Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Opens SEC Play at Arkansas



Sept. 15, 2008


Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008 - 11:30 a.m. (CDT) - Raycom

Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000) - Fayetteville, Ark.

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

TODAY’S GAME: The University of Alabama football team begins its Southeastern Conference schedule in the Ozark Mountains on Saturday against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The game is slated to kickoff at 11:30 a.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000) and will be televised on Raycom Sports with Dave Neal, Dave Archer and Dave Baker calling the action. Arkansas enters the game following a bye week after its game at No. 7 Texas was postponed until Sept. 27 due to Hurricane Ike. The Razorbacks boast a 2-0 record after two fourth-quarter comebacks against Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe. 

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 101-48-1 (.677) record as a collegiate head coach, including a 10-6 (.625) mark at Alabama and a 3-0 record in 2008. He captured his 100th career victory in week two against Tulane and coached his 150th game as a collegiate head coach last week vs. Western Kentucky. 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 Football Bowl Subdivision 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 moved into the Associated Press top 10 at No. 9 for the first time since the final poll of the 2005 season (No. 8). The Crimson Tide is also ranked No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches poll. The Crimson Tide began the 2008 season ranked 24th in the AP preseason 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. No. 9 Alabama is one of five Southeastern Conference schools ranked in the AP top 10 with Georgia at No. 3, Florida at No. 4, LSU at No. 6 and No. 10 Auburn. It is the first time that five SEC schools have been ranked in the top 10 in the same poll. Based on total number of available points in this week’s poll (20,800 / 64 voters x 325 points / 25-24-23, etc.), the SEC has 29.6 percent of this week’s points (6,150 of 20,800 points).  

ARKANSAS SERIES: Alabama leads the series 10-8 after a dramatic 41-38 win last season at Bryant-Denny Stadium when John Parker Wilson found Matt Caddell for a four-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining in the game. The Crimson Tide’s last trip to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium resulted in a 24-23 two-overtime loss to the Hogs on Sept. 23, 2006. Alabama is 2-4 in six trips to Fayetteville with the last win, a 30-12 triumph, coming in 2002. 

NEXT GAME: Alabama continues its two-game road swing that opens the 2008 SEC slate with a trip to third-ranked Georgia on Sept. 27. It is the Crimson Tide’s first trip to Athens and Samford Stadium since 2003 when the Bulldogs captured a 37-23 win. Alabama owns an 11-7 edge in the series in Athens and a 35-24-5 lead in the all-time series.