Snake takes a step towards enshrinement
When former Raiders quarterback Kenny Stabler passed away on July 9, one of the first football-related questions most people asked was: When is Stabler going to get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? The answer to that question could come as soon as 2016. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday that Stabler and Dick Stanfel will be the two senior nominees for induction. The announcement means that both Stabler and Stanfel will be one of the 18 finalists for induction next year. The other finalists will be named in January.
To earn enshrinement, the Foley native and former Alabama quarterback will need at least 37 votes. And despite being passed over for 20 years by the Selection Committee and going five empty years before receiving a nomination from the Seniors Committee, Stabler has a good chance of earning election, based on recent results involving what used to be called the old-timer candidates.
On the "old-timer" ballot, Stabler is almost certainly a lock for the Hall of Fame. Mortality has the effect of people actually recognizing one's accomplishments. Few lefties were better at any level than the Snake. Expect to see his bust go up in Canton next August.
Hoops: Some good, some bad.
New SEC basketball coaches Avery Johnson, Michael White, Ben Howland and Rick Barnes discuss their first season in the conference.
Johnson seems to be settling into a conference that inherited Ben Howland, Mike White and Rick Barnes in the offseason. #Secbasketballfever is soon to be a dead meme, folks.
The top-rated player in Alabama's most recent recruiting class will not play for the Tide. Four-star guard/wing player Kobie Eubanks was not cleared by the NCAA and will not enroll at Alabama. "We are disappointed for Kobie and his family," Tide coach Avery Johnson said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Kobie wasn't cleared by the NCAA and we couldn't get him admitted to the University of Alabama. He has a bright future and we wish him well."
ICYMI: This happened last night. Read the entire story. No, Eubanks will not be suiting up in January or in 2016. This was a parting of the ways, and that is unfortunate. Alabama needed Eubanks this season. Still, it is clear that the Tide's turn will occur in 2016, as Johnson and the team learn one another and how to acclimate to the SEC.
Production and college recruiting interest were among several factors going into selection. Remember, this is the preseason A-List, and additions or changes could be made throughout the year and into January.
A whole lot of Tide commits and prospects on the preseason Top-15 Alabama prep players. Winning the state, as always, will be a recruiting priority, particularly in a year with so much D-1 talent.
“We thought the two guys that probably played a little better in the scrimmage were Alec Morris and Cooper Bateman. “Jake did okay, but he hasn’t been able to practice all week. “And we feel Blake Barnett is a young guy that we need to continue to try to develop. “Those four guys kind of...[pause] Three of them have been in the mix this week in terms of how we’ve tried to split up the reps. We’ll continue to evaluate it on a day-to-day basis and see where it takes us.”
This is never, ever going away. Still, it is good to see Saban single out players who have made contributions in camp. At this point, it's probably Coker with a bullet, Alec Morris as your backup, and everyone else fighting to unseat Morris. The race for No. 2/3 is probably more interesting, both in terms of a story and for recruiting/transfers, going forward. Barnett seems to be the wildcard in all of this. Like A.J. McCarron before him, it seems as though he is being groomed to be a multi-year starter, as everyone is high on his talent and potential.
Saban said at SEC Media Days that he envisioned Mullaney as a "possession-type guy." Beyond skills as a pass-catcher, Mullaney has earned praise from teammates for his blocking skills. "He's great," said defensive back Maurice Smith. "Good hands, good speed, good blocker. He gets to the ball even when he's not getting the ball. He likes to block. I think he's going to be a good receiver for us."
I have a feeling we're really, really going to love this kid.