After playing without the top two centers on its depth chart against New Mexico State, the University of Alabama football team had some promising presences at practice on Tuesday as both Chris Owens and Emil Ekiyor Jr., the most experienced players at that position, were back at practice during the media viewing period.
Alabama worked outdoors in preparation for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. CT SEC opener at South Carolina. The Crimson Tide is currently a 25-point favorite in that contest.
There was also some good news on the defensive line, although it was a day of mixed results. Freshman Justin Eboigbe , who was receiving first-team reps in August before a foot injury that has sidelined him for the first two games, was back in regular gear for a second consecutive day. Meanwhile, freshman Antonio Alfano, who did not dress for the New Mexico State game, continued to be absent from practice during the media viewing period.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said last Saturday that Alfano is “going through some discipline things with me,” but indicated an eventual return was possible.
As part of a season-long multimedia series celebrating the 150th anniversary of college football, ESPN released its poll of the Top 150 teams in History. The rankings were generated by a panel of 150 voters who selected the better team in thousands of computer-generated head-to-head matchups.
Eighteen different Alabama teams were included in the list. The undefeated 1979 team was the most highly-rated at No. 8, with the 2009 team, the first of Saban’s national championship squads at UA, coming in at No. 10.
The other teams on the list were 1992 (No. 21), 1966 (No. 38), 2015 (No. 42), 1961 (No. 45), 2011 (No. 51), 2016 (No. 65), 1978 (No. 68), 2012 (No. 75), 2018 (No. 87), 1930 (No.91), 1977 (No. 93), 1945 (No. 98), 1925 (No. 114), 1934 (No. 123), 1973 (No. 129) and 1964 (No. 143).
Four of the teams that Alabama considers to have been “national champions” — 1926, 1941, 1965 and 2017 — did not make the list. Alabama does not recognize 1945, 1966, 1977, 2016 or 2018, all of which made the list, as national championship teams.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225