Monthly Archives: October 2009

Some light Mischief Night reading

Before smashing your neighbors’ pumpkins and causing other such havoc, take a look at some of the Alabama-related reading listed before. (Disclaimer: The Bama Blog does not condone pumpkin destruction or any other vandalism. Play nice.)

  • First of all, it’s worth noting that Saturday is Nick Saban’s 58th birthday. That’s right, he’s a Halloween baby.
  • Check out this Q&A with Saban on the Wall Street Journal Web site. The what? Wall Street Journal? Yeah, I was surprised too. And if you’re looking for stock tips, Saban offers none.
  • On another Saban note, he spoke in Mobile yesterday. Read what he said about the Tennessee block in the Mobile Press-Register here.
  • In yet another twist in the SEC coaches vs. officials, the league changed its rules regarding public criticism of referees. Read more here.
  • On a non-Alabama note, check out this story about my high school alma mater and the rivalry week hi jinks that apparently offended the little brother. Another proud day as a Male High School alumnus.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for Sunday’s story about a certain former Tide running back’s transition to the NFL.

Hightower tore everything in knee

The mystery of Dont’a Hightower’s exact injury was solved Wednesday evening. Coach Nick Saban never specified the exact diagnosis that Hightower told reporters yesterday included tearing is ACL, MCL and meniscus.

The injury was suffered in the first half of the Arkansas game when a cut block hit him square on the left knee.

Read more about the injury and the aftermath Friday.

On a side note, Lane Kiffin made quite an impression on rapper Lil Wayne. Read this to see how and why.

Girlfriend to punter: You throw like a girl

Alabama punter P.J. Fitzgerald is one of the better interview subjects on this Alabama team and he stepped up Tuesday. He gave some quality insight into the whole tape issue on field goal attempts.

And then he gave the answer of the day when asked about his fake punt against Ole Miss. Once a high school quarterback, Fitzgerald completed his only pass attempt of the season on a throw to Mark Barron on the fake.

Fitzgerald said he wasn’t really happy with the way he threw the ball. He even thought everyone else checked out of the fake based on the Ole Miss formation, but when he saw everyone else running the fake, he sprung into action.

His pass was a little low, but Barron caught it and ran for the first down. Afterward, Fitzgerald said his girlfriend had a painful critique of the pass.

“She said I looked like a girl throwing it,” he said. “But hey, I’m 100 percent.”

Bye week reading time

Ahhh. The relaxation of a bye week. Well, sort of. It’s not a complete week away from football for this beat writer. While I’m working on a few things for the weekend papers, here are a few other stories you might like to read.

  • Check out this story on ESPN.com about recruiting, more specifically a few top Alabama recruits including Phillip Sims. It’s an interesting look at the process written by former Birmingham News Alabama beat writer Ian Rapoport.
  • Now, for one of the stories I love to read and wish I could write more often. Chase Goodbread of the Tuscaloosa News wrote this interesting story about Julio Jones’ kindness to a kid with a brain tumor.
  • Stay tuned to Sunday’s paper for an off-the-field type story I’m working on. It’s not as heartwarming as Goodbread’s but I thought it was an interesting topic. No more clues until Sunday.
  • Apparently, Mark Ingram is quite the golfer. Read this.
  • For the latest installment of the jtbowtie YouTube video series, check out this link.

That’s it for now. Thanks for visiting. If you’re a newcomer, I’d welcome you to bookmark the Bama Blog and make it a daily destination.

Ingram still Heisman favorite

Sure, the fumble he coughed up on the final run of Saturday’s game nearly cost Alabama its perfect season, but Mark Ingram is still on top of the Heisman Trophy race. At least according to two of the top prediction site — and he’s pulling away according to one.

On HeismanPundit.com, Ingram had just a two-vote lead over Tim Tebow last week. Now the Tide sophomore is well ahead of second-place Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, 59 points to 26 and taking nine of 13 first-place votes among the actual Heisman voters polled by the site. Tebow is down to fourth. See the full results here.

The other predictor, ESPN.com, still has Ingram first with a one-point lead over second-place Tebow.

This just proves how different perspectives can yield very different results in these in-season projections.

Saban lands in "Blind Side" trailer

Just watching a little television, enjoying some quiet time on this bye-week and who do I see? Nick Saban of course. Only he wasn’t wearing crimson and white.

He made a brief appearance in the trailer of the movie “The Blind Side.” If you forgot about his cameo role in the movie, read this. I have to admit, this movie looks like one of those special films that you don’t soon forget.

I know some of you aren’t happy to see Saban wearing purple and gold while playing the part of the LSU coach, but I think this flick is worth checking out.

LSU game time set for …

… 2:30 p.m. CDT, as just announced by UA. The game will be the fourth of Alabama’s that landed on the prime CBS television slot.

Of course the Crimson Tide will stay away from the competition field this Saturday as the bye week landed on Halloween Saturday.

According to the Alabama release: Other SEC games to be televised on Saturday, November 7, include South Carolina at Arkansas (11:21 a.m. CDT on the SEC Network), Memphis at Tennessee (6 p.m. CDT on ESPNU), Vanderbilt at Florida (6:15 p.m. CDT on ESPN or ESPN2) and Northern Arizona at Mississippi (6:30 p.m. CDT on CSS).

On a side note, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen also got reprimanded by the SEC today for complaining about officiating.

Kiffin complains, then scolded

You may have seen this story about Lane Kiffin’s complaints about officiating in the Alabama game.

Well, as expected, the Southeastern Conference did not like the criticism. So they punished him. Here is the release distributed by the league:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 26, 2009) – Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive has issued a public reprimand to University of Tennessee head football coach Lane Kiffin for his public comments concerning officiating Sunday.

“Coach Kiffin has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics,” Slive said. “SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 clearly states that coaches, players and support personnel shall refrain from all public criticism of officials.”

“This is the second reprimand for Coach Kiffin in this calendar year. Coach Kiffin is on notice that for any further violations of SEC policies will subject him to additional penalties including suspension.”

The biggest play that I never saw

It’s been more than 24 hours since it ended, but I’m still recovering from the big play that I never really saw. Here’s the story behind the story I wrote for today’s paper.

As you can see from the photo I took just minutes before Terrence Cody’s huge block that preserved Alabama’s 12-10 win over Tennessee, I wasn’t in a good spot to see the play. Along with Mobile Press-Register reporter (and former Daily Alabama beat writer) Gentry Estes, I stood under the goal post where the ball should have traveled.

Oops.

All we saw was a pile of players and the incredible explosion of sound that was Crimson Tide fans reacting to the block. Talking to several veteran beat writers, many said it was the loudest noise they’d ever heard in Bryant-Denny Stadium at one time.

There was a general sense of confusion on the field as to who actually got the block. The rumor was Javier Arenas got a piece of it, but of course it turned out to be Cody’s moment in the sun.

Anyway, those moments reminded me why I got into this business. The electricity of the moment was absolutely incredible. Television can’t bring you that element no matter how hard they try.

For another great perspective, read this column from ESPN’s Pat Forde.

And for a few different angles on the big play, check out a few fan-shot YouTube videos here, here and here.

No. 1 no longer: Tide second in AP poll

Alabama’s stay at No. 1 in the Associated Press poll didn’t last longer than a week. Florida jumped past the Tide in the latest edition release just a little bit ago.

Record Pts Pvs
1. Florida (30) 7-0 1,463 2
2. Alabama (23) 8-0 1,448 1
3. Texas (7) 7-0 1,407 3
4. Southern Cal 6-1 1,217 4
5. Cincinnati 7-0 1,211 5
6. Boise St. 7-0 1,177 6
7. Iowa 8-0 1,148 7
8. TCU 7-0 1,132 10
9. LSU 6-1 1,040 9
10. Oregon 6-1 933 12

Full Alabama/Tennessee replay

In case you missed it or want to see it again, click here to watch the full replay of the Alabama win over Tennessee.

And here is one more image of the game-winning block courtesy of UA media relations.

See more pictures in my Alabama football album.

Alabama football

Alabama/Tennessee replay of block.

Check out this link to see video of Terrence Cody’s last-second field goal block that saved Alabama against Tennessee.

Cody saves Alabama

Check out this photo from the Associated Press that captured the defining moment of Alabama’s 12-10 win over Tennessee.

No Orange jerseys for warmups

A few Tennessee players just hit the field for early warm ups and they were wearing white jerseys. So for now, controversy is avoided. For now.

UPDATE: Javier Arenas is warming up at full speed so expect him to return to his spot at cornerback and punt returner.

Welcome to Bryant-Denny Stadium

The weather is perfect and the game day atmosphere is ideal for this afternoon’s Tennessee/Alabama game. Check out the latest updated photo of the Bryant-Denny Stadium expansion below. Little by little, it is coming together.

Check back later for further updates.