Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seasons of Change: How the Tide Turned

Jan 7, 2010, Pasadena, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy (12) reacts after the 2010 BCS National Championship against the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl. Alabama defeated Texas 37-21. Photo via Newscom
When the 2010 home football season begins at the University of Alabama, Bryant-Denny Stadium will seat 101,070 fans. The expansion project that totals $65 million and added 8,932 seats will be “official” when Alabama tangles with San Jose State on Sept. 4.

In addition to stadium expansion, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team will enter the new season as defending SEC champions, and national champions.

The Crimson Tide will also return running back Mark Ingram, who just happens to be the defending Heisman Trophy winner. Ingram also happens to be the first Heisman winner in school history.

Oh…and the statue. The infamous Nick Saban statue will be unveiled later this year in honor of the 2009 national championship coach. With his “bronze honor,” Nick Saban will officially take his place as one of the many championship coaches to lead the University of Alabama football program.

So…how did all of this happen?

At the end of the 2007 season Alabama was an average football team. At the end of the 2009 season Alabama held the crystal football on the floor of the famed Rose Bowl.

University of Alabama football historians will certainly point to many defining moments which “turned the TIDE” and allowed Alabama to recapture the glory of yesteryear. However, I point to a single date and arguably the worst loss in modern day Alabama history.

**Nov. 17, 2007…Louisiana-Monroe 21 Alabama 14**

Alabama was considered to be a 25+ point favorite against the Warhawks, but instead suffered one of the worst upsets in school history. In the darkest moment of the Nick Saban coaching era at Alabama…the Crimson Tide would turn the corner.

The very next week Alabama would fall once again to a very strong Auburn team in the Iron Bowl. However, the Crimson Tide would defeat Colorado in the Independence Bowl to end the ’07 season.

The rest they say…is history.

Since the start of the 2008 campaign, Alabama has a record of 26-2 overall. The only losses during this period have come to Florida in the 2008 SEC title game, and to Utah in the Sugar Bowl…the very next game. The most notable wins of the 26, have been the 2009 SEC title, and the 2009 BCS national title.

In respect to regular season games and home games, Alabama hasn’t lost a regular season contest or a home contest since Nov. 17, 2007…against Louisiana-Monroe.

The question of what turned Alabama in the right direction doesn’t have a definitive answer. The simple hiring of Nick Saban could be the answer that many Tide fans support...and that answer would certainly be MORE than valid.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks during a press conference after winning the Citi BCS National Championship game over the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
However, when it comes to a single day or moment in time, Nov. 17, 2007 will be a day Tide fans should remember…for the better.

Before you can claim greatness, you must first know what it feels like to be embarrassed. Nov. 17, 2007...the day modern greatness was born courtesy of humiliation and defeat.

The University of Alabama is a football juggernaut thanks to Nick Saban, and many of the best players in the nation.

However, give a call to Monroe, Louisiana and tell them thank you. Many times the ultimate coaching tool...is found in public humiliation and utter disgrace.

The "TIDE has turned" and the seasons have changed. The public humilation of 2007 has been transformed into the public recognition of today.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Five-Star Prospects..."Crystal" Clear Future

Jan 6, 2010; Newport Beach, CA, USA; Citi BCS Bowl National Championship Press Conference at the Newport Marriott in Newport Beach, CA. Photo via Newscom
As a follow-up to the Jadeveon Clowney visit to Alabama, I want to provide some information concerning other five-star talent who plan to visit, (or have already visited), the University of Alabama this summer.

Before I mention several five-star prospects who are interested in the Crimson Tide, I will quickly make note of linebacker Brent Calloway of Russellville, Alabama.

Calloway (a five-star prospect) has already given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama, and is "scheduled" to sign on the dotted line in February.

The five-star catalog:

-Linebacker James Wilder Jr., a 6-2, 219-pound prospect from Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, attended the Tuscaloosa Nike Camp this month and earned the Linebacker MVP award. Wilder is the son of former University of Missouri and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star James Wilder Sr. The Rivals 100 list ranks Wilder as the No. 3 high school prospect in the nation.

-Another five-star prospect who has shown high interest in Alabama is offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio. His brother Arie signed with Alabama in February and will be a freshman this fall. Kouandjio, who plans to visit Tuscaloosa in July, is a 6-6, 322-pound talent from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. The five-star lineman is rated No. 7 on the Rivals 100 list.

-Earlier this summer, highly touted running back Malcolm Brown visited the University of Alabama campus. Brown is a 6-0, 210-pound blue-chipper from Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas. In a time where Alabama is quickly becoming the home for many talented running backs, Malcolm Brown is rated No. 10 on the Rivals 100 list.

-Virginia linebacker Curtis Grant made the trip to Tuscaloosa last week. Grant is a
6-3, 222-pound prospect from Hermitage High School in Richmond, Virginia. He is rated No. 8 on the Rivals 100 list.

Will Alabama be able to snag all of the five-star talent listed above? Who knows? However, just the simple fact that five of the 11 five-star prospects have visited or plan to visit Alabama, is a fantastic sign for 2011…and beyond.

With a proven coaching staff in place, and the addition of superior talent, the future of Alabama football looks "crystal" clear.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mark Ingram Nominated for an ESPY

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Alabama running back Mark Ingram, who led the Crimson Tide to the 2009 national title and earned Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy, has been nominated for an ESPY.

The Alabama star, and pride of Flint, Michigan, has been nominated in the "Best Male College Athlete" category.

Complete Nominee List:
-Mark Ingram (Football, Alabama)
-Garrett Wittels (Baseball, Florida International)
-Blake Geoffrion (Hockey, Wisconsin)
-Evan Turner (Basketball, Ohio State)
-John Wall (Basketball, Kentucky)

In order to support Ingram in his quest for an ESPY, simply vote online or by mobile device. Fans can vote via espn.com/espys or on the ESPN facebook page at facebook.com/espn.

The ESPYs, presented by ESPN, which honor excellence in sports performance and achievement, have been held annually since 1993. The 2010 addition will be held July 14 at 8 p.m. ET in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Five-Star Prospect Jadeveon Clowney Visits 'Bama

Jan 7, 2010, Pasadena, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban during the 2010 BCS National Championship against the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl. Alabama defeated Texas 37-21. Photo via Newscom
I’m not sure if “live in the present while thinking towards the future” is a real motto or something I simply made-up, but nevertheless Nick Saban seems to live by that philosophy.

Saban is currently assembling what can only be described as a “dream team” for the 2011 season.

Alabama has received several verbal commitments for the 2011 campaign, and are currently in the process of giving the
“five-star treatment”…to several five-star recruits.

Last week the No. 1 prospect in the country, Jadeveon Clowney, visited Alabama.

Clowney, who is a 6-foot-6, 247-pound defensive end from South Carolina, was accompanied by his high school coach during his visit to Tuscaloosa.

The South Carolina high school star was very impressed with 'Bama, however, the most impressed seemed to be his high school coach, Bobby Carroll.

Coach Carroll had nothing but high praise for the University of Alabama, describing the visit as the most amazing thing he’d ever seen in his 28 years of coaching. Carroll said viewing the 13 national championships and the Heisman Trophy…was a breath-taking experience.

So…what did Jadeveon Clowney really think of ‘Bama?

Clowney apparently got to hang out with several players and received the grand tour. Clowney said he was treated like royalty and had an awesome experience.

As for Jadeveon Clowney the football player, he had 24 sacks last season and is one of only 11 players to receive the honor of a five-star rating from Rivals.com. For those unfamiliar with the ratings scale, a five-star rating is considered the “cream of the crop”…a “can’t miss” prospect.

In respect to visits from five-star talent, Clowney is certainly not alone. Coming soon I’ll provide a short overview concerning several five-star prospects who have visited, and plan to visit, the University of Alabama this summer.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crimson Tide Preseason Honors

As the 2010 college football season approaches, the Football Writers Association of America have announced the “watch lists” for the Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

Several members of the Alabama Crimson Tide have been recognized as candidates for both the Nagurski and Outland for the 2010 campaign.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 27:  Mark Barron #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 27, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Bronko Nagurski Trophy:
-Mark Barron (Safety)
-Marcell Dareus (Defensive Lineman)
-Dont’a Hightower (Linebacker)

Outland Trophy:
-James Carpenter (Offensive Lineman)
-Barrett Jones (Offensive Lineman)

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented each year to the best defensive player in the nation. The award is presented by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

During the course of the season additional players (who were not included in the preseason index) can be added to the list of candidates. On Nov. 18 the list will be reduced to five finalists, and those players will vie for the award.

The famed Outland Trophy is awarded to the best offensive or defensive lineman in the nation. The award is selected and presented by the FWAA and is currently the third-oldest award in college football. The Outland Trophy has been presented annually since 1946.

In similar fashion to the Nagurski Trophy, players can be added to the “watch list” over the course of the season. During the month of November a total of three finalists will be chosen, and those athletes will attend the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show. During the ceremony the winner will be officially announced.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24:  Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
In other news, a total of six Alabama players have been named to the Sporting News 2010 Preseason All-America team.

Tide running back Mark Ingram was a first-team choice, while Julio Jones, Marcell Dareus, Dont’a Hightower, and Mark Barron were allotted to the second-team. Offensive lineman Barrett Jones rounds out the squad as a third-team selection.

Football is certainly a "team sport" and individual recognition doesn't mean anything in the big picture. However, it takes a group of individuals to fuel a well-oiled machine.

Alabama fans should be proud and excited about the collection of talent that will hit the field this fall.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Vegas Odds: Mark Ingram Heisman Favorite

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12:  Running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide poses with the Heisman Trophy during a press conference after being named the 75th Heisman Trophy winner at the Marriott Marquis on December 12, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
The oddsmakers in Las Vegas are putting money on Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram to capture the 2010 Heisman Trophy.

Even though we are still a couple of months from the start of the season, Las Vegas never sleeps…and they certainly never stop the gambling train.

List of the top five candidates:

-Mark Ingram (Alabama)
-Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State)
-Jake Locker (Washington)
-Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
-Noel Devine (West Virginia)

The complete list runs 26 names deep, and oddly enough (or perhaps not), is equally split between 13 quarterbacks and 13 running backs.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nick Saban Visits Gulf Coast

GULF SHORES, AL - JUNE 08: A mound of oil residue sits on the beach at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on June 8, 2010 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Early reports indicate that BP's latest plan to stem the flow of oil from the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident may be having some success. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban made a visit to the Gulf Coast region on Friday.

Saban gave his full support to and for those who are currently working to restore the beaches and surrounding areas which have been directly impacted by the infamous oil spill.

During his trip to the Gulf Coast, Saban visited Grand Isle, Louisiana as well as the Alabama coastal area.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft and Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon met with Saban during his Friday visit.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Paul W. Bryant Museum: 2010 Attractions Video

Video Courtesy of: Paul W. Bryant Museum

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crimson Notes 6/16/10

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with the BCS Championship trophy after winning the Citi BCS National Championship game over the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Did someone mention a statue?

In news that will make Tide fans giddy, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees are expected to officially approve the erection of the “ever talked about”…Nick Saban statue.

The statue will honor Nick Saban as a champion and will place him with Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul "Bear" Bryant, and Gene Stallings, who also have statues on the “Walk of Champions” outside of
Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Saban’s statue will be mounted and unveiled between Aug. 13 and Aug. 20.

The unveiling will roughly coincide (two or three weeks) with the first game of the 2010 season against San Jose State.

The sculpture will be 150-percent life-size, bronze, and will be placed on a granite pedestal made of India red fine grain.

In other news, Vinnie Sunseri, the son of ‘Bama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri, has pledged to play his college football at the University of Alabama. Sunseri chose Alabama over Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Memphis.

Major recruiting outlets Rivals.com and Scouts.com, consider Sunseri to be a
three-star prospect.

With his verbal commitment to Alabama, Vinnie Sunseri becomes the 14th commitment for the 2011 signing/recruiting class.

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 02:  A UCLA Bruins cheerleader performs during the college football game held on Septemeber 2, 2006 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  The Bruins defeated the Utes 31-10.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Could Alabama and UCLA tangle in 2012? Reports suggest a door has opened which would allow UCLA to play the Crimson Tide on a neutral site to open the 2012 campaign.

UCLA had (and still has) a scheduled game with Nebraska in 2012. However, due to the Cornhuskers leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten, Nebraska could “ask out” of the UCLA game.

If Nebraska bows outs of the contest with UCLA, look for the Crimson Tide and the Bruins to make a deal.

Nick Saban and Alabama want one high-profile non-conference game each season.

Alabama will face Penn State in Tuscaloosa this fall, and will make the trip to University Park in 2011.

Coach Saban recently said that ESPN has presented the Crimson Tide with a total of five different opponents for the 2012 season. The ESPN proposed games would either be in Atlanta or Dallas, giving light to a possible Chick-fil-A College Kickoff match-up with a solid powerhouse.

As reported in March, Alabama and Texas Tech were in talks to open the 2012 season in Arlington, Texas at the new Cowboys Stadium. However, nothing has been made official at this time.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Conference Expansion: The Big 12 Stands Firm

Jan 6, 2010; Newport Beach, CA, USA; Unversity of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and University of Texas Head Coach Mack Brown pose in front of the National Championship Trophy at the Citi BCS Bowl National Championship Press Conference at the Newport Marriott in Newport Beach, CA. Photo via Newscom
The quest for a new mega-conference has hit a brick wall, and the applause you hear are from “old school” college football fans across the globe.

The PAC-10 has been turned away by the remaining schools from the Big 12, and for now…all is RIGHT in the landscape of college football.

In a proposal that would have divided a conference and sent the remaining schools looking for a new place to call home, the University of Texas declined an invite from the PAC-10 on Monday afternoon.

The “declaration” by Texas to remain in the Big 12 was quickly followed by several institutions also promising to stand firm and remain in the conference.

Had the PAC-10 received half of the Big 12, it would have created a ripple effect all across the nation in respect to conference affiliation.

The remaining half of the Big 12 would have been forced to find new conference affiliates, and the impact would have been felt in every other major conference.

However, thanks to the University of Texas, MANY helpful individuals, and the “higher ups”…pandemonium has been averted.

I can officially say, Colorado has joined the PAC-10, Nebraska has joined the Big Ten, and Boise State has joined the Mountain West. I can only speak for myself, but I’m so very pleased those are the facts…and NOTHING more!

The decision by Texas has put an end to the mega-conference expansion plan, and those who love college football and college athletics should be thrilled!

So how did all this actually come together? Courtesy of sources close to the situation, many people were “turned off” by the aggressive nature of the PAC-10. Various people and groups across the country began to “take a stand” against the PAC-10 and the expansion plan.

People said to be involved in saving the Big 12 were business executives, conference commissioners, athletic directors, network executives, and various people with ties to the NCAA. The wonderful part of the “survival effort” was that many of these individuals and “groups” had/have no ties with a Big 12 institution.

Reports say that all of the influential people and groups held various meetings, conference calls, and spoke with Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe. The influential parties also helped organize a new television contract between the University of Texas and the other five schools who were being coaxed by the PAC-10.

At the end of the day it appears many parties involved felt the PAC-10 was playing the role of the “school bully” and making rash and swift decisions that would impact the Big 12 in a negative manner.

The PAC-10 has said expansion is still a priority and Utah will be the next school targeted in the growth process.

With the Big 12 (10) intact, many of the conferences “caught up” in the expansion chatter will remain strong with all current schools in place. The Big Ten could expand but the subject is not considered a top priority at this time.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Conference Expansion Insanity 101

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Fireworks explode prior to the Citi BCS National Championship game between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
When money is the deciding factor for all major decisions…you get utter chaos.

If you would like a proper example of this “evil ailment,” look no further than conference expansion at the highest level of the college ranks.

When you build a house of cards and pull a single card from the middle, the entire house crumbles. When the PAC-10 decided to barge in and invite half of the Big 12 conference to join the PAC-10…all the cards began to fall.

The chaos that is conference expansion is obviously a developing story that changes faster than a diaper on a newborn baby.

What I hope to provide are the facts (VERY FEW), and some of the more credible rumors that have surfaced and continue to surface concerning this ever-changing situation.

The next 24-48 hours are considered vital due to several meetings that have been scheduled. One can only hope some sort of resolution and concrete decision will be reached by the middle portion of the week.

When money overrides tradition, and is the driving force behind vital decisions, chaos is the result. In my opinion those in favor of such radical change (PAC-10 trying to steal half of another conference) should be utterly ashamed.

True college athletics (especially college football) was based on tradition....not greed which sends “farm schools” to play on the California coast.

I'm not a geographical scholar, but Austin, Texas...Norman, Oklahoma...and Stillwater, Oklahoma (to name a few), have nothing to do with the ocean, and certainly should have nothing to do with the PAC-10.

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Here are the latest facts and the laundry list of scuttlebutt which now “plagues” this important issue.

-Colorado has joined the PAC-10.

-Nebraska has joined the Big Ten.

-Boise State has departed the WAC…and joined the Mountain West.

-The SEC has RULED OUT a “raid” of the ACC. The conference has said any additions to the league will not include any ACC schools…as once rumored.

-In a meeting on Sunday, Texas A&M turned down an invite to join the PAC-10. School officials are aggressively exploring all options.

-The PAC-10 is still making a strong push for Oklahoma and Texas. The league seems determined to gain “some” of the schools they were originally after when the expansion proposal was announced.

-Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is making a push for all remaining Big 12 schools (10) to remain intact. Officials from five schools held a conference on Saturday to discuss the issue of reformatting the league with the remaining schools. Commissioner Beebe has been notified the league would only suffer an 8-10 percent decline in television with the departure of Colorado and Nebraska.

-The board of regents from Texas Tech and Texas plan to meet on Tuesday, and Oklahoma will have a board meeting on Wednesday, to discuss all options. As mentioned earlier, these meetings will “hopefully” provide major resolution by the middle portion of the week.

-The Mountain West Conference is taking a strong look at Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State.

-Utah is a likely candidate to “fill out” the newly structured PAC-10 depending on what earlier “invites” decide. If "various" schools decline the PAC-10 offer, Utah would appear to be on the move.

-To expound on the above, the PAC-10 invited six specific schools, but expansion seems evident. The league will take other schools if not all the Big 12 “invites” accept.

-Texas A&M joining the SEC seems like a very “real” possibility. As mentioned earlier, the Aggies have declined the PAC-10, yet are not confident in respect to remaining a member of the Big 12. If the SEC adds a school (which is still very uncertain for many reasons) Texas A&M would be the prime choice at the moment.

-BREAKING NEWS: Late word (as of Monday afternoon) has Texas on the verge of making a solid commitment to REMAIN in the Big 12. In my opinion this is the BIGGEST news of all to this point. If Texas stays in the Big 12 (10)...the conference could remain a "solid" league.

Greed should NEVER be the main reason for change…yet here we are. The entire landscape of college football is being reshaped courtesy of a bunch of bad gardeners!

I say remember the great conference rivalries and the better days of college athletics. However, you may want to close your eyes while you remember, because the current view…is a muddy picture clouded in dollar signs.

Once again, this is an ever-changing story and I will do my best to keep a pulse on the situation. Stay close for updates and “hopefully”…concrete facts!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Recruiting News: Issac Luatua

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 20: Nike footballs line up for warmups as the University of Central Florida Golden Knights host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Bright House Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.  UCF won 44 - 23. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
With the 2010 season only months away, the Alabama Crimson Tide continue to build for the 2011 campaign.

‘Bama has received a verbal commitment from offensive lineman Issac Luatua of La Miranda, California. Luatua is listed at 6-foot-2 and tops the scale at close to 300 pounds.

The California recruit is considered the No. 8 center prospect according to Rivals.com.

Oddly enough, Luatua gave his verbal to the Crimson Tide without visiting the University of Alabama campus.

In his statement, Luatua was adamant about his decision to join the Tide, and is more than ready to play under the leadership of Nick Saban.

Issac Luatua is the 13th commitment of the 2011 recruiting class.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Ranking the SEC/Crimson Tide Television

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks during a press conference after winning the Citi BCS National Championship game over the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
As we head closer to the middle portion of June, one of the many signs that college football is right around the corner is the appearance of various polls and prognostications.

Once again, The Birmingham News has released various polls which attempt to project the final order of finish in the SEC. The prognostications are based on the votes of every football information director in the conference.

As not to leave anyone in suspense, the following rankings reveal who is expected to win each division, and also how the conference as a whole “shakes down” from top to bottom.

When the "I don't agree with those projections" party begins, you know college football is just beyond those trees! Let the rankings be projected and let the discussion commence!

1-Alabama 2-LSU (TIE) 2-Arkansas (TIE) 4-Auburn 5-Ole Miss 6-Miss. State

1-Florida 2-Georgia 3-South Carolina 4-Tennessee 5-Kentucky 6-Vanderbilt

1-Alabama 2-Florida 3-LSU 4-Arkansas 5-Georgia 6-Auburn 7-South Carolina
8-Tennessee (TIE) 8-Ole Miss (TIE) 10-Miss. State 11-Kentucky
12 Vanderbilt

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 17: Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram #22 waits for a punt during the Alabama spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium on April 17, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Do the above rankings actually mean anything? No. However, I think we can all agree it gives the fans something to ponder and discuss as we inch closer to the month of September.

Speaking of September, the SEC has announced several start times for television purposes, and two of which involve the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Sept. 11 contest against Penn State will be a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be televised by ESPN. The following week (Sept. 18) the ‘Bama road contest at Duke will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised regionally by ABC.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Star Jackson to Georgia State

Alabama Spring Game
As I reported last month, Star Jackson was “expected” to transfer from the University of Alabama. As we begin the month of June, I can now confirm what was anticipated…Star Jackson is no longer a member of the Alabama football program.

Jackson is planning to transfer to Georgia State (as noted in the prior article) and has been in Atlanta looking for an apartment. The former ‘Bama quarterback plans to enroll at GSU this summer and begin playing for the Georgia State Panthers this season.

Jackson will have three years of eligibility remaining and hopes to compete for the starting job at quarterback.

As a point of emphasis, Jackson has yet to officially enroll at Georgia State, which means he could change his mind at the last moment and decide to test the waters elsewhere. However, the percentage is extremely high that Jackson will follow through on his plans, and arrive at the GSU campus this summer.

In respect to the Georgia State football team, the 2010 season will mark the first year for the program. The Panthers will be led by former Alabama Crimson Tide head coach, Bill Curry.

Alabama and Georgia State are scheduled to tangle at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 20, so I think I speak for everyone when I say it would be more than interesting to see Star Jackson under center facing his old team/school.

How many quarterbacks get a national championship ring…and then go against the national champs the very next season? I don’t have the answer, but I do know Star Jackson has his ring…and a fresh start.

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