Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Meets Tennessee for 91st Time



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Saturday, Octotber 25, 2008 – Neyland Stadium – Knoxville, Tenn. – ESPN (6:45 p.m.)

TODAY’S GAME: The University of Alabama football team ventures into the SEC East for a showdown with Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 25. The game is slated to kickoff at 6:45 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised nationally on ESPN with Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe calling the action. The Volunteers are coming off of 34-3 league win over Mississippi State on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.

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 105-48-1 (.685) record as a collegiate head coach, including an 14-6 (.700) mark at Alabama and a 7-0 record in 2008. He captured his 100th career victory in week two against Tulane and coached his 150th game as a collegiate head coach in week three 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 and his 2008 team is qualified for a bowl this season. Saban is the only current Football Bowl Subdivision coach to coach for at least 10 years and have never suffered a losing season. For more information on Coach Saban, please see pages 12-13 of this notes package.

RANKINGS: Alabama remained second in this week’s Associated Press poll with Texas staying atop the rankings with a win over Missouri. The Crimson Tide also held steady in the USA Today Coaches poll at No. 2, behind the Longhorns with Penn State third, Southern California fourth and Oklahoma jumping Texas Tech for fifth. UA is also second in the first BCS standings of the 2008 season released on Sunday, Oct. 19. The No. 2 ranking is the highest for Alabama since the Tide opened the 1993 season at No. 2 and remained there through the first eight polls of the season. The Tide posted a 17-17 tie with Tennessee in Birmingham on Oct. 16, 1993, and fell to No. 4. Since that time the Crimson Tide has reached as high as No. 3 in the AP poll on three occasions: prior to the 1994 Florida game, to start the 2000 season and prior to the Tide’s 2005 game against LSU. They lost all three of those games and slipped in the rankings.

TENNESSEE SERIES: One of college football’s most colorful series celebrates its 91st renewal this Saturday as the Alabama Crimson Tide meets the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. The Crimson Tide leads the series with the Vols 45-38-7 after a commanding 41-17 win over UT in Tuscaloosa last season. The Tide is in search of its first back-to-back wins in the series since the 1991-92 campaigns. The Tide has not won in Knoxville since a 34-13 victory during the 2002 season. Alabama is 19-18-1 in Knoxville.

INITIAL BCS RANKINGS RELEASED: Alabama is ranked second in the initial Bowl Championship Series standings released on Sunday, Oct. 19. The Crimson Tide is the consensus No. 2 team behind No. 1 Texas. The Tide is ranked No. 2 in the Harris Interactive poll, the USA Today Coaches poll and is second in all six computer rankings. Texas is a consensus No. 1 with a 0.9979 BCS average, with Alabama just .0492 behind in second with a 0.9487 average. Penn State is third with a .8666 BCS average (seventh in computer polls) while Oklahoma is fourth (0.8319) and Southern California is fifth (0.7751).

SABAN REACHES 7-0 FOR FIRST TIME: Nick Saban moved to 7-0 for the first time in his head coaching career with last week’s win over Mississippi. Saban has fielded two teams that reached 6-0 and two teams that reached 5-0.  His 1990 team at Toledo posted wins in the first six games before falling at Central Michigan 13-12 and then his 1999 team at Michigan State went 6-0 before a 19-17 loss at Northwestern. Saban’s 1997 Michigan State and 2003 LSU squads started the year at 5-0.

Year    Start   Team
2008    7-0    Alabama
1999    6-0    Michigan State
1990    6-0    Toledo
2003    5-0    LSU
1997    5-0    Michigan State

NEXT GAME: Alabama returns to the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium for a homecoming game against Arkansas State on Nov. 1. It is the second meeting between the two teams with the Crimson Tide posting a 34-7 in Birmingham in 1982.