Alabama Football: Practice Notebook, Oct. 30


Jan 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart during the BCS National Championship game against the LSU Tigers at the Louisiana Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

Alabama football has deep, deep ties with LSU. Of course, Alabama head coach Nick Saban had a stint as LSU’s head coach, not to mention defensive coordinator Kirby Smart playing against, and beating, LSU in Death Valley as a senior defensive back for the Georgia Bulldogs in 1998.

Wide receiver Kenny Bell, who came to the Capstone from the state of Louisiana, also has deep ties to the Tiger football program. Not only did his homestate school recruit him, he visited Death Valley as a recruit when the Crimson Tide was making a visit.

“I feel like it’s going to be crazy,” Bell said. “It’s going to be my first time playing a night game in Death Valley, you know. But, actually playing in it instead of being recruited there and going to see it. I’m really just going to block it all out and just go out there and do my best and do what I have to do to help my team win.”

Meet Mike

Death Valley may be the loudest stadium in the country. The head coach that occupies it, Les Miles, has labeled it as, “the place where opponents dreams go to die.”

It’s all subjective opinion. What is certain, Death Valley is the only stadium in college football that features a live and in-the-flesh Bengal tiger staring down the road team.

Mike the Tiger will be positioned just outside the road team’s locker room, forcing the Tide to walk in front of him both on their way to the locker room from the field and onto the field for the game. His pregame roar is one of the great traditions the Tigers have to offer, especially since he’s tipping the scales at nearly 600 lbs.

“We pretty much let everybody know now” defensive lineman Damion Square said. “Anybody that’s been through it before, we kind of let the younger guys know that as soon as you come out of the locker room, to your left will be a live tiger. Be ready for that.”

It may be easier said than done, but Square said, “They’re pretty much ready for it.”

Game of the century…year…week?

November 5th, 2011. The Game of the Century had the hype machine turned on higher than a Presidential election. The Rematch was an even greater event, as the entire season was on the line.

This season, things seemed to be tame, not only due to the fact that LSU lost a game earlier in the year to Florida, but also since Alabama only had one week to prepare for the Tigers instead of two last year.

Predictably, things have not changed in Saban’s program, viewing this game against the No. 5 Tigers as every other one.

“It’s the next game, so it will definitely define our season,” Square said. “If we lose, it will be the first loss we took. It’s a big game all the time.

“It’s the SEC. The Mississippi States, the Tennessees, it’s a lot of games that define our season that makes it go one or another way. The LSU game happens to be the next game on the schedule, so I guess it is a game that will define our season.”