NB: This will be a Cam/Hootie-free zone. Later today, we're going to discuss the legal aspect of the case. In the meantime, we're skipping right over the #madonline and #hot #takes. TYVM.
7.] OL Lester Cotton Why he is where he is: Physically, Cotton already has the look of some former UA linemen who are in the league. He's shown some versatility, working at both tackle and guard during his first year in the program. Projecting to the next level, my money would be on Cotton to settle in at guard, which is where he'll likely make his starting debut for Alabama this fall.
This is a good list of draft-eligible guys for 2018. Notable at No. 10 is (so far) little-used TE Hale Hentges. But, by most accounts, he is a physical player for a pro-style offense with excellent hands. That's exciting to hear, assuming the Tide ever unchains the TE talent we've stockpiled over the years.
Last Year: 2 Record: 105-18 (196-60) Lowdown: The flip-flopping with Urban Meyer continues, but Saban reclaims the top spot after delivering his fourth national championship with Alabama and fifth as a head coach. No coach handles the win-every-game pressure like Saban. He’ll turn 65 in October, but the Crimson Tide show no signs of slowing down under his watch.
I don't have a problem putting the best coach in the game at No. 1, I do have some questions listing Malzahn and Freeze above a guy like Bielema, who has produced more ten-win seasons, BCS bowls and NFL propsects than not. It's been a slow rebuild (and some bad injury luck) in Fayetteville, but BB is a helluva' coach who has a 15-year track record running clean, consistently-winning programs. Call me silly for thinking those things matter.
The other LOL moment is listing Kirby at No. 35. Shouldn't he, you know, coach a game before we annoint him in the top 1/3rd of CFB head coaches?
Unless you're Alabama, you don't have a better Playoff shot than Clemson - SBNation.com
Clemson's defense was awesome in 2014 and awesome in 2015. Clemson's offensive trajectory flipped by 180 degrees because of Watson. He was magnificent. With him running the show, Clemson was indeed favored in every game until the postseason. The Tigers survived a tricky early trip to Louisville and outlasted Notre Dame in a monsoon. They sneaked past South Carolina in a strange rivalry game and held off hard-charging North Carolina. They crushed Oklahoma in the national semifinals and led Alabama in the finals with 11 minutes left before a surprise onside kick and a kick return score turned the tables. 2015 was a magical year for Watson, head coach Dabo Swinney, and everyone else associated with Clemson football. And if Watson stays healthy once more, 2016 could be just as fun. It's amazing how having the best quarterback in the country can affect a team, huh?
Bill C. makes a great point: Because Watson played every Clemson game in 2015, Clemson played in 15 of them. It's never too early to scope out the one team that represents the best chance to dethrone the Tide this year.
John Parker Wilson, the first quarterback of the Saban era, now lives in Birmingham with his wife Tyler and their mini golden doodle Piper. Watch as he reminisces about his time in Tuscaloosa, playing in the NFL, and shares how donning the crimson and white has shaped him into the man he is today.
Oh, John Parker, a Golden Doodle? Did you have to get a dog that has hair almost as meticulous as yours? I like this series by Aye Elle Dot Cawm, though. It's always cool to check back in on 'Bama alums.
Here are some football games that are going to happen, ranked by their likely importance. Let's discuss in the comments! 1. (tie!) SEC: Alabama at LSU, Nov. 5 ACC: Clemson at Florida State, Oct. 29 Basically the same game. Both have become season-defining rivalries over the last decade, and Bama-LSU has the edge over any other game there. Any of these teams could be No. 1 at the time, with winnable early schedules that include big-name out-of-conference opponents. All four have Playoff talent and have played for championships in the last five years. Pencil these in as GameDay games with a pencil that is especially difficult to erase.
I'm not buying that CU-FSU game as the biggest in 2016. I think, with the talent infusion, that Luhvl-Clemson may actually be a sneakier, division-deciding game. Alabama-LSU, of course, is can't miss television, particularly since both teams will likely go into this one defeated, and may even be No. 1-2 in the rankings when we meet in Baton Rouge.
Johnson said he expects the former Alabama Mr. Basketball to bounce back this season as part of a more versatile Alabama team. “You can see that he had missed some time,” Johnson said. “Every day he is getting better. The great thing is, all of the terminology, he knows what we are trying to do.
Also, we have more decision makers on the floor this year than we had last year, so he can pass the ball to Corbin (Collins), Braxton (Key), A.J. (Johnson), and we’ll have more guys to spread the floor. “Nick (King) can shoot it from the parking lot, Ar’Mond (Davis) can shoot it from the parking lot, obviously when Shannon (Hale) gets back he can shoot it.” Johnson was encouraged by the Tide’s progress in early workouts and stated that everyone was participating in training except for Hale, who is still recovering from last season’s foot injury.
When asked to describe this team, Johnson has three adjectives he's consistently using this offseason: Mature, versatile, exciting. If he's trying to generate enthusiasm, consider me sold. The SEC is going to be a wild ride this year.
Tosh Lupoi and Burton Burns got the biggest bumps for on-field assistants while Scott Cochran moved past the half-million threshold with a new $525,000 deal. In total, Alabama will pay its nine assistant coaches 11.2 percent less than last season. It saved $500,000 when Jeremy Pruitt's $1 million deal replaced Kirby Smart's $1.5 million. Four new coaches also helped drive down the total to 4,634,000 for the nine on-field assistants. Lupoi, the outside linebackers coach, now has the title of co-defensive coordinator, according to his contract. Further details on what that means were not immediately available.
Everyone got raises this season, except for Coach Kiffin, who's still pulling down $714,000 from USC. Six Alabama assistants make $500,000 or more, including...
The contract is unique, much like the man who's become a folk hero among Alabama fans. Battle chuckled a moment before listing the details of his amended contract. The AD referred to him as the "loudest and most energetic coach in America." Add well paid to the list. Cochran's new deal pays him $525,000 -- a 25 percent raise from the $420,000 he made last season. The raise resulted from Georgia coach Kirby Smart's attempt to lure his close friend to Athens after taking the Bulldogs head coaching job in December. Alabama announced it would be retaining Cochran not long after Smart was officially introduced at Georgia.
$525,000 for a guy who was pulling $120,000 in 2007. That 337% raise has been work every penny for the little man who creates monsters. Speaking of worth every penny, is there a less-celebrated position coach who does more than RB Coach Burton Burns? All he does is create the best running backs in the game, and some of the best in Alabama's storied history.
Finally, Scarbo nailed it below...
Lane Kiffin is the biggest bargain in college football. Period. End of discussion. No coordinator delivers more for less. Based on market value, Kiffin is worth at least twice the $680,000 Alabama paid him last year and the $714,000 he'll get this year. That raise was part of his original three-year contract with the Crimson Tide, which hasn't been amended or extended. Another year like the last two, and this could be the end of his image rehab. Can a legit head coaching shot be far away?
Pruitt makes $1m; Kirby was pulling $1.5. It's not insane to think that Lane would command those numbers when his buyout terminates next season. And, while I would love to see Dreamy Lane Kiffin in crimson on the sidelines in 2017, I'm not naive enough to think that he won't be a hot name in the coaching carousel. If and when Coach Saban retires, I suspect Lane gets a pretty hard look at the job. He's matured, he's rehabbed his image, he has learned how to run a championship program, and he's continued his excellent development of players and programs around him. Let's just say, my heart wouldn't be broken if we gave him a shot.