The Dynasties Of Alabama And Notre Dame

And now Nick Saban has brought the Crimson Tide to the precipice of matching Nebraska. No. 2 Alabama, with a defeat of No. 1 Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship on Jan. 7, would become the first team to win a third national title since the BCS began in 1999.

That third crystal football is the key that will unlock the door to the pantheon of college football. We have identified eight dynasties that have ruled the sport in the modern era (beginning in 1936 with the Associated Press poll, the most widely accepted measure of a champion in the pre-BCS era). By happy accident, the dynasties spaced themselves apart, arriving at the rate of one per decade until the onset of the BCS.

The AP poll and the coaches poll that began in 1950 provide the yardstick by which to measure a dynasty: three national championships in a several-year span, with superb records in the interim. Notre Dame (1946 to 1949) and Nebraska won their three in a four-year span, as Alabama is attempting to do. Others, such as USC (1967 to 1974), won three across several seasons.

The bottom line is that the metric of three national titles chose itself, because history has shown its so hard to accomplish. The list of schools that won national championships in a short period of time is much lengthier.

Winning two national championships can be achieved by one extraordinary group of players. The same is technically true for winning three crystal footballs — the Crimson Tide have 21 fourth- or fifth-year players. However, only eight, including multi-award-winning offensive lineman Barrett Jones, actually played on all three teams.

The larger truth is that for a program to win three national championships, recruiting success must be sustained over a longer period of time. Recruiting success must be sustained as coaches job-hop, as players leave early for the NFL and as opposing schools dangle greater opportunities for playing time on less successful teams.

Jerry Duncan, the president of the A Club of former Crimson Tide athletes, played for Bear Bryant from 1964 to 1966, making him a part of Alabamas first modern dynasty.

Northampton Community College holds holiday bazaar where students shop free

View full size

Just some of the many Christmas items for sale at the Northampton Community Colleges annual holiday bazaar held Wednesday morning in the student center.
Express -Times Photo | BILL ADAMS

5 College Football Bowl Games That Should Be Eliminated

With the 2012 bowl season fully underway, now is the perfect time to take a step back and examine what truly belongs in the greatest time of the year for the sport.

Some bowl games send teams to Pasadena, Glendale and Miami, which are great places to play with awesome weather and strong monetary incentives.

Unfortunately, most teams get stuck in the most random bowls ever conceived in history and get overlooked by everyone except the bowl mania contestants.

Since every team cannot be playing in what is left of the BCS, many bowl match ups are forced on the schedule without any true purpose or excitement.

Here are five bowl games that should be eliminated from the 35-game bowl slate.

College grad rates

College grad rates

Regardless of what the name becomes, its clear that some things have to improve at Dixie State College when it becomes a university after the first of the year.

A link to this page will be included in your message.

The Old College Spirit

Formed in February by a group of college buddies, Old College Comics is a group of like-minded writers and illustrators, all trying to make their way into comics, proving that collaboration is stronger than competition. ‘The Freshmen Fifteen’ is their fifteen story comic anthology, containing stories of varied focus and genre, ranging from humor and slice-of-life to high-paced action and battle. Alongside that is ‘Afterman’ #1the first issue in an eventual seriestelling the story of a young man coming into his own, against a backdrop of heroes, villains, and the diverse city of Long Beach.

Mike Pallotta writes;

A few friends and I were sitting in a booth at a bar talking about our comics. Possible comics. Nothing had been done yet. We had spent years working together at a college paper, so we knew how to write, design, and publish, but we wanted to bring that into something we loved. The thought came up on how to actually see these comics through to completion, and the only way that was going to happen was if we worked together.

The thing is, we’re poor. We work, but we’re still poor. American poor. Lucky enough to have clothes and cheap burritos and some comics each month. But we realized if we collaborate on comics, pool our funds, pool our motivation, and rely on each other to get them done, maybe then we could have a start at something–careers doing what we love.

Doing the first issue of a superhero comic was something Joe Bryant, Jeff Chang, and I had been kicking around, but we finally realized there wasn’t anything keeping us from grasping at the carrot dangling in front of us. Just our own malaise. Why not just do it?

And the same went for putting together an anthology with everyone involved. People were jazzed on creating their own comics, and being completely open-ended creatively to making any kind of comic they could. We didn’t hold back at all. So we had the impetus for Afterman, our superhero comic, and our anthology, The Freshmen Fifteen.

With 15 comics by 24 writers and artists, The Freshmen Fifteen features: “Ragnar,” an otherworldly Viking adventure; “Alex Elwood,” a journey through a dreamscape with a guy and a giant skeleton; “Lonely,” an autobiographical comic following an only child who makes a brother out of blankets and pillows, “Rocket Arms,” about an asshole Genie who fulfills a man’s terrible wish of having rockets for arms; and “Child Gone Wild,” the tale of a demon-fetus teleporting from womb to womb, destroying relationships along the way. That should give you a good idea of the gamut our stories run, and there are still 10 more.

We wanted to have as much done as we possibly could before running a campaign on Indiegogo, all to show that we meant business. Luckily enough, people were willing to support us and our campaign was a success, both in reaching our goal and as motivation. From there we were able to use those funds to publish the comics and get a website up and running. All to take the books to this year’s Long Beach Comic and Horror Con, November 3rd amp; 4th.

Working on our comics whenever we could, we met weekly or multiple times a week, whenever necessarily to move things closer to completion. Come Halloween, we finally had our comics back from the printer.

From there we debuted at Long Beach Comic amp; Horror Con, which was both a rewarding and grueling experience. To have someone look at your work, look you in the eye, and then just walk away is humbling. That’s a good word for it. You could have all the confidence and the quick pitch down, but if someone lost interest, you’d just have to turn and meet the next pair of eyes walking towards you with a smile. You’d have to do it over and over again until you met someone who takes an interest. And damn, that felt good.

We want to do more.

On our site, you can read our weekly webcomic ‘Gutter’ by Eric Bryan and Andrew Wilson, and about each one of our comics. You can read our comics digitally at And if you’re interested in print copies of our books, please shoot us an email at

Auburn signs junior college offensive lineman

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has signed its second junior college transfer since Gus Malzahns hiring as head coach.

Malzahn said Tuesday that Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College offensive lineman Devonte Danzey signed to play for the Tigers and has three more years of eligibility.

The 6-foot-3, 303-pound Danzey is the nations top-ranked junior college offensive guard, according to 247sports. The Tampa, Fla., native was named a first-team All-Jayhawk Conference tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2012 after helping Hutchinson to a 9-3 record and a No. 12 national ranking.

Danzey blocked for running back Terrell Lane, who broke both the school single-game rushing record (308 yards) and single-season rushing record (1,632 yards).

The Tigers signed running back Cameron Artis-Payne of Allan Hancock Community College in Santa Maria, Calif., on Dec. 19.

New Contra Costa College president aims to serve as many students as …

SAN PABLO — In a world in which education is becoming increasingly expensive while at the same time more essential, new Contra Costa College President Denise Noldon is trying to make the pieces of the puzzle fit for as many students as she can.

All of higher education is in crisis mode, Noldon said. Were sorely underfunded, so students cant get classes, and its taking them longer to get through school.

Noldon, 57, arrived at the 55-year-old campus in July after her previous stint as vice president of student development at Folsom Lake College in Folsom. She said she started at Folsom Lake in 2005 when it had one building, and when she left it had seven.

It was a good place to learn about things, she said.

Helen Benjamin, chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District, chose Noldon from a field of 30 applicants.

Benjamin said she was impressed by Noldons maturity as an administrator and organizational skills and her multicultural background.

She wasnt in a rush to get a presidency and stayed in each prior job for a long time, Benjamin said. She is accustomed to urban areas and, even though she was working in a rural area, she wanted to be a president in an urban area.

Noldon took over from McKinley Williams, who retired after seven years as president.

Noldon said Contra Costa College students fall into three basic categories when they enroll: Those who need basic skills they didnt

Warren County Community College in Washington Township helps student ‘in …

Already known for its exemplary graduation rate among students seeking associates degrees, Warren County Community College is becoming much more than just that. In addition to its continuing education and certificate programs, the college is also a valuable resource and waypoint for many students in transition between different four-year institutions. These students, though their intent might not be to graduate with a college degree, have become valuable members of the college community who have been well-served by all that the college has to offer.

For transitional students such as Kelly Studwell, college is a place to recharge, refocus, or even rework educational dreams and aspirations. On a whim, I decided to take the watercolor [art] class with Professor (Steve) Agin, said Studwell. I figured why not try something new and fun; it was definitely surprising how much I got into it and how much it helped me.

Studwell originally attended Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. as an occupational therapy major, but upon realizing that marine biology was actually her calling, she decided she needed to transfer to a school that offered that particular program. After doing some research, she chose the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as her new transfer destination.

In the meantime though, Studwell had a sort of in-between period that she wanted to make the most of, which is where the college fit in. Warren County was a great way to continue my studies as I was in this transition period, said Studwell. All the courses I am enrolled in will transfer, so it was also really convenient.

For Studwell, and many other transitional students, the college experience has been a great decision, be it simply taking a class or two, or a full-time semester, or in Studwells case, taking classes in addition to joining an extracurricular group such as the ArtCclub. As Studwell puts it, I am actually really glad that I attended Warren County.

The college offers a wide range of certificate, continuing education, and degree programs designed to help students enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college or university.

For more information, visit or call 908-835-9222.

College report: Hasser-Smith, Valley remain linked

Lakan Hasser-Smith and Jessica Valley continue to be linked, even though the McCutcheon graduates’ college basketball careers have taken them to different Indiana cities.

The two most recent Journal Courier Big School Players of the Year played big roles this past weekend in identical 73-71 victories for Marian University and Indiana State, respectively. Coincidentally, the triumphs also improved each team’s record to 7-2.

Both also have started eight games for the Knights and Sycamores, respectively.

Hasser-Smith, a freshman guard, scored 22 points in the second half Saturday to spark the upset of NAIA Division I No. 12 Shawnee State at Portsmouth, Ohio.

Her effort allowed Marian to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit. A 3-pointer by Hasser-Smith triggered a 14-4 run that drew the Knights within 43-42 with 14:56 remaining.

Hasser-Smith also handed out three assists and grabbed four rebounds. She leads the Knights in free throw shooting at 94.7 percent (18 of 19).

Hasser-Smith isn’t the only Lafayette area connection at Marian. Former McCutcheon teammate Ashlynn Sexton is averaging two points a game, and former Fountain Central standout Kenzi Lindquist has played in three games this season. Head coach Todd Bacon starred at Benton Central, and first-year assistant Stacey White did the same at Seeger.

Valley had six points, 10 rebounds and three assists Sunday to help Indiana State beat Tennessee-Martin in overtime. The 10 rebounds were the sophomore guard’s second double-figure effort of the season and raised her average to 6.0, second-best on the Sycamores. Valley is averaging 2.9 points as well.

A basket by Valley had given Indiana State its largest lead, 46-31 with 11:28 remaining in regulation.

Football honors

Two more former Journal Courier players of the year received postseason awards recently.

St. Pete firefighters learn about auto arson

St. Petersburg firefighters set a car on fire today as part of a training exercise to spot arson, and the fire showed how dangerous these situations can be.

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that auto insurance fraud will cost Floridians up to $1 billion this year and arson is just one of scams to collect insurance money.

When we saw the price of fuel go up significantly it seemed like all of a sudden we saw a lot of large vehicles that were not as fuel economic that tended to catch on fire, said Ray Gomes, of the Mercury Insurance special investigations unit, which paid for the demonstration.

Arson experts put a fireplace starter log under the front seat of a small sedan and had a camera in the back to record the fire. Theyll use it as a training tool to show investigators how to look at a burned vehicle to determine burn patterns, how the fire stared and how it moved through the car, Gomes said.

Within minutes, flames engulfed the front seat area and there was an explosion when the fire reached the drivers side airbag.

Fire investigators welcome the opportunity for extra training. When we have a fire during the day or in the middle of the night, the fires already burning out of control. This one is in a controlled atmosphere, so we get to take our time to sift through the evidence and learn what to look for, said Lt. Joel Granata, of St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.

Later this week, the burned car will be used to train more than 200 firefighters, officers, and insurance investigators from around the state.