Morning airing of grievances
"You know, the cowbells are the cowbells," Saban said. "You can focus on the cowbells or you can focus on what you’ve got to do to do your job. We haven’t talked about them all week, that’s the first time it’s come up. I don’t know if that’s an issue or not. If the players are talking about it I guess it is and we better address it with them. "It’s the only place I ever played where they have cowbells. What else can I say?"
If teams can get a penalty for a band playing at the snap or cheerleaders being raucous, I have no idea how in the hell that 62,000-seat shack brimming with dirt merchants gets to use artificial noisemakers. Just as Ole Miss and Auburn get special officiating rules regarding motion, downfield linemen and the like, so too does Starkville of all places get an exemption to blatantly violate NCAA rules (seriously, it's in the rules...cowbells specifically are listed as prohibited artificial noisemakers.)
Saban is far more diplomatic than I, but f*** a cowbell and f*** a cowbell-ringing State fan. You have two jobs, State -- make me tasty chocolate milk and outcoach Hugh Freeze. The best part of playing in Davis-Wade is hearing those cattle calls silenced....well, that, and watching Dan Mullen wear mittens in 70-degree weather.
And your band sucks too.
The Crimson Tide has landed their first 5-star recruit in years, and a couple top-100 group to make UA a leader in recruiting classes.
This is a very nice recap of Avery Johnson's first recruiting efforts, a top-15 class headlined by T-Ferg, Key, and Davis. When Ferguson signs his NLI, we'll have a special article for that, as we did with Braxton Key and Ar'mond Davis.
SEC Network's Maria Taylor speaks with Alabama men's basketball coach Avery Johnson about his first season in Tuscaloosa.
What a fantastic four-minute interview. Johnson discusses what kind of team he envisions at Alabama, his playing style, ball security, recruiting high character kids, and helping players reach their potential -- be it the NBA or as a role-playing student-athlete with his eyes set on a career in accountancy. Stop what you're doing and watch it now. #buckleup.
ESPN college football reporter Chris Low makes his prediction for No. 2 Alabama's trip to No. 17 Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide are favored by 8 points in Starkville.
A good breakdown from Chris Low. While the 'Bama offense may lag, he just doesn't see the defense getting torched -- FWIW, I tend to agree.
Alabama defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson said, "He’s tough because he’s a passing quarterback and he’s also got the threat of the run. So we have to balance up rush lanes and control our gaps in the run game and also in the passing game. So if we convert at the wrong time, he could just gash our defense."
Blake Barnett and others are simulating the MSU offense this week in practice. Blake has some serious wheels, so helping the front-seven maintain gap discipline in practice can only help a defense that hasn't seen a run-pass option quite like Dak this season.
Saban said, "He has tried and tried and tried to compete for us all year long, and hasn't got to play a whole lot. Sometimes he felt better than others, but it's just been a nagging, reoccurring thing. "We kind of all felt like the best that he could do is to go ahead and get it repaired because it was something that could be repaired. He made and we made that decision this week. "He did everything he could for the team, he did everything he could to try to play. I know it was disappointing for him not to get to play more but it was a lot to do with not being at full speed all year long."
Man, you have to feel bad for Chris Black, the guy who was the heralded receiver in the 2012 class. He injured his ankle in Fall Camp and just has never gotten right again. It's hard to say he's a bust when he's just never been healthy. It is unknown whether he'll be on the mend in time for Spring Camp, but Saban has already told him to hit the showers on the season and have surgery PDQ.
Thirty-five years ago this month, Alabama's 28-game winning streak ended in what is still widely regarded as the most significant victory in Mississippi State football history. The Bulldogs knocked off the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide 6-3 on Nov. 1, 1980, at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi. The loss was MSU's first over Alabama in 23 years and dealt the Crimson Tide its first loss since early in the 1978 season.
Later today, we'll be publishing An Historical on the Mississippi State - Alabama series. While the two schools are seventy-five minutes apart, only one team has ever really considered this a rivalry and their Super Bowl. That doesn't mean the series hasn't had periods of competitiveness; quite the contrary. Alabama (and Alabama fans) need to take this one very, very seriously.