Friday news & links for Tennessee week & Spurrier

Alabama plays Tennessee, but the big story this week has been Steve Spurrier’s mouth. Poor Spurrier. He once could make fun of coaches for losing. Anyone remember you can’t spell Citrus with UT?

Now Spurrier has to bitch about pieces of tape.

Talk about your slide into insignificance. This week’s public comment about tape drew attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Most people were rolling their eyes at the topic, or wondering why Spurrier even made something so small into a public issue.

Perhaps Spurrier had a purpose in mind. Maybe the coach was trying to distract Gamecock fans from the stupidity of his play calling in the red zone Saturday. Just how many times could he run the same play?

Was it strategy or senility?

Maybe instead of bitching about tape, Spurrier should focus on beating Vanderbilt. That hasn’t been so easy for the Old Ball Coach. He’s lost two straight.

On to the links:

And this press release:
Sporting News Tabs Four UA Players on Midseason All-American Team
TUSCALOOSA – The Alabama football team placed four players on the 2009 Sporting News college football midseason All-American team, the publication announced on Thursday. The list includes sophomore running back Mark Ingram, senior offensive lineman Mike Johnson, senior nose guard Terrence Cody and junior linebacker Rolando McClain.

Alabama is the only team with four selections on the midseason All-American team. Southern California and Florida each had three selections each and no other team had more than one honoree. In addition, the Crimson Tide was the only team with two players on both sides of the football. USC and Florida also had two defensive selections. A total of 10 SEC players were recognized.

Ingram leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks fourth nationally with 129.29 yards per game this season. In seven games, he has 135 rushing attempts for 905 yards and eight touchdowns. In addition, he has caught a team-best 19 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. The Flint, Mich., native is second in the SEC and 17th nationally with 155.86 all-purpose yards per game. He also has 11 total touchdowns this year.

He has twice been named the SEC Player of the Week after performances against Virginia Tech (Sept. 5) and South Carolina (Oct. 17). He set a Bryant-Denny Stadium record with 246 rushing yards in the win over the Gamecocks, his third straight 100-yard game.

Johnson is the anchor of the Tide’s offensive line that has paved the way for the 259.83 rushing yards per game this season. The Tide ranks third in the SEC and ninth nationally in rushing this season and boasts the league’s top rusher in Ingram, who has posted three straight 100-yard games.

Cody has been a prominent figure in the Tide’s rushing defense the last two seasons and has helped the Alabama produced the nation’s top run defense this season, allowing just 63.29 yards per game. Alabama has not allowed a player to rush for 100 yards in a game this season and holds the opposition to 2.2 rushing yards per attempt. Cody has 15 tackles this season, including five tackles for loss (-10 yards). He has added two quarterback pressures and one pass breakup in seven games.

McClain is the leader of Alabama defense that leads the nation in total defense and pass efficiency and ranks third in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense this season. The Tide also ranks first or second in the SEC in rushing defense, scoring defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense. McClain leads the Crimson Tide with 49 total tackles, including 32 solo stops. He has added seven quarterback pressures, 6.5 tackles for loss (-28 yards), two sacks (-19), two interceptions (-21 yards), one pass breakup and one forced fumble.

He is a two-time National Defensive Player of the Week honoree, after performances against Kentucky (Oct. 3) and South Carolina (Oct. 17). He had 12 tackles and had a hand in three of the Tide’s takeaways in the win at UK. He added seven stops in the win over the Gamecocks as the Tide did not allow a touchdown for the second week in a row.