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The Decatur Daily

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TUSCALOOSA — For the first time in three years, Alabama fell short of its recent lofty recruiting standards.

PASADENA, Calif. — The bowl of roses was a crimson paradise Thursday night.

Five weeks of waiting, talking and disposing of clutter ends tonight in the Rose Bowl.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., -- Rolando McClain's answer didn't require hearing the full question.

TUSCALOOSA -- On the first day in the last three without breaking Urban Meyer news, Alabama's Nick Saban addressed the health concerns facing college football coaches.

McCoy can do Young repeat

This year's Texas senior quarterback also can beat the Heisman winner's team for the national title.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The tired look on Colt McCoy's face answered the repetitive questions 11 days ago in New York.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Coming from the land of hooked horns, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy knows quite a bit about Texas, the Crimson Tide's opponent in the Jan. 7 BCS national championship game.

O-line a Tide asset

Despite three new starters, the blockers have done a job for Ingram and McElroy.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Once the subject of serious doubt and worried speculation, the rebuilt Alabama offensive line has a new reputation.

TUSCALOOSA -- Once the subject of serious doubt and worried speculation, the rebuilt Alabama offensive line has a new reputation.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- At 6-foot-5 and 6-4 and both in the 300-pound range, Lorenzo Washington and Brandon Deaderick aren't easily lost in a crowd.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama football program Mike Johnson entered as a freshman in 2006 hardly resembles the one he'll exit at season's end.

Barron leading SEC

The Alabama sophomore has emerged as a top safety with a league-high six interceptions.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- From a potential backup to one of the national interception leaders, Alabama's Mark Barron is putting together a nice sophomore season.

Tide wary of upset

Alabama mindful of Mississippi State history

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The pressure to clinch the SEC West now in the past, Alabama's battle with complacency begins tonight.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama running back Mark Ingram remains atop two of the top Heisman Trophy projections. His 144-yard game against LSU has him well in control of the polls of experts conducted by ESPN and HeismanPundit.com.

Saban defends officials

The Alabama coach says he wouldn't take the criticism that goes with the striped-shirt crews' pay.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Don't mess with the refs.

Tigers-Tide effects big

While the winner gone to the SEC title game in recent years, the loser has gone into a slide.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban can downplay its meaning and dismiss its relevance.

Saban 'Blind Sided'

The Alabama coach admits he had misgivings before agreeing to the movie cameo role.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban's big-screen debut that is just weeks away almost never happened.

TUSCALOOSA -- Greg McElroy got three years to learn the Alabama offense before taking over the starting quarterback job.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Although unbeaten, the Alabama offense just can't win.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Mike Slive didn't even try to hide the smile on his face.

TUSCALOOSA -- When the top-ranked Alabama defense is referenced, the line and linebackers typically steal the spotlight.

Thompson role downplayed now

Kiffin says any advantage of having the former Alabama assistant on his staff is "overrated."

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The issue isn't a new one.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Rank them first, second or 119th. The Alabama Crimson Tide football players apparently don't seem to care.

TUSCALOOSA -- When Nick Saban needed a hand with team motivation he picked up the phone.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban admits he was skeptical about safety Cory Reamer when the coach arrived at Alabama nearly three years ago.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Steve Spurrier a homecoming date?

Tide trio on Lombardi list

Rolando McClain, Terrence Cody and Eric Norwood are semifinalists for the award for the top college lineman.

TUSCALOOSA -- Semifinals for the Lombardi Award were announced Wednesday evening with half of the 12 coming from SEC schools including two from Alabama.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The attitude is fresh while some philosophy remains.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Avoiding complacency and retaining consistency is a favorite among Nick Saban's rotating talking points these days.

Half way through the Alabama regular season, this feels like an appropriate time to reflect on the first six wins of the late summer and early fall.

OXFORD, Miss. -- There were no bottles, batteries or any other projectiles in the cool Mississippi air.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The whisky bottles were whizzing toward the field, and Kareem Jackson wasn't sticking around to watch them land.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For three football seasons he carried the clipboard, wore a baseball cap and signaled in plays every Saturday.

Snead luster lessened

Saban, Arenas still wary of Ole Miss QB's ability

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The darling of the summer quickly faded as fall approached.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Typically soft-spoken and always respectful, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy reached a slow boil Monday afternoon.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Five games have meant five different routes to Alabama victories this season.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Alabama had just escaped the shadow of its own goal line when quarterback Greg McElroy looked to Colin Peek.

Tide wary of UK

Alabama players recall close game last year

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban's view on "trap games" differs little from Bobby Knight's take on game faces.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Perhaps no quarterback has perfected the audible like Peyton Manning.

TUSCALOOSA -- The Kentucky offense was chugging right along through two weeks of the young college football season.

TUSCALOOSA -- Sausages, steaks and jokes about the Heisman Trophy filled Greg McElroy's Sunday evening.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- He's 40 yards from the nearest friendly Alabama jersey, with a herd of tacklers headed his way.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Dealing with cut blocking is nothing new for defensive end Lorenzo Washington and the rest of the Alabama defense.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Greg McElroy finally reached a breaking point Friday night.

Bama gears up for Mallett

The nation's No. 3 defense faces the nation's leader in passing efficiency today.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino offered an idea of how good his quarterback could be at SEC Media Days in July.

Vacuum system aids Tide

Urbantke has technology on his side despite the abnormally high amount of recent rain.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A misty, spitting rain greeted Scott Urbantke when he arrived at work last Saturday.

Bama linebackers a special breed

Rolando McClain leads an outstanding group of linebackers at Alabama this season.

TUSCALOOSA -- That old itch returns to Barry Krauss' stomach every once in a while.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Even a casual look at Alabama's stat sheet reveals a vast departure from just a season ago.

Tide offensive players eager for Hogs

Arkansas is Alabama's first SEC opponent, and Georgia's output Saturday night was encouraging.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Mark Ingram could not fight it.

TUSCALOOSA -- Close your eyes and travel back in time for a few minutes.

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