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.
Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, the offensive MVP of Monday’s BCS title game, tramples over two Notre Dame defenders on the cover of the Jan. 14, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday. This is the 23rd time that Crimson Tide football has appeared on the cover, which includes 12 covers in the past four seasons. You can purchase this week’s cover here.
Alabama’s 42-14 dominating victory over Notre Dame earned the Crimson Tide their third BCS Title in four years, firmly securing Alabama’s place in history. Fans and players alike, including Alabama senior center Barrett Jones couldn’t help but speak of a dynasty. Jones spoke to senior writer Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) on the field after the game. He said: “There’s a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover hanging in my room because I’m on it—from 2010. It says, DYNASTY. CAN ANYONE STOP ALABAMA? I’ll never forget looking at that thing and wondering if we really could be a dynasty. Three out of four. I’m no dynasty expert, but that seems like a dynasty to me.”
Even more impressive is the run by Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who has now coached teams to national championships in four of the past 10 seasons. Only Paul “Bear” Bryant’s six titles at Alabama compare, yet Saban told Layden: “There is no continuum of success. History can’t help us win.”
Following a wild weekend of upsets in college football, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first time in school history, and No.1 in the Associated Press poll for the first time since November 1993. This rise to the top lands them on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, marking the 24th time the Notre Dame football program has been featured on the cover, and the first national cover since Maurice Stovall on September 30, 2002. You can purchase this week’s cover here.
The Irish are marching onward to the national championship game – and downward from the moral high ground they have claimed for a century. In this week’s Sports Illustrated, senior writer Tim Layden goes inside the football culture change at Notre Dame, a place where the team can’t merely be good; it must also call to mind the glory of a century-long football tradition. This year’s team is the first one in awhile to do both.
Says current Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith, who played five years at Notre Dame, including two under current head coach Brian Kelly: “You’re expected to go to class and not just be a football player. That’s real. It’s going to be hard academically, just like it’s hard academically at a lot of schools. But we’re all just college kids, we’re all playing football, and we’re all going to make mistakes. Notre Dame is not some golden perfect place. It’s a place that tries to do the right thing” (page 57).
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:
Nebraska castoff Frank Solich, who was fired from the Cornhuskers’ head coaching post in November 2003, has rebuilt once-hapless Ohio University into Boise State circa 2003. Lars Anderson looks at how the unbeaten Bobcats are poised to become the next great BCS buster, even without a blue field or occasional Wednesday night ESPN game (page 50).