Team preview: Alabama

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


Everyone associated with the University of Alabama, from its administration to its fans, knew hiring Nick Saban would put the Crimson Tide football program back in the national spotlight.

Of course, they probably never expected that spotlight to be quite so glaring so soon.

In the month leading up to Saban's hiring, he made repeated denials about his connection to the Alabama job and stated his intention to remain as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, only to take the job and its $4 million annual paycheck, incurring the wrath of national media and the mockery of rival fans.

Over the next few months, Saban managed to alienate both national and in-state media with his restrictive interview policies; LSU fans with his "coon-ass" joke, LSU football coaches with his reminder that LSU was still winning with his recruits; and other SEC coaches with his alleged illegal contacts with recruits in the Miami area. Then he managed to explain away his rules violations by blaming the media, saying "I think it's funny it came from Miami."