As you may have heard... a story broke yesterday that a former Texas regent had contact with Saban's agent last January, following the national championship game. Yesterday, during his radio show, Coach Saban addressed the story:
"Every year it's something. Last year it was the Cleveland Browns," Saban said. "The year before it was somebody else, the NFL. Terry and I are very happy here in Tuscaloosa. We really love the University of Alabama. We feel like a part of a community here and we have lots of good friends here.
"And quite frankly," Saban continued. "I'm just too damn old to start over somewhere else."
Well, that settles that. Speaking of recent articles about rumors that we've run...
"I don't really feel like it's my place to change the image and tradition of what people expect when Alabama runs out the tunnel," Saban said Thursday on his weekly radio show. "Everybody expects to see Alabama a certain way. It's a tradition that a lot of guys played here, a lot of coaches coached here.
"All that stuff, and I'm going to change that? So Nike can sell more shirts? I don't really care about that."
It seems Saban (or someone on his staff) might be a Roll Bama Roll lurker. Just in case... Coach Saban, if you are reading this right now, I love you.
"What we had hoped for was for a total rethink of the rules and regulations as they relate to agents," Slive said. "A task force was formed and began to do some work and then for reasons I'm not clear on, the conversations ended."
He's pushing for changes in the NCAA that include affording prospect-heavy leagues like the SEC, which had 63 players chosen in this year's NFL draft, the authority to create their own rules to curb such problems.
I can't begrudge Slive pushing his agenda (he certainly has the clout), and I know that Slive has been beating this drum for a long time. To me, though, it just doesn't come across well to try to push this issue when the conference in the throes of a scandal. Unless Slive's plans for the SEC custom rule set include a "it's totally cool if you get a bedroom suite and wads of cash from agents" clause, I can't see how the reform he's wanting would help this particular situation.
"Geno's got to beat somebody out. He lost his job," Saban said. "Jarrick's played really well. So, I mean, nobody has a rite of passage here just because you played in two games last year, 'I'm guaranteed my job.' If you do the right things and you play well, nobody gets your job."
Between this misuse of "rite of passage" and the "triangle" fiasco from last Saturday (in a pre-game interview, Saban referred to the football field as a triangle), Saban has not been at his best this week. Nitpicking aside, if Jarrick really does stick at the star position, that turn of events will be nothing short of shocking. I think it was pretty much universally assumed that once Geno Smith served his time, the job would quickly be his again. If his misstep keeps him on the sideline, he will serve as the ultimate cautionary tale for every player on Bama's roster that may think of getting into trouble.
Saban said opposing defenses haven't changed their strategy against Cooper. As he indicated, the Crimson Tide has a few more options in the passing attack this season.
"Virginia Tech played a lot of man-to-man, middle-of-the-field coverage, which is single coverage outside," Saban said. "They play some split safety on third down, so they had somebody over and under him on third down.
"Last week they were doing everything they could to stuff the run, and we were able to throw the ball outside. We had a couple of opportunities when we weren't able to take advantage of."
I'm not sure what to make of Cooper's slow start this season. AJ has keyed on him a number of times, but he has seemed a bit timid on occasion. It's only been a couple games, but it feels like he has already dropped more passes than most of all of last year. Some of that is simply Cooper being the victim of my unrealistic expectations, but there has been a very real decrease in production so far. Hopefully, this will get turned around, because he'll never win 6 Heismans at this rate.