Monday, October 03, 2005
It was quite a weekend for the University of Alabama football team.
The Crimson Tide beat then No. 5 Florida 31-3 Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium and vaulted to No. 7 in the latest AP poll.
On Monday, the undefeated Crimson Tide was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, as selected by the pollsters of the Football Writer's Association of America (FWAA) Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll for games of the weekend of Oct. 1.
Brodie Croyle completed 14 of 17 passes for 283 yards and three scores, including an 87-yarder to Tyrone Prothro and a 65-yarder to Keith Brown.
It was Alabama's first-ever win over a Top 5 team in Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium. Florida came into the game ranked No. 5 in both the AP and coaches' polls. The win also improves the Tide to 5-0 for the first time since 1996.
"Every win is big. But to win games against ranked teams, most are ranked in SEC, is bigger because it's later in the season and we're undefeated," said Alabama coach Mike Shula after the game. "(Florida) is a talented football team. There were questions with how we would match up but we answered some of those questions (on Saturday)."
The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The 16 pollsters of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll decide the weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2005 college football season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Bowl National Team of the Week through Nov. 28.
The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll will resume this season on Oct. 10. The top-ranked team in the final poll will be awarded the Grantland Rice Trophy as the FWAA's national champion. The FWAA has awarded the trophy each season since 1954. USC is the two-time defending FWAA national champion and is ranked No. 1 in the initial 2005 poll.
Since 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Tempe, Ariz., have hosted five games that have decided the college football national championship, including two Bowl Championship Series title games. The 2006 game will be played on Jan. 2 and will be the final game played at Sun Devil Stadium. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, along with the BCS Championship Game, will move to the new Multi-Purpose Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., beginning in 2007.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to www.footballwriters.com or www.tostitosfiestabowl.com.
2005 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Teams of the Week Sept. 3: TCU Horned Frogs Sept. 10: LSU Tigers Sept. 17: Michigan State Spartans Sept. 24: South Florida Bulls Oct. 1: Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Bowl National Team of the Week honor is not the only recognition the UA football team is getting these days.
Alabama is ranked in the Top 10 of the AP poll for the first time since the 2002 season. The No. 7 ranking is Alabama's highest in the AP poll since opening the 2000 season as the No. 3 ranked team.
The 2005 season marks the fourth time (1959, 1960, 2002 and 2005) in school history that Alabama opened the season unranked and then cracked the AP Top 10.
Senior quarterback Brodie Croyle was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Foundation.
Croyle was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Senior defensive end Mark Anderson was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after the Crimson Tide's win over Florida. Anderson had four tackles (1 1/2 sacks), forced a fumble on the first play of the game and added three QB pressures. One of his break-ups resulted in a Chris Harris interception that was returned to the Gator two yard line. Anderson was instrumental in helping the Tide defense keep the Florida Gators out of the end zone for the first time since 1992.
Croyle's 87-yard TD pass to Tyrone Prothro was nominated as the Pontiac Game Changing Performance on ESPN. The winner will be announced Thursday night at halftime of the NC State-Georgia Tech Game.
Croyle and Prothro both received helmet stickers from ESPN studio host Rece Davis on Saturday night's College Gameday Final.