Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Hosts Arkansas State for Homecoming



Oct. 27, 2008

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 - 2 p.m. (CDT) - PPV (ESPN Game Plan)
Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138) - Tuscaloosa, Ala.


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TODAY'S GAME: The University of Alabama football steps out of Southeastern Conference play to face the Arkansas State Red Wolves for Homecoming at the Capstone on Saturday, Nov. 1. The game is slated to kickoff at 2 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised on a pay-per-view basis with Chris Stewart, Tyler Watts and Barry Krauss calling the action. The Red Wolves, coming off of a bye week, are 4-3 on the season with wins over Texas A&M, Texas Southern, Middle Tennessee 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 106-48-1 (.687) record as a collegiate head coach, including an 15-6 (.714) mark at Alabama and a 8-0 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 Oklahoma State. The Crimson Tide also held steady in the USA Today Coaches poll at No. 2, behind the Longhorns with Penn State third, Oklahoma fourth and Texas Tech fifth. UA is also second in the second BCS standings of the 2008 season released on Sunday, Oct. 26. 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.

TIDE RANKED NO. 2: Alabama has been ranked No. 2 in the last five Associated Press polls, its highest ranking since the 1993 season. The last time Alabama was ranked No. 2 in the AP poll was the Oct. 10, 1993, poll prior to a 17-17 tie with Tennessee on Oct. 16, 1993, at Legion Field. The Crimson Tide was ranked No. 2 in the AP poll for the first eight polls of the 1993 season. The Arkansas State game will be the Tide's 57th game when ranked No. 2 in the AP poll. Alabama is 47-7-2 when ranked No. 2 in the AP poll, including an 13-game unbeaten streak. Prior to the Kentucky game, the last time Alabama was ranked in the Top 5 came on Nov. 6, 2005, when the Crimson Tide was ranked third in the AP poll before losing to No. 5 LSU 16-13 in overtime at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game vs. Kentucky marked the highest-ranked Alabama team to play in Bryant-Denny Stadium since a 43-3 win over Arkansas on Sept. 18, 1993.

NEW BCS RANKINGS OUT: Alabama is ranked second in the second Bowl Championship Series standings released on Sunday, Oct. 26. The Crimson Tide is the No. 2 team behind top-ranked Texas. The Tide is ranked No. 2 in the Harris Interactive poll, the USA Today Coaches poll and is second in five-of-six computer rankings. Texas is a consensus No. 1 with a 0.9981 BCS average, with Alabama just .0492 behind in second with a 0.9499 average. Penn State closed the gap in third with a .9257 BCS average while Oklahoma is fourth (0.8270) and Southern California is fifth (0.7822).

ARKANSAS STATE: Alabama leads the all-time series with the Arkansas State 1-0. The Crimson Tide posted a 34-7 win in 1982 at Legion Field in Birmingham.

ON A ROLL: Alabama has reeled off nine consecutive wins dating back to last year's win over Colorado in the Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide's winning streak is the second-longest in the nation behind nine-game streaks by Penn State and Texas Tech. Tulsa, Texas and Utah join the Crimson Tide with nine straight wins. The nine-game winning streak is the longest since the Tide also reeled off nine in a row to start the 2005 season. Next on the list is a 12-game winning streak that began at the 1993 Gator Bowl and continued through a loss to Florida in the 1994 SEC Championship Game.

Current winning streaks: Penn State (10), Texas Tech (10), ALABAMA (9), Utah (9), Tulsa (9), Ball State (8) and Boise State (7).

NEXT GAME: Alabama returns to SEC play with a Western Division showdown with No. 15 LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on Nov. 8. The Crimson Tide lead the series 43-23-5, but the Tigers have won five straight.