football program. Coach Saban has qualities Mike Shula did not. Saban has a PULSE…and he has a PLAN! That is only a start…but a start nevertheless.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

'Bama/Miami in 2012?

Tennessee v Alabama

When you’ve made it back to the national stage, the country wants to watch you play...on the grandest stage. If you’re Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, an “epic” regular season game of your choice is right around every corner.

In 2008 and 2009, Alabama participated in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff which was televised by ABC.

In 2010 and 2011 Alabama will do battle with an old rival…Penn State. The 2010 contest will be in Tuscaloosa, and the 2011 duel will be held at the home of the Nittany Lions. However, once Penn State drops off the schedule in 2012…where is the next “big” game?

Alabama and Georgia Tech had a 2013-14 series planned, but now those plans have been scratched, and the Crimson Tide is going in a new direction.

Nick Saban said ‘Bama is in talks with ESPN/ABC and Chick-fil-A to discuss a 2012 game in Dallas or Atlanta.

Alabama and Texas Tech have already agreed to a game in 2012, so the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff could easily find the Crimson Tide and Red Raiders going
head-to-head in Dallas. The game is already on the schedule, so this scenario could be the “big ticket” in respect to a regular season contest.

However, a blurb in the Miami Herald has suggested the Miami Hurricanes could play in Atlanta in 2012. Could the Hurricanes face Alabama in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff? As of this moment that scenario seems unlikely, but one can’t rule out the idea. Until ‘Bama has a solid schedule composed for future seasons, a rematch of the 1993 Sugar Bowl (1992 title game) is not out of the realm of possibility.

Monday, May 3, 2010

NFL Dreams: Crimson Tide Style

LSU v Alabama

Former Alabama linebacker Cory Reamer is making the most of his NFL opportunity. Reamer, who was not drafted or signed as a free-agent, was invited to try-out with the New York Jets last week. One week later…Reamer is a proud member of the team!

Reamer signed a free-agent deal with New York and will now attend preseason camp in August. If Reamer makes the final cut…he will be on the official roster come September.

Jets coach Rex Ryan was thrilled with Reamer’s production during the mini-camp, and even made reference to him during his Friday and Saturday press conferences. Well, he made “reference” because he couldn’t remember Cory’s name. Although the Jets coach struggled with the name…"The guy that's really standing out to me is the kid from Alabama," Ryan said.

“The kid from Alabama”…”Cory Reamer”…oh well…same guy. I feel certain Reamer could care less what the coach calls him…just as long as he calls him!

In other news, former ‘Bama kicker Leigh Tiffin has received a free-agent deal with the Cleveland Browns, after showing his worth during his try-out session.

The Browns invited two place-kickers and one punter to their mini-camp, and Leigh Tiffin was the only one who remained.

Tiffin is the most prolific kicker in Crimson Tide history with 385 points and 83 fields throughout his 46-game career with Alabama. Tiffin is also the leading scorer in Tide history.

Finally, former Tide running back Roy Upchurch has been given the opportunity to pursue his NFL dreams. Upchurch has been invited to the Baltimore Ravens
mini-camp this weekend.

Upchurch has obviously yet to receive a free-agent deal, but like Reamer and Tiffin, he will be given the opportunity to earn his spot.

During his final year with ‘Bama, Roy rushed for 299 yards and caught 16 passes for the Crimson Tide. Alabama fans will ALWAYS remember Roy’s touchdown catch at Auburn which maintained the prefect season of 2009.

If Roy Upchurch signs with the Ravens, he will be reunited with college teammate Terrence Cody who was drafted by Baltimore in the 2nd round.