Bowl Preparation Begins

Alabama's media relations office has provided a schedule for Alabama football practices beginning Saturday. Interim Head Coach Joe Kines will conduct the practices.

Alabama's bowl destination -- if any -- will not be known until later. Although the Crimson Tide achieved bowl eligibility with its six wins (the minimum requirement for participating in a bowl game), the Crimson Tide's poor showing ranks it ninth in the bowl pecking order for Southeastern Conference teams.

The SEC has eight bowl slots (including on automatic berth in a BCS bowl for the SEC Championship Game winner. Florida and Arkansas will meet in Atlanta Saturday afternoon for that title and BCS slot. It is possible that LSU would also be selected for a BCS berth, thus opening up that ninth slot for SEC affiliated bowls for Alabama.

Most projections have Alabama meeting Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport on December 28, but it is also possible that if Alabama eases into an SEC-affiliated site it could be Memphis' Liberty Bowl or Nashville's Music City Bowl.

There is also the possibility of Bama being selected for a bowl affiliated with another conference if that conference can't provide enough bowl eligible teams. Most often mentioned is the Motor City Bowl in Detroit.

Bowl invitations will go out following BCS arrangements being made on Sunday.

Alabama has the nation's greatest bowl tradition, more bowl games played (53) and more bowl games won (30), and extraordinary success in the major bowl games.

Alabama practices will begin Saturday morning. (Practices are not open to the public.)

Other tentative practice days are Saturday, December 9; Friday, December 15; and Saturday, December 16. Players are in strength and conditioning workouts and preparing for final examinations and coaches are involved in recruiting.

All this is in the background as Athletics Director Mal Moore seeks a new head football coach to replace the recently-fired Mike Shula.

Also in play is the position of Kines, who is reportedly the leading candidate for defensive coordinator at Texas.


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