Happy Monday, everyone. Lots of good news over the weekend, as Alabama enters its critical three-game stretch that will go a long way toward defining the season. We'll start with some Kentucky aftermath:
It's become pretty obvious by now Nick Saban doesn't care what outsiders think about him or the program he runs. He made that clear again when he decided to play Tim Williams a mere two days after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a handgun without a permit.
Williams was held out in the first half of the game before Saban unleashed the senior outside linebacker on Kentucky to the astonishment of many. When asked after the game if the extent of his punishment was his two quarters of inactivity, Saban didn't bat an eye. "
Yeah," he said.
And so it was.
Yep. Saban is going to do what he thinks is best for the player and for the program, and anyone who doesn't like it can go to
"He's a bowling ball. He's a good running back," Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley said. "I saw that when he first got here. He's one of those young ones that will block and do anything just to get on the field. Everything he's doing, he's done it in practice. He deserves everything he is getting."
Jacobs earned his first career start in place of Harris, who played sparingly because of an ankle injury.
Jacobs rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. It's the first time Jacobs has reached the century mark in his young career.
With the downfield passing game mostly a work-in progress in the first half, and the game tied at 3 in the second quarter, Alabama went to work on the ground, rushing the ball seven consecutive times, including six straight by Jacobs. Every run had one thing in common: They went behind the left side of the offensive line, which opened nice-sized holes for Jacobs.
The drive covered 61 yards, 57 by Jacobs, and gave Alabama a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Young Jacobs has been a revelation. Right now he looks to be neck-and-neck with Damien Harris for the top RB spot. The Tide has an embarrassment of riches at the position and more reinforcements coming.
The big recruiting news:
WHAT MOSES BRINGS: He's been a top recruit since before his ninth grade year as he starred as a running back and linebacker. Now, Moses' focus has been on defense. So far, Moses has 65 tackles for IMG in five games. He ran a 4.56 in the 40 at The Opening and his 1-on-1 battle with fellow Alabama commit Najee Harris was fun to watch. 247Sports says he's the best linebacker in space since Jaylon Smith, who signed with Notre Dame in 2012. Moses is fast, athletic, strong and instinctive - all why he's ranked as high as he is.
Reuben Foster, who Moses calls a big brother, was spotted after the game running up to Moses, who watched the Tide win 34-6 from the first row in Bryant-Denny Stadium. During the short embrace, Foster told Moses to call him in a little bit.
You have to wonder if that phone call did happen, perhaps Foster, who will enter the NFL draft at the end of the season, told his "little brother" to carry on his legacy in an Alabama uniform.
While anything can happen, this seems to be a firm decision. The relationship with Reuben Foster is an interesting note, since Foster also spurned a hometown school to come and play for Nick Saban. In any event, Alabama now has commitments from the #1, #4, and #5 overall players in the 247 composite, and #3 overall Marvin Wilson, the top defensive lineman in the country who was also thought to be leaning toward Texas or LSU, is in play as well. Come on down, Marvin. There are immediate reps available for those ready to take them.
On to the Hogs:
Overall, Alabama's comfortably in the top half of every major statistical measure. Its No. 52 passing offense is the lowest of the bunch. The top Alabama ranking comes in rush defense, No. 3 while the Razorbacks as 73rd. The biggest issue (on paper) for Arkansas is its ability to get off the field on third downs. It ranks 115th of 128 allowing first downs on 47.8 percent of opponents' third downs. Texas A&M went 8-for-12 (66.7 percent) in Arkansas' lone loss of the season. Without further delay, here is the full set of major statistical measures with Alabama, Arkansas and the national leader.
As it stands at the moment, Alabama is a 13-point favorite over Arkansas. Despite the contest being played in Fayetteville, Vegas likes the Tide and likes them a lot. The lines at 5Dimes and BETNOW are 12.5, meanwhile, but the Tide are still considered heavy favorites in this game regardless. Meanwhile, Texas A&M opens as a 6.5-point favorite over Tennessee. This isn’t too terribly surprising with A&M being the home team and the Volunteers needing some magic and manufacturing second half comebacks in each of the last two weeks. Elsewhere, the line is at 7 points in the favor of the Aggies.
Alabama has run for more, thrown for more, and played defense against a much tougher schedule. Two touchdowns on the road seems to be about right. Having the next two opponents playing against each other will be a unique scouting opportunity for Tide fans.
Then an up-and-coming Vanderbilt assistant coach, Bryant had just helped his team upset top-10 Alabama. His name was a hot topic in the Arkansas newspapers as pressure grew on Razorbacks coach Fred Thomsen. So the fast-rising star from the southeast corner of the state was headed home for what seemed like a slam-dunk job interview.
"I wasn't ready," Bryant recalled in a 1979 Associated Press story, "but I thought I might get it." According to the press, his hiring was a foregone conclusion Sunday morning when his car departed Nashville.
That was Dec. 7, 1941.
Great read from Casagrande. One has to wonder how college football may have changed had the timing been different.
That's about it for today. Have a great week.