Roll Tide: BCS champ Alabama on this week’s cover

Alabama’s dominant defense—led by Courtney Upshaw, the defensive MVP of Monday’s BCS title game—swarms LSU running back Michael Ford on the cover of the Jan. 16, 2012, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday. This is the 20th time that Crimson Tide football has appeared on the cover, which includes nine covers in the last three seasons.

Alabama’s 21–0 win over LSU was more than payback for their 9–6 defeat on Nov. 5. It was a balm to the thousands of residents of Alabama who lost property and loved ones in the tornadoes that ripped through the state on April 27, 2011. One such resident was Tide long snapper Carson Tinker; his girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, was killed in the tornadoes. Tinker spoke with senior writer Austin Murphy (@si_austinmurphy) after Monday’s game. Tearfully, he said: “This isn’t a win just for us, but this is a win for Tuscaloosa and all of Alabama. We’ve been through so much this year, and I’m at a loss for words to describe what I feel. Just happy.”


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