Gone Pro Alabama by Steve Millburg
It’s never a bad time to talk Alabama or SEC football on Alabama Tonight.
Crimson Tide Athletes Who Became Pros got much attention on Alabama Tonight as the author of “Gone Pro Alabama,” Steve Millburg joined Tom Annino on the show.
Millburg talked about comparing Saban and Bear Bryant. He also talked about the ongoing debate about the number of Alabama National Championships.
Check out the interview here.
Gone Pro Alabama is part of the Gone Pro series which celebrates college athletes who have continued their sporting exploits in the professional ranks or the Olympics. Own your very own copy today!
The football season ended on a less than happy note for Alabama fans with a gut-wrenching loss to Auburn at the last second and a lackluster performance against Oklahoma State. However, things are not all dreary for Alabama fans. A.J. McCarron, the model of consistency for most of his playing time, took home the Maxwell Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award earlier this year. Senior LB C.J. Mosley took home the Dick Butkus Award.
Nick Saban is offering a rare form of encouragement to his team to start the next season: a plaque reminding returning players of the defeats against Auburn and Oklahoma State. Saban isn’t softhearted and he doesn’t want his team to be either. It’s time for the Tide to rebuild. That being said, there are a few changes in the coaching staff. Bo Davis has joined the team as the defensive line coach. Lane Kiffin has joined the staff as offensive coordinator.
If anyone can turn around this team, it’s Coach Saban. With the changes to the team, Tide fans should keep their eyes peeled for a whole new sight next season.
Check out this story from the Washington Post to get a glimpse of the motivational poster that Nick Saban got for his players.
The Heisman trophy was FSU’s Winston’s to lose. Many believed he would also take home the Maxwell Award, but Alabama’s AJ McCarron took home that honor, voted as the most outstanding player of the year in college football. Before the announcement of the Heisman, many were wondering if voters were judging McCarron on his play this season or on his collective record at Alabama. It’s not an easy question. McCarron has as many championships as he has losses at Alabama (3). He’s been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the game over the last few years.
AJ became the first Alabama player to win the award. McCarron threw for 2,676 yards with 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. As usual, McCarron insisted that his success was due in large part to his teammates. It’s hard to argue with him when the Tide has been one of the most dominant teams over the past four years.
It’s a question most fans don’t want to hear or even consider. With Mack Brown stepping down as Texas head coach, many are wondering if Texas can woo Nick Saban away from Alabama. Unfortunately, rumors will swirl until a new head coach is named for Texas. Saban is currently on the road recruiting and his focus will likely stay there for the time being.
In March, Saban was given a raise and contract extension through 2020, what many believed to be a representation that he wanted to end his career at Alabama. Now there are rumors that the Tide and Saban are even considering a further extension.
While it’s likely that Texas will target Saban, no one really knows what Saban thinks of all of this. What do you think? Will Saban leave for a program that will need to undergo a rebuilding period or stick with Alabama, where he’s already proven himself?
For Alabama to make it to the third consecutive BCS National Championship game, the Tide needed Florida State and Ohio State to lose. While Ohio State did lose to Michigan State, Florida State romped Duke to stay the only undefeated team in the nation. As such, Florida State will face off with Auburn in the national championship game.
Alabama will be facing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. While it’s not the national championship the Tide had hoped for, their season is still not a loss. Quarterback AJ McCarron currently has the same number of losses as he does championship rings. How many other quarterbacks can say that?
This is only the second time the Tide and the Sooners will face each other, with the Sooners holding the edge (2-1-1). Granted, both teams are much different than the last time they faced each other in 2003. This Alabama team is led by Nick Saban, a coach who accepts nothing less than the best effort of his team. There are some whispers that Alabama will have to deal with the blow of losing to Auburn, but fans know that Saban won’t let his players dwell on that. How Alabama responds will define the character of this team. From everything we’ve seen so far, this team is like a well-oiled machine and unlikely to let emotions like losing to Auburn bring them down.
Saturday was a day of exhilarating games. Ohio State squeaked by Michigan 42-41 when the Michigan coach decided to go for two instead of tying the game to go into overtime. The Crimson Tide suffered their devastating loss at the hands of Auburn. With one second left on the clock, Alabama attempted a field goal that Auburn then returned for a touchdown. The End.
Now Tide fans are left wondering which bowl their team will play. As entertaining as Twitter has been over the past few days with college football fans saying they feel sorry for Alabama’s bowl opponent, Alabama fans know that whichever bowl they play in, nothing is as good as the BCS championship game.
There’s a small (read: infinitesimal) chance that Alabama could make it to the Championship Game. Florida State and Ohio State would need to lose their next games and Alabama would have to hope that an all-SEC championship game was a possibility. However, with the drama of the Iron Bowl, how many fans would be excited to see an Alabama-Auburn rematch?
The Crimson Tide rolled to a victory over Chattanooga on Saturday with a dominant performance before facing off with Auburn this weekend. A.J. McCarron became Alabama’s winningest quarterback and ended his home career at Alabama with a short pass to his brother Corey.
In the Tide’s third shutout of the season, they did everything efficiently to end some players’ careers on a great note at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Even stoic Coach Saban seemed to feel the specialty of this game. One thing fans have studiously been ignoring is the fact that A.J. McCarron will no longer be their solid quarterback at the end of the season. Fans are basking in a (so far) perfect season.
The Tide are now one step closer to another national championship game. They go against the Auburn Tigers. This year’s Iron Bowl may have seemed unimportant at the beginning of the season, but both teams are in the top five and a loss could have devastating effects on either team. Alabama sits comfortably at #1 while Auburn jumped to #4 in the BCS standings this week.
Rivalries are part of college football, but has any rivalry this season had so much at stake? A win for Alabama would put them one step closer to their third consecutive championship. A win for Auburn would leapfrog their chances at making it to the national championship. This is what rivalries are made of and it’s why the whole country will be watching on Saturday.
Once again the Tide faltered in the game immediately following their LSU game. Nick Saban is almost perfect in getting his teams to forget about the impact and emotions of beating teams. The one glaring failure is LSU. After the LSU game last year, the Tide returned to action only to be stunned by Texas A&M. This year, the Tide returned to action against Mississippi State.
Mississippi State is a team the Tide should have easily handled. However, the Tide looked sluggish and lethargic. Though the Tide pulled out a victory, it’s worth noting that the game following the LSU game each year gives the Tide problems.
Next up for the Tide is Chattanooga. The players need to get their heads back in the game. Chattanooga and Auburn are both upset options against the Tide. While many people have been assuming the Tide will be in the championship game, fans cannot overlook the importance of the next two games. Look for McCarron to return to form against Chattanooga and the Tide defense to continue to dominate.
Saturday saw the Crimson Tide handily defeating the LSU Tigers. The game was tied early in the third quarter until Alabama took the game in hand and scored three more touchdowns to end the game.
Recently, Alabama-LSU games have become quite the spectacle. Last year the Tide eked out a victory with a last minute push that was known as The Drive, scoring a touchdown with 0:51 left to win 21-17. In 2011, the Tide lost the regular season game in overtime 9-6. Neither team made it to the end zone during that game, making it a game dependent on the kickers’ abilities. Fans that season got what they wanted, a BCS rematch for the national championship. In the title game, the Tide quickly showed that they do not like losing, especially at home against LSU. The Tide shutout the Tigers to take the first of two consecutive championships.
Since it doesn’t appear that LSU will make it to the national championship game (Florida State is the most likely contender against the Tide), fans will have to wait until this time next year to see a rematch between the two teams, this time without Alabama’s AJ McCarron at the helm.
In 2005, Rashad Johnson walked on at Alabama as a running back and never looked back. He earned scholarships as a defensive back and led the Tide in interceptions his junior and senior seasons.
Johnson came from Sulligent, Alabama, a relatively small town. Unlike many high school football players, Johnson wasn’t offered overwhelming scholarships, but he proved his worth by walking on the Tide and continuously improving his game.
Johnson’s hard work paid off when he was drafted in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals. Once again he worked hard to keep improving as he played mostly on special teams his first two years. In 2011, he earned the starting safety job for the Cardinals. The team resigned him and gave him a three-year contract in March of this year.
You might recognize Johnson as the Cardinals player who lost part of his middle finger on his left hand during a game in September. Luckily, he seems to have healed and is back to good form for the Cardinals.