Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 1/8


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

Alabama’s defense needs upgrade for 2015

"It’s understandable if Alabama fans don’t enjoy the sight of Lane Kiffin’s visor right now. His play calling down the stretch against Ohio State was erratic, to say the least.A little less Blake Sims and a little more Derrick Henry could have saved the offensive coordinator some grief from the 42-35 loss.But if you’re being honest about what happened, you have to look at the scoreboard and wonder how much blame should really rest with Kiffin. Because, really, shouldn’t 35 points be enough?It was from 2009-12. Coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart worked with much less during those four seasons and won three national championships."

Sometimes, it’s just not your year. The defense had some issues this year and I’m sure they will be addressed in the off-season. The good news is with another number one recruiting class, help is on the way.

Lane Kiffin tells story behind Alabama’s up-tempo offense and numbers behind changes

"Saban famously asked in 2012 if “this what we want football to be?” But times change.And the obvious answer to the reason behind the shift would be the hiring of offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin last January.Kiffin, however, said he wasn’t the one pushing for the no-huddle looks. In fact, he too was a vocal opponent of the fast-break brand in the summer of 2013 while still coaching USC.“I get a lot of credit for the up-tempo offense and what we’ve done with Blake (Sims) and changing from what we did before,” Kiffin said. “But the reality of the story this up-tempo offense and going faster and having the fast plays is all coach Saban. This was him from the first day I got here, almost every day talking about we need to play faster, we need to be more explosive.”"

I personally loved it because it was fun going back and forth with rival fan bases. Do whatever works.

Jonathan Taylor enrolls at Alabama

"Former Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who was dismissed from the team in July after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, enrolled in classes at Alabama on Wednesday.Taylor, who spent this past season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, was one of eight early enrollees announced by the Crimson Tide on Wednesday.Taylor, from Millen, Georgia, still faces two felony counts of aggravated assault in Athens, Georgia. He was arrested on July 22, after police say he struck his girlfriend with a closed fist and choked her during an argument at his dormitory room at McWhorter Hall. A UGA police report said Taylor is 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds; police said his girlfriend is 5-foot-11, 170 pounds."

Not too crazy about this one but it’s not my decision. It’s not my position to judge because I don’t even know all of the facts behind the case. If he is found guilty, I will be more against it.

Roll Tide: Alabama Linebackers Have Bolstered Pats, Ravens

"Three years and a day later, a trio of star linebackers from that team will play a critical role in determining whether the New England Patriots or the Baltimore Ravens reach the AFC Championship Game.For Baltimore, starting SAM linebacker Courtney Upshaw will need to be a tone setter. One of the top run-stuffing outside linebackers in football, the 272-pound Upshaw could also be used to jam Rob Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage.The middle of the Ravens defense is anchored by Pro Bowl rookie C.J. Mosley, who made 133 tackles this season and established himself as the rightful heir to Ray Lewis in Baltimore. Mosely is solid in coverage and could be matched up quite a bit with Shane Vereen on third down."

Just a little “Built By Bama” love from Great to see these guys succeed.

Football’s January Enrollees Begin Classes at Alabama

"Alabama announced Wednesday that eight student-athletes have begun classes at the University and will be eligible to participate in spring practice with the Crimson Tide in 2015.The January enrollees include quarterback Blake Barnett (Corona, Calif./Santiago), running back DeSherrius Flowers (Mobile, Ala./Vigor), safety Ronnie Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla./FSU University School), offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy (Wetumpka, Ala./Wetumpka), running back Bo Scarbrough (Northport, Ala./Tuscaloosa County), defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor (Millen, Ga./Jenkins County/Georgia), safety Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark) and offensive lineman Dallas Warmack (Atlanta, Ga./Mays)."

Alabama Men’s Basketball Game vs. No. 1 Kentucky Sold Out

"All remaining tickets for the Jan. 17 game between Alabama and No. 1 Kentucky men’s basketball game have been sold according to the Alabama athletic ticket office.The only seats that remain are located in the Alabama student section, which will be available on a first come, first serve basis. UA Students must have a valid Action Card for entry. The student entrance is located on the West side of Coleman Coliseum across from the Sam Bailey Track & Field Stadium and will open 90 minutes prior to tipoff."

Women’s Basketball Returns Home for Matchup with Top-Ranked South Carolina

"The Crimson Tide women’s basketball team (11-6, 0-2 SEC) welcomes No. 1/1 South Carolina (14-0, 2-0 SEC) to Foster Auditorium on Thursday for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. The game will air live on SEC Network +.Thursday’s game will air on SEC Network + with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Rick Moody (analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Roger Hoover announcing the action."