November 24, 2007

Notebook: Tide bowl fate uncertain

With a 17-10 loss to Auburn on Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide fell to 6-6 on the season leaving them with a worse record than 8 of the 9 other bowl eligible SEC teams. With the Tide and South Carolina each holding 6-6 records, one of the two teams will be left out of the SEC bowl picture when selections are made next Sunday. Head coach Nick Saban said that although his team's bowl future is uncertain he is hopeful that his team will get another opportunity to en the season on a high note.

"I don't know anything about the bowl situation," said Saban. "I would love for our players to be able to have the opportunity to go to a bowl game. It gives you extra practice time, it gives you a chance to develop young players and it gives you a chance to develop as a team for the future and it's an opportunity to compete again. It's positive reinforcement for our players' hard work that they've done."

The Crimson Tide players were unanimous in their desire to play in a post-season bowl game.

"Hopefully we will (go to a bowl), but the way it looks right now I don't think we will," said senior Wallace Gilberry. "If we do, it would definitely be an honor and a privilege."

Linebacker Darren Mustin said the Tide players have only themselves to blame if they are ultimately left out of the postseason.

"I would love to go to a bowl, but tonight we had an opportunity to guarantee a bowl and it's not in our hands anymore," Mustin said. "It's in the hands of the committees. I would love to go to a bowl. Who wouldn't? It's the best time of the year, bowl season. We're bowl eligible but so is everybody in the SEC but like two teams so it's out of our hands."

For now, the Tide must play the waiting game and will spend the next week in limbo waiting to find out its postseason fate.

"We'll have a team meeting tomorrow," Saban said. "Hopefully by then we'll have a little better idea what the situation is. Maybe not."

Notes and Quotes

* Wallace Gilberry on the Auburn players taunting the Tide players by holding up six fingers before the final play of the game:

"It's all in the fun of the game, We allowed them to do that. It's not disrespectful at all. They won so it would be disrespectful for me to criticize them for that."

* Travis McCall on lining up at fullback for the Tide:

"It's nothing new for me. Tight end and fullback are pretty much the same thing so it's natural."

* Alabama used its sixth different starting offensive line combination with Andre Smith (LT), Marlon Davis (LG), Evan Cardwell (C), Mike Johnson (RG) and Antoine Caldwell (RT) starting up front.

* Tonight's game was the eigth night game in Iron Bowl history. Five of the eight night games have been played in Auburn.

* Freshman Rolando McClain recorded a career-high 15 tackles and his first career interception.

* Sophomore placekicker Leigh Tiffin converted a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter marking his 22nd successful field goal of the season. The total ranks tied for second on the Alabama single-season list for field goals made. It also ties for the most field goal attempts in a season with 31.

* The Alabama offense was held to a season low for total yards (225), passing yards (113) and points (10).

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