Monthly Archives: November 2011

An imperfect time-lapse video for a milestone moment

For this, the 2,500th post in Daily Bama Blog history, I present a time-lapse video that didn’t go quite as planned. It looks like I aimed too high with propping the camera before the game. You get a good view of the sun setting on the Iron Bowl.

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Two more Heisman projections out: Richardson leads one

This is shaping out to be one of the closest Heisman races in history after last year’s blow out. Two more polls of voters went live today.

Decatur Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.

The USA Today version puts Trent Richardson in the lead with five first-place votes followed by Stanford’s Andrew Luck who has two. Baylor’s Robert Griffin III is in third.

Over at StiffArmTrophy.com, Richardson is third. You’ll have to check out the site to understand their polling methodology is a little different than the others out there.

Click here for the two other projections released yesterday.

Finalists will be announced Monday and the award ceremony is next Saturday in New York. Keep it here for coverage all the way to Times Square.

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Trent Richardson a finalist once again

I’m having trouble keeping up with all these announcements at this point. Add another to the pile.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson is officially a finalist for the Walter Camp national player of the year award. It’s sort of like the mini-Heisman.

Other finalists include Robert Griffin III of Baylor, Tyrann Mathieu of LSU, Andrew Luck of Stanford, and Case Keenum of Houston.

The winner will be awarded live on ESPN’s SportsCenter next Thursday at 5 p.m. CT. See you then.

Click here for the complete award database.

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Kirby Smart prepared if next step comes calling

This is a storyline that’s played out the last two seasons. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart could be in position for a head coaching job. Here’s a look at his prospects:

TUSCALOOSA — Interest from potential new employers helped sweeten Kirby Smart’s bank account after each of the past two seasons.

It’s not even December. and again the Alabama defensive coordinator’s name is already surfacing for the growing list of head coaching vacancies.

A website covering Ole Miss detailed possible interest in Smart late last week. Rebelgrove.com reported Smart could interview for the job later this week, but Alabama coach Nick Saban said no school had contacted him for permission to speak to Smart as of Monday afternoon.

“I think Kirby will make an outstanding head coach. Leadership is really an important part of being the head of anything, a business or whatever it is,” Saban said. “I think Kirby is a great leader. He’s done a great job with what he’s been responsible for, which I think is also a big indication because you have to have leadership qualities, the ability to demand that people do things the right way.”

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Trent Richardson leads two Heisman polls

This one is coming down to the final few days. And Trent Richardson’s strong finish served him well in the Heisman Trophy race.

Two major polls leave the Alabama running back in the lead for the stiff-armed trophy. That career-high 203 yards at Auburn certainly helped.

Click here for the straw poll at HeismanPundit.com that has Richardson on top followed by Andrew Luck of Stanford and Robert Griffin III of Baylor. Only two points separate the top three in the survey of Heisman voters.

Then click here for the ESPN poll that includes a both voters and non-voters in the actual race. Richardson leads Luck with eight first-place votes to the Stanford QB’s five.

Neither of the two front runners play Saturday while Griffin III plays Texas. We’ll see if that plays a factor.

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BCS stays Alabama still alive

The Bowl Championship Series offered reassurance to all those still alive for one of the 10 coveted spots in the big bowls and national championship game. Here’s the full list released by the all-powerful body. (This is strictly procedural, but still fun to mention)

Potential conference champions:
Atlantic Coast: Clemson, Virginia Tech
Big East: Cincinnati, Louisville, West Virginia
Big Ten: Michigan State, Wisconsin
Big 12: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
Pac-12: Oregon, UCLA
Southeastern: Georgia, LSU

Others still in the hunt (in alphabetical order): Alabama, Baylor, Boise State, Houston, Kansas State, Michigan, Southern Mississippi, Stanford, and TCU.

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Fun with charts: Visualizing the Ingram-Richardson comparison

Pardon my dorky fascination with spreadsheets and charts for another comparison of Mark Ingram’s 2009 Heisman season and Trent Richardson’s potential for another. (See this post for background).

So here is a week-by-week comparison of the total rushing yards each had. You can see Richardson’s slow start against Kent State was quickly negated by six straight 100-yard games.

Here’s an even fancier way of visualizing Richardson’s progress vs. Ingram’s standard.

There’s more to come. Don’t go anywhere.

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Ingram in '09 vs. Richardson in '11: Game by game comparison

Comparisons between Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson began as soon as the later enrolled in 2009. That fall, Ingram exploded to win the first Heisman Trophy in Alabama history.

Now his former understudy hopes to join that elite club. Here’s a game-by-game comparison of Ingram’s gilded season through 12 games compared to Richardson’s year to date.

Week……..Ingram………………….Richardson
Week 1 …….26-150 (V. Tech)……..13-37 (Kent St.)
Week 2…….10-56 (FIU)……………….26-111 (Penn State)
Week 3…….8-91 (N. Tex.) …………..11-167 (N. Tex.)
Week 4 ….17-50 (Ark.) ………………17-126 (Ark.)
Week 5 ….22-140 (UK) ………………29-181 (Fla.)
Week 6 ….28-172 (OleMiss) ……….19-107 (Vandy)
Week 7 ….24-246 (S. Car.) ………..17-183 (OleMiss)
Week 8…18-99 (Tenn.) ……………..17-77 (Tenn.)
Week 9 …22-144 (LSU) ……………23-89 (LSU)
Week 10 ..19-149 (Miss. St.) ……….32-127 (Miss. St.)
Week 11…11-102 (Chatt.) ………….32-175 (Ga. Southern)
Week 12 ..16-30 (Aub.) …………….27-203 (Aub.)
Total: 221-1,429 (6.4 avg.) …263-1,583 (6.o avg.)

Check back later for a visual look at the comparison.

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Dont'a Hightower a finalist again

Hightower (30) at Auburn. (Decatur Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.)

The award possibilities are piling up for Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Add the Lott IMPACT Trophy to the list.

He was named one of four finalists for the award named Tuesday along with Emmanuel Acho of Texas, Luke Kuechly of Boston College and Manti Te’o of Notre Dame.

Hightower is also a finalist for the Lombardi Award, the Butkus Award, and the Bednarik Award. His 81 tackles lead the team by a margin of 15 over Mark Barrron.

Click here for the complete award database for Alabama players.

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What now? Six weeks separate Tide from next kickoff

Now that the buzz is wearing off from Saturday’s Iron Bowl, things are returning to normal somewhat in Tuscaloosa. I wrote about the next step in today’s newspaper:

TUSCALOOSA — There was no 1:15 p.m., game-planning meeting in Tuscaloosa on Monday.

The practice field was vacant at 3:30.

Day 1 of what Alabama coach Nick Saban called “limbo week” for the Crimson Tide began the physical and mental tests that separate champions from the others. No. 2-ranked Alabama won’t play in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game and its postseason fate remains a mystery until the BCS standings are released Sunday evening.

So, without a firm opponent in mind, the multi-dimensional conditioning resumed two days after beating Auburn 42-14.

Forty-one days separate Alabama from its likely destination — the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans — and Saban said Monday his team won’t begin traditional practices for at least three more weeks.

Saban also addressed the potential for poll voter backlash against a possible rematch of the Nov. 5 Alabama-LSU game, which the Tigers won 9-6 in overtime.

Click here to read the rest.

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Video of fired up Saban talking about BCS

I wrote a little about this earlier in the day, but here’s Alabama coach Nick Saban talking about the BCS, TV appearances this week, those who don’t want to see an LSU rematch, and his feelings on the SEC title game.

 

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My Iron Bowl photo bomb, extra pictures from Auburn

I take pride in avoiding cameras — TV and still alike — in those wild moments after games. Trust me, it’s best for both of us.

But I had no success at Auburn on Saturday. Capturing my postgame celebration video, I wandered into the frame of Decatur Daily ace photographer Gary Cosby Jr. Opps. My mug ended up in the background of a photo running in Sunday’s paper seen below.

Whoops.

I went back through the video and found the exact moment that photo was taken. Here it is.

Freeze frame.

Do yourself a favor and check out Gary’s full gallery from the game. I’m not just saying this because he’s a good guy, but I’m convinced Gary’s one of the best photographers in the country.

Click here for his gallery. Then check out the brutally amateur shots I snapped throughout the day.

Alabama 42, Auburn 14

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Richardson addresses talk of return for senior season

Richardson (3) finds a hole Saturday. (Decatur Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.)

Will he stay or will he go?

The questions surrounding the NFL draft have faced Alabama junior Trent Richardson all fall as he stockpiled awards and records.

A consensus first-round pick according to draft experts, Richardson turned heads after the Nov. 19 win over Georgia Southern when he hinted at a return for his senior year.

He offered a clarification Monday.

“I am classified to come for a whole ‘nother year, but I’m going to see how that goes,” Richardson said. “I’m going to sit down with coach and my mom after the last game of the season and see what’s best for me and my family and see what’s best for the team.”

Following the Georgia Southern game, Richardson said he was “going to be here for a whole ‘nother year.
“I’m just ready to stay here and play football,” he said Nov. 19.

Asked about those comments after running for a career-high 203 yards in Saturday’s win over Auburn, Richardson said he has “a couple hours left to get my degree.”

“That’s nothing I’m worried about right now,” he said.

Alabama will have several draft-eligible juniors with the opportunity to leave school early for the pros. When asked if he’d like to trade places with LSU and play in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, Tide coach Nick Saban mentioned the personnel issues without mentioning specific players.

“I got enough problems to deal with today. I’ve got guys getting ready to go out for the draft,” he said. “I’ve got guys that want to pick an agent.”

NFL Players Association rules allow agents to contact juniors after players’ final regular season game or Dec. 1, whichever comes first.

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Video of Trent Richardson talking Heisman, BCS on Monday

Update: I apologize for the apparent audio issues with the video. The iPhone doesn’t do sound very well, it appears.

Take a listen into Trent Richardson making his media rounds Monday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. The topics shouldn’t be a surprise.

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Updated: Saban to voters: Do what's fair

Nick Saban just finished a 24-minute news conference covering a wide range of topics. The BCS was certainly addressed.

Saban got fired up when asked about voters who might not want to see an Alabama-LSU rematch in the title game.

The best two teams should play for the crystal football, he said. Period. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone involved if anyone voted with an agenda, he said.

“I guess it’s their choice to do it. It’s a free country. But the whole thing should be based on who’s the best two teams. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? If it’s not on that, then it doesn’t matter whether we’ve played before or any of that. Who’s the best two teams? That’s the question.

“If the decision gets made on that, I’ll be fine with that. If it gets made on some of this other stuff, that’s not fair. It’s not fair to the players, and it wouldn’t be fair to their players either.

“If they didn’t get picked because of a rematch or whatever, it wouldn’t be fair to their players. It wouldn’t be fair to anybody.”

Stay tuned for the BCS announcement coming next Sunday after the final weekend of action.

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