Countdown to Kickoff
No. 1 Ranked Alabama Meets LSU in Baton Rouge



Nov. 3, 2008

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Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008 - 2:30 p.m. (CDT) - CBS
Tiger Stadium (92,619) - Baton Rouge, La.

TODAY'S GAME: The University of Alabama football team travels to Baton Rouge Saturday for a SEC West showdown with the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. The game is slated to kickoff at 2:30 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised nationally by CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson calling the action. The Tigers are 6-2 on the season and coming off of a 35-10 win over Tulane. The Tigers are 3-2 in SEC play, two games back of the Crimson Tide in the Western Division. A win will also clinch the SEC Western Division for Alabama for the first time since 1999.

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 107-48-1 (.689) record as a collegiate head coach, including an 16-6 (.727) mark at Alabama and a 9-0 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. 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 assumed the No. 1 spot in this week's Associated Press poll after the Crimson Tide knocked off Arkansas State and Texas lost at Texas Tech. The Tide also moved up to No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches poll and garnered the top spot in the Bowl Championship Series standings. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in this week's Associated Press football poll for the first time since the final AP poll of the 1992 season after the Crimson Tide knocked off Miami 34-13 in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. The last time the Crimson Tide was ranked atop the AP poll during the regular season was the ninth week (Oct. 26-Nov. 1) of the 1980 regular season. UA has a 19-5 (.792) all-time record as the nation's top-ranked team.

BCS RANKINGS: Alabama garnered the No. 1 position in the Bowl Championship Series standings for the first time in school history on Sunday, Nov. 2, when the third BCS rankings of the season were released. The Crimson Tide has a BCS average of .9747 with Texas Tech (.9372) ranked second and Penn State (.9286) ranked third. The Tide is No. 1 in the Harris Interactive poll, the USA Today Coaches poll and tied for first in computer rankings.

HARRIS INTERACTIVE POLL RANKING: Alabama moved to the top of the sixth Harris Interactive College Football Poll that was released on Sunday, Nov. 2. The Harris Interactive rankings consist of a panel of former coaches, players and administrators along with current and former members of the media. Alabama garnered 2,798 points for the top spot with Penn State (2,689) in second, Texas Tech (2,644) third, Florida (2,391) fourth and Oklahoma (2,366) fifth. The Crimson Tide received 79 first-place votes followed Penn State with 17 and Texas Tech with 16. Florida and Texas both received one each.

TIDE RANKED NO. 1: Alabama is ranked No. 1 in this week's Associated Press football poll for the first time since the final AP poll of the 1992 season after the Crimson Tide knocked off Miami 34-13 in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. The last time the Crimson Tide was ranked atop the AP poll during the regular season was the ninth week (Oct. 26-Nov. 1) of the 1980 regular season. The Tide has a 19-5 (.792) all-time record as the nation's top-ranked team. Alabama was ranked No. 1 for eight straight weeks during the 1980 season, with its last No. 1 ranking coming prior to 6-3 loss to Mississippi State at Mississippi Memorial Stadium in Jackson on Nov. 1, 1980. The loss to MSU ended Alabama's school and SEC record 28-game winning streak.

HISTORY OF NO. 1 RANKINGS: The LSU game will mark Alabama's 25th all-time game when sitting atop the Associated Press college football poll. The Crimson Tide's first regular-season No. 1 ranking came during the 1961 season after a 10-0 win over Georgia Tech at Birmingham's Legion Field. The Tide then defeated Auburn 34-0 on Dec. 2, 1961, before a 10-3 win over Arkansas in the 1962 Sugar Bowl to win the national championship. UA was ranked No. 1 three times during the 1962 regular season, posting a 2-1 record. The Tide suffered a 7-6 loss to Georgia Tech on Nov. 17, 1962, at Grant Field in Atlanta and would not be ranked No. 1 again until after the 1964 regular season. The No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide fell 21-17 to Texas in the 1965 Orange Bowl. Alabama was ranked No. 1 two times in 1973, beating Auburn 35-0 at Legion Field on Dec. 1 and then losing to Notre Dame 24-23 in the Sugar Bowl. The 1978 season marked the only time Alabama was the No.1 team in the preseason poll. The Tide opened the year with wins over Nebraska and Missouri before losing to Southern California at Legion Field to end its run at No. 1. Alabama won its final nine games in 1978, including a 14-7 win over Penn State in the Jan. 1, 1979, Sugar Bowl. Alabama ascended back into the No.1 spot in the AP poll after winning its first five games of the 1979 season. The Tide played six games as the No. 1 ranked team in 1979 before slipping to No. 2 after a 25-18 win over arch-rival Auburn to end the season. Alabama beat Arkansas 24-9 in the 1980 Sugar Bowl for the national title. After opening the 1980 season as the No. 2 ranked team, Alabama's 26-3 win over Georgia Tech at Legion Field vaulted the Tide to No. 1 where they remained for seven weeks until a loss to Mississippi State. Alabama has been ranked atop the Associated Press poll at the end of the season six times, including the final AP poll in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1978, 1979 and 1992.

TOP 10 TERROR: Alabama is one of just three teams in the country with two wins over top 10 teams during the 2008 season. The Crimson Tide opened the year with a 34-10 drubbing of No. 9 Clemson in the Georgia Dome before dismantling No. 3 Georgia 41-30 in Athens on Sept. 27. It marks the first time since 1999 that Alabama has beaten two top 10 teams in the same season. The Tide beat No. 3 Florida 40-39 in overtime in Gainesville on Oct. 2 before again beating the No. 5 Gators 34-7 in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Dec. 4. Texas owns wins over then-No. 1 Oklahoma and then-No. 6 Oklahoma State and Florida owns wins over then-No 4 LSU and then-No. 8 Georgia.

ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY: The popular college football pregame show, "College Gameday" will be at the Alabama-LSU game this Saturday in Baton Rouge. It will mark Alabama's third appearance on the show this season. The Tide's 2008 season opener against Clemson also hosted GameDay on Aug. 30 from Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta and they showed up for the Tide's 41-30 win at Georgia. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard will be in Baton Rouge to preview a showdown of perennial SEC powers. Alabama is making its 13th overall appearance on ESPN College Gameday and its fourth in the Nick Saban era. The Tide is 5-7 in games featured on Gameday. Alabama made its College Gameday debut with a 21-14 win over Auburn during the 1994 season at Legion Field. Alabama has been on ESPN College Gameday for eight home games, including five Tuscaloosa games and three Birmingham games. The Crimson Tide has also appeared on ESPN College Gameday three times on the road at Auburn in 1995, at LSU in 1996 and at Georgia in 2008.

LSU SERIES: Alabama leads the all-time series with LSU 43-23-5, but the Tigers have reeled off five straight wins in the series, including a come-from-behind 41-34 win last season in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide's last win in the series was a 31-0 victory in Baton Rouge on Nov. 16, 2002. The series dates back to a 12-6 LSU win in 1895. The Crimson Tide own a 24-8-2 edge in games played in Baton Rouge.

NEXT GAME: Alabama returns home to begin a two-game SEC Western Division home stand that will close out the 2008 regular season. The Crimson Tide will host Mississippi State on Nov. 15 before taking a week off and welcoming Auburn on Nov. 29. The kick off time will be announced next week.