Photo Credit: UA Athletics
With the UA softball team qualified for super regional competition and set to host Michigan, UA athletic director Mal Moore said he couldn't be happier that the program was able to retain coach Patrick Murphy, who was courted by LSU and was set to become the Tigers' coach in the offseason before opting to stay at UA. "All coaches get enticed at times to move on because of their success, and you anticipate that with coaches that are winning big," Moore said. "That's part of it. What made me so proud (is that) I think he realized what a great job he has here. Sometimes when you look back, you're more aware of that than ever."
The Crimson Tide (53-7), looking for their fourth trip to the Women’s College World Series in five years, are the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. This will be Alabama’s eighth straight Super Regional appearance and the fifth consecutive series played on its home field at Rhoads Stadium. Michigan (42-15) had its streak of seven straight regional titles snapped last season, but is back in the Super Regional round after eliminating No. 15 seed Louisville on its home field. "They’re powerful," Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said of Alabama. "They’re speedy. They’ve got great pitching. They’ve got great coaching. They’re definitely a tough opponent."
"That's why l love him," Dilfer told ESPN of Bateman. "I don't think people always get it, but I'm not looking for driving-range quarterbacks. There's a million dudes out there who can hit soft draws from the range. Then they stick the tee in the ground, and it's a wild hook or a shove. It's the same with quarterbacks." "I think he made a perfect choice," Dilfer said of Bateman's commitment to Alabama. "For Cooper, no stage is too big. No environment is too big."
Rivals.com sees Allen as the 10th-best strong-side defensive end and the 100th-best overall prospect. Scout.com simply has him as the 14th-best defensive end. "I think he's pretty much elite at every skill required from the defensive end position. And it's pretty easily seen on video, too," 247Sports national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton said. "I don't think it's something hard to diagnose when you watch it. I think it stands out quickly from Snap 1 to however many snaps you watch. "He has pretty much everything you're looking for in a defensive end prospect."
Roll Bama Roll has compiled a tally of the commitments to the 2013 recruiting class and posted the list on our Facebook page. This includes links to each of the pieces penned by OutsidetheSidelines about each commit and how they are expected to affect the lineup.
"Our attitude was if we're ever going to do this, we might as well do it now," said Brad Lambert, the former Wake Forest and Georgia assistant who was hired to build the program at Charlotte. "This opportunity presented itself now and we know it may never come again. We are just getting started in our recruiting, so we can now go after a different caliber of athlete and in greater numbers. If we're going to build, we might as well build towards this. College football is about the brand you put behind your brand."
When (if?) Navy joins the league for football in 2015, the Big East will have 13 football members and 18 total members. The mood this week seems hopeful that the coast-to-coast arrangement will thrive. But as college sports' tectonic plates continue to shift, league members wait and hope the conference can remain intact until September, when the Big East can begin negotiating a new media rights deal that could offer some security. Unfortunately for most of the delegations here this week, the decisions that will affect the Big East's future are being made in other leagues. "Somebody in the Big 12 decides, 'This is what we're going to do,'" Auriemma said. "Everybody in the Big East is going, 'Holy [something that isn't usually holy]. What happens to us?' It's just the craziest thing."
Typical of a cautious, diplomatic coach, Mic Potter pondered a little and stammered a lot before answering affirmatively when asked if this is his best Alabama women's golf team. When his senior star was asked if this is the best Crimson Tide team she's been on, Brooke Pancake didn't hesitate. "By far," she said. "By far." Alabama has made it to the NCAA Championships in each of Potter's seven seasons as the coach. Previously, it went once, in 1987, when it finished ninth. It finished third in 2010 and eighth last season. It is ranked No. 2 going into the 2012 NCAA Championships, a four-day event that start today in Franklin, Tenn. Can the Tide win its first national championship this week?
What we are witnessing from Justin Thomas is even more impressive. With his one-stroke victory May 19 at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Athens, Ga., the Alabama freshman earned his fourth title of the season and, presumably, became the frontrunner for National Player of the Year honors. Those four victories – among eight top 10s and nine top 20s (with next week’s NCAA Championship still to play) – are the most in NCAA Division I.
Mississippi sophomore Nickolas Brassell has decided to transfer after losing his academic eligibility. Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement that the staff "did all we could do to help Nick, and we wish him the very best." Brassell sat out for the majority of the team's spring workouts so he could focus on his academics.
So USC's Lane Kiffin was in Phoenix for the recent Pac-12 Conference meetings, and guess who he sees in the hotel workout room? None other than South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, the patron saint of smart-ass football coaches everywhere. Since he was in high school, Kiffin has idolized the Head Ball Coach. He loved Spurrier's innovative mismatch pass offense. Loved the visor. Loved the John Blutarsky pencils-hanging-out-of-nose attitude. "Probably the best college coach there was," Kiffin says. So Kiffin politely interrupted Spurrier's workout to say hello. And that's when the HBC complimented Kiffin on the Trojans' 10-2 record last season and the program's resolve despite an NCAA-imposed bowl ban, the usual array of media critics and even some in-house doubters. Spurrier likes resolve. "Coach," said Kiffin, "I was just trying to be like you, say the things that you used to say all the time. They hated me saying it." (ed.- This explains so, so much.)