Alabama Hosts Tulane in 2008 Home Opener
Sept. 1, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (1-0) vs. TULANE GREEN WAVE (0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008 - 6 p.m. - CTSN (PPV)
Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138) - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
TODAY'S GAME: The University of Alabama football team opens the home portion of the 2008 season on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the Crimson Tide host the Tulane Green Wave out of Conference USA beginning at 6 p.m. The Crimson Tide's home opener marks the beginning of the 78th season of Alabama football inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis beginning at 6 p.m. (CDT). Chris Stewart, Tyler Watts and Barry Krauss will handle the broadcast for the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
HEAD COACH Nick Saban: Alabama head coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) is in his second season with the Crimson Tide. He was named the school's 27th head coach on Jan. 3, 2007. Saban has compiled a 99-47-1 (.677) record as a collegiate head coach, including an 8-6 mark at Alabama. He is just one win shy of his 100th career victory and three games shy of his 150th game as a collegiate head coach. Saban led LSU to a 13-1 record and the BCS National Championship in 2003. Overall, Saban has coached three conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, 2001 SEC and 2003 SEC) and nine of his 12 teams have played in post-season bowl games. Saban is one of just two Division-I coaches that have been head coaches for at least 10 years and have never suffered a losing season. For more information on Coach Saban, please see pages 3-4 of this notes package.
RANKINGS: Alabama opened the 2008 season ranked 24th in the Associated Press preseason season poll. The Tide was ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 for the first time since 2001, when UA opened the season 25th in the rankings. UA is sure to make a steady climb in this week's polls when they are released after a commanding 34-10 win over then-No. 9 Clemson last week. Alabama was just outside the top 25 in the USA Today Coaches' preseason poll at No. 26. This week's polls will be released following Monday night's Tennessee/UCLA game.
TULANE SERIES: Alabama owns a 26-11-3 record against Tulane in a series that dates back to the 1894 season. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 1994 season. The Crimson Tide and Green Wave played in the same conference from 1919 to 1965. Alabama joined the SIAA, which Tulane was already a member, in 1919 and then both teams moved to the Southern Conference in 1922 where they remained through the 1932 season. The two teams then played together in the Southeastern Conference from 1933 through Tulane's departure following the 1965 season. NEXT GAME: Alabama's last of three season-opening non-conference games is slated for 6 p.m. on Sept. 13 against Western Kentucky at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide and Western Kentucky will be meeting for the first time on the gridiron. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis beginning at 6 p.m. (CDT) on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
ALABAMA-TULANE TIES: Alabama associate head coach and runnings back coach Burton Burns will once again have strong ties to this week's opponent. After beating his previous employer, Clemson, last Saturday in Atlanta, the Crimson Tide square off with Tulane. Burns grew up in New Orleans and spent four years (1995-98) coaching the Green Wave, including a perfect 12-0 campaign in 1998. He also spent nine seasons as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Saint Augustine High School in New Orleans. Burns also spent time as an assistant coach at Booker T. Washington High School in New Orleans.
HOME OPENERS: Alabama has compiled a 93-15-3 all-time record in home openers, which includes all games in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery. The Crimson Tide enters the 2008 season having won its last six home openers. The streak includes wins over Middle Tennessee (2002), South Florida (2003), Utah State (2004), Middle Tennessee (2005), Hawai'i (2006) and Western Carolina (2007). The last time UA lost its home opener was Sept. 1, 2001, when No. 17 UCLA opened the season with a 20-17 win over No. 25 Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama first ever home opener took place on Oct. 14, 1893, when Eli Abbott's Crimson Tide team suffered a 4-0 loss to Birmingham Athletic Club. Alabama posted a 44-game unbeaten streak in home openers from 1904-48, which included a 43-0-1 record. The Tide had a 31-game winning streak from 1904-34 before a 7-7 tie with Howard in 1935. UA followed that up with another 12-game losing streak, before the streak ended with a 28-14 loss to Tulane on Sept. 24, 1949 at Ladd Stadium in Mobile. Since 1929, Alabama is 66-10-1 in Bryant-Denny Stadium openers, including a 20-0-1 record from 1929-50 and a 25-game winning streak from 1964-89. The 21-game unbeaten streak was snapped by a 41-18 loss to Villanova on Oct. 12, 1951. The Tide's 25-game winning streak in home openers was snapped by a 17-13 loss to Florida on Sept. 15, 1990.
SABAN HOME OPENERS: Coach Nick Saban is 10-2 in his career in home openers, including a seven-game winning streak. The streak includes one win at Michigan State (1999), five at LSU (2000-04) and one at Alabama (2007). His last loss in a home opener was Aug. 29, 1998 when Michigan State fell to Colorado State, 23-16, at East Lansing.