Posted on: September 23, 2010 2:11 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 2:13 pm

Alabama D 'licking their chops' to get to Mallett

Posted by Chip Patterson

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide have spent this week preparing for what will arguably be one of their toughest tests of the season traveling to face the high-octane Arkansas offense in Fayetteville on Saturday.  Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallet has been described as "the best pro quarterback in college football" for his strong arm and proficient passing ability.

Alabama's defense has been among the best in the nation so far in 2010, allowing only one touchdown in the first three games.  One of Mallet's strengths is his ability to hang tight in the pocket, and wait for his receivers to get open.  A strength that Alabama's defense is hoping to turn into a weakness.

"As a pass rusher, you do get excited when you know you're going to play against a guy who's going to sit in the pocket and try to execute his offense to the best of his abilities," Damion Square said. "Yeah, it does excite me as a pass rusher."

"Right now, we're licking our chops," Alabama linebacker Jerrell Harris said. "We're ready to play and show the world what we can do against one of the top teams."

It's Arkansas' first ranked opponent all season, with their toughest competition coming in their 31-24 win over Georgia.  When Georgia stormed back to tie the game, Mallet silenced the home crowd with three passes that covered 73 yards and scored a touchdown all with less than a minute remaining.  

While Alabama's defense has been stellar, their secondary is arguably the weakest piece of the unit.  It will be crucial for the Crimson Tide to put pressure on Mallet to keep him from connecting with his receivers for game-changing deep plays, especially with a rowdy home crowd that will be hungry for an upset.  Mallett has a chance to solidify his status as a Heisman frontrunner with a big game.  But more importantly, the Razorbacks have a chance to get a game ahead of the Crimson Tide in the SEC West.  They way both of these teams have been playing this season, the road to the SEC Championship game appears to run right through Fayetteville this Saturday.

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 11:17 am

No, not the Auburn store! Anything but that!

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I'm sorry but that video may be the greatest thing I've seen since the Ryan Mallett video yesterday.   While we can't be sure that this poor child is an Alabama fan, I think it's safe to assume he's not really into Auburn all that much.  I'd like to commend this kids parents for doing such a good job of instilling college football rooting interests in their children.

I'm not saying that Alabama is better than Auburn, I have no dog in that fight, I'm just impressed that they were able to hand down their beliefs with such conviction that the kid literally burst into tears at the thought of seeing Gene Chizik's face on a t-shirt.

Via Campus Rivalry

Posted on: September 16, 2010 2:02 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 2:04 pm

Get your Sabanade shirts

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We've all got one somewhere in our closet.  A t-shirt that we love but we don't really wear anymore because it's old and ratty, with more than a few stains on it and though it doesn't bother us, our wives or girlfriends aren't exactly the biggest fans.  In fact, they've tried to throw the shirt out every time we've had our backs turned.

It's an endless struggle, and one that will only end in tears and possibly incriminating text messages.  Luckily for the men of Tuscaloosa and Crimson Tide fans everywhere, there is finally a solution.  The lady doesn't like your old, stained shirt?  How about a shirt that comes with the stain already on it?

Robert Holt and his wife Linda have come up with a shirt that celebrates what they believe is the seminal moment of Alabama 's national championship last season: Nick Saban taking a Gatorade bath .

"Saban getting splashed! That's it! I've come up with a great idea," Robert Holt said.  "I'll call it Sabanade, replica shirt with the stain front and back."

Huntsville natives, Robert Holt and his mother, Linda Holt, we're required to get the shirts approved by Saban since they were using the likeness of his name.

"Coach Saban generally only approves three things a year," Holt said.  "When I first spoke to [his wife] Terry Saban she loved it.  She thought it was the most unique idea ever."

Yes, the shirt comes with a giant red stain already on it, so feel free to spill as much food or drink on it as you like while sitting on the couch and watching the Tide roll.  Also, unlike that Chris Rainey shirt Tennessee fans are no doubt jumping all over, this one is approved by Saban so you can actually go online to buy it at Sabanade.com.

Even better, the shirts cost $22 and portions of the proceeds from every shirt go to Nick and Terry Saban's charity, Nick's Kids.

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Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 14, 2010 8:30 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 8:33 pm

Alabama police use copters to foil counterfeiters

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Of the litany of criminal acts that transpire on a gameday Saturday, most are generally harmless, like public intoxication or cheering for Auburn (oh, we kid, we kid). And few are as pernicious as ticket counterfeiting, which has become an especially advanced enterprise with the advent of high-powered scanners and relatively cheap printing equipment. It's a simple fact that when commodities become significantly more valuable than the combined cost of their materials and production, somebody's always going to be looking to get in on that action--by legitimate means or otherwise.

So technically, it should be no surprise that two men were selling counterfeit Alabama tickets outside Bryant-Denny Stadium last weekend. It should be scarcely more surprising that they were caught by police when fans realized they'd been sold forgeries. It's significantly surprising, however, what lengths the cops went to in catching the alleged counterfeiters:

Two fans approached officers at the intersection of Paul W. Bryant Drive and Hackberry Lane and said they had bought fake tickets from two men in a 2009 Nissan Maxima, said Tuscaloosa Police spokesman Officer Brent Blankley. When one of the officers walked up to the car, the driver sped away. TPD’s helicopter was flying over the stadium and was able to follow the car, while advising officers on the ground of its location.

Officers stopped the car at Buttermilk Road and Parkwood Drive and found three counterfeit tickets to the game and three fake $20 bills, Blankley said. Officers found other tickets in the car and are working to determine whether they are fake.

The helicopter was a necessary tool in catching the men; a cursory glance at Google Maps shows that the alleged offenders were caught 5.5 miles away. And still, the officers were a little lucky that they found some counterfeit bills in the car too; that's a federal offense. If it were just some fake tickets that came up in the arrest, it would be a little hard to justify the use of a helicopter in the suspects' apprehension, wouldn't it? Using those isn't cheap.

Posted on: September 13, 2010 3:52 pm

Mark Ingram practicing, may play Saturday

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Trent Richardson had quite a night against Penn State on Saturday night, rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown while also grabbing four receptions for another 44 yards.  In other words, the Alabama Crimson Tide didn't miss their Heisman Trophy running back Mark Ingram all that much.  Though it appears that the Tide won't be missing Ingram at all in the near future, and that Richardson's role as the featured back may be coming to an end.

Ingram returned to practice on Monday after missing Alabama's first two games due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee at the end of August.  It's possible that he may be on the field this Saturday when the Tide head to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils.  The deciding factor will be, according to Nick Saban , how much Ingram is able to practice.

He's still listed as day-to-day and Saban wants to see "how he gets back into it."

Odds are that if Saban sees anything he doesn't like from Ingram on the practice field, he's not going to risk hurting his running back any further against a Duke team that shouldn't pose much of a threat to his team.

After all, Trent Richardson has proven himself more than capable of carrying the load for Bama's offense, and there are some of us out there -- like me, for instance -- who think that Richardson is the best running back on Alabama's roster.  Even when Mark Ingram is fully healthy.
Posted on: September 11, 2010 9:07 pm

Tide rolls through first half against PSU, 17-0

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Any hope that today's game of the week would live up to its hype has been thus far unfounded, as Alabama has cruised to a 17-0 lead after one half. Alabama has been led by super sophomore tailback Trent Richardson, who has rushed for 102 yards and added 29 more in receiving.

For Penn State, the first half was at once encouraging and disheartening; it's not as if they haven't had any success on offense, it's that the Nittany Lions have turned the ball over twice in Alabama's red zone instead of putting points on the board. So while Robert Bolden has proved capable of moving the ball at times, Penn State has ruined two opportunities already. They may not have enough chances to score to even the game up before the final gun.

And really, Alabama has looked like a simply superior team. They're moving the LOS on both sides of the ball, and it almost seems like they don't even miss Mark Ingram. Y'know, the reigning Heisman winner. All par for the course for the top-ranked team in the nation.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 11, 2010 11:28 am

Does Tuscaloosa have a GameDay curse?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Alabama's in good shape for tonight's game, one would assume. They're favored by a healthy margin over No. 18 Penn State, who's starting a true freshman in his first road content. Penn State didn't look like world-beaters against Youngstown State last week, and Robert Bolden wasn't even the problem.

Ah, but this game might be lost for the Crimson Tide before it even begins. That's because ESPN's College GameDay is in town, and historically, that has meant doom for Alabama. In fact, Alabama has never won with GameDay in Tuscaloosa. Here's the rundown of relevant games from Capstone Report:

Sept. 1, 2001: #17 UCLA at #25 Alabama; UCLA, 20-17
Oct. 5, 2002: #6 Georgia at Alabama; UGA, 27-25
Sept. 6, 2003: #1 Oklahoma at Alabama; OU, 20-13
Nov. 12, 2005: #5 LSU at #3 Alabama; LSU, 16-13 (OT)
Sept. 22, 2007: #22 Georgia at #16 Alabama; UGA, 26-23 (OT)

That's one 7-point loss and four by a field goal or less. Heartbreak city. Of course, it's worth noting that in only one of those games has Bama even been in the top 15, and they've never been nearly as much of a favorite in any of the previous games as they are tonight. In fact, if one were tasked to imagine a hypothetical scenario in which a team could lose its first five GameDay matchups and still be a prohibitive favorite in their sixth, that scenario would probably resemble Alabama's history with GameDay verrry closely.

But pay that no mind! Alabama loses GameDay games in Tuscaloosa! Ignore all countervailing evidence and pick Penn State!

Posted on: September 11, 2010 10:03 am

Game day weather updates, September 11

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Look out for how weather affects the high-powered offenses in South Bend.

12:00 kickoffs

No. 22 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina: mid 80's, scattered thunderstorms later
South Florida at No. 8 Florida: upper 80's to low 90's, scattered thunderstorms later

3:30 kickoffs

No. 12 Miami at No. 2 Ohio State: lower 70's, thunderstorms
Michigan at Notre Dame: lower 60's, rain
No. 17 Florida State at No. 10 Oklahoma: upper 80's, partly cloudy

7:00 kickoffs

No. 18 Penn State at No. 1 Alabama: mid 80's, scattered thunderstorms
No. 7 Oregon at Tennessee:
upper 70's, thunderstorms

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com