This spring, Jones will compete among a group of receivers that includes Kenny Bell, Kevin Norwood and DeAndrew White as UA looks to replace its top two pass-catchers in the graduating Maze and Darius Hanks. A few others who have yet to play in a game for UA - youngsters Marvin Shinn and Danny Woodson Jr., along with junior college transfer Duron Carter - will also vie for a role. "Just coming in, the game is faster than it is in high school, but you just have to adjust on the fly and be quick on your feet," Jones said. "That's what my high school coach always taught me - always be able to learn."
Fans like to brag about winning streaks in a rivalry series, and Tide gymnastics fans certainly have a lot to be proud of: 103 straight victories against Auburn. Patterson tries to downplay the streak, saying that the team should focus on what they have to do to win, rather than winning by itself. "You just can’t focus on keeping the streak alive, because if you do that, it won’t ever stay there," Patterson said. "You’ve got to focus on doing – each athlete, one through six, on each event – doing the best they can do, and seven, eight and nine pushing one through six." But it still adds pressure to the gymnasts, who want to be remembered for keeping the streak alive, rather than losing it. "I love the streak. You never want to be the class that loses the streak," Sledge said. "But we put that in the back of our minds, because if we do our job, everything will fall the way we want it. We just want to have a great week of practice and go compete against Auburn in their home."
But simply, for now: Joe Paterno, the coach -- which is what he still was (it's hard to recall this now) barely eleven weeks ago. Will, in fact, any college coach ever again possess the power he did over his university? Well, almost surely not. Paterno's long tenure at an insulated campus, combined with how venerable he became and how upright he was supposed to be in conducting his program, are circumstances unlikely to be duplicated. On the other hand, to suggest that someone like Nick Saban at Alabama or Urban Meyer, who just took over at Ohio State, do not possess authority far beyond their contractual niceties is naive. Big-time football coaches are the Cardinal Richelieu among state university royalty -- or the Rasputin if you are of a more cynical bent.
To be honest, with as small as the crowd was at Colonial Life Arena, it’s hard to even justify calling it a road game. It certainly wasn’t a hostile environment. How can a team go from playing arguably their best game of the season on Saturday in a loss to Kentucky on the road, to completely playing flat and uninspired basketball just four days later? What happened to the team that opened the season 7-0 and won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off? Even with a lot of freshmen playing key minutes, it looked like the team had been playing together for years. Now, the chemistry appears to be gone, the offense can’t get on track, and even the defense is playing lackadaisical at times.
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama, is one of four athletes from Alabama, the 2012 National Champions training for the NFL Draft at four Athletes’ Performance facilities in the Phoenix area. The others are Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower and DeQuan Menzie.
"The University of Alabama is expected to sign at least one more player and likely from a defensive tackle," Scout.com analyst Andrew Bone wrote in an e-mail Thursday. "The Tide remains in the hunt for Eddie Goldman (five-star defensive tackle out of Washington, D.C.) Kirven, and Dalvin Tomlinson (a four-star from Henry County, Ga.). The odds favor Tomlinson as a part of the Tide's recruiting class. Kwon Alexander, four-star linebacker and the state's top uncommitted prospect from Oxford High School, is likely to sign with Auburn or LSU. Alexander is recovering from a torn ACL."
Note: Alabama has very limited room in its recruiting class. Alabama currently has 27 commitments, meaning that some prospects might have to grayshirt or Alabama will have to count back to its 2011 or 2010 classes with early enrollees if there is room to.
Kwon Alexander, #3 OLB, Oxford, Ala./Oxford: He's an extremely talented linebacker who currently has Alabama, Auburn and LSU at the top.
Eddie Goldman, #1 DT, Washington, D.C./Collegiate Academy: He's the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country and he just happens to be the best at a position of need.
Korren Kirven, #8 DT, Lynchburg, Va./Brookville: Alabama's former linebackers coach Sal Sunseri recruited him hard when he was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., so he knows plenty about the Tide. J
ameis Winston, #1 QB, Hueytown, Ala./Hueytown: He's committed to Florida State, but Alabama would love to have him make a last-minute switch to stay in state.
OL Will Adams, who admitted that he was a lifelong UGA fan before committing to Georgia Tech last summer, said that he was offered a last-minute scholarship by the Bulldogs on Thursday. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive lineman plays at Sandy Creek, the same high school as WR JaQuay Williams – who is a longtime Auburn commitment that UGA is trying to flip before next week’s signing day. An entourage of UGA coaches, led by Mark Richt, showed up at Sandy Creek on Wednesday to visit with JaQuay. They also reportedly made a last-second offer to Adams. "It’s true," Adams said in the text message about the UGA offer. (ed.- how evil. sounds like something Nick Saban would do.)
Note: Richt and his entourage also stopped by Cedar Grove High School on Thursday to visit with offensive lineman Brandon Greene, who is a longtime to Alabama. The Bulldogs are desperate for offensive lineman after Chester Brown de-committed because of an immigration policy earlier this week. (ed.- how evil. sounds like something Nick Saban would do.)
Antonio Crawford, a defensive back from Tampa’s Plant High School, has been committed to Georgia Tech since last summer. However, things became complicated for Crawford when Miami coach Al Golden showed up at his school on Wednesday to both extend a scholarship offer and invitation to visit Miami this weekend. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Crawford has some tough decisions to make less than a week away from Wednesday’s signing day. "Everything has happened so quickly, and I haven’t really had a chance to think about it a lot yet," Crawford said on Thursday night. "I know I’m definitely considering the University of Miami. But, as of right now, I’m still committed to Georgia Tech." Georgia Tech coachheard about Miami’s flirtations and had a 20-minute phone conversation with Crawford on Thursday. Crawford said his Georgia Tech scholarship will be jeopardized if he boards the plane to Miami on Friday. (ed.- how evil. sounds like something Nick Saban would do.)
Season tickets for the 2012 University of Alabama baseball season are available now, with ticket prices beginning at $60.00 for the 31-game Crimson Tide home schedule. The season begins on Friday, Feb. 17 against Florida Atlantic at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. One of the best baseball ticket values in the Southeastern Conference, all chair back seats will be $125 for the season - a cost of just four dollars per game. Additionally, all reserved bleacher seats will be general admission, at a fan-friendly price of $75.00 ($2.41 per game). Senior citizen prices are $65.00 for both chair back and general admission.
Given some of the projections of doom for the Tigers and Aggies in their new league, you'd think they'd given up a chance to burn path of destruction through the old one. In fact, they're just trading one second-tier niche for another. Mizzou hasn't won a conference championship since 1969, in the old Big Eight; A&M hasn't won a claimed a conference crown since 1998, its last appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game. That was also the year Mack Brown was hired to resurrect Texas, just ahead of Bob Stoops' arrival at fast-fading Oklahoma in 1999. With the traditional regional powers restored to their traditional glory, A&M spent the last decade playing second banana not only to the Longhorns and Sooners, but also to traditional also-ran Texas Tech, which beat the Aggies seven times out of eight from 2001-08. Before the abrupt midseason turnaround in 2010, the Aggies had gone a full decade since their last top-25 finish in the final polls. It hasn't finished in the top 10 since 1994, in the dying days of the old Southwest Conference. When Missouri landed at No. 4 in 2007, it was its first top-10 finish in almost 40 years, and hasn't been replicated.