Top-ranked Alabama facing much kinder October schedule - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Top-ranked Alabama facing much kinder October schedule (Saban news conference video)

Posted: Updated:
The top-ranked Crimson Tide will almost certainly be double-digit favorites for every game before the next really big one, starting with eight-touchdown underdog and winless Georgia State on Saturday.(AP Photo/Dave Martin) The top-ranked Crimson Tide will almost certainly be double-digit favorites for every game before the next really big one, starting with eight-touchdown underdog and winless Georgia State on Saturday.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's reward for beating two ranked SEC West teams in September is an October lineup that seems to set a clear path to a showdown with No. 10 LSU.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide will almost certainly be double-digit favorites for every game before the next really big one, starting with eight-touchdown underdog and winless Georgia State on Saturday.

Still, Alabama coach Nick Saban insists there's no sure thing in college football. His message: "We respect every opponent that we play, regardless of their record."

"You see these games where Akron almost beat Michigan or whatever it is," Saban said. "There's nothing to be taken for granted in any team you play.

"I think the best way to do that is focus on who you are, what you're doing, how you want to improve and how you want to play to be the best player you can be. That's certainly going to be our focus for this week."

The Tide (4-0) had an up-and-down September but emerged unscathed despite barely escaping No. 9 Texas A&M with a win and sputtering against Colorado State, the only huge underdog on the month's agenda. Every other Western Division team already has a defeat, and only Missouri — which hasn't played a Southeastern Conference game yet — is perfect in the East.

Alabama responded to the Colorado State performance with a 25-0 win over No. 24 Mississippi, the only ranked opponent remaining before the Nov. 9 game with LSU. Nobody else on the schedule is currently in the Top 25 besides LSU, and the four October opponents — Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee — have a combined record of 7-11.

The schedule seems to line up nicely for Alabama, barring a sizable upset along the way.

All four of those teams are led by first-year head coaches.

Alabama won't play any of the three ranked East Division teams — No. 6 Georgia, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 18 Florida — unless they meet in the SEC championship game.

As Saban said, it becomes about Alabama now. There's certainly areas for improvement, especially on a rebuilt offensive line and an offense that still ranks 13th in the SEC. Center Ryan Kelly is likely out at least the next two games with a knee injury.

Chad Lindsay played most of the game against Ole Miss, when the Tide racked up 254 yards on the ground and held the Rebels to 205 total yards.

"We had something to prove, I guess," guard Anthony Steen said. "We knew we should have played better against Colorado State and we wanted to go out there and show everybody that we're better than that, and I think we did. But I think there's room to improve after watching the film."

The Tide might have learned a lesson from the 31-6 win over Colorado State about handling business in games where fans and poll voters are expecting a blowout. Alabama only pulled away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns in that game.

A win by the same margin over Ole Miss was much more impressive. Anything short of a dominating performance against Georgia State would be regarded as another letdown.

"We don't want to be sleep-walking this week," safety Vinnie Sunseri said. "We're excited. We want to keep the momentum rolling. We want to build off this win. It was a big win, but we've got to move on from it and keep progressing, keep moving forward."

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.More >>
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    More >>
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.More >>
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site

    Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:34 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:34:18 GMT
    French officials say that the wreckage of an Air Algeria plane which crashed with 116 people aboard has been found in Mali.More >>
    French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the...More >>
  • Lawyer for doctors: Man's claims of botched circumcision, amputated penis are untrue

    Lawyer for doctors: Man's claims of botched circumcision, amputated penis are untrue

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:21:47 GMT
     Two doctors are denying claims by an Alabama man who says his penis was amputated during what was supposed to be a routine circumcision.More >>
     Two doctors are denying claims by an Alabama man who says his penis was amputated during what was supposed to be a routine circumcision.
    More >>
  • Antioch Baptist Church Plans Several Events to Honor Pastor Quinton Earl Hammond

    Birmingham Pastor Reaches Milestone

    Birmingham Pastor Reaches Milestone

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:50:40 GMT
    This is the 40th year of preaching for Dr. Quinton Earl Hammond. Thirty-four of those years were spent at Antioch Baptist Church.
    More >>
    This is the 40th year of preaching for Dr. Quinton Earl Hammond. Thirty-four of those years were spent at Antioch Baptist Church. Today, members wore black tee-shirts which boast how they feel about their beloved pastor. The shirts read, "We love our Pastor." Meanwhile, the Pastor of the church sports a tee-shirt that reads, "I love my church." Reverend Hammond's achievements are being celebrated at a black-tie Gala planned for August 8th 2014 at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham. A s...More >>
  • Lane Closures Planned as Wire Rails are Installed, Asphalt Paving, Grading Work Done

    Lane Closures Planned as Wire Rails are Installed, Asphalt Paving, Grading Work Done

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:50:03 GMT
    If you drive along Interstate 459, you might want to budget more travel time. Guard-rail, grading work and asphalt paving work is set to begin along the highway. Work on the north and southbound on I-459 in Hoover is set to begin this weekend. The inside lanes will be shut down from the Al 150 interchange to the U-S 31 interchange...Sunday through Tuesday nights, from 7 PM until 6 AM. Aldot plans to install cable rails to keep drivers from crossing over into oncoming traffic. A series of fa...More >>
    If you drive along Interstate 459, you might want to budget more travel time. Guard-rail, grading work and asphalt paving work is set to begin along the highway. Work on the north and southbound on I-459 in Hoover is set to begin this weekend. The inside lanes will be shut down from the Al 150 interchange to the U-S 31 interchange...Sunday through Tuesday nights, from 7 PM until 6 AM. Aldot plans to install cable rails to keep drivers from crossing over into oncoming traffic. A series of fa...More >>
  • Birmingham Protesters Join National Movement to Protest Federal Immigration Policies

    Birmingham Protesters Join National Movement to Protest Federal Immigration Policies

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:49:18 GMT
    Birmingham was one of 400 cities to have participated in what the group claims is the largest anti-amnesty nation-wide protest in history. The group calls themselves "Make Them Listen." They took to the streets expressing frustration with the federal government's stance on immigration. Using Facebook to get the word out, they staged a national day of protesting against immigration reform, amnesty and border surge. Car horns blared and beeped in response to the "no amnesty" and "no illegal i...More >>
    Birmingham was one of 400 cities to have participated in what the group claims is the largest anti-amnesty nation-wide protest in history. The group calls themselves "Make Them Listen." They took to the streets expressing frustration with the federal government's stance on immigration. Using Facebook to get the word out, they staged a national day of protesting against immigration reform, amnesty and border surge. Car horns blared and beeped in response to the "no amnesty" and "no illegal i...More >>
  • Single Mother's Empowerment Conference Honors and Inspires

    Single Mother's Empowerment Conference Honors and Inspires

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:48:43 GMT
    Women were informed, and inspired and networked with one-another at today's Single Mother's Empowerment Conference. ABC 33-40's Linda Mays, the conference Executive Director, kicked off the event. Then speakers and panelists moved into break-out sessions. ABC 33-40 anchor and reporter Brenda Ladun was a guest panelist, along with Ruby Felton, the Community-based Program Manager at the Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center, Melva Tate, owner of public relations firm Tate Associates, LL...More >>
    Women were informed, and inspired and networked with one-another at today's Single Mother's Empowerment Conference. ABC 33-40's Linda Mays, the conference Executive Director, kicked off the event. Then speakers and panelists moved into break-out sessions. ABC 33-40 anchor and reporter Brenda Ladun was a guest panelist, along with Ruby Felton, the Community-based Program Manager at the Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center, Melva Tate, owner of public relations firm Tate Associates, LL...More >>
  • Blount County Shooting Victim Identified

    Blount County Shooting Victim Identified

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:47 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:47:32 GMT
    The Blount County Sheriff's office has identified the 34-year old man who was shot and killed in the 1600 block of Tawbush Road yesterday. Deputies say Ayatollah Khomeini Muhammad's driver's license listed a Center Point, Alabama address. Investigators say Muhammad did not reside at the Tawbush Road home, where he was removed by sheriffs deputies Wednesday morning. "What happened yesterday was he showed up at the house at 1 o'clock. Deputies were called over there. There were no problems, no...More >>
    The Blount County Sheriff's office has identified the 34-year old man who was shot and killed in the 1600 block of Tawbush Road yesterday. Deputies say Ayatollah Khomeini Muhammad's driver's license listed a Center Point, Alabama address. Investigators say Muhammad did not reside at the Tawbush Road home, where he was removed by sheriffs deputies Wednesday morning. "What happened yesterday was he showed up at the house at 1 o'clock. Deputies were called over there. There were no problems, no...More >>
  • Samford "shoes" a nation

    Samford "shoes" a nation

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:23 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:23:40 GMT
    Samford is now the first university to "Shoe a Nation." More >>
    Samford is now the first university to "Shoe a Nation." More >>