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Articles written by Ed Jones Sports Editor


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  • Troy, So. Alabama, UAB Always on D-I bubble

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Feb 1, 2017

    It has been heartbreaking to me as a football fan to watch some of the teams in the south who have moved up to Division I football over the last decade. Teams like Troy, UAB, South Alabama and Georgia State were probably correct in the assessment of moving into the top class of college football with the plethora of bowl games available, the promise of more money in the coffers due to expanded crowds and fan bases. Also the alumni were stuck in what they considered the oblivion of Division 1-AA...

  • BAMA - CLEMSON II

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jan 1, 2017

    Coach Paul Bryant had many “sayings” as he called them. One of them was “the harder you work, the luckier you get.” So, using this little bit of wisdom from The Coach, it is my belief that Alabama and Clemson playing in a rematch of the national championship game last year is not even remotely a result of luck. Coach Nick Saban learned the basics to coaching football from Coach Don James at Kent State. Saban played for James and later coached for James at Kent State. Don James, who was...

  • Auburn Treading Water but not Sinking While Tide Rolls to SEC Championship

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Dec 1, 2016

    Most of the pundits had Alabama as a prohibitive favorite in the first bowl game of the year, the Iron Bowl. The Vegas line was 17 - 18 points. Many Auburn and Alabama friends of mine wanted to know what I thought would happen Saturday, November 26. My reaction never waivered. I believed that Auburn could make it close if Alabama had at least two turnovers in the game. If not, then I saw Alabama winning by 14 points. They had two turnovers in the first half and Auburn only trailed by four...

  • Two People Can't Drive a Pickup Truck !!

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Nov 1, 2016

    Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn has been coaching for over twenty-five years. He has been a head coach in college for four and one-half seasons, one at Arkansas State and three and one-half at Auburn. This year, after losses to Clemson and Texas A&M in the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium, Coach Malzahn announced to the world that he would be giving up his play calling duties to Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee has been with Malzahn for all of his college career and during...

  • Who's Out, Who's In

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Oct 1, 2016

    It has been a weakness of mine over the years to give people second chances, and sometimes third chances. That may be admirable, but it is not good for your reputation, if one is keeping track of your winning percentage. Some second chances work out, third chances hardly ever. Nevertheless, I will probably not change. For fifteen years, I have been publishing my “Top 40” college pre-season football teams. It’s kind of like drawing to an inside straight in another game of chance. If you...

  • The Best of 2016

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Sep 1, 2016

    Contrary to popular belief, soccer is not the fastest growing sport in America. College football is. In the last four years, thirty-six football programs have been started or re-started at NCAA, NAIA or independent institutions. There are now almost 130 Division I teams competing among NCAA member institutions alone. The success of professional football is also at an all-time high. This includes the National Football League, the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. In the...

  • The SEC West is still the Best

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Aug 1, 2016

    The following is an in-depth look at the pre-season positions of the fourteen teams that make up the Eastern and Western Divisions of the SEC, and where we think they will stack up at the end of the regular season:...

  • "Big Boy" Football not for everybody

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jul 1, 2016

    In December, 2014, my column was devoted to the concept of certain college football teams moving their NCAA classification from Division IAA to Division I. The reasons that these schools make this move is based on a false premise that by playing the "Big Boys" it will bring them prestige, thereby attracting more students from more locations in the country. This is not a totally incorrect theory because the names of these former IAA teams will be in the news more. This could possibly attract some...

  • TO THE BLUE FOREVER

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jun 1, 2016

    We entered the “hallowed halls” of Lanier in September, 1953 with some trepidation. The massive structure looked more like a college than a high school. There were approximately 2,000 of us milling around, trying to find the right place to be. We had come from smaller junior high schools which served certain sections of Montgomery. But this? This was out of our comfort zone. This was an amalgamation of all sections of Montgomery; Baldwin area, Cloverdale area, Capitol Heights area,...

  • 60 Years? How Long It Has Been!

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|May 1, 2016

    The 60th reunion of the class of '56 enjoyed a wonderful meal at a great facility inside the Wynn Lakes Country Club April 16, 2016. It was so special to see 78 year old friends acting like teenagers, that is, those who could stand up without assistance. Some even tried to dance to the sounds of the '50's'. Not many danced very long. There were no oxygen tanks in the room. After me and my wife Betty tried to dance "The Panama City Bop", we were glad to hear the end of Chuck Berry's "Long Distanc...

  • The Quarterback Battle

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Apr 1, 2016

    Alabama fans are in a state of anxiety again this spring. “Who will be our quarterback?” This question is asked of me almost every day. Everybody loved Blake Sims two years ago, but he could not deliver the prize. Nobody wanted Jake Coker last year. All he did was go 14-0 as Alabama’s starting quarterback and hand the unbelieving Tide fans another national championship. “Really, who will be our quarterback this year?” As long as Nick Saban is the coach, there will be an adequate quarte...

  • Shunned by Combine

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Mar 1, 2016

    A 6'-5", 235 lb. quarterback that never lost a game in college (14-0) did not receive an invitation to compete in the NFL Scouting Combine. He also led his team to the 2015 NCAA National Championship. From my vantage point, he was the MVP of the championship game. So, what's the problem? It is that Alabama's Jake Coker was not on any scouting lists in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012. Why? He had never started a game since his senior year in high school, that's why. The chemistry on this 2015 team was...

  • THE LAST HURRAH!

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Feb 1, 2016

    Levi Stadium in San Fransisco could be "Peyton's Place" on February 7, 2016. Two months shy of his 40th birthday, Peyton Manning will start the 50th Super Bowl with a determination to end his remarkable career with a win for the Denver Broncos over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. This is a contrast between the past of one of the greatest quarterbacks in history (Manning) and the new breed of quarterback (Newton) which may define the future. Peyton will be the oldest quarterback to start a...

  • First there were two...Now there are four...Soon there will be eight!

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jan 1, 2016

    Starting with the football season of 2014, a four team play-off was initiated. This may or may not be better than what we had with the BCS Championship Plan with only the top two teams participating. The football world has been anxious to come up with any plan that will keep the SEC from dominating the national championship play-off. The SEC has won or played in the last ten play-offs. This four team play-off will not satisfy the football fans of American very long. They are only interested in...

  • Henry / Heisman

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Dec 1, 2015

    As the 2015 football season winds down, the talk centers on what four teams will make the National Championship Playoff, which teams will fill the 40 bowls. (The NCAA needs 80 teams to fill the record high 40 bowl games), and of course, who will win the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman Trophy was originally created to honor the best college football player in America. For the last 65 years it has been presented to the best quarterback or running back in America. The award is named for a former...

  • 2013...12-2 2014...8-5 2015...Worse?

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Nov 1, 2015

    This column should be praising the resurgence of Alabama. However, I don't consider them ever being down. This Alabama team is the most physical in years. It is no surprise to me that they are headed toward the Final Four. On the other hand, the demise of Auburn is a national Shakespearian Tragedy! Every pre-season poll had the Tigers...

  • The Alabama Gazette - Best of 2015

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Sep 1, 2015

    Picking the top college football teams for the 2015 season was more difficult than in most years. The top four teams will of course qualify for the 2015 National Championship Play-Offs. The obvious choice for number one is the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes from last year. They don’t lose any key missing parts. Coach Urban Meyer is a proven commodity. He now has three national championship rings, two from Florida. He has built successful programs at every stop-Bowling Green, Utah, Flori...

  • "Snake" Finally Rolls "Snake Eyes"

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Aug 1, 2015

    It was cold. It was wet. It was miserable. It was November. It was 1967. It was Birmingham. It was Legion Field. It was the Iron Bowl. It was late in the second half. It was Auburn 3- Alabama- 0. I was huddled with my date under one of 40,000 umbrellas in the stadium. Ken Stabler takes the snap. He's running the option right. Alabama's right guard "tackles" Auburn's nose guard, Gusty Yearout. Stabler cuts inside, breaks right and sloshes through the Legion Field mud for fifty-seven yards. It...

  • Memories...

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jul 1, 2015

    "There's a time to be living...a time for to die."...

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham - 2B or not - 2B

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jun 1, 2015

    In the December issue of The Alabama Gazette, the most successful monthly newspaper in the state, my column dealt with the dilemma that UAB, Troy, USA and other colleges have gone through by moving from D-I AA to D-I in football. Unfortunately, this upward and onward quest has not provided the desired results. The struggles that my friend Larry Blakeney has gone through in order to make this work at Troy has not escaped my attention. In consultation with Coach George "Snoozy" Jones my attention...

  • Best Of The West

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|May 1, 2015

    With all of the SEC spring football games completed, one can better make a determination as to who is improved, who has digressed and who remains relatively the same. All spring games are for basically three reasons. First the coaches need to look at some of their younger players in a game situation as similar as possible to a regular football game. Remember, many of these players have not played in a game in two years in some cases. The coaching staff likes to evaluate their performance in...

  • Names Change...Game's Same

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Apr 1, 2015

    The greatest rivalry in college football is without question the annual Auburn - Alabama game. It is known around the country as the "Iron Bowl." The game was just another game when the Alabama State Legislature passed legislation that would force the two schools to renew the rivalry after being dormant for four decades. So, in 1948 Auburn and Alabama began playing again in Birmingham's Legion Field. Alabama won the first game. Auburn won the second. Then Alabama reeled off four straight wins...

  • AU + UA x COMBINE = NFL $$

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Mar 15, 2015

    Last month thousands of “football people” converged on Indianapolis, Indiana for a most important week. Thirty-two NFL teams will have had at least six representatives move into hotels and motels near Lucas Oil Field, the site of the 2015 NFL Combine. Over 300 players from college teams are annually invited to participate in their first “audition” for the best job that they will ever have. Depending on how well they perform, they will become instant millionaires if they are drafted high...

  • Joiner, Saban...

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Feb 15, 2015

    JOINER On Sunday, February 1, 2015, the last vestige of the glory days of Sidney Lanier High School came to an end. Legendary basketball coach Bill Joiner fittingly passed away as the half-time of the Super Bowl began at the age of 83. What a fitting way for him to go. As the coach in the pressbox for Coach Bobby Wilson's great football teams of the same era, Bill would scramble down the stadium steps as fast as his old bad knee would allow in order to give Bobby and the rest of the Lanier...

  • www.cutbowls.com

    Ed Jones Sports Editor|Jan 15, 2015

    The proliferation of bowl games has been a favorite of mine. There are too many and next year there may even be more. The NCAA sanctions every bowl game played. ESPN will televise any bowl game within a thousand miles of the Continental United States. Why? ESPN makes money. The NCAA makes money. The participating schools make money for themselves, and for their affiliated conference. The independent teams like Notre Dame and Brigham Young really make money. The professional gamblers in Las...

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