"Jim will be a fantastic addition to the Colorado State family," said former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, now a rookie with the New York Jets. "I couldn't be happier for both parties. I'm confident Coach Mac will take CSU to new heights. He helped us turn it around in Alabama and I know he'll be able to do it in Fort Collins."
In the BCS era, we've seen assistant coaches go both ways, with… let's say inconclusive results. In 1998, outgoing Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe handed over the offense to quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders on his way to Ole Miss, and Sanders delivered with a championship-clinching plan against Florida State in his first game as a play-caller. Two years later, Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt stayed on to call the 2001 Orange Bowl before taking over at Georgia, only to lead the No. 1 offense in the nation into a shutout against Oklahoma. (The Seminoles' only points in a 13-2 loss came via safety by the defense.) In 2007, LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini decided to soak up the opportunity before shipping out for Nebraska, staying on to revel in a beatdown of Ohio State. Based on extremely limited precedent, then, McElwain's decision could be no big deal, or could be one of the key factors that swings the pendulum in a game most books are currently listing as a pick 'em. Fortunately, we know Alabama fans aren't the type to obsess about this sort of thing at all.
"I know there have been a few stories and different things out on the message boards lately about me possibly leaving school early," Fluker said in a written statement. "I want to go ahead and put all of that to rest and make it clear that my intentions are to stay in school. At my position, I still have a lot to learn in order to mold myself into the best offensive tackle I can be. "I've learned a lot from my coaches in my three years here and I feel like I can only get better with more experience. The most important reason is to finish my degree. Right now, I am on track to graduate next December and that's one of the things I promised my mother that I would do when I decided to come to the University of Alabama. This is a special place and I'm looking forward to spending another year with my friends and teammates, graduating, and playing in front of the best fans in the country."
"The guidelines for bowl-game officiating, which includes the championship game, do not anticipate the possibility of both teams being from the same conference," Redding said in an email reply. "Thus they are silent on the issue, and hence are open to interpretation. "The guidelines consistently call for ‘neutral crews,’ which is defined as crews from a conference different from those of the participants in the game. I am interpreting that literally in this case, so the crew officiating the game will not be from the SEC."
Barron said he hopes the result will be different but the game will probably look similar to the team's Nov. 5 meeting in Tuscaloosa. "We're a team that doesn't like to lose and me as a competitor, I don't like to lose," he said. "Together, we get an opportunity to redeem ourselves and then it's also a national championship game. That's very exciting for me and my teammates."
"I felt Nick earned it with what he's done on the practice court and being able to transfer that to the game," Grant said. "You always want to just figure out where you are. ... Nick responded well tonight. He brought a physicality and a presence down low. He did a pretty good job on the defensive end."
Coming into this season, it was easy to find reasons why Alabama would improve in 2011-12. After all, the Crimson Tide went 12-4 in the SEC last year, they made it all the way to the NIT title game and Anthony Grant was bringing back his two biggest stars in JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell. What's not to like? It's still early, of course, but to this point, Alabama's season has not gone entirely according to the script written by conventional wisdom. After last night's 62-54 win over Detroit in Tuscaloosa, Grant's team sits at 8-2. That's not disastrous, by any means, but in the past two weeks, the Tide lost a nail-biter at home to Georgetown and dropped a 12-point decision in their first true road game at Dayton. Those two losses coming so close together have many observers taking another look at Alabama.
Five-star quarterback recruit Jameis Winston was one of the main attractions going into Saturday's Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, and the two-sport star showed why in Alabama's 31-12 victory. Winston completed 17 of 24 pass attempts for 121 yards and rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Beckman on Friday called Campbell one of the brightest young minds in college football, and perhaps that's fitting at Toledo, where there has been a pretty good history of football coaches. Gary Pinkel spent 10 years with the Rockets before going to Missouri. He replaced Nick Saban, who is now at Alabama, by way of Michigan State, LSU and the NFL's Miami Dolphins. And now, Beckman is on to the Big Ten.
Like most bowls, the Chick-fil-A Bowl alternates the home and away teams every year. This year, it's the SEC team's turn to be the home team. Naturally, that means Auburn will be wearing their traditional home blue jerseys. Auburn fans have also been asked to wear blue by the bowl committee. I thought that was somewhat strange, but after the announcement today, it makes sense. Earlier this afternoon, during a press conference at Virginia that included members of the Chick-fil-A Bowl committee, it was announced that the Cavaliers will be wearing orange jerseys. That means no white jerseys. That means lots of color. That means lots of orange and blue.