TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – The X-factor in the Jan. 9 rematch between evenly matched Alabama and LSU could be a crucial ex-factor: big-game experience. The BCS Championship Game is the biggest of the big. Been there, done that, say members of both teams. Been there more recently, says the second-ranked Crimson Tide. Done that, say many more current Alabama players.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Nico Johnson was one of several Alabama players to speak with reporters Wednesday about the Crimson Tide, LSU and the BCS Championship Game. Practice resumes Wednesday afternoon for the Jan. 9 rematch with the Tigers in New Orleans.
“I tell people, ‘I don’t want to be a football player who is a Christian. I want to be a Christian who happens to play football,’” the 2011 Outland Trophy winner says. “Football is not who I am. It’s what I do.”
A couple of Crimson Tide players were informed that Auburn players said they hated Alabama during interviews this week. So how do Alabama players feel about Auburn? “I strongly dislike Auburn,” Hightower said. “I don’t want to say I hate ‘em, but I’m definitely hyped up to play against these guys. Every year it’s always been a real good game. Those guys have been on a roll. … We’re just gonna have to come in and play our game.”
An Auburn player used the “h” word today to express his feelings toward the Crimson Tide. “I’m not even from Alabama, and being here for just one year, I hate Alabama,” Corey Lemonier said. So naturally Alabama players were asked tonight if they hate Auburn. “You know, hate’s a strong word,” Tide’s Dont’a Hightower says, “but I strongly dislike Auburn. I don’t want to say I hate them, but I’m definitely hyped up to play against these guys.”
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Alabama players are among 27 finalists in five major awards announced Monday afternoon. The award winners will be announced at 8 p.m. CT on Dec. 8 on ESPN. Alabama running back Trent Richardson, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, was named a finalist for two awards – the Maxwell Award (college player of the year) and the Doak Walker Award (nation’s most outstanding running back).
Alabama was well represented on Monday with the announcement of the finalists for the awards handed out at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8, in Orlando, Fla.
Alabama junior forward Tony Mitchell, who averaged 19 points in three victories at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, has been named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week. Mitchell was named the tournament’s MVP after leading the Crimson Tide to victories over Maryland, Wichita State and Purdue.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – The overwhelming sound of success seems to rattle in the ears a bit longer. The volume of 92,969 fans in Tiger Stadium after LSU’s 24-21 win last season over Alabama could pierce the eardrum. The silent nature of failure also is jarring in a disturbingly quiet sense. The arms of quarterbacks last season orchestrated crescendos for both teams.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Jesse Williams, Alabama’s junior defensive end from Australia, was asked after Tuesday’s practice if he has any pregame rituals or superstitions. In this video, he talks about painting his face. “I think it’s a good look for him,” tight end Brad Smelley said.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Trent Richardson stiff-arms Heisman Trophy questions the way he pounds through tackles. Alabama’s star running back can dip, dodge and outrun all the inquiries, but it won’t stop a relentless blitz on his thoughts as he chases college football’s ultimate individual accolade. What would a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game be without star power? What would the Game of the Century be without Heisman-caliber stars?
‘It’s going to come down to who’s going to break whose will,’ Tide’s Dont’a Hightower says of LSU showdown (audio)
On a teleconference today, Alabama’s star inside linebacker also answers questions about LSU’s fullbacks, how coach Nick Saban’s defense works, hype on the campus and around town, what it’s like having two great linebackers on the same team – Hightower and Courtney Upshaw – and the fact that the defenses are getting the top billing in the big game.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Dominate. That’s the goal of Alabama’s defense. You’ve probably heard that before. If not, check out this video. In a five-minute interview Monday that is edited to approximately 90 seconds here, Alabama guard Josh Chapman used the word “dominate” five times and the word “dominating” once. Count ‘em yourself.
The NFL has made these players wealthy, not crazy. How ludicrous would it be for them to pick against their alma maters going into this mega SEC game – a game that weighs heavily in the national championship race. Top-ranked LSU and No. 2 Alabama get it on in Tuscaloosa on Saturday and just for fun, we asked some of their most celebrated alums to weigh in on the projected outcome.