Happy Friday, everyone. Not much to talk about this morning outside of the individual awards (aka The Derrick Henry Show) but we have a few links for you.
An easier (on paper) semifinal matchup means that the Tide have the overall edge. Clemson and Alabama grade out almost equally, and Oklahoma's not far behind. But since the Tigers and Sooners are flipping a coin to see who gets Bama, that skews the odds in favor of a fourth title for Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa. The odds say this is Alabama's to lose, but the script doesn't always follow the odds. Just ask last year's Playoff favorite ... Alabama.
Alabama has a great chance to win it all and bury the memories of the last two post-seasons. Hope for the best.
Five Alabama players were named Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Americans Thursday night. Running back Derrick Henry, center Ryan Kelly and linebacker Reggie Ragland were tabbed first-team All-Americans. Defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson and safety Eddie Jackson are on the second-team.
Great to see so many Alabama players getting recognition, and several more could have easily made this list.
Given the size of Henry’s workload, it’s not surprising that his yards per carry doesn’t rank as high. It’s hard to carry the ball 14 straight times and not expect the defense to catch on. Even with that burden, Henry’s 5.86 still tops McCaffrey’s 5.79. Had Dalvin Cook (7.86) or Leonard Fournette (6.42) been Heisman finalists, they could have pointed to their superior efficiency; with McCaffrey as the only other running back left, Henry’s biggest vulnerability doesn't do much to drag down his candidacy. What’s left is his record-setting production: 1,986 yards, the most ever by an SEC player. Henry did this despite playing against five of the 25 best units in Football Outsiders' rushing defensive S&P+.
After the college football world lauded, praised and bestowed trophies upon him, Derrick Henry made a beeline to a group of young boys dressed in suits and told them to gather around for a photo. His media responsibilities finally over, Henry smiled and relaxed, surrounded by kids who literally looked up to him.
Outside of college football fans -- and Utah punter Tom Hackett's face for wearing that beautiful mustache -- the biggest winner of the night was Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who took home the Maxwell Award as college football's player of the year and the Doak Walker Award for the nation's top running back. Earlier, Henry was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year. On the heels of the Heisman Trophy ceremony this Saturday, Henry grabbed some major hardware to put in his bedroom.
King Henry cleaned up at the awards ceremony. Only two more trophies away from completing a season for the ages.
Kelly is Alabama's offensive line caller and has been a critical part of the Crimson Tide's offensive success this season. The Alabama center hasn't given up a sack all season and graded out at 88.4 percent this season. He deserves at least a share of the credit for Derrick Henry's record-breaking season, too. "Ryan deserved it," Derrick Henry said. "He's a great leader and the heart and soul of the offense. I'm excited to see him get an award."
Congratulations to Ryan Kelly. The offensive line always has something to do with a running back's success, and Ryan Kelly is the leader on the offensive line that blocks for Henry. Unfortunately A'Shawn Robinson and Reggie Ragland came up short for the Outland and Butkus Awards.
Switzer won three national championships during his 16-year tenure at Oklahoma. Saban, of course, has won three national championships during his nine seasons in Tuscaloosa. There's a common denominator there, Switzer says. "He's fortunate to have what I had at Oklahoma," Switzer said. "We both have great programs, we have something to sell, we have great products to recruit to. You win consistently because you recruit consistently. That's what makes it happen."
Nice comments about Nick Saban from
unrepentant cheater legendary Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, who was honored for his contributions to sending Oklahoma into its darkest decade college football.
Alabama didn't have a game to prepare for this Saturday, so head coach Nick Saban took full advantage of his time to visit top prospects. Perhaps the highlight was when he visited three-star receiver Tyler Simmons at McEachern (Ga.) High School, landing in a helicopter before he participated in a College Football Playoff press conference in Atlanta.
Guess we have our own #SwagCopter now.
"Pretty much the school's been dominating and Coach Saban would be my position coach," Knott said. "It's not that far from home as well and my family would like me to stay around the area. I also like the players and the team and the game day atmosphere." Knott said Alabama liked his coverage skills, speed, athleticism, knowledge of the game and "just being a playmaker."
Coach Saban would be his position coach, eh? Interesting...
That's about enough for today, folks. Twenty days and counting.