We're a little Amari heavy this morning, but seeing as he's one of the greatest players to ever wear crimson, I think we can spare the digital ink.
First up, how about getting smashed with the feels train?
It was a story Amari Cooper had never told his mother. Even when he told it live on ESPN, Michelle Green didn't remember it.
But the moment struck a chord across the nation in the moments before the Heisman Trophy was awarded to Oregon's Marcus Mariota. It was a memory about sacrifice and regret for a 10-year old boy who'd never make the same mistake.
Green worked a number of jobs ― double shifts at times ― to provide for Cooper growing up in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. She was a waitress and cashier before settling in a code compliance officer for the city of Miami.
They didn't have a car, so she had to walk about three miles to the Milam's Market on McDonald Street.
Cooper remembered telling his mom he was too tired to make the walk there and back one day. When she returned, marks lined Green's arms where she carried all the bags a few miles home.
Cooper called himself selfish.
"I just kept it to myself. It was just an example of how hard she worked, her getting off work so late or working so hard all ready," a relaxed Cooper said Saturday night on a couch 45 floors above Times Square. "She sacrificed for us. You want to know how much somebody loves you, just look at how much they sacrifice."
Oof. That's a heavy-hitter. You never know the struggles a person hides away and uses as motivation, especially with a quiet guy like Coop. This tiny peek behind the curtain says a lot about his life and his character. I am really going to miss this guy.
Oh yeah, in case you haven't heard, Amari didn't win the Heisman.
Amari Cooper's shot at history fell a little short Saturday night.
Attempting to become the [first] non-kick returning receiver to win the Heisman Trophy, the Alabama junior finished third in the voting. Oregon's Marcus Mariota, who Cooper could face in the national title game, became the first Duck to win the sport's highest honor. Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin was second.
The junior from Miami gave much of the credit to Lane Kiffin, hired by Alabama in January after being fired as USC's head coach last fall.
"Oh, he's made a huge difference in our offense," Cooper said Friday. "He's very tactical, a schematic guy. He's a genius as a coach and I really like him a lot."
Taking one look at the USC stats from Kiffin's tenure gave Cooper an indication of what to expect. Play calls revolve around the playmakers like Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Lee finished fourth in the 2012 Heisman voting with 118 catches for 1,721 yards. Cooper should pass both totals in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State with 115 catches going for his school-record 1,656 yards.
That ol' Saban may know a thing or two after all, PAAAAAWWWWL.
Alabama had the No. 69 passing offense that fall as running back Trent Richardson made the trip to New York for the Heisman. The Crimson Tide also won a national title that fall, but the doubters were looking at the stat sheet.
"But I wanted to be a winner," Cooper said. "That was the most important thing to me. People who were disagreeing with me, they were focused on my stats and what my stats would look like. And I was more focused on winning."
Sims vs. Prescott at QB
Alex Scarborough: There’s little doubt in my mind that Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott is the more talented quarterback. He’s got the stronger arm and generally has more polish than Alabama’s Blake Sims. But that’s not the point. This isn’t the NFL. This is college football, where players like Eric Crouch and Tim Tebow can have stellar careers without possessing All-Pro tools. With that in mind, my selection for All-SEC QB was simple. It was Sims over Prescott -- by a mile.
Womack is listed as a 3-star recruit on the 247Sports composite rankings, but offensive tackles in the 6-foot-7, 320-pound range don't grow on trees. Alabama has a talented group of interior linemen committed, but Crimson Tide coaches were pursuing more tackles. The Senatobia, Miss., native made several trips to Alabama after being offered earlier this season.
"Well, we didn't know until today (that Matt would commit), but he said after the fact he had been thinking about it a lot," Womack's father David told AL.com Sunday night. "He said it was just a better fit - football, family and environment."
Womack was several official visitors to Tuscaloosa over the weekend, but his commitment made a big impact. Womack announced his commitment on his Twitter page.
"Coach (Nick) Saban said he was very excited," David Womack said. "(He had a) big smile. Coach (Billy) Napier and Coach (Mario) Cristobal were high-fiving. They were pumped. You could hear (strength and conditioning) coach (Scott) Cochran over the whole place."
Bowl games are like pizza. Even bad bowl games are better than having no bowl games at all. If there’s a bowl game in front of you, you’re going to consume it. You don’t really complain. That being said, truly good (or great!) bowl games -- also like pizza -- are memorable and seem like another category entirely.
Yes. This. I like football. Especially when there's no football. I don't have a problem with the number of bowl games, and those that do are muttering "Bah, humbug" while tilting at windmills like Dickensian Don Quixotes.
So here's your bowl season advice:
It's still football. Enjoy it. And leave those windmills be.
Former Florida coach Will Muschamp has agreed to a three-year deal to become Auburn's defensive coordinator, sources close to the situation told ESPN on Friday night.
Not great. I know many Bama fans are cheering this move on, but let's be clear. This isn't a good development for us. If there is one thing that Muschamp is unquestionably good at, it's fielding a good defense. Yes, Auburn is always going to struggle with defense some as long as Gus is stroking out on the sideline pushing the pace, but if they manage to field a middle of the road, moderately competent defense, they become a scary team.
Auburn freshman tight end Jakell Mitchell was shot and killed early Sunday morning at an apartment complex near the school campus, according to Auburn police.
Auburn police Capt. Will Matthews told AL.com that police responded to the Tiger Lodge apartments at 12:25 a.m. on Sunday. Mitchell, 18, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the report said, and died at East Alabama Medical Center.
Tragic story over the weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with this young man's friends and family.