Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 12/4


Get your day started with the Morning Kickoff. All your Crimson Tide news in one place.

Bama Hammer Articles From Yesterday

Coach Nick Saban Wednesday Press Conference (Video)

Alabama Crimson Tide Wednesday Practice Report (Video)

Blake Sims Named Finalist For Manning Award

Nick Perry Talks The Iron Bowl and The SEC Championship

Alabama Football: What We learned From The Auburn Game

Levi Randolph Dunk Off The Backboard From Ricky Tarrant (Video)

Nick Saban has worked wonders getting Alabama to No. 1

"Take away the titles, the rings, the tradition.Take away the fact that it’s Alabama.Take away that it has four- and five-star recruits everywhere you turn.Strip away the trappings of expectations and look for a second at what Nick Saban has done, and not the nearly $7 million he’s earning and all that denotes. Instead, look closely at the team he had in the spring, the team he rode hard through the summer and fall, and what’s become of that team now. Look at how far he’s taken them.Looking for a coach of the year candidate? You’re reading about him."

Great stuff here. ESPN making a good case that Saban should be the Coach of the Year for doing what he has done with this team. The offensive production has increased and a quarterback that many doubted would play back in April, will lead his team out on the field for an SEC Title chance and possibly a shot at the College Football Playoff. This is the things that dreams are made of when we were younger.

Auburn game good blueprint for Alabama

"If you’re an Alabama fan, go hug the nearest Auburn fan.OK, well, at least thank that person for what Auburn’s football team did and forced the Crimson Tide to do in Saturday’s back-and-forth Iron Bowl.No. 1 Alabama’s dramatic 55-44 win over Auburn, the highest-scoring Iron Bowl ever, showed us something Alabama needed to prove before it heads into the postseason: It can win a shootout.With how well Alabama’s defense has played all season, the Tide haven’t really had to worry about getting into a war of points on the gridiron. But with the postseason looming — and potentially theCollege Football Playoff — Alabama got the perfect blueprint for a future opponent that can move the ball with Auburn-type speed and flare.“It was definitely beneficial to know we can play two different styles of football,” Tide defensive back Nick Perry said."

I mentioned this in the piece about Nick Perry and the one with Sims and Kelly but all of those guys mentioned that the game prepared them to for anything. They know they can win shootouts and they know they can win smash mouth football. The day is almost here.

SEC Extra Points with Barrett Sallee: Amari Cooper Is the X-Factor for Alabama

"Can anyone on Missouri’s roster cover Amari Cooper?Can anyone on the planet?Missouri better find an answer to the Cooper puzzle this week because the junior wide receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide has been torching opposing secondaries to the tune of 1,573 yards, 14 touchdowns and an average of 8.6 catches per game.Cooper’s ability to stabilize the offense and get quarterback Blake Sims in a groove allows first-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin to get his offense clicking."

Good analysis from Barrett Salee on Bleacher Report on wide receiver Amari Cooper. Be sure to check it out.

Secondary primary concern

"Pass defense had been going smoothly for Alabama.Then came the Iron Bowl.Auburn did what everyone else has done against Alabama’s defense and passed the ball more than usual.The Crimson Tide had shut down everyone else, but Nick Marshall completed 27 of 43 for 456 yards and three touchdowns.That’s a point of concern for Coach Nick Saban as his team prepares to meet Missouri in Saturday’s SEC title game."

If there is one thing that worries me, it’s the secondary. I think we match-up well everywhere else.

Volleyball Opens NCAA Tournament Play Against Samford Thursday

"THE MATCHUPAlabama (25-7) will be making its second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament this weekend, facing Samford (20-12) in the first round in Tallahassee, Fla., on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. CT.THE TIDE ON THE AIRVideo – WatchESPN ( or WatchESPN app)SCOUTING ALABAMAAlabama (25-7, 13-5 SEC) – Alabama finished its regular season at 25-7, which already makes it the winningest team in program history. The Crimson Tide is making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, marking the first back-to-back postseason trips for Alabama since 2006 and 2007. Redshirt sophomore Krystal Rivers finished the regular season with an SEC-leading 536 kills, which ranks 12th nationally and is a new single-season best for Rivers. Junior Sierra Wilson led the SEC and is second nationally in total assists with 1,459, which is just 25 shy of the single-season school record. Freshman Kat Hutson has had an outstanding debut season for the Tide, finishing third in the SEC with 442 kills. Leading the defense at the net is freshman Leah Lawrence with 112 blocks while fellow freshman Natalie Murison led the back-row defense with 379 digs."

Nikki Hegstetter Named Nominee for Allstate WBCA Good Works Team for Second Year

"For the second consecutive year, junior Nikki Hegstetter was named a nominee for the Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team, which was announced by the WBCA and Allstate Insurance on Wednesday. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.Hegstetter is one of 93 nominees from across the nation, spanning NCAA Divisions I, II, III and the NAIA. She has, and continues to be involved in several aspects of the community, including Habitat for Humanity, The Miracle League of Tuscaloosa and Alabama women’s basketball’s 5th Grade Fastbreak program. She has also spent time volunteering at local high school basketball camps, elementary schools, the DCH Manderson Cancer Center and Capstone Village Retirement Community."