No. 17 Alabama Begins Preparations for No. 3 LSU One of the most anticipated matchups of the 2007 college football season has finally arrived as the 17th-ranked University of Alabama football team hosts third-ranked LSU this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Alabama and LSU a
GAME 9: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (6-2) vs. LSU TIGERS (7-1) Nov. 3, 2007 -- Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138) -- Tuscaloosa, Ala. 4 p.m. ?? CBS
ALABAMA QUICK NOTES:
Alabama is 8-2 in its last 10 games following an open date, including a seven-game winning streak ... Coach Nick Saban is 8-8 (.500) in his career after an open date, including a 6-3 (.667) mark at LSU ... Saban’s team’s are 12-4-1 (.735) in games in which the opponent is coming off an open date ... Alabama averaged 7.26 yards per play on first down against Ole Miss and Tennessee ... The Crimson Tide ha scored on 13 of its last 23 offensive drives ... Alabama had 17 scoring drives of two minutes or less this season ... DJ Hall needs two touchdowns to tie the all-time mark of 18 held by Dennis Homan (1965-67) ... Alabama has scored on its opening possession six times this season, including four touchdowns and two field goals ... Alabama is 6-0 when scoring first this season ... John Parker Wilson is third all-time with 13 career 200-yard passing games ... The school record is 14 held by Brodie Croyle (2002-05) and Andrew Zow (1998-2001) ... Terry Grant has set freshman records for rushing attempts, rushing yards and touchdowns ... Alabama is 10-4-2 all-time on Nov. 3rd
SEC LEADERS MEET IN TUSCALOOSA
One of the most anticipated matchups of the 2007 college football season has finally arrived as the 17th-ranked University of Alabama football team hosts third-ranked LSU this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Alabama and LSU are tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division standings with identical 4-1 league records. The winner of this game controls its own destiny to the 2007 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Dec. 1. The game also features Alabama head coach Nick Saban against one of his former teams. Saban was LSU’s head coach from 2000-04 and led the Tigers to a 48-16 (.750) record and the 2003 BCS National Championship. The Alabama-LSU game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter). The 62-station Crimson Tide Sports Network will also air the game on radio, beginning three hours prior to kickoff, with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (analyst) and Barry Krauss (sideline reporter). Alabama broadcasts are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 125). Alabama (6-2, 4-1 SEC) brings a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game with LSU. The Crimson Tide is coming off its only open date of the 2007 season and has not played since a 41-17 win over Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 20. Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson completed 32-of-46 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns as the UA offense rolled up 510 yards in the victory. Senior wide receiver DJ Hall caught a school record 13 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. Freshman defensive back Kareem Jackson was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after turning in his best game of the season, with six tackles, two interceptions, two pass breakups and one tackle for loss. LSU (7-1, 4-1 SEC) is coming off a a last-second win over Auburn at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on Oct. 20. Matt Flynn’s 22-yard pass to Demetrius Byrd with one second left in the game gave LSU the 30-24 win.
THE HEAD COACHES
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) was named the school’s 27th head coach on Jan. 3, 2007. Saban has compiled a 96-44-1 (.684) record as a college head coach. He led LSU to a 13-1 record and the BCS National Championship in 2003. He was 48-16 (.750) in his five years at LSU, including two SEC championships. Overall, Saban has coached three conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, 2001 SEC and 2003 SEC) and eight of his 11 teams have played in post-season bowl games. Saban also has a wealth of coaching experience in the National Football League, serving as secondary coach (Houston, 1988-89), defensive coordinator (Cleveland, 1991-94) and head coach (Miami, 2005-06). Saban is 0-1 in his career against LSU, losing 45-26 at the 1995 Independence Bowl while at Michigan State. LSU head coach Les Miles (Michigan, 1976) is 57-26 (.688) in his seventh season as a collegiate head coach. Miles is an impressive 29-5 (.853) in his first three years at LSU, including back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2005 and 2006. Prior to LSU, Miles spent four years at Oklahoma State where he compiled a 28-21 (.571) record. From 1980-2000, Miles served as an assistant coach at Michigan (1980-81; 1987-94), Colorado (1982-86), Oklahoma State (1995-97) and with the Dallas Cowboys (1998-2000). He is 2-0 in his career against Alabama.
ALABAMA BACK IN THE RANKINGS
For the first time since the 2005 season, Alabama is ranked in all four major football polls this week, including its 2007 debut in the BCS standings.
Alabama’s 41-17 win over Tennessee on Oct. 20 not only extended the team’s winning streak to three games, but catapulted the Crimson Tide back into the Top 25.
The Tide is ranked 17th in the latest AP poll and 18th by USA Today Coaches poll. The Tide is also 17th in the Harris Poll and BCS Standings.
This marks the third time this season Alabama has been ranked with the highest ranking coming after its win over Arkansas on Sept. 15., when the Tide debuted at 16th (AP) and 20th (Coaches) after a 3-0 start.
The Sept. 16 ranking marked the first time since the end of the 2005 season that Alabama had been ranked in both polls.
The Crimson Tide closed out the 2005 season with a 10-2 record and was ranked eighth in both polls following its 13-10 Cotton Bowl win over Texas Tech.
Alabama opened the 2006 season with a 3-0 record and made its only appearance in the ESPN/Coaches poll on Sept. 16, 2006.
Following a 24-23 double-overtime loss to Arkansas on Sept. 23, the Crimson Tide dropped from the rankings for the remainder of the season.
Alabama has compiled a 355-125-10 (.734) all-time record when ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
The Crimson Tide is 13-7 (.600) in its last 20 games when ranked in the AP Top-25.
Alabama’s initial appearance in the AP poll came during the poll’s inaugural year in 1936 when the 14th-ranked Crimson Tide beat No. 10 Tulane 34-7 in Legion Field.
Alabama compiled a 12-15-2 (.448) record when ranked in the AP poll from 1936-60.
Things changed in 1961 as coach Paul “Bear” Bryant began his dominance in college football.
Alabama was ranked in the AP poll for 47 consecutive weeks from Nov. 20, 1960 through Sept. 19, 1965.
After a six-week hiatus in 1965, following a 5-1-1 start, Alabama re-entered the poll on Nov. 7, 1965 after a 31-7 win at LSU.
The Crimson Tide was ranked another 20 consecutive weeks from 1965-67, ending the run with a 24-13 loss to Tennessee at Legion Field on Oct. 21, 1967.
The 1970s are easily the heyday of Alabama football. From 1970-79, Alabama won 103 games to become the first college football team to win 100 games in a decade.
From 1971-82, Alabama was ranked in the AP poll 141 of a possible 142 weeks. The Crimson Tide had a one-week absence following a 21-0 loss at Georgia on Oct. 2, 1976.
After a win over Southern Miss the following week, the Crimson Tide was back in the rankings until the 1982 season.
Ironically, the Tide fell out of the AP poll for the first time since 1976 with a 38-29 loss to Southern Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 13, 1983.
Since the 1983 season, Alabama has compiled a 130-49-2 (.724) record when ranked in the AP Top 25.
Former Alabama coach Gene Stallings’ teams (1990-96) were 62-13-1 (.822) and were ranked for 71 consecutive weeks from 1991 through the end of his seven-year tenure in 1996.
Since 1997, Alabama has only been ranked in the AP poll 41 times and has compiled a 26-15
Alabama has four opponents ranked in the latest AP Top 25, including LSU (3), Georgia (10), Auburn (19) and Tennessee (24).
Two other teams - Arkansas and Florida State - have also been ranked at some point and time during the 2007 season.
The combined record of those six teams is 34-14 (.708) heading into Saturday’s game.
There are six opponents on Alabama’s schedule this year who won nine or more games last season. Houston (10-4), Arkansas (10-4), Georgia (9-4), Tennessee (9-4), LSU (11-2) and Auburn (11-2) each had nine or more wins in 2006.
ALABAMA EQUALS 2006 WIN TOTAL ...
Following its 41-17 win over Tennessee on Oct. 20 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Crimson Tide improved to 6-2 on the season and equalled its win total from the 2006 season.
The Crimson Tide went 6-7 last season, including a 34-31 loss to Oklahoma State in the PetroSun Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
... AND DOUBLES 2006 SEC WIN TOTAL
The win over Tennessee also improved Alabama to 4-1 in SEC play, doubling last year’s conference win total.
The Crimson Tide posted a 2-6 mark in SEC play last season and ended the year with a four-game conference losing streak.
The four straight losses were to Tennessee, Mississippi State, LSU and Auburn.
The 2007 season marks the ninth time in school history that Alabama has doubled its SEC win total from the previous season.
SABAN MAKING HIS MARK
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has not always inherited the best of situations when he has taken over as head coach at a new school.
In the season prior to his arrival those five teams combined for a 24-38 (.387) record. He inherited teams with losing records at Michigan State (1995), LSU (2000) and Alabama (2007).
In his first year on the job, Saban’s teams have gone 38-20-1 (.653), which includes his 6-2 mark with the Tide this season.
Saban’s largest increase in terms of wins came with the Miami Dolphins in 2005, when he inherited a 4-12 team and led them to a 9-7 league record.
The five-game improvement was the best in the NFL for the 2005 season.
Saban also had a five-game improvement at LSU, leading the Tigers to a 9-4 record his first season in 2000.
He saw a three-game improvement in his head coaching stint at Toldeo in 1990, leading the Rockets to a 9-2 mark as a rookie coach.
SABAN AFTER OPEN DATES
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 12-4-1 (.735) in his career against teams coming off an open date, including a 1-1 mark this season with the Tide.
Saban was 5-1-1 (.786) at Michigan State against teams coming off an open date.
He was 6-2 (.750) at LSU against teams coming off an open date.
In 2001, his LSU teams played three teams that had open dates before their game with the Tigers. Saban was 2-1 in those games.
He is 1-1 this season at Alabama against teams coming off an open date, including a 41-38 win over Arkansas (Sept. 15) and a 21-14 loss to Florida State (Sept. 29).
SABAN AFTER OPEN DATES, Part II
Coach Saban’s teams are 8-8 (.500) following an open date during his head coaching career.
Saban posted a 6-3 (.667) following an open date at LSU, which included three wins over Alabama in 2000, 2003 and 2004.
FIRST DOWN DEMONS
Alabama has been very efficient on first down in its last two games, averaging 7.26 yards per first down play in wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Against Ole Miss, Alabama ran 37 first down plays and amassed 244 yards, an average of 6.59 yards per play.
The Tide was even better last week against Tennessee, running 36 first down plays for 286 yards, an average of 7.9 yards per play.
Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson is 26 of 36 (.722) for 325 yards on first down in the last two games.
He was an identical 13 of 18 passing on first down against the Rebels and Vols. He threw for 155 yards with one interception against Ole Miss and passed for 170 yards against Tennessee.
At one point against Ole Miss, Wilson completed seven consecutive (87 yards) first down pass attempts.
Senior wide receiver DJ Hall has 14 catches for 217 yards during the last two games on first down. Hall had seven catches in each game against Ole Miss (105 yards) and Tennessee (112) on first down.
Redshirt freshman Terry Grant has 19 carries for 116 yards (6.1 per attempt) on first down in the last two games.
Grant had eight rushing attempts for 42 yards on first down against Ole Miss and added 11 carries for 74 yards against Tennessee.
He averaged 6.7 yards per first down rushing attempt against the Vols.
Alabama has compiled a 250-121-14 (.667) all-time record in 385 all-time November games.
The Crimson Tide is 2-8 (.200) in its last 10 November games, including a five-game losing streak.
Alabama has not won in November since a 17-0 win at Mississippi State on Nov. 3, 2005.
The Crimson Tide lost all three November games last season, including losses to Mississippi State, LSU and Auburn.
Alabama is 46-30-1 (.604) in the month of November since the 1983 season.
The first football game in Alabama history was played in the month of November. The Crimson Tide defeated Birmingham High School 56-0 on Nov. 11, 1892.
One of the greatest wins in school history took place on Nov. 4, 1922 when the Crimson Tide posted a landmark win for Southern football with a 9-7 upset win over Penn at Franklyn Field in Philadelphia.
On Nov. 23, 1946, Alabama suffered a 13-7 loss to Boston College at Braves Field in Boston. The game also marked the first time UA traveled to by airplane to a football game.
Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant became the winningest coach in college football history with a 28-17 win over Auburn on Nov. 28, 1981. He tied Amos Alonzo Stagg’s mark with his 314th all-time win at Penn State on Nov. 14, 1981.
Redshirt freshman running back Shaun Alexander ran for an Alabama record 291 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 26-0 win at LSU on Nov. 9, 1996.
ON THIS DATE
Alabama is 10-4-2 (.611) in games played on Nov. 3.
The Crimson Tide has not played on this date since suffering a 35-21 loss to Nick Saban’s LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the 2001 season.
In that game, LSU receiver Josh Reed set SEC and LSU records with 19 catches for 293 yards and one touchdown in the win.
The Crimson Tide’s first game on this date took place in 1894 in New Orleans. Alabama beat Tulane 18-0 in that game.
The most common opponent on Nov. 3 is the Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide owns 6-0 record against the Bulldogs on this date.
All-Time Games on November 3rd
Alabama 18, Tulane 0
Tulane 3, Alabama 0
Alabama 16, Miss. State 4
Alabama 3, Sewanee 3
Alabama 0, Georgia Tech 0
Wisconsin 15, Alabama 0
Alabama 34, Kentucky 14
Alabama 60, Kentucky 19
Alabama 16, Georgia 14
Georgia 16, Alabama 13
Alabama 20, Miss. State 0
Alabama 35, Miss. State 0
Alabama 24, Miss. State 7
Alabama 24, Miss. State 20
Alabama 22, Miss. State 0
LSU 35, Alabama 21
SABAN IN NOVEMBER
Alabama coach Nick Saban is 26-11 (.701) in his career in the month of November.
Saban was 14-3 (.824) during the month of November while the head coach at LSU from 2000-04.
He also enters the 2007 season riding a seven-game winning streak in the month of November.
SABAN ON THIS DATE
Coach Saban is 2-0 in his career in games played on Nov. 3.
He was 1-0 on this date at Toldeo, leading the Rockets to a 37-9 win at Western Michigan in 1990.
Saban was also 1-0 at LSU on this date, beating Alabama 35-21 during the 2001 season in Tuscaloosa.
LSU wide receiver Josh Reed set LSU and records in that win with 19 catches for 293 yards and one
Alabama returns to action next Saturday, No. 10, with a road game at Mississippi State in Starkville. The kickoff time has not been announced at this time.