Saban gave the same answer about the Crimson team's A-Day loss as I would have given had they interviewed the media coaches (no one did) - too many turnovers. "One thing that I hope the players took away from the film was the team that turned the ball over four times lost," Saban said. "It's one of the most significant statistics in football. We've managed to have good ball security here, because we emphasize it." Quarterback AJ McCarron threw three interceptions and tight end Michael Williams lost a fumble while fighting for late-game yardage as the Crimson team dropped a 24-15 decision. "When you turn over the ball, you don't have a chance," Saban said. "With four turnovers, they were lucky they didn't get beat worse than they did."
NCAA rules strictly prohibit football programs from practicing or scrimmaging against other schools during spring ball. Alabama's Nick Saban and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops are among the coaches who would rather leave spring ball just the way it is. "You can really focus on trying to develop unknowns in your players, which I think is really important," Saban said. "I think that's the real value of spring practice." Stoops brought up the major obstacle that might stop the changes from happening. "My main concern always this time of year is having my full squad healthy, ready to enter the summer, to continue to build strength, speed and get ready for the year when we do play people," Stoops said.
"Breaking the crystal ball, even though it’s very meaningful, nobody got hurt," Saban said. "Nobody meant to do any harm and I’m sure we can replace it. It’s (not as) bad as everyone’s making it out to be and I don’t want the parent of the player who had the mishap to feel bad about what happened."
But on the topic of the day, Saban joked with reporters about the media’s role in fueling the broken trophy story. "Nothing you all do surprises me," he said. "You stop nothing short of creating some news. I respect you, I love you and all that, but that’s a fact. Is it not?" Asked if he’d ever had an oops moment like that, Saban flashed back to a lake incident seven or eight years ago. "I fell off my boat and about killed myself once," he said with a smile. "I was cleaning up after the kids went wakeboarding. That could have been real disastrous." After "sitting at the bottom of the lake," a broken trophy didn’t seem as serious, Saban said.
The status of wide receivers Duron Carter, Ronald Carswell and Michael Bowman was placed in limbo when Saban announced their suspensions at the beginning of spring practice. Three days removed from Alabama's A-Day game, it appears nothing has changed. "It's not up to me. It's up to them, so i don't really need to spend time speculating on what they're going to do," Saban told reporters before his first 2012 Crimson Caravan speech at Huntsville's Von Braun Center. "I got two adolescents at home and I can't predict what they're going to do so I'm not going to predict what these guys are going to do. If they do what they're supposed to, they can play on our team. all right? If they don't, they won't."
Prized linebacker prospect Reuben Foster and highly touted defensive end Carl Lawson lead a list of six Alabama commitments and four Auburn pledges on the ESPN 150 national ranking of 2013's top college football prospects. The list was released Tuesday. Foster, a 6-foot-2, 242-pound linebacker, is No. 2 on the list behind No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche, a defensive end from Loganville, Ga., who is thought to have Alabama among his favorites.
Here's a look at the ESPN150 members committed to SEC schools:
2. Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala), ILB
43. O.J. Howard (Prattville, Ala./Autauga Academy), TE-H
54. Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark.), RB
76. Tyren Jones (Marietta, Ga./Walton Senior), RB
143. Andy Dodd (Lindale, Ga./Pepperell), OG
146. ArDarius Stewart (Birmingham, Ala./Fultondale), ATH
Adrian Hubbard, LB, Alabama: The Crimson Tide feel like they've found somebody to replace Courtney Upshaw as a finisher off the edge on passing downs. The 6-6 Hubbard is now pushing 250 pounds entering his sophomore season and is an excellent fit at Jack linebacker. He had three sacks in Alabama's spring game.
University of Alabama tight end Brandon Lewis will not return to the UA football team this fall, coach Nick Saban said Tuesday. "Brandon did not finish spring practice, and has elected not to return for his final year of eligibility," Saban said prior to a Crimson Caravan speaking engagement. Lewis transferred to UA from East Mississippi Community College two seasons ago. He was a reserve defensive lineman in 2010 and was moved to tight end last year.
No promises for a playoff, but the guys who run college football will meet next week as they inch toward making major changes to the postseason. BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Tuesday that the meetings in south Florida on April 24-26 will not result in a final decision on how major college football will determine its champions, starting in 2014. The goal instead for the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director is to come away with several very specific and detailed options for the leagues to consider when they begin meeting individually next month. "This is not the final meeting," Hancock said. BCS officials are sticking to their self-imposed, mid-summer deadline for having a future postseason format completed. Though Hancock says it is "not a given" the BCS will switch to some type of four-team playoff.
No. 2 Alabama picked up its third loss of the season in unexpected fashion Tuesday when it fell, 5-1, against Georgia State. The loss snaps the Crimson Tide's four-game winning streak and serves as its first of the season against a non-conference foe. Alabama (40-3, 17-2 SEC) picked up just four hits, scoring its lone run in the fourth inning thanks to a Georgia State error. It gave Alabama a short-lived 1-0 lead, as the Panthers (32-12) responded with five runs on just three hits in the fifth inning.
The University of Arkansas landed a $1.25 million donation for the way athletic director Jeff Long handled Bobby Petrino's dismissal. The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation approved a $1 million gift to the school's Student-Athlete Success Center citing Long's "courageous leadership". Fred W. Smith, the foundation's chair, is also pledging an additional $250,000 to the center after Petrino was dismissed following an extramarital affair with Jessica Dorrell, a football team staffer.
The former mistress of fired University of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino has resigned from her position with the program, school officials announced Tuesday. Jessica Dorrell's decision to step down as the football team's student-athlete development coordinator was mutual and there are no immediately plans to re-fill the job, Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a statement. Dorrell will be paid about $14,000 to settle "all matters between the parties." "While Ms. Dorrell had a legitimate right to apply for and accept a position within the football program, the circumstances surrounding the former coach's decision to hire her compromised her ability to be effective in such a position," Long said. "She and I believe she should have the opportunity to move on."