Tag:Nick Saban
Posted on: November 11, 2010 12:09 pm
 

Tide's Richardson questionable for MSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It may sound hard to believe, but SEC teams that don't feature Cam Newton are still planning on playing their scheduled games this weekend, despite the fact that no one will be paying any attention. In fact, a few of those games are downright critical, including Alabama trying to stay alive in the SEC West race with a home win over a Mississippi State program that's made a lot of headlins recently for things that don't have much to do with their preparatiosn for the Tide.

Unfortunately for Alabama, they may have to make do without injured running back Trent Richardson :

Richardson increased his practice participation Tuesday, but the sophomore is not certain to play with knee soreness Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts Mississippi State.

“Trent did some running today, did some work today. But if he’s not better tomorrow, then I don’t know that he’ll be ready to play in the game,” UA coach Nick Saban said. “We’ll just have to wait and see on that one" ...

“If Trent can’t go, Mark [Ingram] is in good shape and Mark is doing fine, and Mark will do a great job for us in the game."

At a glance, you wouldn't think any program in the country could be less affected by a running back injury, since the Tide do have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to turn to. But the Tide are a stunning sixth in the SEC in rushing in conference games, Richardson is averaging more than half-yard more than Ingram per-carry and leads the team in all-purpose yardage, and Ingram hasn't gone over the 100-yard mark rushing in his past five games. The Tide have used Ingram and Richardson as a one-two punch for the better part of the past two seasons, but now that even the one-two punch isn't any more than adequate, how well will the one-one punch work out?

We're not sure of Ingram's thoughts on the subject. But we ca n tell you how he feels about ... well ...

Ingram, as last year's Heis­man Trophy winner, has a vote for this year's award. Newton is the front-runner, despite allega­tions leveled against him over the past week ... Ingram said, if his vote were due today, Newton would likely get his vote.

Allegations or not.

"I know they're undefeated and Cam Newton is playing bet­ter football that most everybody in the country right now."
It's that kind of week.

Posted on: November 6, 2010 2:31 pm
 

Join us for a live chat during Alabama and LSU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hello there, football fans. 

I'll be hosting a live chat over on our Facebook page during CBS' broadcast of LSU and Alabama this afternoon, so why not head over there and join me?   We can make fun of Les Miles , talk about Nick Saban's hair helmet, or just comment on the game.

Whatever you want!

After all, this is a pretty important game in the grand scheme of things in the SEC West.  Win and you're still alive to get to the SEC Championship.  Lose and get ready for the Capital One Bowl.  So come on over and marvel at Jordan Jefferson's ability to overthrow any receiver he sets his sights on.  it'll be fun.

Just remember that in order to partake in the discussion, you have to like us on Facebook .  Please, help our self esteem!
Posted on: October 28, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2010 7:39 pm
 

Tide already gearing up for Tigers?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There's obviously still a long way to go before this year's edition of the Iron Bowl , with plenty of pitfalls for both teams involved: Ole Miss and resurgent Georgia for Auburn , LSU in Baton Rouge and Mississippi State at home for Alabama .

But if both teams can navigate their way through those troubled waters without a loss, the battle royale between 11-0 Auburn and 10-1 Alabama for not only 1. the right to go to Atlanta and play (a heavy SEC East underdog) for the SEC championship but 2. potentially a spot in the BCS national championship game would make it, hands-down, the biggest game in college football this season.

So maybe it's not a surprise that even with the game still a month away, the Crimson Tide are -- allegedly -- already beginning their preparations :



That's a tweet from Travis Reier of BamaOnline.com , and if he's right that those numbers don't correspond to players from the Tide's next opponent (LSU ), it seems an incredibly good bet that they do correspond to Auburn starting wideouts Kodi Burns (18) and Terrell Zachery (81).

Of course, this wouldn't be the first sign that Nick Saban was taking the Auburn game extremely seriously; the Tide rescheduled the week prior's matchup against fledgling FCS program Georgia State for Thursday rather than Saturday all the way back in July. According to Reier it's not unusual for 'Bama to use bye weeks to look further ahead down the schedule, and certainly no one will be surprised if word leaks that Auburn is using next week's game against FCS Chattanooga to begin studying for the Tide.

But all the same, with LSU as formidable an opponent (particularly in Tiger Stadium) as they promise to be, and with the Georgia State week also looming as an opportunity to focus on Auburn, there seems little question that the Tide wouldn't be breaking out the 18's and 81's already if so much didn't promise to be on the line.

HT: From the Bleachers .
Posted on: October 27, 2010 2:39 pm
 

Ingram would vote for Cam Newton..or would he?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is far and away the leader in the Heisman race so far this season.  He has singlehandedly put the entire Auburn offense on his back this season and carried it to an 8-0 start and the top spot in the BCS polls.  Honestly, if you have a Heisman vote right now and you don't plan on giving it to Newton, you aren't doing it because you don't think he deserves it, you're only voting for somebody else to be different.

But what if you're the latest Heisman winner, and you happen to play for Auburn's biggest rival?  Is that reason enough not to vote for Newton to win the Heisman?  Possibly, but Mark Ingram went on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and said he'd throw a vote Newton's way if he feels he deserves it.

"We'll see what happens," Ingram said. "We'll see how the rest of the season plays out and who keeps playing the best football. They're definitely playing the best football out of everybody right now.

"If he's the best and has been the best so far, I wouldn't have no problem. I'm a real person and I can't hate on the man."

That's right, Ingram "wouldn't have no problem" voting for Newton.  Could it be that Ingram is intentionally using the double-negative to throw off the scent, and that he has no intention of voting for Newton?  Now, as we've seen in the past, the proper usage of grammar and syntax can be a problem for members of the Alabama football team .  It's very possible that Nick Saban 's misuse of the english language has transferred to the rest of the team like some unstoppable virus, hell bent on creating run-on sentences and leaving participles dangling.

But, no, I believe Ingram is too smart for that.  He's obviously just trying to fool us all into thinking he supports Newton's campaign.  Well he hasn't fooled this blogger!

I'm on to you, Ingram.

Hat tip: CFT
Posted on: October 22, 2010 4:15 pm
 

Fornelli's Insane Predictions: Week 8

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that  South Carolina would fail to score a point in the second half against Kentucky a week after knocking off the Tide? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week . Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Highly Unlikely

The Tennessee Volunteers shock the world when they pull off an upset of the Alabama Crimson Tide in Knoxville on Saturday night.  In his first start, Tyler Bray has far from an outstanding day, throwing for only 78 yards and a touchdown, but the Alabama offense can't stop tripping over its own feet.  Greg McElroy fumbles three times, and throws four interceptions.  To make matters worse, McElroy, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Julio Jones all have to leave the game with devastating knee injuries.  After the game a shocked Nick Saban points out that "they just don't make ligaments like they used to."

Severly Unlikely

It's halftime in Miami, and the North Carolina Tar Heels look to be en route to a huge win against the Hurricanes.  They have a 24-0 lead thanks to four first half interceptions by Jacory Harris, and spirits in the locker room are high.  Then a phone rings.  Butch Davis answers it to be told that the NCAA has just suspended everybody on his team, and that he'll have to forfeit the game.  Instead Davis recruits the North Carolina band to fill in for his team, and amazingly, they hold on to win the game 27-23.  Three weeks later the loss is vacated when it's discovered that the tuba player accepted money from the New York Philharmonic.

Completely Ludicrous

Following Iowa 's narrow 27-24 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday, the two teams meet on the field to shake hands.  Bret Bielema goes out of his way to find Ricky Stanzi and congratulate him on his three-touchdown game.  Upon finding Stanzi, the quarterback tells Bielema, "Thanks.  That's how real Americans play the game."  This infuriates Bielema, who views his brand of pounding large young men into the trenches until they drop dead to be the real American football.  The two begin fighting, and have to be separated.  Though after the dustup, still feeling patriotic, Stanzi pulls the American flag out from under his jersey -- next to his heart, of course -- and puts it on a sharpened flag pole he keeps in his sock.  He then hurls the flag forty yards through the air like a javelin where it goes through Bielema's chest and plants into the ground.  Stanzi is carried off the field to chants of "USA!  USA!  USA!"
Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:34 am
 

Kent State ditches 2011 game with Purdue

Posted by Adam Jacobi

For all the week-to-week, year-to-year volatility that typifies modern college football, one of the odd bastions of stability that has recently popped up in the sport is scheduling. For example, Miami and Michigan State agreed to a home-and-home series today. Those games won't take place until 2020 and 2021, or 10 and 11 years from now. Odds are that neither team will even have the same coach by then; the Hurricanes are on their third coach in the last 11 years, and the Spartans have seen five different head coaches at the helm of their program in that same timeframe. So these teams probably have no idea what their programs will resemble in 2020, but one thing's for sure: Michigan State and Miami, locking horns.  

Meanwhile, Purdue sits on the opposite side of the spectrum today, and not by choice; in an effective reminder that these agreements do have an expensive out clause, Kent State has just bought out their side of a contract to play the Boilermakers in 2011, according to a Purdue news release.

"This is a new one, having someone opt out of a contract just over 10 months before a game," said Purdue AD Morgan Burke. "I am personally surprised because of the positive relationship Purdue and Kent State have had through the years. We will get on the phone immediately to begin the process of finding a new opponent."

Kent State quickly jumped at the chance to play Alabama, in part because Tide head coach Nick Saban is an alumnus of the Kent State football team; Saban was a quarterback-turned-defensive back with the Golden Flashes during the mid-'70s.

But it also seems probable that Alabama will pay Kent State much more than $425,000 for its trouble; that's the guarantee Purdue set for the Golden Flashes, who are paying that amount to Purdue in full. And if the market rate for guaranteed payments per game continues rising at an exorbitant rate, it may become no longer in a program's best financial interests to lock in a game -- and a rate -- 10 years in advance. Of course, it's probably not as if Purdue booked its MACrifice back in 2000 or anything, but the fact remains: make it financially advantageous to break a contract, and someone's going to do it.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 1:28 pm
 

Saban questions toughness of today's players

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I turned 30 recently, and it's somewhat of an odd age.  On one hand, I realize that I'm not a kid anymore, but at the same time, I sure as hell don't feel like a full-fledged adult yet.  Still, the signs are starting to creep in, and they're scary.  Just the other day the words "kids these days" came out of my mouth, and they came out in a direct, non-sarcastic tone.

I don't want to turn into that person that compares the world of today with the world of my youth, or how things were when I was younger.  I'm afraid that when it happens I'll officially be old.

This is not a fear that Nick Saban has.  He's in full-blown "back in my day" mode at the moment, particularly when it comes to questioning the toughness of today's football player.  Following his team's win against Ole Miss on Saturday, the Alabama taskmaster went on a bit of a rant about it.

"That's what I tell the players all the time, and they hate to hear it, but now I'm going to say it publicly so they can really get upset about it," said Saban.

"You're telling the other guy you're beating me up, I'm hurt and I'm going to stay down here.  It's just like a boxer. If you go down, get up. If you've got to come out for a play, come out for a play. But that's just me. I'm old-fashioned. I know they don't make 'em like they used to. ...

"But a guy lays on the ground and eight trainers go out there and everybody thinks he's hurt and he gets up and runs off the field. When I played, my coach, you wouldn't want to meet him on the sideline. So if you stayed down, you'd better really be hurt."

While Saban brings up some good points -- I'm tired of guys rolling around on the ground like they've been shot because they have a cramp -- he also misses one giant one completely.  He also has horrible timing considering Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand being paralyzed over the weekend.

Still, the one point Saban truly misses on is one he kind of makes.  It's true, they don't make players like they used to anymore.  The players of today are bigger, stronger and faster than the ones of the past.  Which means that collisions are more violent, and will lead to more injuries.  Bones are still bones, after all, and those things can break.

Saban could just ask his own wide receiver Julio Jones, who finished the South Carolina game with a broken hand.  Is that tough enough for Saban?

Some other things Saban thinks they just don't make like they used to?  First, hair gel.  "They're all scented now and make me smell girly."  Then there are scholarship limits.  "Why the hell can't I sign every player in the country!?  If they want to come here, why can't I have them?"*

*Those last two quotes may not actually be true.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:15 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 7

Posted by the College Football Blog Staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles would look like the endgame genius against Urban Meyer and Florida? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Highly Unlikely

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore sprains his knee when he trips while running onto the field during pregame ceremonies, and all of a sudden, the Broncos must face San Jose State with a brand new quarterback. Boise coach Chris Peterson blames San Jose State and their groundskeeping for the mishap, and feeling untold amounts of shame, SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre forfeits the game. Moore recovers fully for the Broncos' next game, and Boise's march to a 12-0 regular season continues unabated. -- Adam Jacobi

As the closing seconds count down on the scoreboard at Ross-Ade Stadium, Tim Brewster looks up at it to see the final score: Purdue 37, Minnesota 13.  Knowing that these are probably the last few seconds that he'll spend on a sideline COMPETING and FIGHTING  with the Gophers, his emotions get the best of him.  Danny Hope begins to make his way to midfield to meet the coach, but instead Brewster bursts into tears and sprints off the field.  He then hides in a supply room deep within the bowels of the stadium, refusing to come out until eventually Minnesota AD Joel Maturi lures him out by promising he's not going to fire him.  Brewster then opens the door and comes out, his face red and blotchy, covered in tears.  "Really?" he asks Maturi.  "No, you're totally fired," says Maturi before kicking him in the groin. -- Tom Fornelli

Arizona's slide continues after falling to Oregon State despite getting some help from the replay officials.  This time, facing Washington State, the home officials give the Wildcats a taste of their own medicine and refuse to replay a game-winning touchdown that was actually an incomplete pass. Mike Stoops has no timeouts, and the Cougars quickly kick the extra point to pick up that elusive first conference win. It is later revealed that the replay official was Washington State alumnus Drew Bledsoe, who emerges from the booth in full Wazzu regalia and facepaint. The Pac-10 finds no fault in this. -- Chip Patterson

Severely Unlikely

With Texas trailing Nebraska 24-7 just before halftime, Mack Brown makes his way over to Colt McCoy who is watching the game from the sidelines.  "Listen, I need you to come to the locker room at halftime.  Give these boys a pep talk."  McCoy agrees, but Brown was lying.  Instead Brown locks Garrett Gilbert in a shed -- hey, it's popular in Texas -- and convinces McCoy to put on Gilbert's uniform.  McCoy then goes out and leads Texas to a comeback victory, finding James Kirkendoll for the game-winning touchdown with, you guessed it, one second left on the clock. -- Tom Fornelli

Michigan's defense pitches a shut out against Iowa. The Big House rocks as Denard Robinson totals 600 total yards of offense and the Wolverines bounce back from the loss to "Little Brother" with a performance for the ages as the Wolverines reclaim a spot in the Top 25 with a 48-0 win over the Hawkeyes. Adrian Clayborn, struck with grief, eats 400 cheeseburgers on the ride home and gives up on the NFL for a career in the lawn and garden industry. Turns out Clayborn is quite the green thumb. -- Chip Patterson

The Kansas football team shows up to an empty Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Head coach Turner Gill and his Jayhawks were under the impression that their game would be played on Saturday, and thanks to various elaborate pranks by Kansas State fans, they had no idea that they had been scheduled to play on Thursday night. KSU coaches, upon finding out that Kansas had not appeared for the game, dressed their scout team in KU colors and had them put up token opposition. Somehow, they also had a scout team Turner Gill. The garbage-time touchdown Kansas State allowed to its double agents was a sublime touch. -- Adam Jacobi

Completely Ludicrous

McNeese State trots into Death Valley on Saturday night and shines under the lights. LSU quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combine for an NCAA-record 11 interceptions, five of which are returned for touchdowns.  The other six picks are hideous arm-punts that prevent the Tigers from finding the end zone once. Patrick Peterson returns 4 kick offs for touchdowns, but LSU falls 35-28. -- Chip Patterson

Emboldened by reports that he was coaching with his job on the line, Tim Brewster leads his team to an emotional 35-34 victory over a frisky Purdue squad... then rips off five more wins to finish the season, culminating in a 55-0 revenge win over Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota's 7-5 (6-2) record and a host of other conference losses among the rest of the Big Ten vault the Gophers into the Rose Bowl, making them the first five-loss team to earn a trip to Pasadena. A month before the game, Brewster announces that he's leaving the Gophers to coach his beloved Texas Longhorns; Mack Brown has retired, as expected, but the program was stunned when defensive coordinator (and presumptive next head coach) Will Muschamp pulled a simultaneous "sympathy retirement." The Gophers hire Mike Leach on the spot, and the new Pirate Gophers stun Oregon on January 1st, 45-31. -- Adam Jacobi

There's nothing out of the ordinary taking place in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.  It's early in the fourth quarter and the Alabama Crimson Tide have a healthy 24-6 lead over the Rebels, but then suddenly a bright, white light can be seen in the sky.  Those who notice it assume that it's a comet or meteor passing by the planet, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger before everyone suddenly realizes it's coming right for them.  As it gets closer, it becomes clear that it is some kind of UFO, in fact, the space ship actually looks like a piece of fried calamari.   It lands at the 50-yard line, and out comes Admiral Ackbar.  Knowing immediately what's taking place, the new Ole Miss mascot makes a break for it before he is apprehended by members of the Rebel Alliance.  The Rebel Alliance then holds a trial on the field, determining whether or not the Bear shall live.  This does not please Nick Saban.  After a few minutes Saban walks briskly up to Admiral Ackbar, takes his gun, and executes the Bear himself before saying, "There.  NOW GET THE HELL OFF OF MY FIELD."  Ackbar and his soldiers sheepishly retreat to their ship and take off.  Not even the Rebel Alliance wants to mess with Nick Saban. -- Tom Fornelli

 
 
 
 
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