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GameDay Returns

We wrote late Saturday night that we expected ESPN's College GameDay to return to LSU. They confirmed Sunday that they will broadcast from Baton Rouge October 6.

We figured there was a strong chance for ESPN's College Game Day to arrive at the Red Stick for the South Carolina game.  That game went to a lower match up and less compelling Georgia - Alabama game.  

I think Chris Fowler was still nervous about the heat and the producers figured how could they not be back for the Florida - LSU match.  He commented on air about the heat and expressed his surprise over the intensity of LSU's vocal fans even though kickoff was still over eight hours away when the program ended.  

Chris baby, "that's how we roll!"

With an expected high of 90 and scattered thunderstorms, me thinks we could see an encore performance of Mr. Fowler taking off the jacket.

 

Two In A Row

The Noles of Florida State take it to 'Bama and hand Saban his second consecutive loss.

In the first meeting since 1974, Florida State comes out on top 21-14.  Both teams were unable to register any points in the first half in the "neutral" site of Jacksonville.

Alabama fought hard in the fourth quarter again and almost evened up the score.  After closing the gap to 7 points with just over a minute to play, 'Bama attempted the onside kick and recovered.  The refs correctly ruled that the ball first touched an Alabama player (on the helmet) prior to it going 10 yards.  Florida State ran out the clock to preserve the victory.

Not much in the way of Jimbo Surprise.  We expected gadget plays galore, but didn't really see much.

Go Noles.

 

'Bama Hosts Houston

Alabama's Homecoming Game  is this weekend against the fiesty Houston Cougars. Both teams have two losses.  One of Houston's losses came against the Oregon Ducks who prior to this past weekend were undefeated and are currently ranked at number 14.  $aban says he is still confident about the team's future.

Well, isn't that special.

LSU Overpowers

The Green Wave hung tough in the first half, put a safety and touchdown on the board, and almost led at the half.  LSU mand handled the Wave in the second half to cruise on to a 34-9 victory.

The Green Wave, Rip Tide, or whatever they are calling themselves this school year were leading by 2 points late in the first half before the Tigers put the late charge ignited by Trindon Holliday's 38 yeard kickoff return and followed up by a field goal before the half ended. 

The Tigers got down to business as they scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.  Tulane put up the most rushing yards on the Tigers' defense this season.  They eclipsed Virginia Tech's 71 rushing yards earlier in the month.

Ryan Perilloux saw action for the first time  in the second half.  The scorekeepers were so impressed with the sophomore from Laplace that they initially gave him credit for a tackle on defense.  They later gave proper credit to the other Number 11 on the team freshman Kelvin Sheppard.

Survival Saturday

#5 West Virigina's loss Friday night put a spell on the football landscape Saturday. LSU started slow before winning,  7 of the Top 13 teams lose, and Florida is the highest ranked team to lose today.

To be fair  #6 took on # 11, so two of the top 13 teams would go down, but 7. Oh Lordy.

#1 Southern Cal escaped the unfriendly confines at Washington to win by three points in a late game. In an early game, #2 LSU starts out slow and plays like they had just awoken from a long slomber, before they overpowered Tulane in the second half to win by 25. This is were the losses pile up.

Auburn goes to the swamp and shows up #3 Florida by a field goal late. Are you kidding me? #4 Oklahoma goes to Colorado and loss to the Buffalo by 3. # 5 West Virginia with former Tulane coach Rodriguez lost on Friday.  #6 Cal hand the #11 Ducks a loss in Oregon. Another former Tulane coach, Mac Brown's #7 Longhorns lose at home to Kansas State. #10 Rutgers lost to Maryland by 10, and Ga. Tech hand the visiting #13 Clemson Tigers their first loss.

The rest of the Top 25 secured victories.  Only #21 Penn State and #22 Alabama failed in their quest.

Allow me to digress.  How did Rutgers get the rank of # 10?  Did we run out of teams? No seriously.  They beat Buffalo, Navy, and Norfolk State (puh-leeze) before losing.  Someone must have some compromising pictures of writers at The State University of New Jersey.

The aftermath of all those losses in the Top 25?  Texas takes it on the chin by falling 12 places to # 19 -- completely unfair. South Carolina is ranked higher one week removed from their loss to LSU by moving to the 11th spot this week. Kentucky is number 8?!  Wow.  The next three weeks will show us how legitimate the Wildcats are.  They visit the number 11 Game Cocks this Thursday and then host the big guns of the SEC -- LSU and Florida.

Rutgers still received enough votes to stay in the Top 25.  They only dropped 11 spots in the polls to 21.

Michigan is the quietest 3-2 team in the country.  If they can run the table, which means beating the current number 4 and 5 teams in the country in Wisconsin and Ohio State, Lloyd Carr would have enough to secure his job.  He could even confess that in the first two losses it was really his evil twin brother Skippy coaching.  

Beating the Buckeyes is key and then people would forget the More Miles campaign.

 

ESPN College GameDay

Chris Fowler wrote in his blog a couple of days ago that he expected to make a return trip to Baton Rouge October the 6th provided Florida and LSU won.

Well LSU did it's job, but Florida didn't.  The Red River Shootout would traditionally be the most compelling game, but both of those teams lost so I expect ESPN back.  We'll see.

LSU vs Tulane

The fighting Tigers take on the Too lame football team in the Dome this Saturday at the ungodly hour of 11:00 in the morning Central. What were the TV people thinking?

Typically the first game is played by an east coast team.  Someone forgot to tell the producers at ESPN2 that Tulane isn't on the east coast.

This makes it very difficult for people to get in the tailgating mood.  Oh well, these are the challenges in life.

Jimbeaux Surprise

No, it is not a special Louisiana delicacy.  We are curious as to what surprises Offensive Coordinator ex-OC for $aban will have for Bama's defense.

Jimbo Fisher has had an odd set of events before landing the OC job at FSU.  He had the UAB job before The Bear's son, a member of the Board of Trustees, supposedly had a hand in denying the contract offered to Jimbo.  Mr. Bryant's motivation was to leave Jimbo Fisher with few options for employment forcing him to take a job with Saban.  That combination would be something the Bama faithful would love.

We have to think Jimbo has a special treat or two for his former employer.  I wonder if he was looking in the mirror at an imaginary Nick Saban and saying "the circle is now complete, when I last left I was but the learner, now I am the master."

What do you think?

$aban Loses

In a thrilling game, Georgia spanks Bama in overtime to hand Coach $aban his first loss.

Way to go Dawgs.

Saban Denies UA Rumors A Second Time

St. Peter denied he knew Jesus before the cock crowed three times and Saban denied he would take the job at Alabama at two separate times although he was asked more than three times if he would take the job.

On December 21, 2006 Nick Saban claimed he didn't browse the Internet, never sends e-mails or surfs from site to site. I guess he has never had a reason to use mapquest, check weather.com for game conditions, or do online banking.  I might believe this if he were Amish!

He may have to start soon, if only to follow the persistent rumors about him and his future.

A story posted on NFL.com earlier this week said Alabama "keeps on making runs at Saban" in an effort to convince the Miami Dolphins coach to return to college and take over in Tuscaloosa for the fired Mike Shula. The same story even said an unnamed NFL head coach said Saban is getting closer to joining the Crimson Tide.

So on Thursday, Saban who has tried to denounce the story about him potentially going to Alabama numerous times in recent weeks again, and adamantly, that he's headed back to the college ranks.

"I guess I have to say it," Saban said. "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

When the stories linking Alabama and Saban began circulating last month, almost immediately after Shula got fired following a 6-6 season, the former coach at Louisiana State said he was flattered but not interested.

He's bristled at nearly every suggestion about him leaving the Dolphins since.

"I don't know how many times I've got to respond to rumor and innuendo," Saban said. "I have no control over that. I've stated what my intentions are and they really haven't changed, so I don't know what the issue is. And I don't know why people keep asking about it. What they talk about over there is their business. But what's happening here is my business and our business, and that's what we're focused on."

Saban acknowledged earlier this month that Alabama approached his agent about its coaching job, but he declined an invitation to talk to the Crimson Tide.

Saban agreed to a five-year contract worth at least $22.5 million with Miami on Christmas Day 2004. He'll celebrate the second anniversary of that deal Monday night, when the Dolphins 6-8 this season and 15-15 in their two seasons under Saban host the New York Jets. Whatever happened to honoring your commitment?  He left after 2 years and took a pay cut?!

It's the home finale for the season, but the players hardly expect it to be Saban's final game in Miami.

"He told us a couple weeks ago that he's proud to be a Dolphin and he's going to be sticking around," Dolphins quarterback Joey Harrington  said. "So I take him at his word. I've taken him at his word ever since I came here. He's one of the reasons why I decided to come to Miami. And so, if he tells us he's going to say, I trust him. But on the other hand, there's a lot of job offers out there and he's a tremendous coach."

Saban went 48-16 in five seasons at LSU, 92-42-1 as a head coach in college, and guided LSU to the 2003 national championship. He turned down several overtures from the NFL before coming to Miami. His agent made sure to extract more money out of LSU every time those NFL teams came a calling.

"I don't control what people say," Saban said. "I don't control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I'm just telling you there's no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here."

The Saban-to-Alabama story isn't the only one on the Internet right now raising the ire of the Dolphins' coach.

SI.com, in a story dated Wednesday, quotes a former Dolphins quarterback as saying Saban wanted to bench him for the final game of the 2005 season "because I had a bunch of incentives on the line, and it could have saved the organization money."

Frerotte, in the same article, said Scott Linehan, the Dolphins' offensive coordinator last season and now the head coach in St. Louis, where Frerotte signed to play this season, talked Saban out of that plan. Frerotte wound up starting, and the Dolphins ended their season with a 28-26 win at New England.

Saban, just as he did with the Alabama story, strongly denied Frerotte's claims.

"That's absolutely not true," Saban said. "I make those decisions. Scott Linehan doesn't make them and he didn't make them here. And maybe somebody told Gus Frerotte that to get him to leave here, but that is absolutely not true."

Who do we believe a habitual liar or someone with no history of lying?

How can you tell if Nick Saban is lying?  His lips are moving.

Saban Possible Recruiting Violations?

Florida media reports that Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban may have committed an NCAA violation.

Florida media reports that Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban may have committed an NCAA violation.  University of Alabama officials would not comment on the specific incidents. Chris King, Alabama Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, looks into nearly every claim to be proactive and prevent possible violations.

The Miami Herald  reported that Saban had three conversations with prospects that could be perceived as more than a greeting. From April 15 to May 31, coaches can evaluate players on their campuses but cannot have a face-to-face encounter "in excess of exchange of greeting."

Neither the NCAA  nor UA officials would say whether it is investigating the matter.

Etienne Sabino told the Herald that Saban talked with him about defensive schemes and about Alabama's needs. Northwestern High's Marcus Fortson and Brandon Washington both mentioned conversations to the newspaper that may have been more than a greeting and took longer than a few minutes.

Even if the former Dolphins coach were found to have violated the rules, it would likely be a secondary violation, for which there is no significant penalty.

Unfortunately.

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