Happy New Year To Alabama Fans

On Saturday, we begin a new year, 2011, and we offer you our best wishes for a happy and prosperous one. The 2010 year started with one of the greatest victories in storied Alabama football history. Perhaps the Crimson Tide can start 2011 on a winning note.

The first order of business for Alabama followers Saturday -- hopefully not including hangover treatment -- will be to cheer the Crimson Tide to a victory in the Capital One Bowl. Bama, 9-3 and ranked 15th in the nation, meets Michigan State, 11-1, and rated seventh, in Orlando at 1 p.m. EST (noon central). ESPN will televise the game.

Alabama opened 2010 with high hopes. There could hardly have been a better season for any team in college football history. Alabama went undefeated, had its first Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram, and then went to the Rose Bowl -- where magnificent Bama football history has its roots -- and defeated another of the bluebloods of college football, Texas, for the Crimson Tide's 13th national championship. It was Bama's first win over the Longhorns.

When pre-season polls were released prior to last season, almost everyone had Bama No. 1. And it stayed that way until the game that all schedule-watchers had circled as a likely trap for the Tide. After a tough road trip to Arkansas, then an emotional home win over Florida, Bama went to South Carolina and played one of the poorest games of the Nick Saban Bama era in losing to the Gamecocks.

Although there was still hope of a return to the national championship game up until a game at LSU, that loss to the Bengal Tigers ended any hopes of any championship.

The Tide's final loss of the season, blowing a huge lead to Auburn, put the finishing touches on ruining 2010.

The attitude of Bama enemies notwithstanding, it is now time to look ahead and a Happy 2011. This community includes more than football games. There's also football recruiting. And other things related to Alabama athletics.

But though we are drawn together by the Crimson Tide, there are other important things in our lives. We wish you a Happy New Year in all respects.

And, of course, a "Roll Tide!" in 2011.

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