Locally made beer will begin flowing from taps at several Tuscaloosa bars this fall under a label reminiscent of the iconic Moon Winx Lodge sign. Bo Hicks and Elliott Roberts’ Druid City Brewing Co. was approved by the Tuscaloosa Zoning Board of Adjustment this week, and they plan to start brewing commercially at a 14th Street location in October. The company has deals to distribute the beer at local bars Corks and Tops, Wilhagan’s, Egan’s and The Alcove, they said.
The Alabama basketball program used to produce NBA players regularly, but it hasn't had a player drafted since Richard Hendrix was picked in the second round in 2008. That drought could end tonight. The prospects for the 2012 draft include two former Crimson Tide players. Among the 60 players selected could be forwards JaMychal Green or Tony Mitchell. Maybe both. Perhaps neither. "I just want to hear my name called," said Green, whose four-year Alabama career ended in March.
"He doesn't do any type of grinning, smiling or laughing - none of that," one player said. "He is what people say he is - strictly business." Saban also apparently isn't much for small talk, according to one prospect. "He's been in the elite for a long time and he's heard it all," that prospect said. "He just wants to get down to the chase and get to the offer and tell you what he likes and doesn't like about you. That's it." It wasn't just Saban's attitude that made some prospects nervous. Saban's reputation as the nation's top coach and his two national titles in the last three years left some recruits star-struck. "With the background he has, just talking to him was like, 'Wow, I'm really talking to Nick Saban,' " one player said. "It was incredible."
Rookie Charles Mitchell, now with the Atlanta Falcons, played against Richardson at Mississippi State. "Our coaches would always tell us that one man can't take him down," said Mitchell, a safety. "I remember how we would look at pictures after games, and every time we'd see a picture of Richardson there was half of our team trying to tackle him. He's a strong and powerful runner."
49 DE Ed Stinson (Jr.)
2011 season: Played in all 13 games as a top reserve at end, posting 19 tackles, including five for loss, and a sack. 2012 spring practice: With Jesse Williams sliding inside to nose tackle, Stinson and Quinton Dial competed for starting honors at right end. Stinson worked with the White (first-team) defense in the A-Day game, racking up six tackles. One of four players to receive the Bart Starr Most Improved Player Award at the close of spring drills.
What he brings to the table: With a full season of reps at end under his belt, Stinson is on the verge of becoming an every down contributor at the position. Big and athletic, the former outside linebacker has shown flashes of playmaking ability, with his performance at Florida (three tackles for loss and a sack) last season serving as a prime example.
The new playoff system means big money for major college football, as much as a half-billion dollars per year just in television rights alone. That has Texas coach Mack Brown -- among others -- wondering if some of that windfall should be heading the players' way. "In my opinion, with the amount of money the playoff will generate, I hope we can revisit the student-athlete stipend," Brown tweeted soon after the new, semifinal format was approved by university presidents Tuesday in Washington. "It will be a very lucrative event and those young people are the ones that make it all possible," he added.
Despite two lopsided defeats, Dooley has done some things right against Alabama. The Vols have run the ball better than most have expected in both matchups, they’ve minimized their turnovers and they’ve stayed competitive in the early part of each game. The second half has been their undoing against Alabama. Saban’s squads have outscored the Vols 59-0 during the second half of the last two games. It could be a result of Alabama being more physical, better conditioned or Saban making better halftime adjustments. Regardless, that will have to change drastically for the Vols to have a chance in 2012 in Knoxville. Bray and his receivers should be able to move the ball some against an Alabama secondary that should be slightly less impressive than the 2011 version. If the Vols can run the ball and cause some turnovers, they could make things interesting. In the end, Alabama probably won’t be as dominant defensively in 2012, but its offensive balance and overall size and athleticism on defense make it a clear favorite to beat Tennessee for the sixth straight year.
The semifinal teams get four of the 12 slots in the new six-team rotation of "major bowls." The commissioners are studying two plans to fill the other eight slots. One would simply follow whatever ranking will be used, from 5-12. Another would guarantee any conference champion that finishes at a certain ranking –- Top 16? Top 20? -- and use the rankings to fill the remaining slots. That’s good news for the Mountain West and Conference USA. That system would have produced five bowl berths in the last 12 years.
Alabama possessed arguably the nation's most dominating defense in 2011, putting up historic numbers. The Crimson Tide finished the season No. 1 nationally in a handful of defensive categories, including total defense (183.6 yards per game), rushing defense (72.2), pass defense (111.5), pass efficiency defense (83.7) and scoring defense (8.2 points per game). That certainly isn't hard to believe, considering Alabama's defense had three players drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. It probably should have been four, with linebacker Courtney Upshaw being drafted early in the second round.
"We want it to be big enough so that every football team, all 121 FBS schools, are viewed," Swarbrick said on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "There's somebody who's actually spent the time having watched some games and understand them. "We want the sort of sophisticated analysis that says you know this team lost their first game, but their quarterback didn't play the last three quarters. The rest of their season they were undefeated, so if you factor that in, maybe they're a top-four team in the country. We want to have that level of sophistication."
In a poll conducted by al.com, more than 900 readers told us what they would do if their favorite team was selected for the four-team playoff, and the results show that for many fans, economics could keep them away from the games. 41 percent of respondents said they believe they could not afford to attend a semifinal or national championship game if their team was playing, while 36 percent said they would likely only be able to afford to go to one of the two games.
Stallings’ statement is undeniably true in the sense that outrushing your opponent and winning the turnover battle are highly correlated with winning. But as readers of my passer rating article know, such correlation says nothing about which way the causation arrow, if any, points. Take a step back and re-read his quote: It is only a step removed from saying "You win football games by outscoring the other team." 2 In fact, what exactly is Stallings saying besides "You win football games by playing better than the other team?" What is left out in his statement?