Nov. 9, 2009
GAME 10: ALABAMA (9-0, 6-0 SEC)
VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE (4-5, 2-3 SEC)
SATURDAY, NOV. 14 6 P.M. ESPN
DAVIS WADE STADIUM (55,082) STARKVILLE, MISS.
Alabama Football Game Notes (The Mississippi State Game)
THE GAME: The No. 3 University of Alabama football team travels 83 miles up highway 82 Saturday, November 14, for a Southeastern Conference showdown with Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs. It will be the 94th meeting between the two schools, but only the 19th meeting in Starkville. The game is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews calling the action. Eli Gold, Phil Savage and Barry Krauss will have the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
HEAD COACH Nick Saban: Alabama head coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) is in his third season with the Crimson Tide. He was named the school's 27th head coach on January 3, 2007. Saban has compiled a 119-50-1 (.703) record as a collegiate head coach with a 28-8 (.778) mark at Alabama that includes an 9-0 record this year with a 6-0 mark in the SEC. He captured his 100th career win and coached his 150th game as a collegiate head coach during the 2008 campaign. In 2003, Saban led LSU to a 13-1 record and the BCS National Championship. 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 with Alabama already bowl eligible this season. Saban is one of two (Bob Stoops) current Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to coach for at least 10 years and not suffer a losing season.
RANKINGS: The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 3 in both polls this week following a 24-15 win over No. 9 LSU. Alabama has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the AP poll and No. 2 in the coaches' poll this season. UA garnered 11 first-place votes in the AP poll and seven in the coaches' poll this week. Alabama was ranked fifth in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' preseason polls. It was the highest preseason ranking for the Tide since the 2000 season when Alabama opened at No. 3.
ALABAMA SECOND NATIONALLY IN WINS OVER LAST TWO YEARS: Alabama has won 21 games over the past two seasons, which is tied for the second most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Crimson Tide won 12 games a season ago and has followed that with a perfect 9-0 record in 2009. Florida leads the nation with 22 wins over the past two years, while Boise State, Texas and Utah join Alabama with 21 victories. It is the first time since the 1991 (11 wins) and 1992 (13 wins) seasons that the Crimson Tide has won at least a combined 21 games in back-to-back seasons.
TOTAL WINS (2008-2009)
Team Total Wins 2008/2009
Florida 22 13/9
Alabama 21 12/9
Boise State 21 12/9
Texas 21 12/9
Utah 21 12/9
Cincinnati 20 11/9
TCU 20 11/9
Penn State 19 11/8
Southern Cal 19 12/7
BEATING THE BEST: Alabama is 7-2 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Crimson Tide's 24-15 win over No. 9 LSU last week was the Tide's fourth win over a top-10 team dating back to the start of the 2008 season. Alabama is 4-0 against the AP Top 25 in the 2009 season.
Alabama vs. Top 25 Opponents (since the start of the 2008 season)
Aug. 30, 2008 vs. No. 9 Clemson, W 34-10
Sept. 27, 2008 at No. 3, W, 41-30
Nov. 8, 2008 at No. 15, W 27-21 (OT)
Dec. 6, 2008 vs. No. 2 Florida, L 31-20
Jan. 2, 2009 vs. No. 7 Utah, L 31-17
Sept. 5, 2009 vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech, W 34-24
Oct. 10, 2009 at No. 20 Mississippi, 22-3
Oct. 17, 2009 No. 22 South Carolina, 20-6
Nov. 6, 2009 No. 9 LSU, W 24-15
17 NATIONAL TV GAMES IN LAST TWO YEARS: The Mississippi State game, which will be broadcast on ESPN, is the Crimson Tide's 17th national television game since the start of the 2008 season. UA opened the season with a national ABC broadcast against Virginia Tech and then CBS broadcast the Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee games. ESPN broadcast the Tide's win over South Carolina in Bryant-Denny Stadium and this week's game vs. MSU. In 2008, Alabama had 10 of its 14 games broadcast nationally, including five games on CBS, three games on ESPN, one on ABC and one on FOX. The 10 nationally broadcast games last year were tied with Notre Dame for the most in the nation.
ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES: Alabama holds a 72-18-3 lead over Mississippi State in a series that dates back to the 1896 season. The Mississippi State series is tied for the second-longest continuously played series in the Alabama record book, dating back to the 1948 season. The two border rivals will be meeting for the 94th time this weekend in Starkville. Alabama has played more games (93) and has more wins (72) against Mississippi State than any other opponent on record. The Tide and Bulldogs first met in 1896 with the Crimson Tide posting a 20-0 win in Tuscaloosa. Mississippi State posted its first win with an 11-0 victory in Columbus, Miss., during the 1903 season. The Crimson Tide's 21-10 win in 1975 was the school's 750th all-time football game. From 1958-79, Alabama posted a 22-game winning streak in the series. The 22-game winning streak is the longest in series history. State ended that streak by upsetting No. 1 ranked Alabama, 6-3, on Nov. 1, 1980, at Mississippi Memorial Stadium in Jackson. That 6-3 win also snapped Alabama's school and SEC-record 28-game winning streak. The Tide won the next 15 games in the series from 1981-95 before MSU ended the streak with a 17-16 win on Nov. 16, 1996, at Scott Field. The one-point win was State's first on-campus win over the Tide and first in the state of Mississippi since 1980. Mississippi State followed up that victory with wins in 1997 and 1998, giving the Bulldogs three straight wins over Alabama. The three-game winning streak from 1996-98 equaled the longest in series history by the Bulldogs. State also won three straight games from 1912-14. Alabama ended a two-game series losing streak with a 32-7 win on Nov. 15, 2008, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Prior to last year, Mississippi State had won the last two meetings, including a 24-16 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2006. The Bulldogs posted a 17-12 win in 2007 in Starkville.
SABAN VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE: Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 6-1 in his career against Mississippi State, with his only loss coming in his last visit to Starkville during the 2007 season. Saban is 1-1 against the Bulldogs in his first two years at Alabama, winning 32-7 on Nov. 15, 2008, and losing 17-12 in Starkville in 2007. Saban was 5-0 against Mississippi State while serving as head coach at LSU from 2000-04. The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs, 214-57, in those five games.
MSU IS MOST REGULARLY-PLAYED FOE: Alabama has played more games against Mississippi State than any other opponent. The two border rivals will be meeting for the 94th time on the gridiron this Saturday. Mississippi State (93), Tennessee (92) and Vanderbilt (81) are the only three opponents the Crimson Tide has played at least 80 times. In addition, the Mississippi State game is the seventh oldest series in the UA record books as the two teams first met in 1896. The Mississippi State and Auburn series' are tied for the second-longest running series in the UA record books, both starting in 1948. Alabama will play at Auburn on Nov. 27, 2009. The Tennessee game is the longest current running series in the UA record books. Tennessee and Alabama met for the 79th consecutive year (neither team fielded a squad in 1943) earlier this season in Tuscaloosa.
MOST GAMES VS. ALL OPPONENTS
Opponent Games (1st Meeting)
Mississippi State 93 (1896)
Tennessee 92 (1901)
Vanderbilt 81 (1903)
LSU 71 (1895)
Auburn 69 (1892)
NEXT GAME: The Crimson Tide returns home to face Tennessee-Chattanooga in their final non-conference game of the 2009 season on Saturday, Nov. 21. The game will be televised by the SEC Network and kickoff is set for 11:21 a.m. (CT). Alabama has won all 10 games in the series against the Mocs, including a 7-0 record in Tuscaloosa and a 3-0 mark in Birmingham. The last meeting between the two schools was a 42-13 Crimson Tide win in 1994 at Legion Field in Birmingham. It is the first time in 50 years that Chattanooga will travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium, after falling to the Tide 13-0 in 1959.