SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has published a special collector’s issue commemorating the Alabama Crimson Tide’s third BCS national championship in the last four seasons. The 80-page magazine has arrived on newsstands and at area retailers—including Walmart, Publix, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Sam’s Club, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Books A Million and Barnes & Noble—throughout the state of Alabama. The special edition, which will be sold at a price of $7.99, features star quarterback A.J McCarron, running back Eddie Lacy, and offensive lineman Barrett Jones on the cover with the billing ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE: A SPECIAL KIND OF DYNASTY.
Highlights for the commemorative edition include:
- Say It Aloud: This Is A Dynasty: Driven by a chance at history and feeding off a bond among teammates and fans, Alabama established itself as the team of the BCS era (page 10).
- The Season in Pictures: Despite a few bumps on the road to Miami, the Crimson Tide kept on rolling over the competition (page 12).
BCS Championship Game: From the opening drive to the last whistle, the Tide beat Notre Dame every which way, elevating the team, and Nick Saban in lore (page 40).
- The Heroes: Leadership comes in many forms—and both sides of the ball—as three of the Tide’s most crucial performers proved along the title path (page 54).
- All-Time Heroes: In 1961, Joe Namath met Coach Bryant for the first time. Alabama football, and the game itself, would never be the same (page 70).
As with all SPORTS ILLUSTRATED PRESENTS commemorative issues, this special collector’s edition is separate from the current weekly issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, which is dated Jan.14, 2013, and also features Alabama football on the cover.
This Year’s BCS Title Matchup Embodies the Essence of College Football
Crimson vs. Gold. Roll Tide vs. Shake Down the Thunder. Southern passion vs. Catholic pride. Notre Dame vs. Alabama is more than a battle for the national title. It’s a history-drenched showdown that embodies the essence of the game. For all their history, both of these storied programs had to climb back to this moment, and senior writer Tim Layden looks into the storied 1973 Sugar Bowl that pitted the Irish and Tide to reflect on how college football has evolved since that historic game.
Fans know this matchup embodies the passion and tradition of the sport. Mused Archie Manning, who worked the Alabama-Georgia SEC title game last weekend for CBS: “Alabama and Notre Dame. That’s college football right there” (page 98).
The undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide beat Missouri 42-10 Saturday in a romp that actually lowered Bama’s average margin of victory to 33.0 points. Coach Nick Saban holds his team to its own standard of excellence, not that of its opponent, which has created problems for opposing coaches looking for flaws to exploit. Says Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, “They are one of the best teams I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching. They’re a team that doesn’t really have any weaknesses” (page 26).
while it doesn’t look like they can be stopped en route to the national title, Andy Staples makes the case for three teams that could give the Tide a run for its money:
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.”
This might be the most compelling slate of Thanksgiving weekend games ever, if you consider the caliber of competition in both the NFL and college. And SI.com will have writers covering all the key games as fans everywhere enjoy the fixings of Turkey Day. Here’s who football fans should follow and what they’ll be covering this weekend.
Twitter Handle: @ChrisBurke_SI
Games: Packers at Lions, Dolphins at Cowboys, 49ers at Ravens
What to Watch For: Peter King calls this trio of games “the best [Thanksgiving] tripleheader since the league added the night game in 2006.” Can the Lions solidify their playoff positioning and ground the seemingly unstoppable Packers offense? Will the Cowboys surge ahead of the Giants in the NFC East thanks to their easier schedule in the next two weeks? Which Harbaugh will win the NFL’s first ever matchup of sibling head coaches? Our Audibles blogger, Chris Burke, will have reactions to all of these storylines as they play out on Thursday.
Twitter Handle: @Andy_Staples
Games: Arkansas at LSU, Alabama at Auburn
What to Watch For: The top three teams in the BCS don’t just share the same conference, they’re in the same division. Staples, SI.com’s resident SEC expert (and a former walk-on lineman with Florida), will be in Baton Rouge for No. 1 LSU vs. No. 3 Arkansas on Friday before travelling to Auburn to see the always intense Iron Bowl. These two games will determine if a Tigers-Tide rematch comes to fruition.