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Vol. 119, Issue 69

TinHREE FOUR “

I really hope that we all appreciate what we accomplished and understand what it took to accomplish it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

— Coach Nick Saban

Illustration and Design: CW | Daniel Roth and Mackenzie Brown Photo: CW | Shannon Auvil


TRADITION THIS IS OUR

Page 2• Wednesday, January 9, 2013 P.O. Box 870170 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 Newsroom: 348-6144 | Fax: 348-8036 Advertising: 348-7845 Classifieds: 348-7355

EDITORIAL Will Tucker editor-in-chief editor@cw.ua.edu Ashley Chaffin managing editor Stephen Dethrage production editor Mackenzie Brown visuals editor Daniel Roth online editor magazine editor Melissa Brown news editor newsdesk@cw.ua.edu Lauren Ferguson culture editor Marquavius Burnett sports editor John Brinkerhoff opinion editor Ashanka Kumari chief copy editor Shannon Auvil photo editor Anna Waters lead designer Whitney Hendrix lead graphic designer Alex Clark community manager

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CW | Austin Bigoney

By Marquavius Burnett Sports Editor MIAMI GARDENS, Fla – When the dust settles and the smoke clears from the sixmonth barrage that is the college football season, only one team can truly celebrate. Monday night, that team was once again the Alabama Crimson Tide as the Tide crushed Notre Dame, 42-14, to win back-to-back BCS National Championships, their third in the last four years. The Tide seemed to take the fight out of the Irish early and never let up. The ending was fitting for this particular Alabama team. This bunch was chosen as the second-best team in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division behind LSU at the beginning of the season. The loss of talent on the defensive side of the ball and the early departure of a Heisman finalist running-back left major holes and major questions.

Even head coach Nick Saban admitted this was his least talented team of the Tide’s recent national championship runs. But once the lights were on, it was clear the Tide was in a class of its own. “We came with the mindset of trying to be legendary,” freshman receiver Amari Cooper said. Alabama is now in that rare air of winning three national championships in four years. Not since Nebraska’s run in the 1990s has this been accomplished. Some teams struggle to make the game, others win a championship and regress, but Alabama continues to churn out championships – turning Tuscaloosa into Title Town. “For a program that has been criticized for clinging too tightly to the good old days, I’m sure those days were good, but Alabama people should recognize that these days for them are better,” ESPN studio host and Alabama graduate Rece Davis said.

That’s not a shot at the great Paul “Bear” Bryant and his legacy, it’s only the truth— In this day of college football, Alabama’s run is nothing short of spectacular. 2009 and 2011 were expected, but this wasn’t. No one thought Alabama was four touchdowns better than Notre Dame. Alabama’s offense epitomized balance. The Tide’s attack racked up 529 yards of total offense, 265 rushing and 264 passing. Running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon took turns battering what was supposed to be a vaunted Notre Dame front seven. Quarterback AJ McCarron shredded the Irish secondary for four touchdowns. It could have been six if not for a few missed opportunities to Cooper. Notre Dame’s defense forgot the No. 1 fundamental of tackle football: tackle. Heisman candidate Manti Te’o whiffed on a few attempts to bring down the Tide’s dominant duo of backs. With Te’o struggling, the rest

of the Irish stood no chance. “We’ve got to get physically stronger, continue to close the gap there and just overall you need to see what it looks like,” said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly of the difference between the Irish and the Tide. The Irish got a look at it all night. In a scene similar to the SEC Championship Game, Alabama lined up and ran right at the Irish defense, welcoming contact. Only this time, there was no back and forth action necessary. Defensively, Alabama stifled Notre Dame all game. The Irish abandoned the running game early, finishing with 32 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Everett Golson never found his rhythm throwing the ball and was constantly under pressure. Everywhere Golson turned there was a Tide defender. Linebackers and defensive lineman made open field tackles on Golson and the Irish’s skill players, showing the speed difference between the SEC and

the rest of college football. But Notre Dame fans shouldn’t be discouraged. The SEC does this to everyone. The league beats up one another each week, making one another look vulnerable and exposing weaknesses. That’s fool’s gold. Anyone who watches the SEC knows there could be at least one team in the title game every year, even with the playoff. Alabama shows no signs of slowing down and are, in fact, getting stronger. With the return of key veterans such as AJ McCarron and C.J. Mosley, Alabama will be in the mix at the end of next season. The return of such players only gives Alabama time to look ahead and recruit or nurture the next crop of champions. “We have such a great culture here from top to bottom,” offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier said. “Everybody buys in from day one, and that is why we are successful.”


NEWS

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Page 3

FOOTBALL

Alabama excels in National Championship rout BY THE NUMBERS

1

|Alabama rushed for 265 and passed for 264— a one-yard difference.

5 2

|Alabama put together five touchdown drives of 70 yards or more. | Notre Dame had only allowed two rushing touchdowns during their entire regular season, a mark Alabama matched 4 seconds into the second quarter.

80,120

|fans attended the National Championship Game, breaking the attendance record for any event in Sun Life Stadium history.

CW | Austin Bigoney

Yeldon and McCarron during Monday’s game.

108:07

|When Notre Dame scored a touchdown on quarterback Everett Golson’s scramble in the third quarter, it marked the first time Alabama had been scored on in a National Championship Game since the fourth quarter of the 2009 game against Texas - a shutout streak of 108 minutes and 7 seconds.

POSITION GRADES

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Located on The Strip 1218 University Blvd.

205.752.2990 locker-room.biz

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Offense

The Tide offense gained 529 yards of total offense, scored 42 points against Notre Dame’s defense and made it look easy. The offensive line created gaping holes for Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, while AJ McCarron threw four touchdowns, two to Amari Cooper.

Defense The defense held the Irish in check, allowing only 31 rushing yards. The team contained Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson and made it difficult for him to find a rhythm.

Special Teams Notre Dame rarely had decent starting position, in large part due to touchbacks and well-placed punts.

Coaching Nick Saban and his staff proved again why they are the best in the country with time to prepare. No one saw this beating coming, but Alabama’s preparation and game plan took the fight away from Notre Dame early.


Page 4 | Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NEWS

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Lacy, Mosley named Most Outstanding Players Lacy bounces back from injury to lead tide rushing attack

By Marc Torrence Assistant Sports Editor

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - It didn’t take much searching to find the matchup everyone was talking about ahead of Alabama’s national championship game clash with Notre Dame. How would the Crimson Tide’s offensive line fare against the vaunted front seven of the Fighting Irish? From the opening kickoff, where Notre Dame deferred to Alabama’s offense, this was answered emphatically. The Crimson Tide ran the ball almost at will in Monday’s 42-14 victory as Alabama’s terrifying offensive line took one last curtain call before some of them head for the NFL, paving the way for 265 rushing yards. 140 of those yards came from running back Eddie Lacy, the game’s offensive MVP. “We knew we had to be physical up front, and we did,” guard Chance Warmack said. “It paid off tonight.” Lacy, a junior, is expected to declare for the NFL draft as well. What may be the last two games of his college career were most certainly his best. After playing in the shadows of Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram and Heisman finalist Trent Richardson, Lacy stepped into the spotlight and proved he deserved to be mentioned in the conversation of great Alabama running backs. “Having that type of confidence,” right tackle D.J. Fluker said, “he’ll probably go down as one of the greatest running backs in history.” Lacy’s road to Monday night was not the most ideal for a running back, however. He spent much of the offseason nursing a turf toe injury that kept him out for spring practice and parts of fall camp. Lacy opened the season still hobbled by the setback, not ever appearing 100 percent. Alabama leaned heavily on freshman T.J. Yeldon after further attrition struck the running back position with injuries to Dee Hart and Jalston Fowler. Yeldon was more than reliable, picking up where Lacy left off, but there was still a feeling that Lacy hadn’t fully taken over like he knew he could. Enter Monday night. Fluker challenged Lacy before the game on the team bus as the Crimson Tide rode to Sun Life Stadium. “I said, ‘If you can get two or three touchdowns, we’ll win the game,’” Fluker recalled.

“He said, ‘All right. As long as you give me good blocking, we’re going to get it.’” And get it they did. His first score came on the first drive of the game. Lacy took a hand-off from quarterback AJ McCarron, gashing through the gaping hole his line had made for him, cutting around an Irish defender and sprinting 20 yards for the game’s first touchdown. “It makes you look a whole lot better than what you really are,” tight end Michael William said about blocking for Lacy. His second score may have been the most spectacular of his Crimson Tide career. This time, Lacy took a screen pass from McCarron, cut up field and executed a spectacular spin, his signature move, to make two Irish defenders miss and walk into the end zone. “That’s why he’s called circle button,” guard Chance Warmack said. “Because he makes those spin moves

Mosley leads Tide defense, will return for senior season

SEASON STATS • 204 carries • 1322 yards • 17 touchdowns • 6.5 yards per carry

at crucial times.” Once Lacy hit the circle button, Notre Dame got up and turned off the Playstation. “I think the thing that probably I appreciate most about Eddie is Eddie has probably had to overcome a lot more adversity, have a lot more resiliency, be a little more patient,” head coach Nick Saban said. “You know, he’s had to overcome, battle a lot of injuries. But he’s never, ever lost sight of the focus, the goal of what he wanted to accomplish and what he wanted to do— continue to improve and get better.” CW | Austin Bigoney

Top: Junior running back Eddie Lacy is expected to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft, but finished the 2012 season with two touchdowns in the BCS National Championship Game. Bottom: Alabama’s offensive line paved the way for Lacy’s success.

By Zac Al-Khateeb Staff Reporter Alabama junior linebacker C.J. Mosley stood front and center on the podium. Battleworn and weary, C.J. didn’t even look excited as he hoisted the crystal trophy above his head, celebrating Alabama’s 15th national title. After all, the game’s defensive Most Outstanding Player recipient had just played lightsout in one of the biggest games of his life. The linebacker, hailing from Theodore, Ala., had made himself known to the world on a national stage for his performance against Notre Dame. Mosley finished the game leading the defense with eight total tackles – five solo – and tied for second with a tackle for loss. Mosley’s statistics in the game certainly weren’t gaudy, but he was constantly involved in the Alabama defensive success all night and all year. “C.J. played consistently well for us all year long,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “I don’t really feel like he ever had a bad game. I think he loves to play. He’s a very active player. He’s very athletic, very instinctive, always seems to make a lot

[of] plays.” And make plays Mosley did. In one play for the Tide, Mosley stuffed Fighting Irish running back Theo Riddick in the running lane before slamming him to the ground in a tackle that could be felt in the stands. On another, he contained scrambler Everett Golson en route to forcing him to throw out of bounds. And on another, he laterally pursued Riddick once again, knocking aside a would-be stiff arm before using perfect tackling technique to bring him down. That’s what has made Mosley so successful at Alabama, not only in the championship game but the entire season. His combination of speed, power, control and cover skills makes him Alabama’s most valuable linebacker, if not its most versatile. But even more impressive than Mosley’s versatility this season has been his consistency. In fact, the impressive game Mosley put together against Notre Dame wasn’t even Mosley’s most impressive performance on the year. It was simply the latest in a string of incredible games for him this season. “When you look at the production, which we have a CW | Austin Bigoney

Junior linebacker C.J. Mosley played a critical role in containing Irish quarterback Everett Golson. Even after winning two national championships at Alabama, Mosley said he will return for his senior season.

SEASON STATS • 107 tackles • 4 sacks • 8 tackles for loss • 2 interceptions • 1 touchdown

production chart on defense, he’s pretty consistently the guy that’s getting the most points game-in and game-out,” Saban said. “So I think his consistency and performance is what makes him a special player, and it really doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. He always seems to make a lot of plays. He had a great game last night.” Saban wasn’t the only one impressed with the performance Mosley put on in the championship game either. Senior linebacker Nico Johnson also said he was impressed with his fellow linebacker’s level of play. “C.J. has played great all year long,” Johnson said. “And I just try to keep him motivated to understand that he’s always got room for improvement, no matter how good things are or how bad things are. And that’s what happened. “I’m just thankful he was a part of the team this year.” Of course, Mosley didn’t achieve all his success in the game and the season without a little help. Senior defensive lineman Jesse Williams, who’s devoured more than his fair share of double teams to open lanes up for Mosley, has played a huge role in Mosley’s success. Still, Williams said he was happy knowing he had a guy like Mosley behind him to finish up the work he started in the trenches. “I’ve been grateful to be able to take double teams so that he can be able to make plays the past couple of years,” Williams said. “But he’s a great guy and deserves everything he got.” Of course, Williams won’t be around for Mosley’s senior season at Alabama, a season in which he could prove himself to be one of the best linebackers in the nation. Both Williams and Johnson expressed how important he’ll be to Alabama’s success next season, as well. “He’s going to be a real headache,” Johnson said. “Because next year, he’s going to play more faster. He’s going to get bigger in the offseason. He’s going to have fun more than he ever had, and he’s going to give them problems.”


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Page 5

CW | Austin Bigoney

Coach Nick Saban speaks at a press conference following a win against Notre Dame that earned the Tide several top awards on Tuesday, Jan. 8th at the Harbor Beach Marriott, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

Saban wins 4th trophy on national stage By Marc Torrence Assistant Sports Editor Nick Saban stood on the podium at midfield of Sun Life Stadium after winning his fourth BCS National Championship game, his third as coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. ESPN’s John Saunders had finished the trophy presentation, and the crowd roared around them. Saban paused for a brief moment and stared at the crystal football that lay in his hands before raising it triumphantly above his head yet again. Maybe he finally considered, for just an instant, the magnitude of what he and his team had just accomplished. Maybe he had remembered something important for later as he did after the SEC Championship

game when he wrote “Team Dinner” on a piece of paper during the celebration. Or maybe he saw a spot or blemish on the gleaming crystal trophy. It’s perhaps the most realistic possibility, as Saban has made his living on his ability to find the little imperfections, even in seemingly perfect situations. Saban, 61, unquestionably entered the pantheon of alltime great college head coaches Monday night. No one has ever been able to accomplish what he has in the BCS era, where winning a championship is harder than ever: four titles at two different schools and now two back-to-back. Urban Meyer came the closest, winning in 2006 and 2008 with Florida. But Saban’s run stands alone in the modern era. “When we hired coach

He’d won a national championship [at LSU in 2003], and I wanted to him to have the opportunity to do it again at Alabama, and has he ever performed. — Mal Moore

Saban,” athletic director Mal Moore said after the game, “He’d won a national championship [at LSU in 2003], and I wanted to him to have the opportunity to do it again at Alabama, and has he ever performed.” Much is made about Saban’s relentless pursuit of perfection, never letting even the most minute detail go unaddressed. He praised senior center Barrett Jones and junior quarterback AJ McCarron when the pair got in a scuffle about a protection call that forced them to burn a timeout with five

WELCOME BACK!

minutes remaining in the blowout victory . “Their reaction to each other was an indication that they’re still out there competing and playing like you’d like for them to,” Saban said Tuesday. He was also asked Tuesday what he does with his championship rings. Certainly wearing four rings would become a burden after some time. “I just put them on the coffee table for the recruits to look at,” he said. That’s Saban in a nutshell. Always thinking about the next game, the next

challenge, the next recruit. He sees his championship rings as only a way to woo the next hotshot high school prospect to his university so he can win another. “Be the best you can be,” he always says. You can almost hear his father drilling that into Nick as he worked at a service station in West Virginia. “If you’re going to be a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be,” he said. “Sweep the streets like Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, like Shakespeare wrote literature. Let them put a sign up right here that says, ‘The best street sweeper in the world lives right here.’ “And if you can do that, you do the best there is in life, knowing you did your best to be the best you could be, no matter

what you choose to do.” You could put a sign in his yard that reads, “The best college football coach in the world lives here,” and you wouldn’t be wrong. Like the Sistine Chapel or Shakespeare’s writing, Saban has left a distinct mark on his profession and will be remembered as an all-time great. He doesn’t like to pause and think much about it, but Monday he did. Whether he did for a second on that stage, for two hours like he told Tom Rinaldi he would before the game or for 24 hours like he told the media, Saban undoubtedly enjoyed number four. “Whether I look it or not,” a weary Saban said after the game. “I’m happy as hell.” And then the moment passed, and it was back to work on number five.


Page 6 | Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Historic year erases doubts about offense Doug Nussmeier orchestrated record-setting season in first year as Tide’s offensive coordinator By Marc Torrence Assistant Sports Editor

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - It didn’t exactly look bright for Alabama’s offense after the 2011 season. The Crimson Tide lost running back and Heisman trophy finalist Trent Richardson after last season’s national championship victory. It lost its top three wide receivers and H-back. Its offensive coordinator Jim McElwain left to take a head coaching job at Colorado State. Naturally, Alabama responded with one of the most prolific offensive seasons in Crimson Tide history. Despite losing starters at nearly every skill position, Alabama set single-season records for points scored (542) and offensive touchdowns (68) in 2012. Quarterback AJ McCarron set the program record for touchdown passes in a season and broke the career record Monday. Alabama saw its first pair of 1,000-yard rushers and the offense set a record for most total yards in a season. At the center of the Tide’s offensive explosion is the mostly anonymous offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, hired in January to run head coach Nick Saban’s offense. Because of Saban’s strict media policy – freshmen and assistant coaches do not speak publicly during the season – Nussmeier usually stays behind the scenes. But Thursday before the game, Nussmeier held court with reporters in Ft. Lauderdale and discussed his whirlwind first season calling the shots for the Tide’s attack. “Pleasant surprises,” he said of the season. “Working with

the group of coaches we have on offense has been an outstanding experience – great, great coaches, a lot of experience. Working with Coach Saban, the way he structures everything, the attention to detail, you just can’t say enough about it. Everything is process-oriented.” Nussmeier’s offense, while prolific, has had its share of ups and downs. It is built around an efficient quarterback, a pair of stud freshmen and an offensive line with a terrifying combination of size, speed and smarts. But scheme-wise, it isn’t much different from the same formula that has worked for Saban since his arrival in Tuscaloosa – a steady diet of a physical running game, mixed in with short throws and deep patterns usually set up by the play-action. “As far as the hand print that I personally put on the offense, when I got here at the end of last year and Coach hired me, it was very important for me to really dive into the offense that was here,” Nussmeier said. “And look at the things that our players had done and done well, and then find things that maybe I had done in the past that I could bring to help fit into this system, so to say.” The biggest change Nussmeier has brought is a faster tempo to Alabama’s attack at times. In its last two games – Auburn in the season finale and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game – the Crimson Tide opened with a no-huddle look, featuring a three-wide receiver set. It also likes to sprinkle in the hurryup style when the offense hits a lull. It’s a literal change of pace from the grind-it-out,

wear-you-down offense of The second freshman is wide Alabama’s past. receiver Amari Cooper, who “I think if you look at col- gives Nussmeier a dynamic lege football in general, that’s wideout that can burn a defena growing trend – no-huddle sive back down the field on a offense, speed, hurry-up,” fly route, make a spectacular Nussmeier said. “As any game leaping catch over an unsusyou play, the ability to change pecting defender or a catch the tempo of the game offen- over the middle, holding on sively or defensively can cre- while being hit. Cooper led ate a competiAlabama in tive advantage receiving by for you if it’s We’re going to have a balanced more than 500 useful in the game plan. We’re going to go yards, and game you’re into every game with the ability his 11 touchplaying.” not only to run it but to throw it downs were by The probfar the most lem facing — Doug Nussmeier on the team. Nussmeier And on the wh e n he biggest stage installed his in Monday’s system certainly wasn’t talent. But most national championship game, of that talent didn’t have Cooper hauled in more than experience playing week in, 100 yards receiving, two touchweek out. Ultimately, it was downs and was a centimeter two freshmen who stepped up away from adding a third. “You know, when you get a and gave Nussmeier the speed and skill he needed to run wide receiver of his caliber, and to have the big play capahis offense. Eddie Lacy was entrenched bility he has, obviously the as the No. 1 starter at running big challenge early on is not back, but the field behind him to give him too much to where was wide open. A series of inju- he’s playing slow,” Nussmeier ries opened up an opportunity said. “So we really started for T.J. Yeldon, who enrolled in with a small package for Coop, January 2012. Yeldon took full and it’s kind of evolved as it’s advantage, going more than gone, and now he has the abil100 yards in the season-open- ity to do a lot of different things er – the first time an Alabama for us. “And that’s just any young freshman had done so. Yeldon finished with 11 player getting into a system, touchdowns and exactly 1,000 learning, but obviously his ability to create big plays in yards rushing. “He grew old early,” the passing game for us this season, it’s been a huge part of Nussmeier said of Yeldon. His presence beside Lacy our success.” Running the ball has been lets Nussmeier swap the two out interchangeably without and continues to be Alabama’s losing a step. When one gets bread and butter, but the passtired the other comes in as a ing game has seen the most fresh spell, while the defense strides under Nussmeier. toils away, trying to stop McCarron showed flashes of brilliance in the 2011 National the pounding.

Championship Game and Nussmeier has played off of that success and sustained it into 2012. Through the first 13 games, he threw for almost the same number of yards as he did in his 13 games last year, but his passer rating went up by almost 30 points. He didn’t throw his first interception until the Texas A&M game in week 10, ending a school record streak of 289 passes without an interception. And, like Cooper, he shined brightest on the biggest stage, tossing four touchdowns and no interceptions Monday. “He’s brought a bunch of different plays, also a different type of mindset to this offense than we had last year,” McCarron said of Nussmeier. “But I know personally he’s helped me tremendously. I was actually talking to my dad the other day, and it was kind of crazy. I have less pass attempts than what I did last year but better numbers all the way around, and I think that shows a big part of his coaching ability and the way he’s helped me grow, not only as a leader but as a quarterback this year.” It was Texas A&M that provided Nussmeier with a glimpse of what can happen if he becomes too reliant on the pass. With the ball six yards away from the end zone, and needing a touchdown to take a late lead, three of Alabama’s four plays were called passes, the third of which was intercepted, sealing the Crimson Tide’s fate. Three weeks later, facing an 11-point deficit in the SEC Championship Game, Nussmeier all but abandoned the pass, going almost exclusively to the run. Twelve offensive plays later – 11 of which

were runs – Alabama had a four-point lead. And when the Crimson Tide needed one more score, Nussmeier cooked up a formula that looked all too familiar for Saban’s teams. With the Georgia defense almost completely selling out to stop the run, McCarron faked the hand off instead and hit Cooper over the top for the game-winning score. The running game wore down the Bulldog front, and with one-on-one coverage, Nussmeier trusted his playmaker to create a play. “We were able to create big, explosive plays in the running game, and there was really not a need to do anything else at that point in time,” Nussmeier said. “So we’re going to have a balanced game plan. We’re going to go into every game with the ability not only to run it but to throw it, have playactions that come off our runs, all those type of things.” His last challenge of the 2012 season came Monday in the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, where his powerful offense pushed around the Notre Dame front seven that came in with so much hype. Nussmeier was hired to add an extra dimension to the Crimson Tide offense. He’s done just that, while learning to stick with the game plan that has brought Alabama so much success in the past. “It’s been an outstanding experience,” he said. “You can anticipate what it’s going to be like, but I don’t think you ever really know until you’re there. This place is really special, and I just feel very fortunate that we’ve been able to be a part of this.”


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Page 7

Kirby Smart waiting on perfect opportunity Alabama defensive coordinator looking for right job, wants to lead program with which he can win By Marc Torrence Assistant Sports Editor FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – There may not be a hotter head coaching candidate than Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. He has led one of the top defenses in college football while working for a head coach who is considered the best in the sport. So why hasn’t Smart left Alabama for an opportunity at the helm of a program? He said he’s waiting for the perfect opportunity. “I have the best non-headcoaching job in the country, period,” Smart said in a rare interview appearance Friday before the championship game. “I’ve got a great administration; we’ve got a great facility. I want to be where I can win, and I know you can win at Alabama. I think that’s so important.” But that doesn’t mean he isn’t looking around. Smart’s name is always floated around when an FBS job becomes available. He interviewed at instate rival Auburn University after Gene Chizik was let go as head coach. Smart didn’t get a job offer – the Tigers opted for former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn – but said the experience was priceless. “I think the interview process is beneficial for you because you find out a lot more about the people you’re talking to, and you also find out a lot more about yourself and you get better experience doing that,” Smart said. “I certainly think it’s a benefit. And Coach Saban has been extremely supportive of me in that process and has told me on a number of occasions that he knows that I’m going to have opportunities, and he’s happy for me for those opportunities.”

That’s completely a hypothetical. I think Alabama is a special, special place, and it’s obviously a great place to coach. But as far as anything outside of that, I’m just worried about this game and being successful at Alabama. — Kirby Smart

While it’s unknown exactly why Auburn passed on Smart for Malzahn – “I’ll just leave that to us and them,” Smart said – the job is a good example of one Smart is waiting for: a major program with a lot of resources that can win right away. Chris Low, who covers the SEC for ESPN.com, sees two schools that fit him perfectly. “Alabama, if Saban leaves or retires, or the Georgia job,” Low said. “He’s sort of just waiting to see what happens. He’s not going to go somewhere where he doesn’t think he can win a championship in the first couple years. And I don’t blame him; I wouldn’t either.” Smart played defensive back for the Bulldogs from 1995-1998, and it is widely believed that he would jump at the opportunity to lead his alma mater. Current Georgia coach Mark Richt had 8- and 9-win seasons in 2009 and 2010, turning up the temperature of his seat in the ever-competitive SEC. But Richt responded with two straight SEC Eastern Division titles and came within four points of Alabama of playing in a national championship this season. For now, it appears that Richt is safe and sound in Athens. As for Alabama, Saban, 61, has shown no sign of letting up. He signed a contract extension in the spring that will have him in Tuscaloosa until 2019. Smart dismissed any notion of having his eye on the

Alabama job and waiting for it to open up. “Well, I’m like Coach Saban, I don’t get into hypotheticals,” Smart said. “That’s completely a hypothetical. I think Alabama is a special, special place, and it’s obviously a great place to coach. But as far as anything outside of that, I’m just worried about this game and being successful at Alabama.” Smart said he had one thing on his mind during his interview session Friday – beating Notre Dame. His defense held the Fighting Irish offense to 302 yards, most of which came when the game was far out of hand. The job search can wait for another day. Smart’s ultimate goal is a head coaching job – why wouldn’t a coach of his caliber strive for the top of his profession? But he’s in no hurry to leave Alabama, where he can continue to win at a high level, while learning from one of the best. “I think I just turned 37. I am so worried about Notre Dame, I don’t know my age,” Smart said. “I don’t worry about where I’m going to be in three years or ten years. I think if you win, that takes care of itself, and I’m not in such a hurry to run off and do anything that I don’t have a pressing issue. If I was 47, I might feel differently. But most important thing to me right now is winning CW | Austin Bigoney championships and developing young men into better players Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart celebrates with his son following the National Championship game win. and better people.”


Page 8 | Tuesday, January 9, 2013

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Page 10 | Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Graduating class best in Alabama history

Seniors will graduate with their degrees, resumes that boast 49 wins and 3 national championships

By Zac Al-Khateeb Staff Reporter MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Forty-nine wins in four years. Sixty-one wins in five. A 4-1 record against Auburn. Two Southeastern Conference Championships. Three BCS National Championships. That is the résumé boasted by the 2012 senior class of the Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s not just impressive, it’s historic. This year’s senior class – headlined by center Barrett Jones, linebacker Nico Johnson, offensive lineman Chance Warmack and safety Robert Lester – has cemented itself as the winningest program in school history. Of course, the success of this senior class isn’t limited to just their sheer of number victories: They’ve also joined the ranks of the 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the 1949 Notre Dame Fighting Irish as the only teams to win three national titles in four years. The 2012 senior class has seen more than their fair share of success on the field, but their achievements transcend merely winning football games and championships.

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Safety Robert Lester (left), defensive tackle Jesse Williams (top) and offensive lineman Chance Warmack (right) helped the Crimson Tide to three national championships in four years. The 2012 senior class ends this season as the winningest class in school history.

This class was present for the resurgence of Alabama as it skyrocketed back to the pinnacle of college football and built a modern-day dynasty nearly from the ground up. When reflecting on the accomplishments his class has achieved, Jones said he never thought the success he and his fellow seniors have experienced would be as vast as it is. “Who could have known that we would have so many opportunities to accomplish such great things?” Jones said. “That being said, we don’t really worry about legacy and dynasties and that sort of thing.” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said the most impressive thing about the 2012 senior class was how they’ve been able to mature over the years. Players like Warmack and Lester, who have been at Alabama their entire careers, were forced to wait and learn behind some of the best players at their respective positions. Other players who came to Alabama from the junior college ranks had the added difficulty of being a heavy contributor earlier in their career

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for the Tide. But the one thing all these players had in common was their ability to step up and lead when their senior year came. Saban said he challenged the senior class to become more than just role models on and off the field, but active leaders in helping the underclassmen, so that Alabama can continue its unbelievable string of success. “They’ve certainly been an instrumental part of the success that we’ve had, and I think the thing that people need to understand is their roles have constantly changed as they’ve grown up in the program,” Saban said. “They started out being young players who needed to mature… And now their role has completely changed to where they’re the leaders that set the examples and embrace the challenges.” And of course, the final challenge for this senior class was to guide their team to a level of success no other Alabama team had before: winning the third championship in four years, thereby earning it not only the title of the best team in Alabama history, but

also recognition as one of the greatest senior classes in college football. Of course, Alabama faced more challenges than the Fighting Irish on their way to sealing itself with that moniker – they also had to compete with their own successes. “Coming into the season, I told Coach Smart that in the linebacker meeting, it’s hard for me to go out and play the right way,” Johnson said. “Because I’ve played for two national championships and one SEC Championship already. And to have another to fight for a third one, at the time, was very difficult.” The seniors and their teammates rose to the occasion, though, beating Notre Dame to win their third championship and immortalize their names in the lore of college football. But, in true fashion for a Saban-coached team, the seniors reveled not in the accomplishments they attained at Alabama. Rather, they reveled in what earned them that success: playing to a standard of excellence. “That ’08 class, they bought into it,” Johnson said. “They set a standard for everybody.”


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Page 11

Observer: Notre Dame will be back for more Irish student newspaper sees bright spots in loss By Allan Joseph Editor-in-chief for The Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It wasn’t pretty, and it was a deeply unsatisfying end to a storybook 2012 season. But once you step back from the chaos and the heartbreak, some bright spots emerge — not just in the big picture of the 2012 campaign but in the 42-14 loss. There aren’t many to highlight, but those that are suggest the Irish will be back for more next fall. By far the best thing about Notre Dame’s title game performance was the play of sophomore quarterback Everett Golson. His stat line wasn’t phenomenal (21-of-36 for 270 yards, one touchdown and one frankly unlucky interception), but the young quarterback played one of the best games of his career. After more than 40 days of preparation, Golson had more control of his pre-snap reads, better footwork and better timing with his receivers than at any point this season, save perhaps the second half of the Oklahoma contest. He missed a few long throws, but he was accurate when finding T.J. Jones and DaVaris Daniels on curl and out routes. He saw Alabama’s safeties playing in the middle of the field to take away Tyler Eifert’s seam routes and knew that meant he had one-on-one coverage outside — so he took advantage, earning the majority of his yards outside the hash marks. Golson didn’t rush the ball very much, but he did repeatedly extend plays with his scrambling ability, all the while keeping his eyes downfield. Perhaps the best part of it all, though is Golson got truly

Our guys clearly know what it looks like,” Kelly said. “[The Crimson Tide] are back-to-back national champs. So that’s what it looks like. Measure yourself against that, and I think it was pretty clear across the board what we have to do. — Brian Kelly

invaluable experience against a fantastic Crimson Tide defense — and played well. Barring any major upheaval, he should be able to go into spring practice focusing on improving his specific weaknesses, not on competing for the starting job. “His motivation in the offseason is going to be to get back to this game,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “And the experience that he is able to take from this game, you can’t duplicate it if you’re sitting [at] home or playing in a bowl game. When you’re playing for a national championship, that stuff doesn’t leave you.” Daniels and Jones were also bright spots for the Notre Dame offense. Both showed their ability to do more than run their routes and to improvise with Golson to find a way to get open downfield. They will become true weapons next fall. Not enough can be said about junior nose guard Louis Nix and the effort he put forth. Despite being somewhat winded and somewhat injured, Nix went up against All-American center Barrett Jones admirably all night long and proved equal to the future first-rounder. Given Nix’s incredible motivation (dropping 50 pounds, as he’s done since he arrived at Notre Dame, is no easy task) to go from very good to dominant, he will wreak havoc in 2013.

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One of the biggest reasons the loss in the BCS National Championship is still a bright spot, however, is the entire program, from Kelly down to the walk-ons, saw exactly what it takes to become a national champion. It takes top-tobottom athleticism. It takes the ability to peak at the right time. It takes dominance at every position. And while the Irish aren’t there yet, they’re on their way. “Our guys clearly know what it looks like,” Kelly said. “[The Crimson Tide] are backto-back national champs. So that’s what it looks like. Measure yourself against that, and I think it was pretty clear across the board what we have to do. “We all now know what we have to do to move from where we are, which is a 12-0 football team, pretty darned good football team, but not good enough.” Kelly should know. When he first took Grand Valley State to a national championship game in 2001, his Lakers lost. But in 2002, he took them back and won the title before doing it again in 2003. The Irish were not close to Alabama. But there was more to be happy about than first appeared. It’s not just that Notre Dame exceeded all expectations for the 2012 season. It’s that, if you look closeCW | Austin Bigoney ly, 2013 might be even better. Despite a championship game defeat, Notre Dame fans are optimistic about the future of the Fight Irish.


Page 12 | Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Despite all the hype, Notre Dame didn’t belong on the field with Alabama

By Marquavius Burnett Sports Editor MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – It was the fourth quarter of a game that was well in hand, but the star quarterback and dominant offensive lineman were fighting on the field. AJ McCarron, who left the locker room with a boot on his right foot, yelled at Barrett Jones, who played with torn ligaments in his left foot and will need surgery. Jones shoved McCarron. Nick Saban screamed furiously on the sideline at the entire situation. So what happened? “It was an emotional game, and we had a snap count difference. I was right,” Jones said of the situation. “But we love each other and gave each other a big hug after the game.” Why they yelled at each other or who was right isn’t the point. The point is Alabama’s football program, from top to bottom, demands excellence. It was on full display in the No. 2 Crimson Tide mauling of No. 1 Notre Dame 42-14 to win the BCS National Championship on Monday night. Notre Dame didn’t belong in the stadium with Alabama, and it was evident from the opening kick. Alabama took Notre Dame to the woodshed. They were like a parent telling a child to pick his or her own switch for

a whipping. The Tide pulled off a rare feat of repetition, making three national championships in four years – joining Nebraska of the 1990s and Notre Dame of the 1940s as the only teams to win three national championships in four years during the poll era. But history and tradition went out the window. It was billed as a slugfest, but only one team brought its right hook to the fight. From the first snap, Alabama lined up and hit Notre Dame in the mouth, and the Irish had no idea how to respond. It’s a scary thought for the rest of the college football world that this was supposed to be Alabama’s rebuilding year, especially on defense. After losing all of the talent from last year’s run, new faces stepped in and stepped up to fill what looked like gaping holes. The fact that Notre Dame was able to score was major news, because it ended Alabama’s streak of 108 minutes and seven seconds of scoreless time in championship games. Alabama had scored 69 unanswered points dating back to 2009. It was so out of hand that at one point Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond attempted to tackle Eddie Lacy, and Lacy literally threw him into the

ground. And that spin move he pulled to shake two defenders for the 11-yard score was just nasty. It was unfair from the start and didn’t get any better. When Notre Dame loaded the box to stop the run, McCarron found tight end Michael Williams, Amari Cooper and Lacy for touchdowns through the air. The Irish’s front seven seemed soft. Its secondary was even worse than what most expected. And Heisman candidate Manti Te’o did nothing to help his draft stock. “We came in with a great game plan and executed perfectly,” said offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. That makes it seven straight for the Southeastern Conference. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive gushed over the accomplishment and the league he’s run for a decade. “I can tell you one thing, it never gets old,” Slive said. “It’s an extraordinary achievement. I know records are meant to be broken, but I don’t think this one ever will.” No one knows what the future holds for Alabama, but with the returning talent and Saban at the helm, three in a row doesn’t sound too far fetched. “Two days from now, we have to get ready for next year,” Saban said.

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The Tide consistently dominated the field in the BCS National Championship game.


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Page 13

Tide fans find ways to celebrate outside Miami By Chandler Wright Assistant News Editor Alabama students who didn’t get to go to the national championship game on Monday night found many places around Tuscaloosa to watch the game and celebrate the win. “My favorite part of the experience was the sense of community during and after the game. There were around 10 people I watched the game with, but it felt like I knew everyone in the crowd downtown and on the Strip after,” Jon Chappell, a graduate student in business, said. “And winning wasn’t so bad either.” Chappell spent most of the game at Moe’s Original Bar B Que in downtown Tuscaloosa and said it provided a great environment to watch the game surrounded by fellow students and fans. “It was an awesome environment,” Chappell said. “They have a lot of TVs that were all showing the game. The whole restaurant would cheer at the same time after we scored. Everyone was in a great mood.” Wilhagan’s Grill and Tap Room was another popular spot for students to watch the national championship game on Monday night. Assistant manager Johnny Cochran said Wilhagan’s was a great stop for sports enthusiasts who didn’t make it to Miami. “We have a lot to offer students and other Alabama football enthusiasts…from our food and drinks to our atmosphere. We have one of the largest beer selections in town…especially craft beer and high gravity,”

Cochran said. “As far as atmosphere, one can watch the game on three big screens, as well as 21 other flat screens throughout the restaurant and bar. We also have four dartboards and eight pool tables.” Cochran said in many cases the restaurant starts filling up two or three hours before kickoff for all away games but especially for big games like the national championship on Monday night. “You look out in the crowd, and all you see is crimson. During the game, we have complete strangers high-fiving each other and talking stats and giving their own ‘play-by-

play’ commentary,” Cochran said. “By the end of the game, the person sitting beside you has become one of your good buddies, and people are running around high-fiving and hugging completely random people…It’s pretty fun to experience.” According to Cochran, Wilhagan’s also has some gameday traditions of their own. “Before and after the game, we always play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Rammer Jammer’ and ‘Yea Alabama’ over our loud speakers, and after every Bama score, we’ll play ‘Yea Alabama’… The crowd loves it,

and they sing and cheer along,” Cochran said. Although many students watched the game at restaurants and bars throughout Tuscaloosa, some students chose to watch the game in a different setting. “I watched the game at a friend’s house, where we all brought something to eat and share with everyone,” Rachel Croon, a junior majoring in speech pathology, said. “The moment the game ended though, we all ran to the Strip to join in the celebration.” Croon said watching the game in Tuscaloosa was an exciting experience for her and

her friends, especially when surrounded by fellow fans. “There is no comparing getting to yell and cheer with your fellow collegiate Bama fans that you hadn’t seen during Christmas break,” Croon said. “It’s awesome knowing that almost everyone in town is watching the same game and cheering for our school. You can’t say that for any other town.” Despite the fact that he didn’t get to go to Miami to watch the game, Chappell said he didn’t regret his decision and had a lot of fun watching the game in Tuscaloosa. “I didn’t go to Miami because

I went to the BCS game last year, and I don’t feel like I missed out,” Chappel said. “After the game we went to the Strip. The roads were blocked off, and it was like a huge block party.” Croon echoed this sentiment and said she was glad she was in Tuscaloosa to watch the big game. “I’m so glad I was in Tuscaloosa,” Croon said. “The moment the game ended, everyone ran [to] the Strip and continued to cheer in the streets. There’s nothing like celebrating a win with hundreds of other people just as excited as you are.”


Page 14 | Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Cochran mentors, motivates Tide players Strength and Conditioning Coach Scott Cochran teaches life lessons as well as weight training By Zackary Al-Khateeb Staff Reporter MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Reporters were milling around Sun Life Stadium, casually chatting up Alabama players and coaches during media days as they prepared for the upcoming national championship game. The game was only two days away, but most of the players seemed less than enthused with exploring the future site of the championship game and more content to avoid any interaction with the media. Most players were comfortable to sit in the stands and make the reporters come to them. When they were interviewed, they answered the questions quietly and quickly sat back down when they were done. Opposite the players, however, came a loud yell, a fixture on the sidelines of Bryant-Denny Stadium: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!” Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran had let everyone in the stadium know where he was. But he wasn’t trying to fire up one of his players, he wasn’t getting riled up with another of the Alabama coaches. In fact, he wasn’t doing anything particularly exciting at all.

He was simply talking to a reporter about his responsibilities as strength and conditioning coach. Cochran has made a name for himself among the Alabama fandom with such fiery displays. He’s presented himself as a molder of future football stars and someone who’s likely to address a complete stranger the same way he would a player. Freshman running back T.J. Yeldon, a naturally quiet guy who lets his play on the field do the talking, said it was a bit of a culture shock for him to see Cochran for the first time. “He was like a loud guy, and just kept screaming and stuff when we first got there, when we worked out,” Yeldon said. “But after I got used to it, I understood why. Just stay working on us, staying on us, getting everybody focused.” Senior tight end Michael Williams, who’s gotten a little more used to Cochran’s demeanor in the weight room, said his attitude is something younger players get used to as the season progresses. “You have to get used to it,” Williams said. “You have to get adjusted to it, because you walk in the first day, you hear somebody hollering, you don’t know who it is. Then once you

get over, you realize that’s just Coach Cochran being Coach Cochran.” Still, it’s not all fire all the time for Cochran — he has another side to him when addressing players that most fans don’t get to see. Despite some initial intimidation for the younger players, Cochran connects with the entire football team. He spends more time with them than anyone else on the Alabama coaching staff, and makes himself someone to confide in, a giver of advice and allaround mentor. “I’ve got 130 players,” Cochran said. “A lot of them are scared to come walk in that door. But once they do, they’re going to see a different guy than the guy that’s on the floor. They’re going to see the real, authentic who I am, what I’m about.” And even though Cochran’s job is to prepare and maintain players’ conditioning for football – a job he’s had much success doing – he said his ultimate purpose as a coach isn’t to simply beef up his players. His real job is to prepare them for a future outside of football, past college. “Every chance I get, I’m going to bring my three kids around them,” Cochran said. “I say,

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Players, coaches and fans always talk about Cochran’s intenese demeanor either at practice, during games or in promotion videos. But the rambunctious coach also has a soft side. ‘this is what it’s like in the real world.’ Because to me, college is setting you up. Because if you miss a class, we’re going to handle that. If you miss work, you lose your job.” Cochran said he stresses the same qualities that Nick Saban preaches: doing things the right way, all the time. As much as Cochran said he loves his job, he doesn’t count success by the

weight a player’s able to lift, or how many of his former players enter into the NFL, or even his three championships his teams have earned in his six years at the position. For Cochran, true success comes when his former players are able to become responsible, successful men after college, men with full-time jobs who provide for their families by using

the lessons he taught them. “Those are the things that you’re always coaching,” Cochran said. “Those are the little things that make them become men you’re fired up about. “You can get as many rings as you want, but when you see a guy with that, you feel like you’ve accomplished something.”

Jones assesses ‘big picture,’ reflects on time here Senior offensive lineman played the last two games of the season with torn ligaments in his foot

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Senior offensive lineman Barrett Jones started in all three of Alabama’s championship wins under Head Coach Nick Saban. By Zac Al-Khateeb Staff Reporter MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – In college football, many guidelines exist to determine the success of an individual during his tenure at school: how well he played, what he meant to his team, number of individual awards, number of wins, number of championships. Some players achieve some

of these feats, while others achieve more. Alabama senior center Barrett Jones, however, has attained every one in spades. Since 2008, Jones has become one of the most celebrated players in the game by doing so. He’s consistently been one of Alabama’s best linemen on the team – and on a team such as Alabama, that’s saying something. He’s proved his

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versatility and talent every year, turning in playing time at right guard, left tackle and most recently at the center position. In terms of individual awards, Jones has become one of the most decorated linemen in Alabama history. In 2011, he won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior lineman at left tackle, widely regarded as the hardest position on the line. In 2012, Jones has gone on to win the Rimington, awarded to the nation’s top center. And for good measure, he also won the academic equivalent of the Heisman in the John W. Campbell Award, just to prove he has brain as well as brawn. In terms of wins and championships, only a select number of players have come close to the success Jones and his class have seen at Alabama: 49 wins in four seasons, 60 wins in five seasons, and three championships in four seasons. But, much like many greats to have played the game, Jones’s accomplishments haven’t come without their doubts. “There’s a Sports Illustrated hanging in my room, because I’m on it, from 2009,” Jones said. “It says, ‘Dynasty: Can anyone stop Alabama?’ I’ll never forget looking at that thing and wondering if we really could be a

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dynasty.” But rather than merely witnessing the unbelievable string of success Alabama has seen over the last five years, Jones has had a hand in creating it. In all three of Alabama’s championships over the last four seasons, Jones started. He was instrumental to the success of the offensive line in each of those years and is largely responsible for the success of the offense and the team. And now Jones has finished off his college career as the key component to one of the best offensive lines in college football history with a win over Notre Dame, a feat only one other Alabama team has accomplished. The gravity of the accomplishment didn’t escape Jones, who usually doesn’t allow himself to look at his or his class’s accomplishments in terms of the “big picture.” “It’s just hard to believe that I’m actually a part of something like this,” Jones said. “Something like three out of four. It’s just a significant accomplishment in college football history. I think pretty much teams will pretty much always remember what this team accomplished over the past four years, and it’s pretty special to be a part of it.” Jones added to his legacy over the last two games of the

season by helping to lead his team over the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in Notre Dame and Georgia respectively, all with torn ligaments in his foot. Even after it was revealed Jones’s injury is the kind that typically ends football seasons, he continued to play it off. “Just kind of an annoying injury, where the ligaments in the middle of your foot tear,” Jones said. “There was no way I was missing this game. I wasn’t going to miss it for anything. You’d have to pull me off that field. I loved the way I finished it, and it was fun.” Such acts of toughness from Jones have earned him the devotion of the Alabama fandom, as well as the respect for his teammates, especially his fellow linemen. Of course, Jones’s toughness isn’t what’s made him a household name in Alabama. That would be his natural talent and versatility to play any position on the line. Senior guard Chance Warmack, likely to be the first offensive lineman in the 2013 NFL Draft, couldn’t say enough about Jones’s importance to the team. “He’s very smart and very talented,” Warmack said. “He knows the offense and defense very well, and he can adjust at any position, so he brings versatility to the offense.” Jones’s talent and

versatility will not be the most lasting legacy he leaves at Alabama, however. That will be how he handled himself as a leader, not just for the offensive line but also for the entire team. Jones, who’d already seen incredible success at Alabama, could have easily checked out for his senior year, unmotivated to continue the kind of success he’d already seen so much of. But this year, as a senior, he was tasked with becoming more of a leader for his team – all the seniors were – and has come through with flying colors. Case in point: The Thursday before the game, Jones and the rest of the seniors called a players-only meeting to discuss the lack of explosiveness in team practices thus far. Rather than let the problem continue, Jones and the rest of the senior class addressed the problem. Four days later, that meeting culminated in a 42-14 beat-down over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. And now Jones has cemented himself as one of the all-time greatest players in Alabama football history. No single team, player or group of player has seen the type of success that Jones has during his time at the Capstone. Whether it’s in terms of wins, championships or any intangible factor, none come close to what Jones has accomplished.


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Page 15

2012 Crimson Tide football season ends in victory celebration at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami

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Coaches and players celebrate with their families on the ďŹ eld.

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HOROSCOPES Today’s Birthday (01/09/13). Balance long hours at work with time for fun, special people, healthy diet, exercise and rest. Expect a busy pace and productive work flow until June, when focus shifts toward relationships with family, friends, colleagues and partners. Summer romance brings a sparkle. To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Aries (March 21-April 19) -- Today is a 9 -- The next few weeks include a social whirl. Go ahead and assume authority ... shift to plan B and delegate. Family comes first. Your team supports the game. Taurus (April 20-May 20) -- Today is a 7 -- Set goals and get into studies over the next month. It’s easier to travel, too. Speak out for what’s important. You have the energy and funds you need. Gemini (May 21-June 20) -- Today is a 9 -- It’s easier to save money this month, which is useful with unexpected expenses. Get an elder’s advice, as others inspire action. Find a great deal. Get into local culture. Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- Today is an 8 -- This is Partnership Month: set new goals, rely on each other for support and to advance. Compromise is the magic elixir. Clean up messes immediately, and acknowledge accomplishments. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Today is a 9 -- Invest in your own business. There’s more work this coming month, and it’s fun. Friends help you advance. Prioritize spending, and study with a passion. Keep digging.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Today is a 9 -- Artistic efforts pay off professionally; love and beauty come naturally this month. Keep a deadline that suddenly looms. You’re lucky for the next three weeks ... don’t push it. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) -- Today is a 9 -- You’re impatient to get started. For four weeks, focus on home and family. Get into home improvements and feather your nest. Continue to gather seeds for springtime bloom. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) -- Today is an 8 -- Pretty up your workplace, and work smartly. You’ll love learning this month. Pay a debt. Ask for a fringe benefit. Let the process unfold, and trust your heart. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- Today is a 9 -- Create an inviting entry. The next four-and-a-half weeks can be quite profitable, so rake it in. Spend a little on comfort. Share a feast. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Today is a 7 -- You’ll feel especially loved and lucky for a time. Invest in your business after careful consideration. Provide motivation. You’re sharp, and your team is with you. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- Today is a 9 -- You won’t wear your heart on your sleeve quite as much this month. Put your passions into your studies. Fix up your place. Entertain quiet thoughts and fantasies. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Today is a 9 -- It’s a public month, and your charm is appealing. Fit everyone into your schedule. Social activities benefit career. Send a reminder about a promise not yet received. Share resources.

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ALABAMA VS. NOTRE DAME SUN LIFE STADIUM • JANUARY 7, 2013 ALABAMA 42 – NOTRE DAME 14 True freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper caught two touchdowns in Monday’s BCS National Championship Game. Cooper led the team in receiving by over 500 yards, finishing his rookie season with exactly 1,000. | Shannon Auvil

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01.09.12 The Crimson White  

The Crimson White is a student published newspaper that seeks to inform the University of Alabama and the surrounding community. Roll Tide.

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