Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 12/6


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

Three important matchups that will determine SEC Championship Game

"Missouri can point to a number of reasons it’s an underdog in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Alabama (4 p.m. ET, CBS), but this one might be the most telling: The Tigers haven’t won a conference championship in any league since 1969. Back then they were members of the Big Eight, and they shared the conference crown with Nebraska after a 6-1 league finish.The Crimson Tide, meanwhile? They boast a whopping 23 SEC titles and are vying for their third since 2009. But Alabama’s Goliath can still fall to the sling of Missouri at the Georgia Dome. Here are three key matchups to watch in Saturday’s SEC title game."

It’s Gameday. Sports Illustrated takes a look at three match-ups to keep an eye on during the game. If you couldn’t guess, Amari Cooper is definitely one of them.

How Lane Kiffin has changed Alabama’s offense

"In one particular statistical category, the 2013 Alabama football team was most closely aligned with UConn, a team that struggled so much that it fired its coach four games into the season.This season, in the same statistical category, the Crimson Tide’s closest analog is Oregon — quite an improvement in peer group.The category in question is plays per game, a statistic that doesn’t always correlate to offensive success but can have a number of positive offensive effects, such as increased scoring opportunities and reduced rest for opposing defenses.In 2013, Alabama ran 826 plays in 13 games, the same number Connecticut ran in 12. That total ranked 99th out of 125 FBS teams. This season, through 12 games, Alabama has run 872, the same as Oregon, one of the most prominent and successful fast-paced offensive teams."

Never thought I would see the day where Alabama would be close to Oregon in plays per game. Lane Kiffin deserves a lot of credit for the job he has done this season, whether folks like him or not. The improvement is there if folks would open their eyes to look.

Rewinding Nick Saban, Gary Pinkel’s thoughts the day before Alabama plays Missouri in SEC Championship

"At 12:30 p.m. CT, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel and then Alabama head coach Nick Saban will speak to the media in a press conference one day before the SEC Championship Game.No. 1 Alabama (11-1) plays No. 16 Missouri (10-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT here at the Georgia Dome."

Great rundown from on what Coach Saban and Coach Pinkel had to say yesterday before the big game today.

Crimson Tide secondary ready for second chance

"After getting torched in the Iron Bowl by Auburn, Alabama’s secondary must put that behind them as another tough test in Missouri awaits today in the SEC Championship Game.The Crimson Tide’s secondary gave up 456 passing yards, including completions of 34, 35, 42 and 68 yards. It’s the most passing yards the Tide has allowed all season.We know we could have played a lot better and we understand the mistakes we made and we’re working hard this week to correct those,” Tide cornerback Cyrus Jones said. “We came out Saturday with the win, but we’re looking past that. We understand this is the most important game of the season and that’s what we’re focused on.”"

You know the secondary will come out hungry and looking for redemption after giving up so many yards to Auburn. Sylve came in and played well. It will be interesting to see who Saban rolls with tomorrow.

Volleyball Falls to Florida State, 3-0, in NCAA Tournament Second Round

"With a spot in the Sweet Sixteen on the line, Alabama fell short of a victory in the NCAA Tournament Second Round, as the winningest season in Crimson Tide history ended in a 3-0 loss to No. 6 Florida State on Friday night.“We played an extremely talented Florida State team that is extremely well balanced offensively,” said Head Coach Ed Allen. “They did a great job defending and were a big presence at the net. That really forced our attackers to have to think about some things and alter some shots that led to some unforced hitting errors. They may be as solid of a team that we have played all year long.”"