The Jumbo Package: 12-21-10

Now how about a Nick Saban impersonation of Rob Ezell? (with video) | al.com

Maybe he can do it one more time in Alabama's locker room following his final game on Jan. 1 against Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Maybe not.

"I don't know," Ezell said. "Coach Saban is one of those guys who can follow you.

Tide Continues Capital One Bowl Prep -  University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

"This is another game that we need to win," sophomore defensive back Robert Lester said. "As Coach Saban says, every game is important. I'm pretty sure everybody on our team is motivated to go in and win, so we're going to execute and play our game."

Tide notes: Vlachos is over the flu and now is focusing on Spartans | al.com

"I had the flu," Vlachos said after Monday's practice. "I lost a little weight, but I'm trying to put that back on. But I've been feeling good. Today, especially, I felt good."

He was asked what he's doing to regain the weight.

"Just eating normally," he said. "I couldn't eat a whole lot while I had the flu. But it's behind me now. It's all over with."

Anniston Star - Tide trying to solve protection problems

"I think in the offensive line continuity is most important because those guys work together so much," coach Nick Saban said. "You get the right combination of guys feeling comfortable playing with experienced guys next to guys that have a little less experience. That makes them feel more comfortable and confident and probably minimizes some of the mental errors, which was something that hurt us in the last few games because we didn’t have the continuity that we had earlier in the season. I think that’s the biggest thing."

NOTEBOOK: Bowl trip more about business than pleasure | TideSports.com

"It's all about business. The fun is winning," said UA wide receiver Julio Jones. "You go down there and have fun the first couple of days, but when it's all said and done, you're not going to remember any of that fun, you'll just remember if you won or lost."

Crimson Tide center sports green and white | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

He wore green sweat pants that included a Spartan logo and the word "Spartans" in white. There was also an abbreviation for his high school, Mountain Brook, which shares the logo and nickname with Michigan State. Alabama faces Michigan State on Jan. 1 in the Capital One Bowl.

"I don’t think anybody’s noticed that," Vlachos said. "I’m going to go ahead and cover that up."

Vlachos pulled his Alabama T-shirt over the offending MSU-style logo.

Spartans, Mark Dantonio know snapping three-game bowl skid won't be easy against Alabama | MLive.com

"I can say in every (bowl) game we came to compete and every game we had a chance to win that football game in the fourth quarter," Dantonio said. "That’s what you’re coaching for. I think you’re coaching to get the opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter.

"At that point in time, you’ve got to make plays, one side of the ball or the other. We’ve been able to do that this year. We made plays in the fourth quarter to win football games. That’s what you coach for, to get to the fourth quarter to have an opportunity to win. That’s what we’ll continue to do."

Hoops preview: Alabama vs. Lipscomb | al.com

Alabama point guard Trevor Releford was named the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the week after averaging 11 points, four rebounds and 3.5 assists in two games. "We depend on him a lot," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "He's got great leadership qualities. ... With every game, he continues to understand better and grow."

It’s a sort of homecoming for Sanderson | TideSports.com

The University of Alabama may have home-court advantage tonight, but the head coach of the Lipscomb Bisons knows his way around.

"We used to sneak in Coleman Colseium when we were young and turn on the lights and shoot on the big floor," said Scott Sanderson, son of longtime Crimson Tide coach Wimp Sanderson. "It’s just exciting, coaching on the same floor where my father coached for so long as a head coach and as an assistant. I know every inch of that place."

Jeremiah Castille brings message of inspiration to boys ranch | al.com

Castille made his third annual visit to the Alabama Sheriffs' Boys Ranch on Thursday afternoon with a message and gifts for ranch residents. Castille, who overcame hardships in his own upbringing, can relate to what many of the boys at the ranch have experienced.

"We're just enjoying being able to help inspire these young people in the situation they're in and give them hope for their future and what they can accomplish in life," said Castille, who serves as the University of Alabama football team's chaplain.

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