Don Kausler Jr. of The Birmingham News
Notre Dame and Alabama arrived Wednesday in South Florida an hour apart and 27 miles away from each other. The top-ranked Fighting Irish touched down first at the Fort Lauderdale airport, 27 miles from the Miami airport where the second-ranked Crimson Tide landed. The teams’ hotels are 13 miles apart. Alabama is at the Fountainbleau in Miami Beach. Notre Dame is at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla.
On another nice afternoon, the Alabama football team is holding its second postseason practice Wednesday as it continues to preparation for the BCS Championship Game. The second-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1) will meet top-ranked Notre Dame (12-0) on Jan. 7 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Senior linebacker Nico Johnson, one of the leaders on an Alabama defense that ranks No. 1 in the nation, has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He’s the first Alabama player to be announced as a 2013 participant, and he’s unlikely to be the last.
Besides giving an injury update and trying to kill speculation that he might return to the NFL, Alabama coach Nick Saban touched on many other subjects Tuesday in his post-practice press conference. He talked about quarterback AJ McCarron’s decision to return in 2013 for his senior season and then was asked if any other juniors are likely to announce their 2013 intentions soon. “Probably not,” Saban said.
Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked Tuesday if he’s still as happy coaching college football as he has said he is. It was a back-door way of asking about a report that suggested a return to the NFL might be a possibility. So he barked, right? Quite the contrary.
Senior center Barrett Jones will be on the sidelines for at least Alabama’s first five postseason practices, Alabama coach Nick Saban said after Tuesday’s practice. Jones is sidelined with a foot injury that he suffered in the first quarter of the SEC Championship Game. He played the whole game but was on crutches afterward. Jones, the winner of the 2012 Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center, had his left foot in a cast Tuesday and was in a black non-contact jersey while he pedaled a stationary bike.
A knee injury that Jesse Williams suffered in the third quarter of the SEC Championship Game didn’t knock him out of the game for good. The Alabama football team’s senior nose guard was back in the game in the fourth quarter.
Watch Barrett Jones and others pedaling stationary bikes at Alabama’s first postseason practice (video)
You might have read about this already in the practice report, posted a short time ago. Now, in this video, see for yourself. Star center Barrett Jones (75) is among four Alabama players in black non-contact jerseys who were pedaling stationary bikes at the beginning of the team’s first postseason practice Tuesday.
Under a cloudless sky, the Alabama football team kicked off preparation for the BCS Championship Game with its first preseason practice Tuesday. The second-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1) will meet top-ranked Notre Dame (12-0) on Jan. 7 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
And you thought Alabama football fans were hungry for tickets three years ago when the Crimson Tide prepared to play for its first national championship in 17 years? The demand for BCS Championship Game tickets this year was far greater. Alabama had 42,000 requests for tickets to the sold-out Jan. 7 game against Notre Dame at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. That’s 25,000 more than the school’s allotment of 17,000 tickets.
In preparation for a Jan. 7 BCS Championship Game against top-ranked Notre Dame (12-0), second-ranked Alabama (12-1) will hold its first practice on Dec. 18. It will be the first of 11 practices the Crimson Tide will hold at home before departing on Jan. 2 for South Florida, according to a tentative schedule released Sunday by Alabama.
What does Aaron Murray have to say about facing No. 2 Alabama (11-1) in the SEC Championship Game? Nothing. Georgia’s star junior quarterback has decided not to speak this week to the news media.
Alabama is coming off a game in which it played an opponent with a similar physical style. The top-ranked Crimson Tide scored a last-minute touchdown and won 21-17 at LSU. Now it’s preparing for a very different team. No. 15 Texas A&M runs a fast-paced spread offense. Is a game like this won more on the practice field or in the film room?