So what is the proper context for the fact that the Sweet 16 has three SEC teams in it? The selection committee probably made the right call when it came to who got in and who didn't, but it made poor decisions in seeding two of the three teams. As a result, a pair of pretty good teams ended up with an 8-seed and 11-seed, and they've outperformed their seedings accordingly. Plus, Tennessee got some good breaks in that after playing a similarly underseeded Iowa, it got a drastically overseeded UMass and a 14-seed in Mercer.
Said Saban: “Obviously [Cooper is] a guy [who] we want to get the ball to as many times as we can. Lane will do a really good job of getting the ball in the playmakers' hands. I think between the backs we have and the receivers we have and Coop's history of being a very consistent performer, I would think that he'll have an outstanding year.”
After its trip to Seattle in 2012, Alabama followed with its second consecutive NCAA Championship. "We just created memories that will last a lifetime," said senior Sarah DeMeo, who was a sophomore when Alabama last made a trip to the Pacific Northwest. "That meet in particular just stuck out for all of us. We had a blast."
Things are a little clearer in the West, but only slightly. No one is really out of the running yet, but at least there are only three teams tied for the lead. Then again, LSU's tie might end up mattering a lot more in the division than Georgia's will mean the East, given the hole the Dawgs are already starting to dig for themselves.
One of the country's most profitable athletics departments saw its surplus increase by $8.9 million from 2012, marking Alabama's second-largest surplus since AL.com began tracking college athletics financial data eight years ago. Since 2006, Alabama has reported annual surpluses totaling $106.5 million. Alabama's 2013 finances figure to rank among the largest in college athletics. AL.com has a pending open-records request with Auburn for its 2013 NCAA financial report, which was due to the NCAA earlier this year.
1. "Isn't Alabama just a football school?"
There's no doubt that Nick Saban's recent football legacy has elevated UA to the national spotlight, and the Crimson Tide brand is more recognizable than ever. But UA is still a competitor in the classroom as well, consistently attracting cream of the crop high schoolers from across the country. In the 2012-13 school year (the most current available data), UA ranked fourth in the country in National Merit Scholars enrollment -- only Harvard, the University of Chicago and USC outranked them. UA ranked 32 among public universities in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report, with its law school ranking 21 out of all schools, public and private.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL — HOW DARE THEY DUNK!
Priceless. College basketball team Kansas State was slapped with a technical foul BEFORE THE GAME HAD STARTED after one of its players, Brian Rohleder, performed a slam dunk in the warm-up. Kansas State’s opposition, Kentucky, was awarded two free throws to be shot before tip-off as a result. Apparently it’s against NCAA laws to do any dunks once the game countdown clock shows 20:00 or less. The player had dunked with the clock showing 19:58.
Ridiculous, but that’s college sport for you.
Then there's the national and regional trend of sped up offenses. They're gaining popularity with the offensive success of Auburn, Texas A&M and others. Alabama tight end Brian Vogler smiled when asked about that possibility at Alabama under Kiffin. "It's hard for me to say right now if that would work for us. I think we're a team that's made to be maulers," Vogler said. "Guys are just going to be really physical with you, hit you from every aspect of the game and hit you in every direction. "I just don't know if that's really our style of being speedy and trying to be elusive around everybody and dodge people like other schools do."