Simply put, the gold standard. Alabama is the team the college football world has been looking up to for three of the past four years and it's unlikely that will change in 2013. After a Sept. 14 game at Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide play seven of their final 10 regular-season games at home.
Alabama has built what strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran calls "the biggest, baddest weight room in the country," part of the ongoing arms race in college athletics. The two-story 37,000-square-foot facility cost $9 million.
It's part of the plan to keep Alabama at the top of its game, but beyond the $9 million, what is the cost?
Tutors, it appears, are among those being squeezed.
Birmingham News columnist John Archibald takes note of a recent change in policy at the university that has capped work hours for many graduate students — including athletic department tutors — at 20 hours.
Alabama's LaMichael Fanning gets called for unnecessary roughness after power slamming Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough in the closing minutes of the Crimson Tide's 42-10 victory over the Tigers on Saturday in Columbia. The officials then look the other way when Missouri players rough up Fanning on the next two plays.
Love them or hate them, you have to respect Alabama. The Crimson Tide are in the thick of the title hunt every year under Nick Saban, and nothing has changed in 2012. All eyes will be on the Nov. 3 game between Alabama and Louisiana State in Baton Rouge.