Sunday, January 6, 2013

Morning Six Pack: January 6, 2013

BCS Eve, y’all! Enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.

Notre Dame finds strength on defensive line

Put them together, and you've got the start of quite a stout defensive line for top-ranked Notre Dame. Yet both on and off the field, they find ways to click in just about every way imaginable - and they're generally considered the two most productive defensive linemen on an Irish team that plays No. 2 Alabama on Monday night in the BCS title game.

Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says he 'abused' marijuana

Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu opened up during an interview with ESPN's Joe Schad.

Wiedmer: Black guys directing major wins

As the story goes, Charlie Strong — then a Florida assistant football coach — was interviewing for a head-coaching position in a BCS conference when that school's athletic director asked him whom he intended to hire as offensive coordinator if he was chosen. Bowl parade starts Mardi Gras early for visitors

Janet and Casey Malauulu came a long way to see their first Mardi Gras parade - all the way from Oceanside, Calif.

Longtime assistant reportedly dismissed as staff shakeups continue at WVU

More changes are coming for West Virginia’s coaching staff following a 7-6 season that ended with a disastrous Pinstripe Bowl loss to Syracuse.


Last year, having already lost once to LSU, it was the Crimson Tide that had the combination of scant pressure and a strong inner confidence that it was the better team and needed only a second chance. By the end of Alabama's session in New Orleans last year, wide receiver Christion Jones had two-thirds of the media, and most of his teammates, rolling with laughter at his spot-on impersonations of assistant coaches and celebrities.

There was none of that this year. Alabama was stern, stoic, a team with business at hand and an awareness of the hand of history pressing upon it. Nick Saban was the same, talking perceptively - and at times with palpable emotion - about football and family. He talked poignantly about his father, about his regret over things left unsaid when Nick Saban Sr. died during his son's first year as a graduate assistant at Kent State. His mood seemed lighter when he hosted his year-ending radio show at the team hotel, but it is fair to say Alabama seemed like a team with a lot on its mind.

Will any of that carry over Monday night? Will Notre Dame be fast and footloose, or will the Fighting Irish face a moment when reality hits them squarely in the smile? Will Alabama be robotic, fearful of errors, or will it be a quietly efficient machine?

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