Headlinin’: Your Alabama-LSU game day reader

Making the morning rounds.


The hay is in the barn. It's game day in New Orleans, where LSU and Alabama fans of all stripes have descended on the French Quarter ahead of tonight's all-SEC championship rematch — including one Harvey Updyke, aka "Al from Dadeville," who took a break from his ongoing legal proceedings to join the fray on Bourbon Street. Updyke said he was "tired of his 15 minutes of fame" after (allegedly) poisoning a pair of beloved oak trees on Auburn's campus last year, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have time to obviously expecting him, so what would it look like if he didn't show up. [al.com]

More recommended BCS Championship reading…
Oddsmakers still like Alabama as a two-point favorite, with one notable exception: Bovada (née Bodog.com), which calls it a pick 'em. But of course, you can always bet on so much more than just the final score. [Rivals, Bovada.lv]
Jordan Jefferson expects LSU to "go down as the greatest team" with a second win over the Tide. [Baton Rouge Advocate]
Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is "scared to death" about Alabama's All-American linebackers getting worn down in the fourth quarter. [Birmingham News]
Shockingly, the man behind the infamous "Honey Badger" video — now up to 31.3 million views on YouTube — is picking LSU. [Associated Press]
Y! colleague Dan Wetzel is opposed to the idea of a split national champion if Alabama wins, but his points about why anyone still pays attention to the Associated Press poll are a lot more persuasive than his insistence that they shouldn't. [Yahoo!]
LSU has nine players on its current roster who were around as redshirt freshmen for the Tigers' last BCS triumph in 2007. [Times-Picayune]
Dennis Dodd strains to convince us that Nick Saban has a sense of humor. [CBS Sports]
How LSU's Josh Dworaczyk essentially turned himself into college football's youngest assistant coach. [Sports Illustrated]
Les Miles advises his team to "qualify your want to participate." [TideSports.com]

In non-championship news…


We hardly knew ye, part one. As expected, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly has added his name to the growing list of early exits for the NFL Draft, foregoing his senior season with 532 career tackles to his name — 299 solo — in three years, best in the nation among active players. In 2011, Kuechly notched double-digit tackles in every game, won the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the nation and was voted a consensus All-American for the second year in a row. [Associated Press]

We hardly knew ye, part two. Another All-ACC departure: Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen, who declared for the draft on Friday after setting single-season school records for catches (50), yards (598) and touchdowns (8) by a tight end. That was good for a consensus All-America nod and the Mackey Award as the nation's best tight end. [Associated Press]

Happy trails. USC tailback Amir Carlisle — a former top-100 recruit ranked by Rivals as the No. 4 "all-purpose" back in the 2011 recruiting class — plans to transfer to Notre Dame after rejecting the Irish last year. Carlisle flashed some ability as a freshman, especially with 121 total yards on 12 touches against Colorado, but generally found himself buried on the depth chart. Oddly enough for a California native, moving to South Bend will also allow him to be closer to his family: Amir's father, Duane Carlisle, is the director of sports performance at Purdue. [South Bend Tribune]

What goes around... DeAnthony Arnett has his release from Tennessee to attend Michigan State, but Derek Dooley's initial reluctance to clear Arnett's transfer to a Big Ten school may have already cost the Vols another recruit: Four-star Washington, D.C. cornerback Kenny Crawley decommitted from Tennessee last week, according to an assistant coach at Crawley's high school, in part because he didn't like what he'd read about the Arnett situation. (It probably doesn't help that UT defensive coordinator Josh Wilcox is packing his bags for Washington, with the Vols' best recruiter en tow.) He now plans official visits to Auburn, Georgia, Maryland, Connecticut and (probably) Michigan, though Kansas and Colorado also remain in the picture. [Washington Post]

Quickly… Barry Sanders' son is going to Stanford. … A big recruiting weekend for Cal was highlighted by a commitment from the nation's No. 1 safety. … Ron Zook may be in the running to be defensive coordinator at Tennessee. … Ralph Friedgen may be in the running to be offensive coordinator at Penn State. … Sam Houston State didn't take its first loss of the season very well. … And I'm really looking forward to Texas A&M's marching bad taking on Tuberculosis in the Fidelity Insurance Four-Loko Life Begins at Conception Bowl.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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