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Alabama’s Premier College Football Magazine

November 14, 2009

TIDE CLINCHES THE WEST TOUCHDOWNALABAMA.NET

Recruiting Update By: Mike Parker

Kareem Jackson Volume 2, Issue 11 $3.00

By: Amanda Kelly


Our

tide is a winner, too.

What do you celebrate after another Bama victory? Celebrate the spectacular sunrise and sunsets on Panama City Beach, Florida. And for the best views this side of Bryant-Denny Stadium, check out the winning properties, and rates, from Oaseas Resorts. We even have special rates just for Alabama football fans. So after the Tide Rolls, reflect and relax with the area’s #1 Vacation Team, Oaseas Resorts.

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November 14, 2009 | Volume 2, Issue 11

In This Issue 8

President/Publisher

Pregame Preview

10

Rosters

12

Kareem Jackson

21

Sylvester Croom

18

Finishing the Season

22

Recruiting

24

SEC Officials

26

Traditions

28

SEC News

33

Bama Fans

Staff

Editor-in-Chief

Mike Lacy

Managing Editor

Jessica Temple

Photography Creative Director Graphic Design Chief Information Officer Website Designer

BDL Tim Bailey Bryant Museum Matt Gaston Mark Lent Rivals.com UA Media Relations Jenifer McCormick Cassandra Johnson Tramayne Wright Jessie Landon Brian LaShomb Carey Landon

Reporters

Angel Hufham Victoria Sheehan

Public Relations

Eric Hudson Katelyn Clark Drew Franklin Christopher Wilson

Advertising Director Advertising Sales Contributing Writers

Bennie Bice

Herb Neu Ron Bush Leslie Housley Alex Schroyer

Larry Burton Amanda Kelly Katie Koenig Lauren Moranor Mike Parker Dr. Donald F. Staffo

M U L T I M E D I A Next Issue • Recruiting Update • History of the Southern Conference • Mark Barron • Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger

Web Content • Post-Game Interviews • Game Footage • Press Conferences from Nick Saban • More From Larry Burton

Weekly Radio Show

• Coming Soon!

All content is the property of Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Touchdown Alabama Magazine, LLC reserves all rights to content in both the print and online (www.touchdownalabama.net) versions of the publication. No image or text may be reproduced without written consent from Touchdown Alabama Magazine.


Letter from the Editor Dear readers, After a big victory against LSU last week, Alabama is the SEC Western Division champ for the second year in a row! We are guaranteed another trip to the championship game in Atlanta. Touchdown Alabama will be online for that game and will be back in print for our bowl game, wherever that may be... We have a few games left this season, so make sure to send in your ideas and suggestions. If there is any aspect of Crimson Tide football that you want to know more about, let us know and we’ll do our best to get the scoop! We wish all of you traveling to Starkville this weekend

a safe trip, and we’ll see you back in T-town for our last home game of the season. Roll Tide! Touchdown Alabama Staff Send Letters to: PO BOX 3251 TUSCALOOSA AL 35403-3251 205-701-1211 publish@tdalabama.com Advertising: ads@tdalabama.com

ON THE COVER Julio Jones #8

Sophomore wide receiver Julio Jones caught four passes for 102 yards against LSU, making that his fourth career 100-yard receiving game. In the fourth quarter, he ran 73 yards for his second touchdown of the season, giving the Tide the lead after trailing 15-13. Phtography by Matt Gaston.

MISSION STATEMENT

“Touchdown Alabama Magazine was created to bring Alabama football fans the coverage of their team that they crave and expect, as well as to bring them closer to the action on the field. The University of Alabama has a long college football history, rich with tradition. Each season has added more dynamic players and colorful stories to the Alabama family. It is only fitting that a program with 12 National Championships should have a weekly magazine dedicated to conveying the excitement of the game to its devoted fans. Touchdown Alabama Magazine strives to be the most up-to-date, relevant and exciting magazine covering University of Alabama football. Furthermore, we guarantee in-depth articles, exclusive interviews and quality content surrounding the Crimson Tide. We will never forget who we generate this magazine for... you, the fan. God bless.”

6

| TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA

November 14, 2009


INDEX After the huge win against LSU I expect Alabama to continue to Roll against Mississippi State. If Alabama stays focused expect them to win big.

First, Mississippi State is coming of a bye week. Second, Alabama clinched the division title for the second year in a row. If there is any game with potential for a psychological let down, this is it. I do not expect it; however, the game is ripe for a let down. The Crimson Tide players need to focus on one play at a time and execute their individual responsibilities to get a victory in Starkville.

One has to worry that Dan Mullen has raised the level of play of the Bulldogs from mutts to hunting dogs. State does have a great defense, and this year they’ve learned to put points on the board as well, but it’s still a case of too little, too late. They aren’t ready to handle this Crimson Tide Team for four quarters... Alabama 31-10.

>>Winner: Alabama Bennie Bice - Publisher

>>Winner: Alabama Mike Lacy - Editor-in-Chief

>>Winner: Alabama Larry Burton

Ad Name: Bud LightGolden Wheat Closing Date: 10.5.9 QC: RR Item #: PGW20099668 Pub: Touchdown Alabama Job/Order #: 609292-209429

Trim: 7.5 x 5

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7


Pre-Game Preview

The Tale of Two Running Backs

Alabama vs. Mississippi State Lauren Moranor

C

oming off a big win against LSU, Alabama comes into Starkville having won the SEC West and earning a second straight trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. The Tide will look to keep the momentum going against Mississippi State, who is coming off a bye weekend and will be well-rested to take on the Tidett. This SEC West matchup will be a tale of two star running backs. Mississippi State’s senior running back Anthony Dixon and Alabama’s Mark Ingram are running neck and neck for the SEC’s top rusher. Both Dixon and Ingram average over 125 yards per game. Ingram has 1,004 yards on the season while Dixon has 1,001 yards and Ingram has eight touchdowns on the

8

| TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA

November 14, 2009

season while Dixon has nine touchdowns. They both are very aggressive and tough runners. Both teams will look to utilize their star offensive rushers, as they will both be keys to the game. Mississippi will rely on Dixon to really get their offense through a tough Alabama defense. The Crimson Tide will look to take advantage of a poor Mississippi defense. The Bulldogs rank low in the SEC for both pass and rush defense. Ingram will be continuing to put his Heisman candidate portfolio together, while wide receiver Julio Jones will be looking to continue momentum coming off of his best performance of the season against LSU. The Crimson Tide is coming off a very balanced win against LSU. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT GASTON


They will be challenged by Mississippi State’s linebackers K.J. Wright and Jamar Chaney. Chaney has had 73 total tackles including two sacks while Wright has had 65 total tackles and two sacks. They will put pressure on Alabama’s Greg McElroy and the strong Alabama run game. The Alabama defense will be challenged by quarterback Tyson Lee. Lee has 1,461 yards of total offense on the season. He has two touchdowns rushing and four touchdowns passing. Lee and Dixon will be the power behind the Mississippi offense. They will meet with Alabama’s dominant linebackers Rolando McClain and Javier Arenas who have been putting on strong showings every game. Mississippi State, while unranked, held Florida to one of their closest games this season and should not be over looked

by the Crimson Tide. First time head coach Dan Mullen is leading Mississippi State, which is proving to grow stronger with each game they play. They came within 10 points of beating No. 1 Florida, but have not had an SEC West win this season. The Tide is 9-0 on the season and have their eyes on an SEC Championship, but cannot afford to over look a rested Bulldog team looking to cause the upset of the week. Alabama holds a 72-18 record against Mississippi State. This is the 94th meeting between the two teams. The Mississippi State series is the longest running series with Alabama, dating back to the 1896 season. They have played each other every year since 1948.The two teams will continue the tradition on the Saturday for what is sure to be another great SEC matchup.

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9


NO NAME

82 Earl Alexander

POS CL

HT

WR Jr.

6-4 212

Phenix City, AL

72 Tyler Love

alabama Roster

HOMETOWN

NO NAME

POS CL

HT

WT

OL R-Fr. 6-6 303

32 Eryk Anders

LB

Sr.

6-2 235

San Antonio, TX

33 Mike Marrow

28 Javier Arenas

DB Sr.

5-9 195

Tampa, FL

4 Marquis Maze

WR So. 5-10 179

6-2 220

Atlanta, GA

10 A.J. McCarron

QB Fr.

49 Jonathan Atchison LB

Fr.

RB-HB Fr.

6-2 240 6-4 190

HOMETOWN

Mountain Brook, AL Holland, OH Birmingham, AL Mobile, AL

4 Mark Barron

DB So.

6-2 214

Mobile, AL

25 Rolando McClain LB

7 Kenny Bell

WR Fr.

6- 1 160

Rayville, LA

80 Mike McCoy

44 Alex Benson

LB

Sr.

6- 1 225

Trussville, AL

52 Alfred McCullough OL So.

6-2 305

Athens, AL

86 Undra Billingsley TE

Fr.

6-2 276

Birmingham, AL

12 Greg McElroy

6-3 220

Southlake, TX

93 Chris Bonds

DL

Jr.

6-4 255

Decatur, AL

WR Sr.

6-3 215

Rankin, MS

QB Jr.

Fr.

6-4 280

Columbia, SC

56 William Ming

DL

Fr.

6-3 260

Athens, AL

67 John Michael Boswell OL So.

6-5 306

Northport, AL

59 Brandon Moore

DL

Fr.

6-5 310

Montgomery, AL

88 Michael Bowman WR Fr.

Autaugaville, AL

87 Drew Bullard

6-4 210

Rossville, GA

66 Brian Motley

OL

Jr.

6-3 291

LB

Jr

6-3 238

Florence, AL

64 Kerry Murphy

DL

Fr.

6-4 323

Hoover, AL

77 James Carpenter OL

Jr.

6-5 300

Augusta, GA

46 Wesley Neighbors DB So.

6-1 210

Huntsville, AL

99 Josh Chapman

DL So.

6-1 313

Hoover, AL

83 Kevin Norwood

WR Fr.

6-2 180

D’lberville, MS

62 Terrence Cody

DL Sr.

6-5 354

Ft. Myers, FL

18 Morgan Ogilvie

QB So.

6-0 195

Mountain Brook, AL

57 Marcell Dareus

DL So.

6-4 296

Huffman, AL

2 Tana Patrick

LB

6-3 235

Bridgeport, AL

16 Thomas Darrah

QB So.

6-5 227

Newnan, GA

79 Drew Davis

OL Sr.

6-7 306

Evergreen, AL

84 Colin Peek

TE Sr.

96 Luther Davis

DL

Jr.

6-3 275

West Monroe, LA

95 Brandon Deaderick DL Sr.

6-4 306

Elizabethtown, KY

51 Michael DeJohn

LB

Jr.

6- 1 241

Hoover, AL

85 Preston Dial

TE

Jr.

6-3 233

Mobile, AL

40 DeMarcus DuBose LB So.

6-1 232

Montgomery, AL

13 Rob Ezell

5-10 170

Athens, AL

WR Jr.

7 P.J. Fitzgerald

P

Sr.

5-11 204

Coral Springs, FL

76 D.J. Fluker

OL

Fr.

6-6 340

Foley, AL

58 Nick Gentry

DL So.

6-1 264

Prattville, AL

11 Brandon Gibson WR So.

6-2 192

Mobile, AL

6 Demetrius Goode RB So.

5-9 191

LaGrange, GA

29 Terry Grant

RB

Jr.

5-10 190

Lumberton, MS

33 Hampton Gray

DB Sr.

6- 2 196

Northport, AL

23 Robby Green

DB So.

6-0 181

New Orleans, LA

34 Jeramie Griffin

RB So.

6-2 224

Batesville, MS

15 Darius Hanks

WR So.

6-0 184

Norcross, GA

54 Glenn Harbin

DL

Fr.

6-5 257

Mobile, AL

5 Jerrell Harris

LB So.

6-3 227

Gadsden, AL

30 Dont’a Hightower LB So.

6-4 255

40 Baron Huber 22 Mark Ingram

RB/TE Sr.

2 Star Jackson

6-4 263

RB So. 5-10 212

3 Kareem Jackson DB

6-6 255 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

39 Kyle Pennington DB

Jr.

5-11 188

Chatom, AL

68 Taylor Pharr

OL

Jr.

6-6 290

Irondale, AL

54 Russell Rains

OL Fr.

6-2 260

Satsuma, AL

13 Cory Reamer

LB

Sr.

6-4 234

Hoover, AL

3 Trent Richardson RB Fr.

5-11 220

Pensacola, FL

8 Chris Rogers

DB Sr.

6-0 190

Lakeland, FL

74 David Ross

OL

6-3 299

Homewood, AL

1 B.J. Scott

DB So. 5-11 196

Jr.

Prichard, AL

46 Chris Scott

WR Sr.

5-11 170

Birmingham, AL

50 Brian Selman

SNP Sr.

6-0 210

Vestavia Hills, AL

Fr.

6-3 280

Norco, LA

DB Sr.

5-9 200

Stevenson, AL

94 Jeremy Shelley

PK Fr.

5-10 170

Raleigh, N.C.

48 Travis Sikes

WR Jr.

6-3 198

Nashville, TN

71 Allen Skelton

OL So.

6-1 265

Coker, AL

17 Brad Smelley

TE So.

6-3 233

Tuscaloosa, AL

92 Damion Square

DL

Fr.

6-3 272

Houston, TX

61 Anthony Steen OL-DL Fr.

6-3 305

Lambert, MS

Lewisburg, TN

47 Ed Stinson

6-4 240

Homestead, FL

Knoxville, TN

90 Milton Talbert

DL

Jr.

6-4 275

Hattiesburg, MS

99 Leigh Tiffin

PK Sr.

6-2 212

Muscle Shoals, AL

51 Carson Tinker

ST So.

6-1 220

Murfreesboro, TN

87 Chris Underwood TE So.

6-4 231

Birmingham, AL

5 Roy Upchurch

RB Sr.

6-0 205

Tallahassee, FL

41 Courtney Upshaw LB So.

6-2 249

Eufaula, AL

Flint, MI

6-0 193

Macon, GA

QB Fr.

6-3 206

Lake Worth, FL

5-11 191

Fr.

26 Ali Sharrief

Jr.

24 Marquis Johnson DB Sr.

10

WT

Sarasota, FL

94 Darrington Sentimore DL

LB-DL Fr.

78 Mike Johnson

OL Sr.

6-5 303

Pensacola, FL

35 Nico Johnson

LB

6-3 225

Andalusia, AL

73 William Vlachos

Jr.

6-1 294

Birmingham, AL

Memphis, TN

65 Chance Warmack OL Fr.

6-3 301

Atlanta, GA

Fr.

OL

75 Barrett Jones

OL R-Fr. 6-4 289

8 Julio Jones

WR So.

6-4 211

Foley, AL

97 Lorenzo Washington DL Sr.

6-5 290

Logansville, GA

26 Phelon Jones

DB So. 5-11 195

Mobile, AL

91 Alex Watkins

LB So.

6-3 225

Brownsville, TN

55 Chavis Williams

LB

Jr.

6-4 223

Dora, AL

60 David Williams

OL Fr.

6-3 272

Duncanville, AL

6-6 266

Reform, AL

36 Chris Jordan

LB So.

6-3 230

Brentwood, TN

81 Kendall Kelly

WR Fr.

6-3 216

Gadsden, AL

20 Tyrone King

DB Sr.

5-11 203

Birmingham, AL

21 Dre Kirkpatrick

DB Fr.

6-3 185

Gadsden, AL

9 Nick Williams

WR Fr. 5-10 165

42 Eddie Lacy

RB Fr.

6-0 210

Geismar, LA

27 Justin Woodall

DB Sr.

37 Robert Lester

DB Fr.

6-2 207

Foley, AL

18 Rod Woodson

DB Fr. 5-11 200

89 Michael Williams TE

Fr.

6-2 221

Fort Lauderdale, FL Oxford, MS Olive Branch, MS


NO NAME

POS

HT

WT

1 Chad Bumphis

WR 5-10 195

2 Robert Elliott

RB

6-0

CL

Fr.

210 So.

HOMETOWN

Tupelo, MS

NO NAME

POS

48 Emmanuel Gatling DB

HT

WT

6-0

210

Jr.

CL

HOMETOWN

McAllen, TX

Okolona, MS

49 Ryan Elliot

WR 6-2

180

Fr.

Greenville, MS

Fr.

Bessemer, AL

49 Terrell Johnson

LB

6-2

215 So.

Cullomburg, AL

4 Charles Mitchell

DB 5-11 205 So.

Clarksdale, MS

50 Chris White

LB

6-3

245

Jr.

Vancleave, MS

6 Brandon McRae

WR 6-4

205

Sr.

Chester, VA

51 Deontae Skinner

LB

6-1

240

Fr.

Macon, MS

7 Wade Bonner

DB

5-9

200 So.

Mason, TN

52 Karlin Brown

LB

5-8

200

Jr.

Tallahassee, FL

8 Montrell Conner

RB

6-2

215

Fr.

Monroe, LA

54 Trevor Stigers

DL

6-4

255

Fr.

Ridgeland, MS

9 Leon Berry

WR 6-0

195

Jr.

Griffin, GA

55 Quentin Saulsberry OL

6-2

300 So.

Coldwater, MS

10 Cameron Lawrence ATH 6-2

210

Fr.

Coldwater, MS

11 Ricco Sanders

ATH 5-11 175

Fr.

Duncan, SC

12 Dennis Thames

ATH 5-11 180

Fr.

Louisville, MS

13 Johnthan Banks

DB

6-2

170

Fr.

14 Chris Relf

QB

6-3

235 So.

15 Riley Saunders

QB

6-0

195

Fr.

Oxford, MS

16 Tyson Lee

QB 5-10 200

Sr.

Columbus, MS

17 Tyler Russell

QB

215

Fr.

Meridian, MS

18 Marcus Washington DB 5-10 195

Sr.

Missouri City, TX

19 Aaron Encalade

QB

Jr.

Port Sulphur, LA

20 Louis Watson

DB 5-10 180

Fr.

Mobile, AL

22 Jamar Chaney

LB

6-1

240

Sr.

Fort Pierce, FL

23 Sylvester Hemphill RB

5-9

230

Fr.

Olive Branch, MS

24 Anthony Dixon

6-1

235

Sr.

Jackson, MS

25 Corey Broomfield DB 5-10 170

Fr.

Palm Bay, FL

3 Brandon Heavens ATH 5-10 170

6-3

235

26 Damein Anderson DB 5-11 195 So.

Hazlehurst, MS

27 LaDarius Perkins ATH 5-10 180

Fr.

Greenville, MS

28 Tay Bowser

ATH 6-3

200

Sr.

Gilmer, TX

29 Christian Ducré

RB

6-0

220

Sr.

LaCombe, LA

30 Arnil Stallworth

RB

5-9

205

Sr.

Daphne, AL

31 Taylor Reed

WR 6-4

190

Fr.

Memphis, TN

31 Nickoe Whitley

DB 5-11 195

Fr.

Jackson, MS

32 Marcus Green

TE

6-1

235 So.

Scooba, MS

33 Jamie Jones

LB

6-0

240 So.

Springdale, AR

33 Sam Williams

WR 6-1

185

LB

34 K.J. Wright 35 Fred Burns

Fr.

Brandon, MS

245

Jr.

Olive Branch, MS

ATH 5-10 185

Fr.

Jackson, MS

6-4

35 Patrick Hanrahan RB 5-11 225

Jr.

Springville, AL

36 Nick Bell

DL

6-3

260

Fr.

Bessemer, AL

37 Sean Brauchle

K

5-10 180

Jr.

Biloxi, MS

38 Heath Hutchins

P

6-1

Jr.

Saltillo, MS

39 E.J. Buford

WR 6-0

39 Baker Swedenburg K

6-0

205

260

Fr.

Starkville, MS

58 Brandon Wilson

LB

6-0

240

Fr.

Tuscaloosa, AL

60 Devin Jones

DL

6-0

260

Fr.

Olive Branch, MS

61 Gabe Jackson

Fr.

OL

6-4

310

62 Addison Lawrence OL

6-4

300 So.

Coldwater, MS

63 Chris Spencer

OL

6-3

310

Sr.

Meridian, MS

64 Mark Lynn

LB

6-0

225

Jr.

Madison, MS

65 Joshua Jackson

DL

6-2

300 So.

Canton, MS

66 D.J. Looney

OL

6-1

300 So.

Birmingham, AL

67 Tobias Smith

OL

6-3

300

Fr.

Columbus, MS

68 Templeton Hardy

OL

6-3

305

Fr.

Como, MS

69 Reggie Odom

DL

6-0

295

Sr.

Deland, FL

70 J.C. Brignone

OL

6-1

300

Jr.

Pass Christian, MS

71 Sam Watts

OL

6-4

300

Fr.

Conyers, GA

72 John McMillian

OL

6-1

290

Jr.

Paragould, AR

73 Dakota Merritt

OL

6-5

300 So.

Cantonment, FL

74 Mark Melichar

OL

6-5

305

Jr.

Birmingham, AL

75 Craig Jenkins

OL

6-5

315

Sr.

Pearl, MS

76 Phillip Freeman

OL

6-6

305

Jr.

Wesson, MS

77 Sam Latham

OL

6-1

275

Fr.

Cordova, TN

78 Michael Bufkin

OL

6-4

285

Jr.

Clinton, MS

79 Derek Sherrod

OL

6-6

305

Jr.

Columbus, MS

80 Andrew Ellard

WR 5-10 185

Sr.

Natchez, MS

81 O’Neal Wilder

WR 6-5

215

Fr.

Carthage, MS

82 Thomas Webb

TE

6-5

255

Jr.

Starkville, MS

83 Charles Bailey

WR 6-1

185

Fr.

St. Augustine, FL

84 Austin Wilbanks

TE

6-2

255

Sr.

Forest, MS

85 Brandon Henderson TE

6-2

245

Jr.

Fayetteville, GA

87 Chris Smith

WR 6-1

200

Fr.

Meridian, MS

88 Kendrick Cook

TE

250 So.

6-4

Liberty, MS

Attalla, AL

180

Fr.

Columbus, MS

89 Arceto Clark

ATH 5-10 180 So.

The Woodlands, TX

89 Kyle Roberts

WR 6-0

185

Jr.

Starkville, MS

Vicksburg, MS

90 Pernell McPhee

DL

6-4

275

Jr.

Pahokee, FL

Jr.

Altoona, AL

91 Rodney Prince

DL

6-0

265 So.

Irondale, AL

Fr.

Fulton, MS

41 Marvin Bure

5-8

190 So.

DB 5-11 200 6-0

57 Johnathan McKenzie DL 6-4

Clarksdale, MS

180

43 William Shumpert RB

Terry, MS

Jr.

5-8

42 Zach Smith

Fr.

215

40 Derek DePasquale K DB

LB 5-10 210

240

Jr.

Verona, MS

92 Charles Burns

DL

6-1

280

Sr.

Hattiesburg, MS

DL

6-1

260

Jr.

Missouri City, TX

44 Bo Walters

LB

6-0

235 So.

Wilsonville, AL

93 Brandon Cooper

45 Michael Hunt

LB

6-3

240

Meadville, MS

94 Fletcher Cox

DL

6-4

275

Fr.

Yazoo City, MS

Fr.

Alabaster, AL

95 Kyle Love

DL

6-1

310

Sr.

Fairburn, GA

Jr.

Homewood, AL

Fr.

45 Adrian Marcus

RB

5-9

215

46 Aaron Feld

SN

6-1

230

96 Shane McCardell

DL

6-5

245

Fr.

Beaumont, TX

47 Chris Cameron

DB 5-10 180

Fr. Palm Beach Gardens, FL

97 Josh Boyd

DL

6-3

285

Fr.

Philadelphia, MS

47 Allen Tolbert

RB 5-11 230

Fr.

Duluth, GA

98 LaMarcus Williams DL

6-0

270

Jr.

Bastrop, LA

Fr.

Hattiesburg, MS

99 Sean Ferguson

6-3

245 So.

48 Jordan Blankenship TE

6-4

200

DL

Miami, FL

Mississippi state ROSTER

RB

6-4

Maben, MS Montgomery, AL

56 Tyler Gregory

11


Player Spotlight

Kareem Jackson Jackson goes from unsigned out of high school to top NFL prospect

Amanda Kelly

T

he saying “offense sells tickets, defense wins games” has been only partially true at Alabama. Although the Crimson Tide offense has played well this season, the defense has been the talk of the town and seems to be drawing a crowd. Kareem Jackson, a member of the Tide’s dominant defensive squad, and his teammates grind out victories one play at a time. “That’s everybody’s mentality right now, just trying to take it one game at a time, doing all the things right and trying to get better as a team, week in and week out,” Jackson said. So far this season, Jackson has recorded 27 tackles, 16 of which were unassisted. He also has had one interception that he returned for 79 yards during the fourth quarter against Ole Miss. His interception halted an Ole Miss drive on the Alabama 5-yard-line, and is the 10th longest interception return in Alabama history. Big plays, even when the game is nearly over, are what have made the Alabama defense so dominant week after week. “The bottom line is Alabama is an awfully good football team,” Ole Miss Head Coach Huston Nutt said, after losing to the Tide 22-3. “We helped them. One thing that we didn’t want to do was give them turnovers - you can’t do that, especially to a good team.” At Westside High School in Macon, Ga., Jackson was a starting running back with a career total 3,447 yards and 46 touchdowns. He received few colligate offers and was unsigned when he graduated from high school, so Kareem enrolled at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. He recorded five interceptions his first year at the prep school, and after playing for the Blue Devils for only one season, he transferred to Alabama. Since he has been at Alabama, Jackson has been a key member of the defense. The junior cornerback started this season as the Tide’s most experienced defensive back, having started 26 games during his first two years at Alabama. His freshman year, Jackson started all but one game, and had 10 consecutive starts to end the season. That year, he was named the team’s “defensive co-player of the week” once and

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“special teams co-player of the week” twice. The next year, Jackson recorded 44 tackles, including 28 unassisted. He also had 10 pass break-ups and one interception. Jackson finished his sophomore year ranked 11th in the SEC for passes defended. This year as a team veteran, Jackson has not only recorded great numbers but has worked to encourage his teammates. His words after a close game to FIU early in the season reflect how driven Jackson is to see his team succeed. “We’ve got some stuff we’ve got to improve on,” he said of the team.  “We came out kind of slow. Like I said it was a learning experience. All we can do is just take the things that we did wrong, the mental errors, and just try to correct them.” Jackson also seems to hold high respect for Coach Nick Saban, using Saban’s words as motivation and encouragement to play his best, even if the team gets a slow start. “Like Coach said, that’s something that every guy has to take upon themselves and just look deep inside and say, ‘We’ve got to play.  It’s here, so we just have to play,’” Jackson recalled. Although only a junior, Jackson’s possibilities after he leaves Alabama seem endless. A number of NFL scouting sites are already show him as a top prospect for the 2010 draft, including one that predicts he will be picked no later than the second round. As sad as fans will be if the star defender decided to leave for the draft after this season, they will be able to continue to watch him grow and improve as a football player every Sunday. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT GASTON


Larry Burton

Larry’s

LOWDOWN

Larry Burton

Why Are Mississippi State and Auburn Helping Alabama Beat Florida?

D

an Mullen is helping Alabama beat his old boss and friend Urban Meyer. Gene Chizik and his new offensive coordinator are also helping Alabama to beat Florida in the upcoming SEC Championship Game. No, they’re not Gator haters and they’re certainly no fans of Alabama or Nick Saban, so what are they doing to help Alabama beat Florida this year? They are giving Alabama some really good practice against the spread offense and several defensive schemes that Florida runs as well. Though Auburn’s offense may vary a little, it is close enough to provide a lot of practice in shutting it down. But Mississippi has the same Dan Mullen offense that Florida is still using today. Alabama should thank both coaches for the extra weeks of practice against the spread. It will sure come in handy later. Alabama didn’t face the spread that much last year, and Florida’s offense proved hard to stop when it mattered. They didn’t go into the conference championship game having played against two teams who also run the same offense. Certainly this time last year, the only spread in Mississippi State was a bed spread and Auburn was running from the spread as fast as it could. What a difference a year makes. By the time Alabama gets around to playing Florida, they may know the spread as well as Florida. Yes, there is a talent difference, but the Tide will see the same formations, the same motion plays and more. And don’t

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forget, both of these spread offense teams have good defenses against which Alabama can practice on their own offensive problems. Florida won’t have the luxury of playing an Alabama clone for two of their last three games. For that matter, who in the SEC is a Bama clone? There aren’t many teams that have a Mark Ingram, a Trent Richardson, and a one-two punch with a Julio Jones on one side and a Marquis Maze on the other. With Alabama working on getting back a good balance, all three remaining games should do much to help them polish their skills without too much fear of a loss. And if Alabama hoists the SEC Championship Trophy up in the air, they may have Mississippi State and Auburn to thank for it.

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On the Block

hen Nick Saban announced he would be the next head coach of the Crimson Tide on Jan. 3, 2007, seismic waves coursed through the South and the nation. With his $32 million contract, many were anxious to see if he would live up to his hype in the 2007 season. In his first season, Saban started strong but would end the regular season 6-6 after a loss to LSU led to an end-of-season slide. Fans didn’t have to wait much longer, though, to see a return on their investment, as Saban led Alabama to an undefeated regular season the following year. While Saban was having an amazing year in 2008, he was leaving a trail of coaching victims behind him. Tennessee, Mississippi State and Auburn all saw changes at the head coach position at the end of last season. Here’s a look out how their replacement first-year coaches are stacking up against Saban’s record.

Lane Kiffin

After a disappointing 2008 season that was reminiscent of Mike Shula’s last season, Phillip Fulmer was no longer calling plays at the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers replaced him with young Lane Kiffin. Kiffin had previously been coach of the Oakland Raiders in the NFL, which was similar to Saban’s previous gig with the Miami Dolphins. Once hired at Tennessee, Kiffin began making a name for himself in the Southeastern Conference by calling out top coaches in the league and making comments that made some question the hiring of the young coach. Some were calling it one of the worst hires in the SEC in years, though at times Gene Chizik seemed to save Kiffin from that title. Kiffin attempted to back his comments

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up, though, with solid coaching hires, including his father Monte Kiffin and star recruiter Ed Orgeron. Much like Saban got his breakout victory against Tennessee in his first season, Kiffin came out and surprised many earlier this year with a 45-19 win over Georgia. Also like Saban, Kiffin has seen a heartbreaking loss in his first year. Tennessee came into the Alabama game this year in Tuscaloosa as the underdogs, and they lost that game 12-10 in the last seconds of the game when Terrence Cody blocked their field goal attempt that would have won Tennessee the game. At this point in the 2009 season, Kiffin has led the Volunteers to a 5-4 start, though they have played many of the top teams of the SEC much closer than any of their critics or fans thought they were capable of. Kiffin has the confidence of his quarterback, players and fans, and he is racking up top recruits. During the coaches’ handshake between Saban and Kiffin after the Oct. 24 game, Kiffin reportedly told Saban they’d beat him next year. We’ll have to wait and see.

Dan Mullen

After a string of seasons with unimpressive showings in the SEC West race and a disappointing loss to Ole Miss at the end of the 2008 season, Mississippi State began looking for a replacement for ex-coach Sylvester Croom. It seems as soon as you have a successful season you need to lock down your assistant coaches. They are often goldmines for talented coaches just waiting for their chance to move up to head coach somewhere. Florida’s coach made the mistake of showing his offensive coordinator off at the wrong time. PHOTOGRAPHY BY BDL


“He’s a great coach,” Meyer said to ESPN. “I made a comment [when] someone wrote an article about us and I said, ‘Boy, his résumé is pretty good.’ When you work with a guy, you don’t realize it. He’s been with me as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame, we went together to Bowling Green, developed Josh Harris, went from there to Alex Smith at Utah, and then came here and Chris Leak and Tim. So the résumé is pretty strong and I wish him all the best.” Just like that, the mastermind behind Florida’s championship offensive and Tim Tebow found himself wearing maroon and white. Of the three new coaches in the SEC this season, Mullen’s team has had one of the more boring storylines. At 4-5, Mullen is still looking for two more victories to become bowl-eligible. Despite what the 29-19 score against Florida looks like, it was actually Mississippi State’s closest chance at an upset so far this season. Mullen gets his big chance to really make a statement this weekend when Alabama travels to Starkville. Still, Mullen has fans as State more excited than they’ve been in many years.

Gene Chizik

After Auburn was handed their first loss to Alabama after six straight wins there was a state of confusion and Tommy Tuberville was out at head coach. Many of the Auburn faithful felt Tuberville deserved another chance and had been forced out, while the administration maintained he resigned. Either way, Auburn officials had to make a big hire to take some of the spotlight off of their in-state rival’s flashy coach. Their choice? Gene Chizik, coach of the Iowa State Cyclones and owner of a lackluster 5-19 record over two years there.

The hire astonished many sports commentators and fans across the South. Auburn fans showed up at the airport to boo the athletic director as he returned after news of the hiring broke. However, administrators claimed his record spanned more than those two years. “I know that we have found the right fit for Auburn,” Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said in a press release. “Gene’s body of work during his 23 years in this profession is remarkable. He has a strong knowledge of this athletics program, this university and the community, and he knows how to be successful in the Southeastern Conference. He is a high-energy coach that is an outstanding motivator and demands a tough, physical style of football.” Chizik managed to surprise many at the beginning of his career with Auburn as he led the Tigers to a 5-0 start to the 2009 season. After a three-game losing skid, Auburn began to show signs of life and won another two games. With a 7-3 record heading into this week’s game against Georgia, Chizik has Auburn holding the best record so far out of all first year coaches in the SEC. He still has a few weeks before what is guaranteed to be a big Iron Bowl game against rival Alabama.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MATT GASTON


Larry Burton

There’s Plenty for Saban and Crew to Finish This Season Larry Burton

L

ast week, what started as an ugly beginning for Alabama turned into a game where the team that could finish the strongest would walk off the field as a winner. It became a game of attrition for LSU, with players either limping off or being helped off the grass. For Alabama, it became a game of overcoming mistakes and applying more late game heroics.  Alabama had to overcome mistakes and there were plenty of them. Greg McElroy missed wide open receivers, Julio Jones continued his string of games with a ‘right in your hands’ drop and defensive backs slipped, fell and blew coverage. Then there were the costly stupid penalties, like breaking the huddle with 12 men on the field. Alabama was winning the war of total offense but losing the battle of points. Since Nick Saban’s arrival there has been one word that Nick Saban has been invoking in every team meeting, one word he yells repeatedly at every practice and one word that he hopes will epitomize his team at the end of the year. That word is “finish.” With 12 minutes and change left in the forth quarter, it was up to the defense to finish the game and stop any further scoring. They did just that and turned the ball back over to the offense with just over 10 minutes to go. Then two of the people who made some of the earlier mistakes atoned for them. Greg McElroy and Julio Jones instantly went 73 yards for a quick TD and a total momentum change. In less that a minute, LSU lost the lead and turned the emotional fever to Alabama. Now it was LSU’s turn to make costly mistakes. A running

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into the kicker penalty moved it to fourth and inches. Alabama went for it and made it. That allowed Alabama to run both more yardage and more time off the clock, and once again Lee Tiffin came through, as he has seemed to do all season, to add yet more points and build up a two-score lead of nine points. LSU was finished, just as Nick Saban had wanted. LSU came out and ran a few feeble plays until the ball was finally intercepted. So with Julio and McElroy now seeming back up to speed, what’s the last thing Saban needs to get the team to finish doing to win it all? The answer is finish scoring drives with TDs instead of field goals. So far Alabama has been winning by keeping opponents from scoring very much so it didn’t matter so much that they didn’t finish off drives. It did almost bite them in the Tennessee game and it certainly could against Florida. For Nick Saban to take this team to the last step of the journey, he must get them to put seven points on the board each time they’re inside the 20. Right now Alabama is not only at the bottom of the SEC in red zone TDs, but near the bottom of all Division One colleges. Teams like Florida and Texas can and do put lots of points up on the board, and Alabama will need an offense that can keep pace. Greg McElroy took a big step this week in helping fix this problem and the fantastic running of both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson will also help. If Nick Saban and company can fix this last chink in the armor, they will indeed be an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. If not, we can always keep buying replacement head phones for Nick Saban. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT GASTON


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The Bryant Museum is seeking information and photos for an upcoming book on the Tide’s World War II veterans. Information is needed on WWII-era military service of former Alabama football players. Ken Gaddy, director of the Bryant Museum, will supervise production of the book to be researched and written by award-winning journalist and author Delbert Reed. Photographs and information should be sent to Gaddy’s attention at the Bryant Museum, Box 870385, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. For more information contact Ken Gaddy at 205-348-9375 or kgaddy@ua.edu, or visit www.bryantmuseum.ua.edu.


Catching Up

Catching Up With

Sylvester Croom

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Former Alabama star center and Mississippi State head coach is back in the NFL

he situation at Mississippi State didn’t work out the way he hoped it would, but Sylvester Croom, a Tuscaloosa native and former Alabama star center, isn’t one to mope or look back. Croom was dismissed last December after five years as head coach of the Bulldogs, where he inherited an MSU team that had come off of three straight losing seasons and was on NCAA probation. Croom led Mississippi State to a 7-5 record, including a victory in the 2007 Liberty Bowl and earned SEC Coach of the Year honors, before things unraveled. However, it didn’t take the career-coach long to land on his feet. Within two months he accepted the job as running backs coach of the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. “I had thee solid offers from NFL teams. I had Cleveland and Tampa Bay, but I just felt that (St. Louis) was the best fit for me,” stated Croom, who has 18-plus years experience in the NFL, including stops at Green Bay, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis. “It’s exciting to be back in the NFL because it’s the highest level of football and you’re coaching with the best in the business that you’re in.” As far as going from head coach back to an assistant, Croom said, “It’s an adjustment. There are pluses and minuses. When you’re a head coach, you get to do things the way that you like to do them. I’m a competitor and I liked the idea of going head-tohead against another coach, to line up and go one-on-one against another coach. (Then again) as an assistant you get a chance to really coach again,” stated Croom, who added, “I still would like to be a head coach again at some point. “The biggest difference is time-wise. When you’re a head coach the job is always going with you, 24 hours a day. There’s

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYANT MUSEUM

Donald F. Staffo

always something to think about and plan for. You can’t get the job out of your head. There’s never really an off-time.” Croom said that he will miss coaching in the Southeastern Conference. “I’ll miss the competition in the SEC,” he said. “I enjoyed it thoroughly. Other than being in the NFL, there is no better football than in the SEC.” Croom also said the games against Alabama, where he was a Kodak All-American center on the 1973 national championship team and an assistant coach for 11 years, were special. “Those games were different because of my past affiliation with Alabama,” he explained. “The Alabama games were big to me. I took the losses a little tougher than the other losses, but all losses are tough. When we beat Alabama, it just made it a better day.” Croom said that it was hard to put into words coaching at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “When they moved (the big games to) Bryant-Denny, it made it possibly the best stadium in the country, college or pros,” he stated. “The atmosphere there is just unbelievable. “They changed the field alignment so that when I coached there, I was actually on the same sideline as when I played there.” Now that he is no longer at MSU and competing against the Crimson Tide, Croom said that he can again follow Bama football the way that he used to. “I’ll get to follow them like I did before. I’ll be watching them very closely. Nick (Saban) is doing a great job there. “I’m back on the Alabama A-Club email list,” Croom said, re-establishing his close ties with his alma mater. “I’m happy to be coaching with the Rams. I’m excited about this season,” he said.

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Recruiting

The

Crimson Tide Recruiting Commits

Week 10 Mike Parker The number of stars assigned to each player indicates the level pro scouts have assigned to the player after evaluating him. Out of five possible stars, the more stars you are receive, the higher your rating. Information courtesy of Rivals.com.

Jarrick Williams  Defensive Back 6’2” 205 lbs.

From Blount High School in Eight Mile, Ala., Jarrick Williams is one of the most physically gifted and talented safetys in the country. Because Williams is one of the best players in the state of Alabama and an in-state target, and because the Tide is losing so many defensive backs next year, Nick Saban put an early full press on Williams. When that happens, there is usually only one result: commitment. And, that was just what happened with Jarrick Williams. Rated the 4th best safety in the country, and the #2 player in Alabama, Williams is strong and plays with a lot of intensity. Williams’ skill at adapting his position when the ball is in the air covers up what some see as a lack of speed. Though he is a 4.6 guy, at 6’2” and 205 lbs., Williams makes up for it by playing the ball, reading plays, and delivering bone-crushing hits. Offers from all over the country have been made to Williams, but not many recruits get away from Nick Saban, in-state or even out- of-state. There are a lot of DB’s in this class, but Jarrick Williams is what you might call a “tweener,” in that he could be a linebacker at the next level. He was a big early pick up who gave the Tide some momentum going into the 2010 recruiting process.

Jay Williams  Kicker 6’4” 220 lbs.

Out of Thomasville, Ala., Jay Williams was a great pick-up for the Tide, considering the fact that he can punt the ball the entire length of the football field. This is a talent of which Alabama will be in dire need next season. What makes Williams so good as a kicker is the hang time on his kicks, which enables the defense to get to the receiver to force the fair catch. Don’t let the position of kicker fool you: Williams is very athletic, and I can see some fake punts in his future. If Williams is paired up with Cade Foster, the Tide arguably has the best kicking unit in the country coming in next year. Both Williams and Foster should see significant playing time in the near future.

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Player Keenan Allen Deion Belue Devonta Bolton Ronald Carswell Cade Foster Jalston Fowler Corey Grant Alfy Hill Harrison Jones Brandon Lewis Chad Lindsay Wilson Love Keiwone Malone DeMarcus Milliner Nick Perry Austin Shepherd Blake Sims Phillip Sims Brian Vogler DeAndrew White Jarrick Williams Jay Williams

Pos DB DB LB WR K RB RB DE TE DT OL DE WR DB DB OL ATH QB TE WR DB K

Stars                      

Phillip Sims  Pro-Style QB 6’2” in 4.8

Ht 6-3 6-0 6-4 6-0 6-1 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-1 6-1 6-2 6-4 6-0 6-2 6-7 6-0 6-2 6-4

225 lbs.

Wt 195 175 230 180 215 240 186 222 230 275 307 235 165 180 195 316 180 209 248 170 205 220

40 4.56 4.51 - 4.5 - 4.8 4.4 4.59 4.8 - 5.4 4.8 4.4 4.45 4.49 5.5 4.5 4.8 4.67 4.4 4.6 -

RR 6.1 5.6 5.8 5.7 5.4 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.8 6.1 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.9 5.9 5.3

Hometown Greensboro, NC Tuscumbia, AL Scooba, MS Macon, GA Southlake, TX Prichard, AL Opelika, AL Shallotte, NC Memphis, TN Scooba, MS The Woodlands, TX Birmingham, AL Memphis, TN Millbrook, AL Prattville, AL Suwanee, GA Gainesville, GA Chesapeake, VA Columbus, GA Galena Park, TX Eight Mile, AL Thomasville, AL

40

From Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Vir., Phillip Sims is the #2 rated pro-style quarterback in the country. The 56th national prospect in the nation, Phillip Sims is the base for Alabama’s entire 2010 class. He visited Alabama back in April and went home so blown away by his experience that he committed to Alabama. To be exact, his words were, “It just felt right.” After watching the schemes that Alabama’s offensive coordinator, Jim McElwain, runs, Sims later commented, “Alabama has a first class program.” Sims has all the confidence the developing QB needs to succeed in moving from high school to the SEC, and he wouldn’t be too shy to tell you that himself. He’s probably the most accurate quarterback in the country. Sims really has it all: pocket presence, decision making skills, and the ability to make every throw on the field. He definitely does not get enough credit for his ability to scramble and throw, which he does so well. This season Sims has broken almost every single QB statistic in the state. He may need a little more conditioning than he is used to, but Alabama’s Strength and Conditioning Program will more than take care of that. Sims has been in every predicament in which a QB could possibly find himself. In addition, he has loads of experience that cannot be matched. Sims throws a tight spiral, on time, and with extreme accuracy. After Nick Saban, Sims might be the Tide’s second leading recruiter, as he makes phone calls to other prospects, mainly wide receivers, to come help him win a national championship at Alabama. The number one quality desired in a quarterback, leadership, is evident in Phillip Sims. He is in full command in the huddle and throughout the game, and, no matter what happens, Sims shows unusual poise. By the time Sims arrives on campus, Greg McElwain will be a senior who is leaving. That leaves only two current quarterback scholarships: Star Jackson and A.J. McCarron, both of whom need work. Jackson needs improvement with fundamentals and game management, and McCarron needs to put on some weight. This should add up to a competitive quarterback battle. Sims, an early graduate who will enroll at Alabama in January, has absolutely everything one could possibly want in the QB position. PHOTOGRAPHY BY RIVALS.COM


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Exclusive

Close Calls Controversy Surrounds SEC Officials

W

Amanda Kelly

hen instant replay was brought to college football in 2004, it was in the hop that controversy surrounding decisions on the field would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, the 2009 season has proven that close calls remain controversial. A number of incidents surrounding decisions made by SEC officiating crews this year have brought out the conspiracy theorist in many fans. Questionable penalties and decisions from the replay officials have caused a number of coaches to voice their opinion to the media. In turn, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has reprimanded a number of coaches for their remarks and imposed penalties against any future coaches who speak out against officials. The controversy began the first weekend in October, when LSU travelled to Athens, Ga., to take on the Bulldogs. With a minute left in the game, UGA receiver A.J. Green scored a touchdown, giving Georgia the lead 13-12. A group of his teammates surrounded him in celebration, then an excessive celebration flag was thrown and UGA was assessed a 15-yard penalty at the end of their kickoff. Combined with a five-yard illegal formation penalty, the ensuing kickoff put LSU in excellent scoring position. The next Saturday, the same officiating crew was in Gainesville when the Gators took on the Hogs. During the game, the officials penalized Arkansas for a personal foul that coach Bobby Petrino believed did not happen. Petrino voiced his concern about the call to the media, and return was reprimanded by Slive.

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“Coach Petrino has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics,” he said in a prepared statement.  “SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 clearly states that coaches, players and support personnel shall refrain from all public criticism of officials.” Although the SEC was unhappy with Petrino’s public remarks, they did make the decision to suspend the officiating crew after two consecutive weeks of controversy. “A series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,” Slive said. “I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program.  Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation.” The suspensions did not end the controversy. The next Saturday, October 24th, brought twice as many complaints from coaches as the week before. Mississippi State Head Coach Dan PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT GASTON


Mullen was upset after replay officials did not overturn a Gators touchdown. Mullen believed the video evidence showed that the ball was fumbled before the runner crossed the goal line and that Mississippi State had recovered the ball. Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin was also disappointed in the officiating crew working the Vols game in Tuscaloosa that day. He believed that Terrance Cody should have been penalized for taking his helmet off in celebration after blocking the Vols last-minute field goal attempt to win the game. Both coaches voiced their complaints to the media, and both received reprimands from Slive. The following week, the SEC announced it had amended SEC bylaw 10.5.4 to included stiffer penalties. According to a press release, a unanimous vote of the SEC’s Athletic Directors determined that “all violations of SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 will be enforced by suspensions and fines, effective immediately.” Additionally, the release said “the length of the suspension and the amount of the fine will be at the discretion of the Commissioner.” “There are proper channels available for head coaches to use when communicating officiating concerns to the Conference office,” Slive said, referring to the negative comments coaches had been making to the media. The release stated that “as is customary practice, the conference office will continue to address reviews of officiating calls on specific plays with each institution’s head coach, and no public comments will be made concerning these communications.” Unfortunately, these new penalties did not deter Florida coach Urban Meyer from commenting on an alleged late hit on Tim Tebow that the officiating crew supposedly missed when the Gators played UGA in Jacksonville. He was fined $30,000 for his remarks to reporters, but accepted the penalty. “I respect this decision,” Meyer said. “There was no intent to criticize an official after being asked about a situation that occurred last Saturday and I apologize for my remarks.” Since Meyer has been fined, no other coaches have been

reprimanded for their comments, even though the weekend brought more controversy. The biggest regular season game in the SEC this year was played on November 7th in Tuscaloosa. #9 LSU took on the #3 Crimson Tide for control of the SEC West. It was a back and forth game, ending with the Tide finally beating LSU at home. The question of the day, however, was whether LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson actually intercepted the ball during the fourth quarter, or the pass was incomplete, as the officials ruled on the field. For the first time this season, neither coach from the game spoke negatively of the officiating. In fact, when asked about the decision at his press conference, Coach Nick Saban not only questioned the impact of the call, but showed his support for the officiating crews. “If it was an interception, that doesn’t mean they will win the game,” Saban said. “If I was an official and I was making what I made officiating, because I loved the game and I loved doing it, and was getting criticized by the media, including our announcers on TV, like these guys are getting criticized, I think I’d step back and say ‘I think I’m going to the lake this weekend, you guys can have this.’” Even if LSU had been awarded the ball, they still would have had to drive nearly 70 yards to score a touchdown, a task that seems improbable considering they were playing with a backup quarterback and gained only nine yards of offense during the fourth quarter. Saban’s words seem to summarize the entire debate. Although a number of in-game calls and decisions from the replay booth have been questionable, can you truly say they changed the outcome of the game? Many fans believe there is a conspiracy at work to ensure that both Alabama and Florida make it to the SEC championship Game. If this holds true, now that both teams have clinched their spot in Atlanta, the bad calls should stop. But with almost a month of regular season play left, there will be plenty of opportunities to see how the tension in the league plays out.

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Traditions

A PLACE TO CALL

home

W

Tide Traditions

Amanda Kelly

hen Alabama’s football team first began, their home games were not played in Bryant –Denny Stadium. From 1883 to 1914, the Crimson Tide instead played on a field on the southeast corner of the Quad. It was located at the corner of Sixth Avenue and University Boulevard. The field was originally drawn parallel to Sixth Avenue, but then rotated to run along University. In 1915, the Tide moved their home games to University Field. University Field’s north end zone is now the home of Parker Adams Hall, and the rest of the field is covered by the parking lot that sits behind the dormitory. In 1920, it was renamed Denny Field after one of the most important presidents in University history. George H. Denny accepted the job as university president in 1912, and immediately took steps to expand the University. His plans included an effort to increase enrollment, and to construct more buildings, including a new football stadium. George Hutchenson Denny Stadium opened September 28, 1929 and was dedicated the next week. When the stadium first

26

| TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA November 14, 2009

opened, it held 12,000 fans. Since 1929, there have been eight different expansion projects on the stadium. The first one came in 1937 when 6,000 seats were added. Capacity reached 25,000 in 1950, and was up to 60,000 by 1966. In 1975, the state legislature renamed the facility “Bryant Denny Stadium,” to honor Coach Paul Bryant. Expansion continued in 1988, with capacity reaching 70,123. The upper decks began being added, with the east side being completed in 1998. The most recent expansion was completed in 2006, bringing capacity to 92,138, which made it the seventh-largest on-campus college football stadium in the country. Bryant-Denny has long been considered one of the loudest and most difficult places to play for visiting team, but is currently undergoing another expansion. This project began this year and is expected to be completed in 2010. This latest expansion closes the bowl around the top of the stadium and brings capacity to 101,000. Upon completion, it will be the largest football stadium in the SEC, which is nothing but bad news for visitors to Tuscaloosa.


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News

SEC News Katie Koenig Auburn at Georgia It’s hard to say who stands to gain the most from a victory this weekend, Auburn or Georgia. Auburn started the season with a 5-0 winning streak, but ran into some issue after that. After losing three games, they have come back and won their past two, including an impressive victory over Ole Miss. Georgia really needs a victory this weekend after big losses to rivals Tennessee and Florida. The Georgia Tech game is looking to be a tough win for them later down the line, so this may be their last chance to make a big statement to turn around their season. Florida at South Carolina After a win over an Ole Miss squad who was then ranked number four in the country and a tough game that ended in a loss to Alabama, South Carolina was showing signs of finally making the turn around fans had been waiting for since Steve Spurrier was hired as head coach. The past two weeks, though, the Gamecocks have been beat up by Tennessee and Arkansas. If they have any hope of preventing the late season slump they have become known for the past few years, they must pull out a win over number-one-ranked Florida. Many are heralding this away game for Florida as their last even potential stumbling block before the SEC Championship. The Gators haven’t looked as explosive on offense as their 2008 National Championship team, but their defense continues to grind out victories each week, even in close games. Florida has already clinched the SEC Eastern division title. It’s always interesting to see Steve Spurrier on the field coaching against the school where he saw so much success. Vanderbilt at Kentucky After making it to a bowl game last season, Vanderbilt seems to have reverted to its old role of SEC punching bag. Their record currently sits at 2-8 after a loss to top-ranked Florida last week. Kentucky knows better than to look past the Commodores, though, as players pointed out that when a team has nothing to lose, they can play all out. Kentucky is still looking for that sixth win to get their team bowl-eligible for the fourth straight year. Kentucky continues to battle injuries, and it took two and a half minutes for Coach Rich Brooks to read the injury report Sunday. Quarterback Mike Hartline is still questionable for Saturday’s game after sustaining a knee injury four weeks ago.

28

| TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA

November 14, 2009

Tennessee at Ole Miss Lane Kiffin may be the coach getting everyone all riled up in the SEC this year, but Ole Miss fans are waiting to exact revenge on Ed Orgeron, who coached the Rebels before joining the UT staff. They’ll get a chance this week when the Volunteers head to Oxford. While expectations were high for the Ole Miss team this year, they are sitting at a 6-3 record right now. If they win the remaining games, they will be 9-3 and will finish with one more victory than last year. Tennessee is playing solid football right now and has been exceeding all expectations. Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton is playing better each week after early criticism, while Ole Miss fans are still waiting on Jevan Snead to regain the precision they saw last season.

LSU QB Jordan Jefferson is questionable for play in this week’s game against Louisiana Tech after spraining his ankle during the Alabama game. Charles Scott is out for the season after breaking his clavicle in the same game. True freshman RB Onterio McCalebb, of Auburn, is questionable this week after re-aggravating an ankle injured earlier in the season. He is the fastest back on the Tiger roster and has already missed two games. Dexter McCluster, senior Ole Miss WR/RB, is questionable for Tennessee. He missed last week’s game with leg soreness.

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IN W O IRT! T ER T-SH T EN EE R AF

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TIDE TRIVIA

The Tide played in but never won the_______. a. Outback Bowl b. Citrus Bowl c. Aloha Bowl d. Music City Bowl

2 3

Alabama’s highest-finishing Heisman candidate has been______. a. quarterback Jay Barker b. receiver David Palmer c. linebacker Lee Roy Jones d. quarterback Pat Tremmell Alabama’s 1992 national championship was the first awarded under the _____. a. Bowl Championship Series b. Bowl Alliance c. Bowl Coalition d. Bowl Partnership

4 5

The 2008 Sugar Bowl berth gave the Crimson Tide______ straight postseason trips. a. 4 c. 6 b. 5 d. 7

Undefeated Alabama lost back-to-back bowl games to_______ at the end of the 1973 and 1974 seasons. a. Texas c. Notre Dame b. Nebraska d. Miami

Contest Rules

Email your entry to: publish@tdalabama.com or mail entry to: Touchdown Alabama Magazine P.O. Box 3251 Tuscaloosa, AL 35403

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Touchdown Alabama Magazine - Mississippi State - 2009  

Touchdown Alabama Magazine - Mississippi State - 2009

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