Basketball is different. One loss during the regular season doesn't end anything, especially a road loss in the conference. Kentucky went 4-7 on the road in the regular season a year ago and made it to the Final Four. That doesn't mean that losing doesn't matter at all. It does, and Alabama's loss at Mississippi State was particularly frustrating because UA actually overcame adversity and gave itself a chance at the end. In the end, though, what cost Alabama in Starkville on Saturday was the same thing that cost the Crimson Tide against LSU in November. No one could make the one 3-pointer that was needed for Alabama. State had a senior guard, Dee Bost, who, when his team had to have big baskets at the end, provided them.
Because really, reflecting on Alabama’s 21-0 win, it wasn’t just about the victory itself. It wasn’t just about the Tide dominating one of the best teams we’ve seen in recent college football history. It wasn’t about sucking the life out of LSU one tackle for loss at a time. It wasn’t about Jeremy Shelley’s field goals or A.J. McCarron’s emergence. It wasn’t even about one of the best defenses of all-time finally getting their proper due. Nope, Monday night was bigger than that. It wasn’t just about a championship, but about a team and coach achieving something that is as close to perfection on the football field as we've ever seen. In every sense of the word, Monday night's BCS National Championship Game was Nick Saban’s masterpiece.
University of Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Jim McElwain in the same role for the University of Alabama, and could be named as early as this week, a source close to the situation told Tidesports.com Sunday. Meanwhile, University of Tennessee assistant coach Lance Thompson has told acquaintances he will join the Alabama staff as the replacement for departed linebackers coach Sal Sunseri, according to a source.
When Lance Thompson left Alabama's football coaching staff after the 2008 season to go to Tennessee, he was replaced by Sal Sunseri. Now Thompson is returning to Alabama to replace Sunseri, according to a source with knowledge of Alabama's search. Thompson had coached Alabama's outside linebackers. Sunseri served the past three seasons as the Crimson Tide's outside linebackers coach.
Alabama: There has been plenty of internet chatter out there about Washington offensive coordinator / quarterbacks caoch Doug Nussmeier as the next offensive coordinator at Alabama; but sources close to the program tell us that Nick Saban would also like to meet with Stanford offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton. Not saying Nuss won't get the job; just saying as of this morning, Nick was still working the phones.
Before I go further, LSU's defense played an outstanding game. To say the defense was not prepared is incorrect. It played well enough to win the game considering the offense did nothing to help the cause. It was almost identical to the first meeting, with the Tigers forcing field goal tries. Alabama wouldn't have been able to try so many if the Tigers' offense could have moved the ball and held it.
Here we go again. The nonsense that a viable playoff format could coexist with the current Bowl Championship Series apparatus is just that ... nonsense. A playoff only works if the BCS bowls are killed off. That's not happening. The keepers of the BCS's withering flame hinted last week that changes are inevitable in the new contract starting with the 2014 regular season, which spawned visions of a more rational national championship process, perhaps a compromise reminiscent of the plus-one algorithm that the Southeastern Conference proposed four years ago. But the four BCS bowls won't agree to any plan that negates their events as tourism vehicles. The bowls never cared about crowning a national champion, legitimate or otherwise. They were created as an extension of the local chamber of commerce, becoming nonprofit entities (wink, wink) in serving the public good by keeping area hotels, restaurants and strip clubs filled with drunken revelers draped in eye-revolting team colors.
The Alabama softball team took to the field for the first time in 2012 as the Crimson Tide practiced for three hours on Sunday, working on defensive fundamentals and base running before taking live batting practice to close out the day at Rhoads Stadium. "I think this team more than any other is ready to start practicing again," UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. "They have a love of the game that's contagious and I hope our fans can sense it every time they take the field."
"I think we've got an opportunity to build another dynasty just like coach Bryant did," Jordan said last week. "I think coach Saban is well on his way to doing that." Saban and Bryant worked in different ways, of course. Bryant watched practice from on high in the tower. Saban is much more hands-on. A few words were often all that was needed from Bryant to get his point across. Saban speaks with intensity and has been known to emphasize a point with a swat across the backside. But Jordan said there are similarities as well. "He is a relentless worker and one of the best recruiters in the history of football," the College Football Hall of Famer said of Saban. "I think he cares about the young men and is teaching them about life. Like coach Bryant always used to tell us: 'I'm not teaching you the game of football; I'm teaching you the game of life.'"
And for those who think the lack of offense somehow taints Alabama's title or leaves some doubt as to whether an offensive power like Oklahoma State might have outscored Alabama or LSU, Jordan has a few words for you. "I got up in somebody's face last night: 'Oh, you like flag football,'" said Jordan, who owns a lumber company in the Dallas area. "I don't know that Oklahoma State's quarterback would have made it through the first quarter against either one of them.
With Saban saying you cannot sign with Alabama this year, will that make you look at other colleges?
"I’m going to go ahead and stick with Alabama. I mean, I’m committed to them. They committed to me. They want me. I know they want me because that’s what they are telling me. If they didn’t want me, they wouldn’t let me keep my scholarship, They could’ve taken it when I first got hurt. If any other college wanted me, they would’ve hit me up. I haven’t really heard from anybody since the injury."