Few Tasks Remain

Alabama interim head coach Joe Kines pronounced his Alabama squad "on schedule" Tuesday afternoon, 48 hours before Alabama (6-6) will take on Oklahoma State (6-6) its second ever Independence Bowl appearance Thursday afternoon.

"About the only thing left now is to take the team picture and play the game," Kines said. "That's about where we are."

Players will vote on an offensive, defensive and special teams captain on Wednesday before practice. Kines and Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy will each bring a handful of players to the Shreveport Convention Center Wednesday morning for the formal pre-game press conference.

Kines told the small gathering of reporters on Tuesday that things have gone smoothly in Shreveport. There have been no new injuries since the team arrived, thanks to the fact that most of the game plan and physical work was put in back in Tuscaloosa.

Receivers D.J. Hall and Will Oakley wore yellow "no contact" jerseys today. Defensive tackle J.P. Adams has also been bothered by a sore knee, but Kines said the trainer's report indicated that "everybody's on schedule to play, and we've still got a couple of more days to heal up."

The starting lineups will stay "pretty much the same," Kines said.

Asked about the possibility of the team being rusty after over a month without having played a game, Kines said, "Remember your momma's old iron skillet? My momma busted me hard if you didn't get that thing clean. If there's a lot of rust there it takes a lot of elbow grease. If there's not a lot there you can hit a time or two and go on.

"The key is not to let that rust build up too much. We tried not to let it get that way. Hopefully we didn't let off too quick. Hopefully we didn't work them hard too early. Who knows? It's like baking a cake. You've got to get all the ingredients in there and get the oven at the right temperature. If you do that thing will come out right."

What is PetroSun?

PetroSun is now the official title sponsor of the Independence Bowl (it was MainStay the last time Alabama was here), but just what is Petrosun? Basically, it's an energy conglomerate. Officially, PetroSun is a diversified energy company specializing in the discovery and development of both traditional fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. The company, which is headquartered in Phoenix, but operates mainly in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, provides oilfield services and is involved in developing fields of renewable energy, biodiesel and waste heat generation.

Being Treated Well

Shereveport shouldn't be given short shrift as a bowl destination, at least not for members of the media. The media hotel, Diamond Jacks, is as plush as either of the prior two destinations for the Crimson Tide, and conveniently located.

Return of Coach P

Former Alabama Strength and Conditioning coach Ben Pollard (or Coach P as his players referred to him) is reportedly coming back to Tuscaloosa, but not back to the University of Alabama. Brent Zwerneman, of the Express-News in San Antonio, reported that Pollard resigned from his post at Texas A& M.

Pollard told A&M football players of his resignation during a meeting after the Aggies football team arrived in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, the report said. Pollard came to Alabama under Dennis Franchione, and remained one year under Mike Shula before being replaced by Kent Johnston. He then went back to work for Franchione at A&M.

The report said Pollard was leaving A&M amicably and plans to return to Tuscaloosa, Ala., but that he won't be working for the University of Alabama.


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