First, farewell Derrick
This was plainly expected: what do you do for an encore to a Maxwell, Heisman, SEC and National Title? You move on. Go forth, earn paper and succeed, King Henry. We appreciate everything you've done.
Alabama RB Derrick Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner, will enter the NFL Draft, source tells ESPN. Henry had 2,219 yards and 28 TDs.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 14, 2016
"It's awesome," Alexander said. "He's supposed to. I was telling everyone earlier. When you come to this university, your job is to carry the torch. Somebody will break Derrick's records or the ones that we're tied with and it's good. We want the next guy up to break all the records because that means we won again." Yeah, but that record is one of the crown jewels in Alabama's book. "But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter," Alexander said. "We want guys to keep on winning. I was at a pregame tailgate party with Bobby Humphrey and I took his record. We want each one to win. "Who knows what Bobby Humphrey would have done in this offense? Who knows what Derrick Henry would have done in the 80s. You don't know. So we don't care. We want to win national championships. We want to carry the torch well and then pass the torch to the next guy and have him carry it."
Next man up: Bo, Damien, we'll see you in March for conditioning and spring ball.
Duckworth said she doesn’t want the fans to get discouraged, and just because Alabama started off its season with a loss doesn’t mean it isn’t a great team. “The wins and losses records isn’t as important to the overall rankings for regionals and nationals as our score,” Duckworth said. “So that’s why I want fans to come – to see great gymnastics.” Because of this, Friday is all about Alabama gymnastics. Duckworth isn’t concerned about knowing what kind of team Missouri is, who Missouri will have competing or where the team is currently ranked (No. 14).
Alabama stumbled at the Pavilion versus a very good UCLA squad. The Tide gymnasts, fielding just two seniors and led by six freshmen, have an entirely different look as they face No. 14 Missouri on Friday.
Lane Kiffin Watch Is Over
Kennedy Polamalu to offensive coordinator, according to a report from Fox Sports. Polamalu, 52, had served as the Bruins' running backs coach for more than two seasons. Polamalu’s promotion is one of several coaching changes for UCLA, as the team overhauls its offensive staff following the departures of coordinator Noel Mazzone and quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone to Texas A&M. Polamalu, a former USC fullback and linebacker, was the USC offensive coordinator for three seasons.
Word is UCLA actually offered Coach Kiffin the job before the national championship game, a move which he declined (it's not even a lateral move, FFS.)
He’s the reason Alabama is projected to be a playoff team next season despite searching for their third starting QB in three years. He’s the reason Alabama fans are so calm when it comes to replacing running back Derrick Henry. Whether next year's quarterback is Cooper Bateman, Blake Barnett, David Cornwell or a another contender such as true freshman Jalen Hurts, there’s a sense that Kiffin has it covered.
I suspect, for a third year in a row, we see a very different Alabama offense in 2016. You have to figure that with either Bateman or Barnett, the offense will have much more of a quarterback-running dynamic (this includes recently-enrolled Jalen Hurts.) Funny to see that only Cornwell remains the sole true drop-back guy remaining on the roster.
Saban Watch Begins
"I've been part of a team since I was 9 years old," Saban said Tuesday morning. "It scares me to think of the day when I'm not a part of a team. The feeling that you get being associated with a group like this makes you want to do it more. That's kinda how I feel about it." There is a certain reality that's coming at some point. Saban acknowledged that. "I know you can't do this forever, but I certainly enjoy the moment and certainly look forward to the future and the challenges that we have. I really have no timetable for ever not being a part of the team."
He's not going anywhere...just stop. He is, by a lot of accounts, just now hitting his peak. That is terrifying.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon debate if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should attempt to hire Nick Saban.
Sure, the Bucs can try to hire outgoing President Obama too, and will likely find as much success. #NoPolitics, y'all.
On The Paul Finebaum Show, Fox Sports' Clay Travis talks about Nick Saban's future with Alabama after a win in the title game.
When I said "just stop," I specifically meant you, Travis and Pawwwwl.
The riskiest thing the Tide will ever attempt was one of the nation's most highly recruited kickers pooching the ball to one of the nation's most highly recruited cornerbacks, with the primary problem being that the elite superstar cornerback was not doing a perfect job of making the uncontested catch. That's not a big risk. Before the game, Saban told Griffith he planned on calling the onside kick. All Alabama needed was to make sure Clemson did its part. Spotters watched each kickoff to make sure the Tigers were aligned the way Bama wanted. On the first kickoff, Clemson lined up the way Alabama wanted.
This is fantastic work by Trahan. Go forth and watch the film breakdowns of Alabama & Clemson's respective kickoff teams.
Alabama is a 7/1 favorite, with the most talented roster in the country, while Clemson has 15/2 odds, with star quarterback Deshaun Watson and many other star players returning next year.
Alabama is the early Vegas favorite, with Clemson, Baylor, Ohio State and Michigan rounding out the Top Five. One of those (OSU) plainly makes zero sense, unless people are voting from name and potential rather than returning talent.
One thing is clear: this year's decision to host the semifinal games on New Year's Eve, before three other major but essentially meaningless bowl games the following day, was an unmitigated flop for everyone involved. The semifinals took a huge hit in the television ratings. The other games surrendered much of their luster. That doesn't figure to improve much if officials stick with this undesirable format (except for next season, when Dec. 31 falls on a Saturday and the games need to be shifted off New Year's Day because of the NFL). "I am concerned about how does a playoff and a bowl system co-exist," Saban said. "How could we make it better?" Let's get that conversation started.
How do you make it better? The playoffs as-constituted, on the dates scheduled for the foreseeable future, absolutely wreck the bowl structure (outside of the Rose Bowl.) The Rose has detrimentally impacted college football for far too long. There is no sense in demolishing the rest of the Bowls, particularly the New Year's Six, just to assuage the "Granddaddy Of them All," the PAC12 and the B1G's sense of New Year's Day entitlement.
The ‘Wayne Train’ will make another run at Clemson next season, but he will be doing so without teammates Mackensie Alexander, Kevin Dodd, T.J. Green and Jayron Kearse, who declared for the 2016 NFL Draft on Wednesday. The four starters join All-American defensive end Shaq Lawson in forgoing the remainder of their college eligibility for the pros.
Clemson has a ton of talent, but losing its best four defenders (including Lawson) certainly makes the road to repeat a bit bumpier for the Dabos.
This whole thing started when Baylor and TCU got left out of the Playoff because Ohio State played (and dominated) a 13th game. Oklahoma just made the Playoff, and had an easier time doing so because it lacked a 13th game. So delete all committee-specific arguments until we have more years of data. The Big 12's own history of having national contenders ruined by the previous Big 12 Championship shows this is a huge risk in general.
I disagree strongly. The Big 12 not only should have a title game, it should have at least twelve teams and divisional play -- like every other major conference. Oklahoma or Baylor etc, do not get to play the Notre Dame card. The Playoff rules were not so written and the prejudice against indies and the B12 is earned.