Friday, July 30, 2010

Trey DePriest Commits to 'Bama

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
Alabama has added another talented player to the juggernaut that is the 2011 signing class.

Linebacker Trey DePriest of Springfield, Ohio gave his verbal commitment to Alabama on Friday afternoon. DePriest chose ‘Bama over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Listed at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, DePriest is considered one of the top five linebackers in the nation. ranks DePriest as a four-star talent and ranks him as a five-star prospect.

The Ohio product becomes the fourth linebacker and the sixteenth player overall to give his verbal commitment to the Crimson Tide for the 2011 season.

The new 'Bama signee, who turned 17 last month, is in preparation to graduate high school early so he can enroll at Alabama and participate in spring practice.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kick and Cover: Alabama Unsolved Mysteries

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 17: Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches during the Alabama spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium on April 17, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
While fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide are scratching the “football itch,” Nick Saban is scratching his head.

Alabama will certainly have one of the most prolific offensive attacks in college football, but the Crimson Tide secondary and special teams remain a mystery.

The defending national champs will have to depend on a freshman punter (Jay Williams) and freshman placekicker (Cade Foster) to handle the kicking duties this season.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Is that a mystery waiting to be solved? Absolutely!

We all know how a critical punt or even more so…a field goal, can decide a close game. In many cases a decisive field goal can not only win the game, but put a close game out of reach for the opposition.

Cade Foster and Jay Williams will certainly be under the microscope during the 2010 campaign. The contest with San Jose State (season opener) should provide both players an opportunity to work under less anxiety, while giving them a taste of major college football.

In respect to who will replace Javier Arenas in the return game, look for Julio Jones, Marquis Maze and Trent Richardson to see time at the kick and punt return positions.

Nick Saban seems to like Jones at the punt return spot, simply because he has sure hands and can field the football.

On the defensive side of the ball, Alabama has secondary concerns…of the primary persuasion.

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)
Alabama returns strong safety Mark Barron, but must replace Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson and Justin Woodall.

As fall camp approaches it would appear Dre Kirkpatrick and former Tide wide receiver B.J. Scott will be the corners, while Mark Barron and Robert Lester will lock-down the safety positions.

Look for Rod Woodson, Jarrick Williams and Nick Perry to challenge Lester for the starting safety position during fall camp.

Tide fans can expect highly touted newcomers John Fulton and DeMarcus Milliner to see action in the Tide secondary during nickel situations.

Anticipate LSU transfer Phelon Jones and junior college transfer DeQuan Menzie (if approved to play after Achilles surgery) to also see action in the ‘Bama secondary in 2010.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top 2008 Recruit Prepares to Enroll at ‘Bama

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 1:  Detail view of a football resting on the grass during the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and teh USC Trojans on January 1, 2009 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  USC won 38-24.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
While he was having a less than mediocre career in the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league organization, Melvin Ray…was thinking about Alabama.

Ray was a four-star wide receiver out of high school and signed with Alabama as a member of the 2008 class.

The Florida native could have obtained a starting pivotal role at wide receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Ray could have an SEC title ring, a national championship ring and possible individual recognition for his football accomplishments as a member of the Crimson Tide.

However, Melvin Ray has never played a single snap at Alabama…for Melvin Ray never attended Alabama.

After signing with the Crimson Tide in 2008, Ray decided to leave football behind and play professional baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Melvin Ray has spent the past three seasons in the Los Angeles minor league organization…scuffling at best.

During the course of 2008 and 2009, Ray’s batting average never exceeded .162, although he was batting a respectable .269 this season in the Arizona League.

However, words like “respectable,” and batting less than .162 over the course of two years, won’t get you called up to the “big show” anytime in the near future.

After three less than impressive seasons in minor league baseball, Melvin Ray wanted more…he wanted Alabama Crimson Tide football.

The 2008 Alabama signee has departed the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and has returned to his Tallahassee, Florida home.

The once highly touted recruit is currently taking the necessary steps which will allow him to join the University of Alabama football team for the 2011 season.

"My heart is still with (Alabama) because I signed with them," Ray said. "I wouldn't have made that commitment for no reason. I want to play. I want to play with Alabama no matter what.”

The decision to stay with the Tide has everything to do with loyalty to the University of Alabama, but also loyalty to Nick Saban.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 17: Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches his team during the Alabama spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium on April 17, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Ray said coach Saban indicated in 2008 the door would always be open if he ever decided to return to football in the future.

For Melvin Ray…the future is now.

Ray, now 21, will need to enroll at a junior college before enrolling at Alabama, but plans to be in Tuscaloosa as a student by the spring of 2011.

The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to pay for Ray’s college education, as stated in the terms of his original contract. At the moment it’s unclear if NCAA rules would clear that as a viable course of action at this time.

However, Ray’s father, Melvin Ray Sr., viewed the issue of paying for Melvin’s college a non-issue. "If we have to pay for it," Ray Sr. said, "he's going to Alabama. Once he was committed, nothing has changed there."

Due to the fact Ray never enrolled at Alabama or played football for the Crimson Tide, he would have four years of eligibility.

Melvin Ray will be a 22 year old freshman in the fall of 2011 when he “hopes” to make his debut for the Crimson Tide. His age and his “life experience” will certainly allow him to be a team leader…even as a freshman.

Ray said he doesn’t regret his choice to play professional baseball, but he is more than ready to attend college…and play football for the top team in the nation.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Crimson Notes 7/26/10

Even though the topic of sports agents seemed to take center stage at SEC Media Days, the media did make some football prognostications last week at the Wynfrey.

The defending national champions have been named the favorite to win the Southeastern Conference title for the second consecutive season.

In the eyes of the media Alabama and Florida are untouchable, and will meet once again in Atlanta…with Alabama taking the crown.

Jan 7, 2010, Pasadena, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy (12), right, and running back Mark Ingram (22) celebrate during the 2010 BCS National Championship against the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl. Alabama defeated Texas 37-21. Photo via Newscom
Here are the predicted standings for the 2010 SEC season:

Eastern Division
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

1. Florida (153) 1030
2. Georgia (15) 791
3. South Carolina (8) 790
4. Kentucky 462
5. Tennessee 450
6. Vanderbilt (1) 194

Western Division
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

1. Alabama (157) 1034
2. Arkansas (6) 726
3. Auburn (10) 691
4. LSU (1) 653
5. Mississippi State 320
6. Ole Miss (3) 293

Predicted Conference Champion
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

SEC Champion - Alabama (143), Florida (17), Auburn (7), Arkansas (3), Ole Miss (2), Georgia (2), LSU (1), South Carolina (1), Kentucky (1).

In other news, junior college signee DeQuan Menzie could potentially play this fall for the Crimson Tide.

Menzie, a defensive back from Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi, signed with Alabama in February, but suffered a torn Achilles in early April and was expected to miss the entire 2010 season.

However, ‘Bama quarterback Greg McElroy delivered some unexpected news at SEC Media Days concerning Menzie and his health.

McElroy said Menzie has been at “full-speed” during 7-on-7 workouts during the offseason.

Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower reiterated McElroy’s comment(s) saying Menzie has looked good this summer.

The unexpected return of Menzie, who was originally thought to miss six months, is huge for the Alabama defense.

The Tide secondary has suffered the biggest hit this offseason due to graduation and NFL departures. Menzie, a cornerback, was signed by ‘Bama in order to help build a new Tide secondary for 2010.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  David Detz #19 of the Louisiana State University Tigers fails to pull in this touchdown reception against Mark Barron #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Other than safety Mark Barron, the entire 'Bama secondary will be fresh and new for the 2010 campaign.

The possible return of DeQuan Menzie is certainly an unexpected victory for Alabama on the defensive side of the ball.

Finally, the University of Alabama has announced the season opener with San Jose State (Sept. 4) will be on pay-per-view with a scheduled kick time at 6 p.m. CT from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

In similar news, the Georgia State contest on Thursday, Nov. 18, will be televised by ESPNU with kickoff expected at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

'Bama Denies Report Concerning Ingram

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 27:  Mark Ingram #22 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)
As the month of July slowly comes to a close, the “wild and crazy” remains routine.

Instead of chatting about college football, the topic of sports agents, investigations and allegations have taken center stage.

On Thursday afternoon, the University of Alabama denied a report by TMZ which claimed the NCAA sought to speak with Tide running back Mark Ingram concerning a party he attended on May 12 in Washington D.C.

The party in question involved recent NFL draft selections, most notably former Florida star Joe Haden.

In respect to the Crimson Tide running back, the University of Alabama gave Ingram permission to attend the function, so long as he presented receipts for his expenses.

An Alabama spokesperson said Ingram provided all the necessary documentation concerning the trip.

The ‘Bama representative also said the school is currently unaware of any NCAA issue concerning Mark Ingram.

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Coach Speak: All-Southeastern Conference Team

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 27:  Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide draws a facemask penalty from Jonathan Evans #35 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 27, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The SEC coaches have compiled the preseason All-Southeastern Conference football team for the 2010 campaign.

The 2010 squad includes six Alabama players on the first team and three on the second team.

Reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram, wide receiver Julio Jones and Crimson Tide guard Barrett Jones were named to the first-team offense.

On the defensive side of the ball, safety Mark Barron, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive lineman Marcell Dareus were recognized as members of the first-team defense.

Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy, star running back Trent Richardson and tackle James Carpenter were selected to the second-team offense.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SEC Media Days 2010: Alabama Front and Center

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide stands on the sidelines during the Citi BCS National Championship game against the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Alabama portion of SEC Media Days 2010 should have been called, “Sports Agent Smackdown 2010.”

When Nick Saban made his rounds from room to room, the questions were all the same…and they all dealt with sports agents.

Saban, who has never been the shy one when it comes to delivering his opinion, lowered the collective “boom” on agents who are out to harm collegiate athletes.

"Agents who do this, and I hate to say it, how are they any better than a pimp?" Saban told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Alabama's Nick Saban on rogue agents: 'How are they better than a pimp?'

The recent investigation of three SEC schools (Alabama included) has caused an upheaval and the Tide coach, as can be seen in the video above…went nuclear.

Saban suggested that “shady” NFL agents who make it a point to break the rules should be held accountable, and the NFL should take away their license for an entire year.

Alabama's Nick Saban speaks at SEC Media Days

While discussing the most recent agent scandal to journey through college football, Saban also touched on the Andre Smith situation which prevented the former Tide star from playing in the Sugar Bowl against Utah.

Saban said the University of Alabama could have prosecuted the agent responsible in the Smith case, but declined…due to an NCAA risk.

If a school prosecutes an agent, the school has “turned in” the rogue agent, but in the process they (the school) would admit to allowing the athlete in question to play “make a deal” with the unsavory agent.

In what could almost be described as chilling, Saban said the agent in the Smith episode…was back the following year.

In other news, Greg McElroy, Mark Ingram and Dont’a Hightower each ran the “media gauntlet” at the Wynfrey Hotel, and by and large fielded “generic” questions about the 2010 campaign.

The Alabama contingency also took questions regarding sports agents and the impact they have on college football.

Greg McElroy, in one media room, spoke in high praise about defensive back Dequan Menzie who appears to be healthy following a torn Achilles.

The ‘Bama quarterback said Menzie looks great and has been at full-speed during
7-on-7 drills.

McElroy also expressed high admiration for wide receiver DeAndrew White calling him, “an incredible talent."

Alabama's Greg McElroy speaks at SEC Media Days

Tide linebacker Dont’a Hightower fielded questions regarding his knee, his role on the 2010 defense and his responsibility as a team leader.

Hightower missed the majority of the 2009 season after suffering a serious knee injury against Arkansas.

Alabama's Dont'a Hightower speaks at SEC Media Days

Finally, it came as no surprise that Mark Ingram was asked about his Heisman win, how he has improved and what he expects from the 2010 Alabama offense.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after an extra point during the Citi BCS National Championship game against the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The 'Bama running back, as he so often seems to do, made it a point to express his desire to remain a team player and do everything in his power to make Alabama a better football team.

Ingram told reporters he has spent hours in the film room going over his game.

The Heisman winner said pass protection was one of the many focal points during his spring and summer work.

During his time at SEC Media Days Ingram mentioned he has taken out an insurance policy. Many expect the Tide star to depart Alabama after the 2010 season and take his talent to the NFL.

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Sports Agent Scandal Strikes 'Bama

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Marcell Dareus (57) sheds Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert (3) and scores on a 28 yard interception in second quarter action 2010 BCS National Championship game in Pasadena, California on January 7, 2010. UPI/Jon SooHoo Photo via Newscom
The University of Alabama has confirmed the school compliance staff is currently investigating Tide defensive end Marcell Dareus.

The investigation is centered around a party Dareus attended this summer in South Beach/Miami. The event was held by a sports agent and included several players who are currently active in collegiate football.

During the month of July the NCAA has made it a priority to crackdown on agent-related matters concerning college athletes.

Several schools are currently being investigated, with the most prominent being North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

The Dareus situation came to light after North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin became a person of interest in the North Carolina investigation.

Austin is known to be friends with Dareus and has been interviewed by the NCAA concerning the party in South Beach.

It is worth noting that Dareus' mother, Michelle Luckey, passed away on May 18 and the trip took place not long after her passing.

At the present time it would appear the situation with Marcell Dareus would not be considered an institutional matter in the eyes of the NCAA, but rather an individual matter.

The party in question took place earlier this summer, as mentioned above, and unless Dareus dealt with an agent prior to the Miami gathering, the matter will be an individual case, not a “team/school” related matter in the eyes of the NCAA.

Simply stated, if possible agent bustle took place after the BCS title game, chances of an NCAA institutional quandary are very small.

However, from an individual standpoint, if Dareus attended the Miami party and was contacted by an agent who paid for the trip and/or other lavishes, Dareus himself could face eligibility questions for the 2010 season.

The situation with Dareus and Alabama is obviously an ongoing matter. I will have more on this story in the coming days and weeks.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crimson Notes 7/20/10

TUSCALOOSA - OCTOBER 17:  Alabama Crimson Tide mascot Big Al cheers on the field before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 17, 2009.  The Crimson Tide beat the Gamecocks 20-6.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
SEC Media Days 2010 are less than 24 hours away…but Alabama still has an eye on 2011.

On Monday, the Alabama Crimson Tide managed to scour “Big Ten country” and received a verbal commitment from Ryan Kelly, a center from West Chester, Ohio.

Kelly chose ‘Bama over the likes of Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Tennessee.

Ryan Kelly is listed at 6-foot-5, and tops the scale at 270 pounds. ranks Kelly as a four-star prospect and the No. 2 center in the nation.

At the present time, the verbal from Ryan Kelly is the 15th commitment given to the Crimson Tide for the 2011 signing class.

In other news, the new film “Nick Saban: Gamechanger” is scheduled to premiere August 24 at the Carmike Summit in Birmingham. The film will officially hit select theaters August 27.

Be sure to visit for all the information concerning the film.

If “Nick Saban: Gamechanger” is not scheduled to play in your locale, be sure to contact your local theater and ask for the film in your area.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

SEC Media Days Online Stream

The Southeastern Conference and XOS Digital, Inc. have formed a partnership which will allow fans to get a front-row seat to SEC Media Days courtesy of a free online stream.

The live online stream will enable fans to watch interviews with every coach and athlete present at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

Jan 5, 2010; Newport Beach, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban at the 2010 BCS National Championship media day at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Photo via Newscom
In addition to interviews, the online viewer will be able to watch feature highlights, as well as receive football previews, which will add to the online viewing experience of SEC Media Days 2010.

In order to view the coverage online, fans have the following options:
-The SEC Video Zone which can be found on various accredited online news outlets within the southeastern region

SEC Media Days 2010 will begin Wednesday morning and will conclude Friday afternoon.

As mentioned above, the event will once again be held at the famed Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

Click HERE for the 2010 SEC Media Days schedule.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Greg McElroy Nominated for 2010 Unitas Award

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy has been named to the “watch list” for the 2010 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

The Tide senior was one of 22 college quarterbacks to be named a candidate for the coveted honor.

Alabama has not had a Unitas winner since Jay Barker took home the trophy in 1994.

The most recent ‘Bama quarterback to make the “watch list” was John Parker Wilson prior to his senior season of 2008.

Former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy won the award in 2009.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is given annually to the most outstanding senior quarterback in college football.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ESPN College GameDay Expands, Andrews Added

June 15, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - TONY PARKER, ERIN ANDREWS & JOHN CENA promote Gillette's Fusion ProGlide and announce winners of the ''Ultimate Summer Job'' contest at Good Units at the Hudson Hotel NYC 06-15-2010 Photos by  Rangefinder- Photos Inc.  2010.ERIN ANDREWS.K65184RM. © Red Carpet Pictures
The popular ESPN college football show, “College GameDay” is expanding to three hours for the coming 2010 season.

ESPNU will televise the first hour of the show beginning at 9 a.m. ET. Once the initial hour is over, ESPN will begin coverage and complete the remaining two hours in customary fashion.

The ESPNU portion of the broadcast will be held from the site of the day’s best game or the contest with the most gripping storyline.

In addition to the extra hour on ESPNU, Erin Andrews will join “College GameDay” in 2010.

Andrews will anchor several segments during the initial hour on ESPNU, and will provide various reports, interviews, and features during the two-hour portion of the show on ESPN.

In concurrence with her new role, Andrews will also work as the sideline reporter of the contest from which "College GameDay" originates that particular week, if the game in question is on an ESPN network.

Andrews will also provide various reports on ABC’s “Good Morning America” during the course of the 2010 season.

“College GameDay” is entering its 24th season and the 2010 addition (as in years past) will feature Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard.

On a side note, Rece Davis will take over the play-by-play duties for all Thursday night ESPN games. Davis will be in the booth with Craig James, while Jenn Brown will deliver the latest news from the sidelines.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crimson Tide Favored to Repeat

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Marquis Maze #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
We all know the game is played on the field, but if college football magazines had the final say, Alabama has the potential to be holding the trophy for the second consecutive season.

In a preseason composite poll from Phil Steele, Athlon’s, Sporting News, and Lindy’s…Alabama is the No. 1 team in the nation.

The Crimson Tide received three first-place votes and 98 of a possible 100 points according to the poll. Oklahoma garnered the other first-place votes.

Ohio State, who didn’t receive a first place vote, was the No. 2 team selected behind Alabama in three of the four publications listed. The Buckeyes earned a total of 95 points which placed them directly behind the defending champions.

Alabama will certainly be regarded as the No. 1 team in the country in every credible poll to begin the 2010 campaign.

From a fan prospective rankings are fun to discuss, but as the old expression goes, “just win baby…the rest will take care of itself."

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Alabama Selects Media Days Representatives

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks upfield against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Thanks to a new policy made by the SEC during meetings in Destin, Florida, each SEC school will be allowed to bring three players to SEC Media Days.

In the past each school was only allowed to bring two players to the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

On July 21, Alabama will bring Greg McElroy, Mark Ingram, and Dont’a Hightower to represent the defending SEC and national champions.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crimson Notes 7/8/10

How early is it to rate the top 15 signing classes for 2011? Well, according to, seven months away…is not too early.

In new rankings published by, the Alabama Crimson Tide hold firm at the No. 5 spot.

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 10:  Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches from the sidelines during their game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Top Five Schools:
-Ohio State
-Stanford (fascinating)

In respect to the SEC as a whole, LSU is No. 6, Georgia No. 7, and the Florida Gators currently sit at No. 10.

In other news, due to the recent schedule change which moved the originally planned contest with Georgia State from Nov. 20, to Thursday, Nov. 18, University of Alabama officials have cancelled all classes that day.

With the anticipation of over 100,000 fans on campus the entire day, school officials came to the conclusion that “typical” campus operations and routines could not commence while the campus is covered with thousands of fans.

Keep in mind, as we should all know and understand, the majority of fans who attend college football games are not active students at the institution in question. Therefore, it can become very difficult for current students, faculty, and staff to conduct typical “in session” operations when a game is held during a school and/or business day.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

USC Apologizes to Alabama for Baxter Accusations

Apr. 01, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA, USA - 01 April 2010: USC Dillon Baxter during a USC spring football practice at the Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Football Practice Field on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, CA.
In June of 2010 the USC football program was placed on probation. In July of 2010 the USC athletics director issued an apology letter…to Alabama.

In the wake of the NCAA sanctions which handcuffed the Trojans, USC freshman running back Dillon Baxter made serious claims against several institutions concerning illegal contact.

Baxter had claimed Alabama, Florida, Fresno State, Oregon, and Washington had called him just hours after NCAA sanctions were handed down against the Trojans.

Baxter claimed he was contacted via phone and asked if he would be interested in transferring, due to the recent sanctions handed to USC. Given his status as an incoming freshman, contact with Baxter would have been illegal.

One minor problem…Dillon Baxter lied. Oops!

University of Alabama athletics director Mal Moore received an apology letter earlier this week from USC athletics director Mike Garrett. The issue regarding Baxter and alleged illegal contact took an entire month to finally resolve.

Garrett now confirms that he recently spoke with Dillon Baxter, and the USC freshman has said he was not contacted by the University of Alabama. Therefore, no actions will be taken by USC, the PAC-10, or the NCAA.

Mike Garrett also apologized for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter caused the University of Alabama.

Dillon Baxter goes public about being contacted by Alabama…which is a lie…and Alabama is supposed to feel embarrassed? Okay?

At any rate, it has also been reported the University of Florida has received an apology from Mike Garrett…with the identical wording as the apology sent to Alabama.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: New head coach of the USC Trojans Lane Kiffin speaks to the media during a press conference at Heritage Hall January 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
In the early stages of the Baxter claims, many individuals deemed the allegations a lie. Just hours after the claims, knowing phone records could either prove or disprove his story; Baxter was said to have lost his phone.

In another interesting turn, it was discovered that Dillon Baxter was never recruited by the Crimson Tide. Alabama was not on the final “offer list” when Baxter signed with USC. This obvious fact made many people question, if ‘Bama didn’t want Baxter in February…why would they want him now?

Did 'Bama know about Baxter? Yes. Did 'Bama actively recruit and pursue Baxter? No.

Dillon Baxter was regarded as one of the nation’s top running backs coming out of high school. One can only hope he’s better at “covering the football”…than he is at “covering a lie.”

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crimson Notes 7/6/10

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - OCTOBER 27: Head Coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks on the field before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium October 27, 2007 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Ohio State won 37-17.  (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
When the Penn State Nittany Lions arrive in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 11 to tangle with the Alabama Crimson Tide, ESPN College GameDay will be front and center.

GameDay analyst Lee Corso was in Daytona over the weekend for the NASCAR event, and reportedly confirmed to Jay Paterno (Joe’s son and Penn State assistant) that ESPN College GameDay will be live in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 11 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

In one of the most anticipated early season matchups of the 2010 campaign, Penn State/Alabama will certainly be a contest which will garner the attention of the entire college football nation.

Penn State/Alabama will be televised by ESPN, with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. central time.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 27:  Head coach Nick Saban 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)
In other news, prominent radio personality and sports columnist Paul Finebaum has written a very detailed piece regarding a new film entitled, "Nick Saban: Gamechanger.”

The film, which is scheduled to premiere in late August, will give the viewing audience an unprecedented look at Nick Saban behind the scenes. Saban, who is known by the general public to be very private, opened his office, and even his home, in order to be the focal attraction in this new film.

Click HERE to read the entire article on the upcoming movie, "Nick Saban: Gamechanger.”

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Friday, July 2, 2010

SEC Football Media Days 2010 Schedule

SEC Football Media Days 2010 will be held July 21-23 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

The following schedule is subject to change, but as of present day the format listed below is the current agenda for SEC Football Media Days 2010.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
July 21
Morning Session: Alabama/Mississippi State
Afternoon Session: Kentucky/Florida

July 22
Morning Session: Georgia/Arkansas
Afternoon Session: Vanderbilt/South Carolina

July 23
Morning Session: Auburn/Tennessee
Afternoon Session: LSU/Ole Miss

If the schedule listed above undergoes a modification for any reason, I will post an updated itinerary as soon as possible.

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Fund Established to Assist Kines Family

In the aftermath of the car accident which killed Susan Kines Langston, daughter of former Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines, a fund has been established to help Joe's son-in-law and grandchildren.

For those who may have missed the initial story, Susan Kines Langston was tragically killed in a traffic accident on Monday, in Tuscaloosa. Her 7-year old son Josh and 14-year old son Matthew were in the vehicle, but thankfully survived the accident.

Langston’s husband, Keith, currently holds the position of assistant football coach at Northridge High School, in Tuscaloosa.

The support fund was established courtesy of current Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, and Northridge High School head football coach Mike Smith.

The support fund is being managed by Bank of Tuscaloosa.

All donations should be made payable to The Keith Langston for Benefit of Susan Kines Langston Fund and respectfully sent to Bank of Tuscaloosa, P.O. Box 2508, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35401 to the attention of Mr. Jim Clayton.

The names of those who donate will be sent to the Kines family.

In this time of great sorrow, I would personally like to extend my condolences and deepest sympathies to Joe Kines and the entire family.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Georgia State/Alabama Moved to Thursday Night

The University of Alabama has officially announced a mutual decision to move the previously scheduled Nov. 20 contest against Georgia State, to Thursday, Nov. 18.

The idea and/or proposal to move the game to Nov. 18 has been on the table for months.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24: Trent Richardson #3 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)
The move was designed to give Alabama an entire week to prepare for Auburn, which has an off week prior to the showdown in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama wanted to avoid the scenario of 2009 which saw the Crimson Tide face the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga less than a week before the Iron Bowl.

Due to a contract between the SEC and CBS Sports, the 2010 Iron Bowl (just as the 2009 contest), will be played the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The schedule change with Georgia State will enable Alabama to avoid the six-day scheduling window.

Kickoff time for the Nov. 18 contest at Bryant-Denny Stadium, has yet to be announced.

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Mark Ingram Named SEC Male Athlete of the Year

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 10: Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs for a 36-yard touchdown in their college football game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram has been named the SEC’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Star gymnast Susan Jackson of LSU was honored as the Female Athlete of the Year. Both awards are voted upon by the athletics directors from each school in the SEC.

Ingram, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, becomes the first Alabama athlete to win the Roy F. Kramer Award since 2004.

The coveted award dates back to 1976, and Ingram is now the ninth athlete in University of Alabama history to receive the prestigious honor.

Ingram is only the third football player in school history to be named the SEC Male Athlete of the Year. In 1987 former 'Bama great Cornelius Bennett won the award, and in 1989 the late Derrick Thomas received the honor.

The most recent Alabama recipient in any capacity was Tide gymnast Jeana Rice in 2004.

Mark Ingram will now take the place of former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who won the esteemed honor the past two seasons.

High Tide: Championship Highlight Video

**All copyrights to ESPN/ABC. No copyright infringement intended. Video piece courtesy of deadman30 at**

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Why Watching Sports on Satellite TV is Great!

Thanks to my buddy Philip Markley for the post.

I am a person who could be classified as a sportsfanatic. I love watching sports on my television, we just recently got a cable tv deal and I love it. I watch a lot of international soccer and rugby games on it. I love watching sports because of the camaraderie that is involved. I enjoy watching people work together to accomplish a goal. It is action packed and you cannot help but get excited when you see your favorite team get a goal. I love the excitement and watching the game on television is almost as good as being there in person to witness all of the action by the players.

I think that many people can benefit from watching sports on television because sports is very much like life sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The strategy that you use and the choices that you make determine the final outcome. Having a good head on your shoulders, being disciplined, and being on your game is crucial. I like how I can watch games all day long and there will always be a different one on. It is great to be able to see soccer and rugby teams from all around the world compete. I recommend that people watch sports and become more fit both mentally and physically. It has worked for me and I am very grateful.