Offseason Facility Upgrades: Alabama vs. Oregon
Published on: August 06, 2013 | Written by: louisnelms
The business of college football is being number one in everything. That is why two of the hottest programs decided it would be beneficial to upgrade their football facilities. Alabama and Oregon both unveiled their new improvements this summer and needless to say, both are unbelievable. Since these two teams can't square off on the field yet, we might as well have them compete somehow. Have a look and see which team you think has the nicer digs.
This match up is not even close. Alabama's looks really nice, until you see what Phil Knight Nike money will do.
Alabama has pretty walls, but Oregon has 64 55" TVs that are hooked together and can combine into one image. This is the easiest call of the day to make.
Oregon - 1 Alabama - 0
Let's take a look at the players' lounges that Oregon and Alabama get to enjoy.
The mural on the wall of Alabama's lounge pictures Alabama football legends such as Joe Namath, Julio Jones, Chris Samuels, Mark Ingram, and John Hannah running out of the tunnel at Bryant-Denny.
Oregon's lounge has nicer furniture than Alabama's and has an unbelievable hand made rug beneath the couches.
Both lounges are full of pool tables, foosball, TVs, video games and everything that should be in a lounge. Oregon has a nicer view, but the lack of a back on those couches doesn't do it for me. The mural on the wall in the Crimson Tide lounge is one of the coolest parts of their football facility and would pump up prospects aiming to make it onto that wall one day. They also have a gatorade fountain that players can use any time they want. This one is pretty close, but I'm giving it to Alabama.
Oregon - 1 Alabama - 1
Both schools provide their teams with weightlifting paradises.
Oregon's use of their logo as serviceable rubber flooring is a genius idea. Their wood flooring is also very well done. Other than that, Alabama wins the rest of the weight room match up. It's bigger, has more racks, and represents the idea of physical Alabama football so well.
Oregon - 1 Alabama - 2
Every recruit with an official visit gets to make a stop by the coach's office. When visiting schools like Alabama and Oregon, a visit to the coach's office can turn into a real treat.
Saban leaves his rings on his desk so that the recruits can look at them when they come in. He doesn't wear them because the players design them and as he says, "They are as big as ashtrays."
Oregon's office is brand new and hasn't picked up the clutter of older offices, but it is pretty clear that Oregon wins this battle. With a view that every coach would salivate over, Oregon's Mark Helfrich will always be on top of what is going on at his practice field. This picture also makes it seem like the TVs in Helfrich's office can go back up into the ceiling, and that is pretty sweet. Coach Saban's office looks like a classic college coach's office with a lot more hardware that Helfrich's, but even a door that closes with the push of a button (Saban has one!) can't top the view and furniture combo that Oregon has.
Oregon - 2 Alabama - 2
The Locker Room
All recruits love to visit the locker room. They picture pre-game hype, roaring halftime speeches, post game celebrations, and four years of memories that only happen in a college football locker room.
To decide a winner here, one has to know what they expect from a locker room. The Crimson Tide have a more traditional locker setup, complete with safes that include phone chargers. Alabama's is bigger and has a lot more space for Coach Saban to gather his troops. Oregon's is way more visually appealing. These lockers are like no other lockers I have ever seen. They do have really narrow walkways and I would think it would get cramped, but Oregon sacrificed space for freaking sweet lockers. Again, it depends on what you prefer, but Oregon gets this win because of the originality factor.
Oregon - 3 Alabama - 2
Team Meeting Room
The team meeting room is another important part of the facility. It is the one room big enough for an entire team to listen to a coach, watch film, or hear a motivational speaker. Both schools have exceptional meeting rooms, so this one will be tough to call.
As you can see, both of these meeting rooms are beautiful, but I am going with Alabama on this one based on seat comfort. Oregon's seats don't have as much padding and don't fold up. They are also closer together, whereas the Alabama meeting room has spaced out the seats to not crowd a room full of bigger guys.
Oregon - 3 Alabama - 3
Small Team Meeting Rooms
There are days when quarterbacks need to watch different film than the wide receivers. So rather than watch it all together, it's necessary to have places to break up into position groups. Both of these schools have top-notch small group meeting rooms.
This is the meeting room for the Alabama quarterbacks.
This category again goes to the Crimson Tide. Oregon settled for rolling chairs and Alabama has theater seating. Plus, I have got to think that the windows at Oregon make watching film a little tougher than the enclosed room at Alabama.
Oregon - 3 Alabama - 4
Yes, both schools have installed hot tubs.
Oregon's has nicer tile and walls, but it is for the coaches. Alabama's is bigger, has a waterfall, and is for the players. I have to pick Alabama for this category.
Oregon - 3 Alabama - 5
You're not supposed to judge a book by the cover, but is there a rule against judging a football facility by its outward appearance? Absolutely not.
The outside of Alabama's facility is very well done and clean. It was built in 1985, so it looks older, but there is nothing wrong with it. However, Oregon's exterior appearance is one of the most impressive looking facilities, regardless of use, that you will find anywhere. Oregon treated this project like a new uniform, and once again it worked out very well. By looking at Oregon's facility, I would not be the least bit surprised to find the Bat Cave underneath.
Oregon - 4 Alabama - 5
As a final category, let's look at a part of each facility that puts the metaphorical icing on top of these new renovations.
Alabama's wall of 1st round NFL Draft picks from the Nick Saban era.
Oregon's own barber shop.
The Crimson Tide have a beautiful display of jerseys from all of Nick Saban's players at Alabama to have been drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. That is a pretty sweet idea, and one that will be a very good recruiting tool. Still, other schools probably do the same thing in some way. I don't know of another school that has a barber shop of its own in the football team facility. Not only is that an incredible idea, but look at those crazy white chairs! Would that be comfortable? I have no idea, but you better believe I would sit down and find out for myself.
I'm giving Oregon this point without much debate. In fact, I'm giving them an extra point because I don't want this to end in a tie and they went the extra mile by installing a barbershop pole.
That makes the final score from me:
Oregon - 6 Alabama - 5
What do you guys think? I'm jealous of both.
I hope this match up happens on the field soon. It's possible that these two powerhouses could meet in the BCS Championship this season, and even more likely that they will meet once the BCS moves to the 4-team playoff system.
Follow Lou on Twitter @louisnelms