Alabama Crimson Tide Lead Way with Three Lombardi Semifinalists

Here is the official release courtesy of UA Media Relations

Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower, Barrett Jones and Courtney Upshaw among 12 semifinalists
The second-ranked Alabama football team had three of the 12 semifinalists for the 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award it was announced on Friday with linebacker Dont’a Hightower, offensive tackle Barrett Jones and linebacker Courtney Upshaw making the cut.

Stanford is the only other team with multiple semifinalists with offensive guard David DeCastro and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Also making the list of semifinalists are Vinny Curry (Marshall), Melvin Ingram (South Carolina), Matt Kalil (USC), Luke Kuechly (Boston College), Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), Manti Te’o (Notre Dame) and Jerel Worth (Michigan State).

The coveted Lombardi Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi. Four of the 12 semifinalists are from SEC schools. The winner will be announced on December 7, 2011, at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas.

Hightower was named the Lott IMPACT National Player of the Week following his performance against Tennessee. He leads the team with 48 total tackles while making six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also has one interception, two pass breakups and six quarterback hurries.

Jones, who has played four positions along the offensive line this season, has started all eight games at left tackle. He has helped clear a path for Alabama’s 15th-ranked rushing offense that is churning out 229.25 yards per game while ranking 14th nationally in scoring offense at 39.38 points per game.

Upshaw leads the team and the Southeastern Conference with 11.5 tackles for loss (-54 yards) and 4.5 sacks (-35 yards). He has caused two fumbles, made 26 total tackles and intercepted one pass vs. Florida, which he returned for a touchdown. Upshaw also leads the team with seven quarterback hurries.

The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (“NCFAA”). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website,

Also follow breaking news on the Crimson Tide on Facebook at Alabama-Football and on Twitter at @AlabamaFTBL.


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  1. 2

    National ranking of Alabama’s defensive statistics: 6 TD’s given up – #1, 55 total points allowed – #1, 6.88 points per game – #1, 359 total rushing yards – #1, 1.67 yards per carry – #1, 44.88 rushing yards per game – #1, 2 rushing TD’s allowed – #1, 48.1% pass completions allowed – #1, 4.5 yards per passing attempt – #1, 4 passing TD’s allowed – #1, 83.68 passing efficiency rating – #1, 1,444 total yards allowed – #1, 3.2 yards per play allowed – #1, 180.5 total yards per game allowed – #1, 21 rushing first downs allowed – #1, 79 total first downs allowed – #1, 9.9 first downs per game allowed – #1, 47 passes broken up – #1, 56 passes defended – #1, 26.45% 3rd down conversions allowed – #2, 135.63 passing yards per game allowed – #3. There has never been a defense ranked this high in this many categories after 8 games in the history of college football. How much you want to bet the Corndogs get held to under 300 yards of offense? RTR!

  2. 3
    Just a Fan

    Man the pressure is on Alabama. Alabama better win this game. Three Lombordi simifinalist from Alabama and LSU doesn’t have even one! And lets see on the coaches preseason ALL SEC Defensive team Alabama had four player on the first team and LSU only had one! Wow! And how about offense? Alabama had three ALL SEC playrers on the first team offense and LSU had NONE! Man! And let’s see Alabama has had the number one ranked recruiting class 3 out of the last 4 years, right? Holy cow there is no way this LSU team should even be mentioned in the same breath as this Alabama team, right? But yet they are ranked a head of Alabama? How can that be? Well forget that, with all those Lombordi finalist and all those first team ALL SEC players and a leading Hiesman trophy canadite and Nick Saban coaching there is no way LSU can beat Alabama on their home field at Bryant Deny Stadium!

    But what if they do!?! Holy shit, I think if LSU wins that game even Alabama fans would have to admit, or at least have to start thinking that Miles might be a better coach than Nick Saban! Say what! Well I guess if that happened it would make Miles 3-2 against Saban, and according to Crimsonite comments above, Miles’ team would have just beaten a team with a defense that has never been ranked this high after 8 game in “THE HISTORY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL”. WOW.

    Man the presure must be on Nick Saban and Alabama to win this game. With all that rich and vast superior talent over LSU, there is no way they can or should lose this game. Hell if they win by less than 2 touchdowns would be a disappointment.

    • 4

      LSU fans are funny.

      The pressure is all on LSU in this game.

      LSU fans are talking more crap that I can ever remember.

      LSU fans are saying absurd things like Miles is a better coach than Saban.

      Even if Miles were to win, nobody in their right mind would consider Miles better than Saban based on their head-to-head record.

      Just so you know, one of the biggest idiots to ever coach football was Bill Curry. Curry was 3-0 against legendary coach Joe Paterno and 3-0 against another legend Johnny Majors.

      Nobody thinks Curry was better than those coaches.

      And nobody will think Miles is better than Saban.

      However, there is growing appreciation for Miles. He is doing a good job and has to be considered one of he best coaches in the SEC.

      If I were ranking coaches right now, I’d put Miles third behind Saban and Petrino. Of course, if Miles wins it all this season, I’d probably move him up the list.

      But back to the pressure thing.

      It is all on the #1 team with fans who are talking more trash than Miami Hurricane fans. 🙂

      • 5
        Just a Fan

        The flaw in your comparison is that although Bill Curry may have been 3-0 against those coaches, his overall record could not match their overall records. However Miles’ overall winning percentage of .7206 basicaly matches Saban’s overall winning percenatage of .7245.

        The the exception is the one extra BCS championship that Saban won WITH LSU! Alabama fans like to talk and act like Saban won two titles at Alabama. However Miles does have an overall better bowl record than Saban. Saban is 6-6 in bowl games, where as Miles is 6-3. Saban has three more bowl games than Miles because he has coached 5 years longer than Miles.

        If Miles and LSU do go undefeated and win the BCS championship, giving Miles two to match Saban, but with an overall better winning percentage and a better bowl record, the only reason you shouldn’t move Miles up you list ahead of Saban would only be because of pure bias.

        And Capstonereport the LSU fans may talking more crap “than you can remember” but not as much or any more than Alabama fans are talking crap.

        And pressure to win has nothing to do with the fans.The pressure is only on the players and the coaches to perform. Alabama has a more talented team by most indications, and you even state that as of right now Nick Saban is a better coach, and the game is being played on Alabama’s home field and they are favored to win the game by as much as 6 and half points. How could there possibly not be more pressure on Alabama to win this game. If they Alabama loses they will have been upset at home by an inferrior talented team, coached by in your own words, an inferrior coach.

        • 6

          Hardly bias.

          Saban took over moribund programs at Michigan State and LSU.

          Never forget that Saban resurrected a terrible LSU program.

          And a terrible Alabama program.

          When Saban arrived, Alabama was probably worse off than LSU was when he came there.

          So, when Miles improves programs like Saban—then we can talk.

          Furthermore, the LSU spin that Saban is tight and under pressure is hilarious.

          Saban thrives in big games. This is what he lives for. Saban treats every game the same much like Belichick.

          As for “more talented team” that is funny considering all the pundits say LSU is more talented, and that is something the LSU fans keep telling everybody who will listen.

          LSU is #1. Sure seems like they have the greater pressure since LSU fans will go crazy if they lose this.

          • 7
            Just a Fan

            Capstone with that crap, you just proved what I said about Alabama fans talking crap.

            All this talk about Saban resurreting a terrible LSU program is just that, crap.

            The fact is LSU did have two bad years before Saban came there, but the two years before that LSU was 10-2 and 9-3, finished tied for 1st in the SEC West both of those years and had won three consecutive bowl games including a beat down of Nick Saban’s Michigan State team. And Dinardo had recruited fairly well, so there was plenty of talent on board when Saban got there.

            You know more about Alabama so maybe their progam was terrible before Saban got there, but that has nothing to do with Miles. Miles took over a not so good Oklahoma State program and did pretty good. Just because he hasn’t moved around as much Saban, there is nothing in his record that says he couldn’t have done what he is currently doing if he had gotten to LSU or Alabama, for that matter, before Saban did. So again your argument is flawed.

            If you want a real comparison of Saban and Miles look at their records at Michigan St. and Oklahoma St, two very similar programs and situations. Their records were pretty even at those schools. Saban had an overall better record but only because of his fifth year, which was actually his only year where he was more than one game over .500. Miles only coached at Oklahoma St for four years, so if you compare both of their records for the first four years after taking over similar programs, Miles actually had a better record, and again had a better bowl record than Saban, a recurring theme.

            And again the pressure is on the coaches and players not the fans. Your statement that “LSU is #1. Sure seems like they have the greater pressure since LSU fans will go crazy if they lose this.” is irrelavant!

            Alabama fans think they are the best team and should be ranked #1. You don’t think Alabama fans will go crazy if they lose this! Come on man, be honest with your self. These are the same fans that threw a brick throug Bill Curry’s office window and poisened the trees at Toomer’s Corner!

            And of what relevance is is your statement “Saban thrives in big games. This is what he lives for”?

            Have you not seen Miles’ record in big games, or against coaches who have won National Championships, or his record with more than one week to prepare for a game?

            I’m not sure, but knowing that Miles’s bowl record is better than Saban’s and knowing Miles’ record against Oklahoma when they were ranked #1 and #3 in the Nation when he was at Oklahoma St., I would be suprised if Saban’s record is any better than Miles’ in big games. Obviously Miles thrives on big games also, so I’m not sure what the point of that comment was unless you think Saban and Belichick are the only coaches that thrives in or “live for” big games.

            And as for as your unsupportable comment that “all the pundits say LSU is more talented”, I challange you to provide proof of that. I have heard many “pundits” say LSU is a talented team, but I don’t recall one of them saying they are “more talented” than Alabama.

            I have provided three sources that Alabama is considered to have more talent than LSU, the recruiting rankings, the preseason coaches ALL SEC first team and the Lombordi Semifinalist list. Provide three documented sources where it is said or written that LSU has more talent than LSU, or else once again you prove that Alabama fans talk more CRAP than LSU fans!

  3. 8

    LSU was sucky ever since Arnsparger left. Great winning percentage and the best coach you had until Saban arrived–since 1984.

    You can cut the crap talking about how good LSU was before Saban. Since 1986 when Arnsparger left you had:

    Mike Archer (average coach)
    Curley Hallman (a horrible coach with a pathetic record)
    Dinardo (an average coach).

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but both Hallman and Dinardo were sub-500 conference records and Archer was barely above .500.

    That isn’t the sign of a powerhouse that you became under Nick Saban. The signs of potential were there under Arnsparger, but fully realized under Saban. You guys spent over what 12 or 13 years between conference championships until Saban arrived?

    Seriously, you need to give Saban credit for what he did for your program.

    Anything else is intellectually dishonest and an example of revisionist history.

    My point about Saban and big games is to showcase how idiotic it is to say the pressure is all on Alabama in this game.

    It isn’t.

    If you don’t believe players listen to and are influenced by what fans say, then you don’t watch how easy it is for college kids to believe their press clippings. This is far more dangerous than anything else.

    Now, let’s be honest. Either team could come out tight.

    I don’t expect that from Alabama or LSU.

    These teams have been in big games over the last few years. They know what to do and what to expect. If you think the pressure of a regular season game against LSU is greater than the BCS game against Texas then you are reaching, and the same can be said for LSU and all the big games they have been involved with over the last few years.

    • 9
      Just a Fan

      Again Capstone you use flawed arguments. I never said are claimed LSU was a “powerhouse”. I only refuted your comment that they were a terrible programe before Saban took over. If Saban had taken over after Hallman your statement would have been correct, but he didn’t Dinardo did. And Dinardo had three winning seasons out of five, with three bowl wins. That is not a powerhouse, but then I never said it was, but it is also not a “terrible” program which is what you wrongly claimed.

      A terrible program is what Dinardo took over after Hallman, and got the ball rolling with in state recruiting for Saban. Dinardo recruited players like Rohan Davey, Josh Booty and Craig Nall, Marcus Randal, Trev Faulk, Ryan Clark, Brady James, Cory Webster, Randal “Blue” Gay, Labrandon Toefield, Eric Alexander, Dominic Davis, Jason Green, Devery Henderson, Lionell Turner, Howard Green, Chad Lavalais, Nate Livings, Brandon Winey. All of these players were on the roster the year before Saban got there, they contributed to Saban winning in his first couple of years and all signed contracts to play in the NFL. Several are still playing today. That Capstone is not the talent of a “terrible” program.

      I do give Saban credit for what he did at LSU, I have never said anything indicating that I don’t give him credit for what he did, but I don’t agree that he completly or he alone turned LSU into a powerhouse. He only had 1 season at LSU with less than three losses. That is not a powerhouse!

      And Capstone, I never once said “all” the pressure is on Alabama. But because of the reasons I’ve documented previously I believe there is more pressure on Alabama to win this game, again their the favorite to win by 6 points or more. And you know that even most of the Bama fans that post on your site here think Alabama will win by two or three touchdowns. I know you read all the post or you would not have responded to mine.

      And speaking of responding to my post, since you did responded to my last post, but did not give any sources as to support you statement that ” all the pundits say LSU is more talented”, I guess that statement was in fact just crap? Right?

  4. 10

    Just A Fan you are a Homer retard. First I’ll say this – Bama IS more talented than LSWho, much more. And I’m not afraid to say it nor am I worrying about it since we are going to stomp your azzes 31-6 and show you.The entire country considers Saban the best coach in the Nation from sports and business publications, to the analysts, to the NFL, to the fans, to his peers in the college ranks. But you – a dumbass Corndog thinks you can come on this site and proclaim Miles a better coach by picking and choosing some not so accurate statistics. Well dipshyt I’ll show you some statistics. From ’90 thru ’99 LSWho’s record was 54-58 for a .482 winning percentage. They were a shyt team at the bottom along with Vandy and Kentucky. From 2000 to ’09 LSWho’s record was 99-31 for a .762 winning percentage. Of the wins during the 2000 decade Saban and Miles virtually split. Saban was 48-16 and Miles was 51-15, but Miles didn’t have to rebuild a shyt program when he came there. Dinardo who you seem to think left Saban a ‘loaded’ team, was 32-24 for a .570 winning percentage. A little above shyt, but not by much. Dumbass! Saban also took over a 6-7 program on probation and 30 scholarships short at Alabama and then had to kick about 15 assholes off the team by the end of his first season. But the very next year he went undefeated in the SEC – the first BCS era coach to do that. What’s more Saban actually coaches the team – especially the defense. As far as I know Miles doesn’t coach shyt. He just has a good staff. As for Capstone’s reference to pundits, what phucking rock or third world country have you been in for the past two months? Every since you got lucky against an overrated Oregon the ‘Love’ LSWho has gotten from the sports publications, analysts and polls has been to say the least sickening. Especially since Bama has been statistically superior all season and were and still are the odds on favorite to be one of the 2 BCS championship teams. As for bowl records Saban is 3-1 at Bama during a rebuilding period. Sorry if his overall record doesn’t matchup with Miles – it was his own fault for coaching at inferior schools like Toledo, Michigan St and LSU while he advanced his career to get to the top! You seem to forget that just a year and a half ago you people were hoping Miles would go to Michigan after two pathetic seasons in a row. Saban will never lose 5 games at Alabama. I could refute more of your bullshyt ‘facts’, but I’m trying to watch 4 football games at once. Drop back later when you want to get your ass paddled again. RTR!

    • 11
      Just a Fan

      So Crimsonite cutting through all that BS you just posted, what you’re saying is that you agree with me and my original post here when I said the pressure is on Alabama to win this game because Alabama has more talent, a better coach, a defense that has never been ranked this high after 8 games, and they are favored to win by the odds makers. Thank you for agreeing with my post and my original comments. But the Capstone does not agree with you and I.

      With regards to all the other “crap”, as Capstone likes to call it, I not sure everybody in the NFL thinks Saban is the greatest coach.

      And you make flawed arguments like the Capstone does, just because Dinardo was a bad on the field coach, has absolutely nothing to do with the talent he put on that field and left for Saban when he got there. Again I’ve never claimed Saban is not a good coach, he is just not the God that you Alabama fans think he is and he did not turn LSU into a “powerhouse”. He had one great year and four ok years. Hell even Dinardo had one good year at 10-2, which was better than 4 of Saban’s 5 years!

      And as for as you calling me a Homer, that must not be a bad thing because I’ve read some of your comments here, and there is no bigger homer than you. When all the professionals think this is going to be a close game including the bookies in Vegas, to say or guarntee that Alabama is going to win 31-6 is the definition of a Homer retard.

  5. 12

    They my friend are afraid of being wrong and or losing their money. I am not. LSU’s defense is not as good as Alabama’s and Bama’s offense is actually ranked further ahead of LSU’s than our defense is. If this turns into a defensive game without critical turnovers then yes the prognosticators may be correct. But I do not think it will be that way. You are intruding on OUR turf with OUR ranking and in the way of OUR National Championship which you helped to rob from us last year. Bama has yet to play their best game and yet the viciousness of our defense against Arky and Florida was something that had never been seen before. Our D will stop your O. There will be turnovers. There will be big plays. You have yet to be challenged and had to respond like we were against Penn St, Florida and Tennessee. When you are challenged by the best defense this side if the Green Bay Packers the game will turn into a rout. I’m not being a homer. Your same prognosticators and everybody else picked Bama over Florida by 6. Nobody seriously picked Bama by more than 10. I predicted the score 38-10 and I took it to the bank. It’s not the first time I’ve done that very same thing since Saban arrived. 31-6 is not homerism. It is a very educated prediction and it is more likely that Alabama will win 31-6, than LSWho will win 17-14. Two other points. Yes I agree with you about the pressure on Bama. We are expected to play for the National Championship every year. Nothing less is acceptable, and LSWho is between us and that goal this year. Lots of pressure. Happy? But you’re a dumbass about Dinardo. Records are what get coaches hired and fired. Records are what gets you into National Championship games. Not recruits. Like coach Bryant said “I can take mine and beat you or I can take your’s and beat you”. Maybe Dinardo had great recruits and he couldn’t coach them. Or maybe he had normal recruits and Saban coached them up like he did with an unsigned 3* nobody wanted named Javier Arenas or another 3* named Mark Ingram, or Will Lowrey one of our current DB stars who is a walk on. Ok, and Dinardo’s 10-2 was a HELL of a lot better than at least 2 of Miles years. What’s up wid dat? You can’t win this conversation dude. You are trying to build your team up out of spin and fantasy against The Real Thing. Don’t forget to hide the knives, pistols and arsenic before 7pm next Saturday. RTR!

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