There is absolutely no doubt where I stand on the superannuated, entitled class who buy Alabama basketball tickets for the sole purpose of accruing Tide Pride football points and being general buzzkills. They are history's worst monsters, to be honest. Once this acrimonious, unfun bunch arrive at Coleman they sit on their hands, take up great seats and yell at Methuselah to get his young whipper-snapper butt out of their way.
A culture change is coming to Alabama hoops, and it will be incremental. But, the genesis is taking shape. I'm not sure who wrote this for Bill Battle, but give them a raise -- this is music to our ears.
"I believe our students will respond favorably to our challenge to them to help us develop the most exciting game day atmosphere in the SEC, and a true home court advantage in Coleman Coliseum. Bringing them closer to the action will not only add to their ability to encourage our team, but will also add enthusiasm that only students can generate to further excite our fan base. And it will definitely enhance the bond that already exists between our players and the student body."
Auburn is terrible. And LSU. And Tennessee too (written to the student body's lively version of "Dixieland Delight." Add your own expletives.)
"Auburn is the only school in America that will not let me put on the headgear," said Corso on Monday afternoon during a ESPN luncheon at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. "They have some kind of rule that you have got to be a special kind of human being to wear this guy's headgear. "... So, I'm not going to pick 'em," he said with a laugh.
Yeah, that "special kind of human being" was last seen sniping at Congressman Ryan and drinking Flavorade in a sweaty Guyana jungle.
A legal case involving Mississippi offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and his stepfather has been dismissed. Both men had filed misdemeanor domestic violence charges against each other following an alleged fight in June. Lafayette County Justice Court records showed the charges were dismissed on Monday.
Mutual arrests and mutual restraining orders are part of the process now for domestic calls in most states. Two grown-damned dudes can probably sort out their own issues, so there's no problem on this front. Now, whether or not the NCAA nukes Oxford from orbit over the Tunsil allegations is another matter entirely.
Volunteers coach Butch Jones said Monday that wide receiver Preston Williams and offensive lineman Zach Stewart wouldn't be available. Jones said Williams was awaiting word from the NCAA on his eligibility and that Stewart was delaying his enrollment. Stewart's mother died in May. "We will welcome him when he feels he's ready to come back," Jones said. "And I just ask that you keep him and his family in all of your thoughts and your prayers, as they go through something that's very hard and very challenging in their personal lives." Tennessee's freshman class already had lost two members in the offseason when receiver Jocquez Bruce and tight end Kyle Oliver left the program.
Oops. Hard to claim to be a top-flight recruiter when your students can't even pass academic muster at Tennessee, Butch. That said, we do feel for Zach Stewart. His deferment is being delayed owing to a death in the family. Smack talk is fun, but real life is real life. Good luck, kid.
Bain's departure continues the Tigers' exodus of defensive linemen since the end of last season. Bain is the third lineman to leave LSU this summer, joining tackles Travonte Valentine and Trey Lealaimatafao. And both of LSU's 2014 starters at defensive end, junior Danielle Hunter and senior Jermauria Rasco, are now trying to catch on with professional clubs.
Quick. Name a mainstay of every LSU team since the beginning of time (aside from a good running game.) That's right, world-class talent and depth on the defensive line, mostly in-state and uniformly excellent athletes. I'm not sure what's going on there, but another DL has left the program. This time, it's Bain, who was just reinstated after the wink & a nod Baton Rouge justice cleared him and others of burglary charges.
If you're keeping track at home, LSU is down to five defensive linemen. period. That bodes well for the Alabamas, Auburns, Floridas and Arkansases of the world who will look to MTAQ with power running. For LSU, I can easily see this team going 7-5.
Ed. Note: After talking with some of the LSU folks (who I actually like) and double-checking their "facts" (just ask them about scheduling if you think this unfair sarcasm) LSU actually returns a lot up front. ESPN misled me (I know, that is shocking, right?) and I in turn misled you. I apologize, and please consider me having been flogged with al dente pasta by Christina Hendricks dressed as Catwoman. So, we'll just say the linebackers are kind of crappy and Steele is a downgrade at DC, thus elevating LSU's record to 8-4 on the season.
End of an era? Nah.
"I think that this era is the grandest in Alabama football." That’s a bold statement, especially coming from a guy who graduated from the University of Alabama and understands the rich history and prestige of Alabama football. Just before that statement however, Davis answered a question from Fowler addressing the pundits who have said that the foundation that head coach Nick Saban is beginning to crack. "I almost found it amusing some of the articles that I’ve read about the cracks in the foundation and they’re not what they were. I think it’s silly."
Fantastic full interview by Rece Davis calling this what we all know to be true - Alabama's greatest heyday.
That said, as Grantland's Matt Hinton writes, could this season -- where it seems difficult to identify a clear-cut favorite in the SEC West -- actually be the toughest gauntlet in recent memory for the division's seven teams? And if so, could it adversely affect the SEC's chances of getting a team into the 2015 College Football Playoff?
It very well could. I still think there is a consensus favorite in the West, though. And the writers agreed -- it's the team in Crimson. Auburn got the love for winning the conference, but with LSU seemingly out of the picture, the Iron Bowl (again) is the game predicted to be for the whole enchilada. Personally? While that's the media pick, I think the Arkansas-Alabama game decides the west, actually. And, if either of those teams finishes with one loss, the SEC will absolutely not be shutout. You can even make a case that a two-loss SEC team would jump a one-loss Baylor or OSU, as bad as their schedules are (and especially Baylor.)
Who becomes Mr. Consistent beside Jones? Cyrus Jones did not practice this spring because of a hip injury, but he should be back to full health once fall camp begins in a couple of days and will be standing in one of the first-team corner positions on Day 1. The biggest question for the cornerbacks is who is on the opposite side of the field from Jones? Will it be Tony Brown, who has received raving reviews this offseason? Or will it Bradley Sylve, who entered the Iron Bowl and held his own in the second half?
Bradley Sylve will not see the field as a starting corner. I'm not even sure where this came from. It is absolutely not personal to him, and this is the most difficult position in a difficult defense in which to play, but he's simply not there.