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Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

As was to be expected with a first-year college coach making his debut with a new team, and a team officially opening its season with a mix of veterans and newcomers,  the University of Alabama men's basketball team was far from perfect in its first game under the direction of new coach Avery Johnson.

There were flashes of brilliance lumped in with occasional lapses and glitches, and a period of real adversity in the second half as Al Skinner's visiting Owls made a significant run at the host Crimson Tide.

Courtesy of DCM Fan Zone

By Erik Stinnett

Guess the committee wasn't so crazy after all. 

From Tuesday night through Saturday afternoon last week, the complaining, hand-wringing, chastising and head-shaking came out in force. All from the national media. The supposed experts on the game were incredulous as to why the College Football Playoffs selection committee placed Alabama at No. 4 in the rankings, ahead of a handful of unbeatens and a couple of one-loss teams -- Notre Dame and Florida -- that, despite those defeats, were highly esteemed by the national media.
 
Um, one week later, nobody is screaming at the committee anymore.

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: November 8, 2015

Although Saturday's much-hyped Southeastern Conference showdown between No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Alabama was competitive for a half in terms of the scoreboard, there was never any doubt about which team was the dominating force for this evening.

The Crimson Tide used a methodical offensive attack led by junior tailback Derrick Henry to dominate time of possession, pile up yardage and eventually break the game open against a weary Tiger defense. Alabama also rode a smothering defensive effort that held the Tigers' talented sophomore tailback Leonard Fournette to 31 yards while generally stifling the LSU offensive effort overall.

The result was a convincing 30-16 win for the Crimson Tide in front of a capacity crowd of 101,821 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The win, Alabama's sixth in a row since a home loss to Ole Miss, and fifth in a row over LSU, improved the Crimson Tide to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in SEC play. LSU, with its first defeat of the season, fell to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.

Most importantly, the big win allowed the Crimson Tide to regain control of its destiny in the SEC West thanks to the 53-52 victory by Arkansas at Ole Miss Saturday.

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin

Although the No. 7 University of Alabama football team was off this past week in terms of an actual game, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the week was a productive one, nevertheless, for his team.

"We have been working on a lot of things, and a lot of repetitions for a lot of players, to improve," he said Monday. "But now it's time to sort of refocus on the task at hand. The players had a few days off, and I think the goal is is for us to play our best football of the year. To do that, each individual on the team needs to play their best, and that obviously starts with preparation, and we're going to start our preparation (for Saturday's game against No. 4 LSU) today."

Saban noted the magnitude of the Alabama/LSU rivalry, and how it has grown during the past several years. It will no doubt be a formidable challenge for his Crimson Tide squad once again when Les Miles' Tigers (7-0 overall and 4-0 in SEC play) comes to Tuscaloosa Saturday to battle his Alabama team (7-1, 4-1).

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: October 24, 2015

Nick Saban's No. 8 University of Alabama football team struggled offensively and defensively throughout the course of Saturday's contest against rival Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and it appeared late in the contest that a physically-spent Crimson Tide team was in dire jeopardy of having its Southeastern Conference and national title hopes squashed by Butch Jones' Volunteer team.

But in a game mainly defined by the sluggishness of the Tide and the stubborn resolve of the visitors from Knoxville, a resilient and gritty Alabama team used big plays by Jake Coker, Derrick Henry, ArDarius Stewart, Ryan Anderson and A'Shawn Robinson among others in the last five minutes or so to avoid the huge home upset, while also keeping its win streak alive against the Volunteers.

(Courtesy of DCMFanZone)

By Erik Stinnett

If ever a team needed to be on upset alert, this weekend is most certainly it for Alabama.

Since self-imploding against Ole Miss on Sept. 19, the Crimson Tide have been rolling. And picking up steam fast. Alabama has gone 4-0 the past four weeks with its most impressive, dominating victories coming on the road against undefeated, top 10 competition.
 
Alabama upset (yes, it did classify as an upset) Georgia, 38-10, on Oct. 3. Two weeks later it went back on the road and walloped Texas A&M, 41-23. The other two wins in the last month were home wins over not-as-imposing competition -- 34-0 over Louisiana-Monroe and 27-14 over Arkansas.

(Courtesy of Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: October 23, 2015

A few years back there was a bit of scuttlebutt regarding the Alabama-Tennessee game, and whether it should be played every year in the SEC rotational system, as some outsiders felt that perhaps the Crimson Tide had an advantage by getting to play a downtrodden Vols program every year instead of, say, a Georgia or Florida, or even South Carolina.

Fortunately the powers that be in the conference used good judgment and opted to continue the yearly battle between Alabama and Tennessee, realizing how big of a rivalry the game still is for many, while also realizing that it's not exactly the Crimson Tide's fault that the Tennessee program had fallen into hard times over the past few years.

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Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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