Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 1/6


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

Tide plans to stay course and contend again next season

"Don’t expect the Alabama football team to make drastic wholesale changes moving forward from two straight Sugar Bowl losses.Coach Nick Saban still has faith in his year-long process of player and team development.While the SEC champion Crimson Tide fell short of the national title game the last two years and both seasons ended in defeat, Saban expects his returning players to pick themselves up and rebuild for another run at it next season.“I don’t really think that we’re going to change our philosophy in terms of how we do things,” Saban said. “That philosophy has helped us win a lot of games, and hopefully, it will continue to do the same thing in the future.”Many of the younger players took to Twitter in the wake of the defeat to show they are ready for an intense offseason.“We will be back,” freshman defensive lineman O.J. Smith wrote."

I didn’t expect anything less from them. They have been in the hunt almost every single year under Coach Saban.

Alabama feels tough non-conference basketball schedule prepared Crimson Tide for SEC play

"Alabama didn’t get that marquee win during the non-conference portion of the schedule, but avoided the embarrassing loss.Now, the Crimson Tide (10-3) look to make strides in SEC play, beginning Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT against Texas A&M (9-3) at Coleman Coliseum.According to, Alabama’s RPI is 55, and Texas A&M’s is 59. The SEC is boasted by Kentucky at No. 1, followed by Georgia (22), Arkansas (35) and LSU (36). Alabama’s three losses have come to teams with higher RPIs – Wichita State (9), Iowa State (44) and Xavier (51)."

I’m hoping that is the case. Hoping to see some major improvements from last season.

CECIL HURT: SEC not dead as many want to believe

"It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the SEC is 7-5.That record — just above the .500 mark in 12 bowl games — has been variously interpreted as meaning the college football world has now turned upside down, that Alabama should stand trembling in the presence of the Kansas Jayhawks.The fact all five of the losses came from West Division teams, including the league champion Crimson Tide, only heightened the rhetoric. The abuse came from all sides, and ranged from the amusingly good-natured to the pompously overblown. It’s so prevalent that even Big 12 fans — fans of a league that went 2-5 in the postseason and the same glittering 2-5 in the bowls — got in on the laughs."

Cecil Hurt on point as usual. The “SEC is done” narrative is very humorous.

Tide Talk with TR and Trevor

"Travis Reier: Not that it was a historic upset, but what surprised you most about Alabama’s 42-35 loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl?Trevor Hewett: I would have to say the lack of emphasis that Lane Kiffin and the offense put on the run game after going up 21-6 on the Buckeyes. Derrick Henry was off to a solid start and the Crimson Tide was having success on the ground, but the run game seemed to disappear in the middle of the game and it was something that made me scratch my head a couple of times.TR: I think you had plenty of company. I don’t think OSU really had an answer for the outside zone or toss to Henry, especially to the left side. For whatever reason, those runs were seemingly treated as complementary plays to throw the football instead of sticking with it.That said, if you liked what Alabama did for 13 games, it’s tough to second-guess Kiffin now because it was a lot of the same approach that helped UA get to the Playoff.Trevor: It was definitely a look at the difference in identity from this team and Nick Saban’s Alabama teams of the past few years. This edition of the Crimson Tide offense was in many ways a reversal in philosophy compared to Saban’s teams in the past in that this team used the passing game to set up the running game as opposed to the power running game setting up the passing game. With that being said, it still surprised me that Alabama walked away from that game with only 23 combined carries from Henry and Yeldon."

Great feature from BamaOnline. Just a short preview of “Tide Talk”. Click the link to read the rest of the discussion.

Men’s Basketball Begins SEC Play vs. Texas A&M Tuesday Night

"Alabama will open Southeastern Conference play on Tuesday night when it hosts the Texas A&M Aggies at 8 p.m. CT at Coleman Coliseum.Tuesday night’s contest will be available on SEC Network with Dari Nowkah (play-by-play) and Joe Dean (analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) calling all the action."

No. 4 Gymnastics Opens Season Friday in Coleman Coliseum against No. 21 Arizona

"First-year Alabama gymnastics head coach Dana Duckworth and the 2015 Crimson Tide get things underway Friday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum against Pac 12 Conference foe Arizona.What is being called “The Show” before the big show gets underway at 7 p.m. with a big “Roll Tide Roll” led by the Tide gymnasts as they conclude warmups and will be followed by the Tuscaloosa Toyota handstand contest and the Tuscaloosa Toyota dance contest."

Shane Lyons resigns to become Director of Athletics/Associate Vice President at West Virginia

"University of Alabama Director of Athletics Bill Battle announced Monday that Shane Lyons, Deputy Director of Athletics/Chief Operating Officer, will be leaving the University to become Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President at West Virginia University. Lyons was announced to the position at WVU on Monday. Lyons, who served in the position at Alabama since November of 2011, will transition to his new post over the next few weeks.“Shane’s leadership, decision-making and professionalism will be sorely missed by me and the entire Athletics Department, but we are all very excited for Shane, Emily, Cameron and Brooke on the opportunity for them to go back to Shane’s alma mater in such an important role,” Battle said. “I have no doubt that Shane is ready to take on this next opportunity in his career. Not only is he ready as a professional person, but his ability to work with people will make him an exceptional athletics director. I wish him nothing but the best at West Virginia.”"