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Random Thoughts and Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday Open Thread

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Can ArDarius Stewart find success in the NFL?
Can ArDarius Stewart find success in the NFL?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

There may be no action at Bryant Denny Stadium this Saturday but there is still plenty going on in T-Town.

LEAVING SO SOON?

As I am sure you have heard by now, Alabama will be losing three third-year players to early entree into the NFL.

  • Cam Robinson - The big left tackle is a dominating talent, who manhandled such opponents as Texas A&M's Myles Garrett, Tennessee's Derek Barnett and Arden Key of LSU. However, he may need to work on his mental game. Regardless of that, he could be a top ten pick.
  • Marlon Humphrey - Although he could probably use some polishing, the Tide's shut-down corner has been projected as a first-rounder and possibly as high as top 15. However, don't be surprised if he falls to the second round.
  • ArDarius Stewart - The Gump in me thinks Stewart needs to come back for another season, but he probably doesn't have much more to prove at wide receiver at the college level. I hope he knows what he is doing because this is a tough year for underclassmen pass-catchers to be early entries. I can't see him going any higher than third round. Among those who will be chosen before him are Mike Williams (Clemson), Corey Davis (Western Michigan), John Ross (Washington), Curtis Samuel (Ohio State), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Southern Cal)...

CRISTOBAL HEADS WEST

While no official announcement has been made yet, several sources are reporting that new Oregon head coach Willie Taggart has hired Alabama assistant coach Mario Cristobal to be co-offensive coordinator with former South Florida assistant David Reaves. [Color me skeptical on how that whole co-OC thing works out.] Cristobal has coached offensive line at the Capstone, but this past season split duties with Brent Key who manned guards and centers while Cristobal handled tackles and tight ends. Cristobal was also recruiting coordinator for the Tide.

RUMORS OF LUPOI

Cal made an odd move by firing Sonny Dykes more than a month after the season had ended and almost three weeks before signing day. Reports are that Wisconsin defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox reached a verbal agreement on a 5-year coaching deal. The big story for Tide fans is that Tosh Lupoi is rumored to be joining his staff. They will have to crack open some piggy banks because the Alabama outside linebacker coach is making $550,000 with Alabama. Lupoi played defensive tackle at Cal from 2000-2005 and later became DL coach for four seasons in Berkeley. He then moved on to Washington but was caught up in a little bit of hijinks.

There have also been rumors swirling around Bama wide receivers coach Billy Napier being courted around the country. Losing Cristobal, Lupoi, and Napier would take a big bite out of Alabama recruiting efforts. Fortunately, this 2017 class is almost sewed up.

THE RETURN OF BRANDON CHICKEN?

Something called walterfootball.com is claiming that Alabama linebacker Tim Williams has a drug problem.

In the scouting community Williams is a consensus first-round talent, however team sources believe that Williams could easily slip to the second day of the draft. The reason for that is many failed drug tests, and some team sources have said that Williams substance abuse issues are very serious in the realm of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory. 

I am not going to link it because they don't deserve the clicks, and the above is basically all there is to read. However, it is good to see that Brandon Chicken has gotten a job writing on the interwebz.

MEN'S HOOPS

The men's basketball team (9-6, 2-1) has a pivitoal game at LSU (9-6, 1-3) on Saturday. They will need to win this game to prove they are not a mediocre team losing to another mediocre team. The game is at 2:30pm/3:30pm on SEC Network.

NFL

Former Tide players in action today:

Julio Jones, ATL
Courtney Upshaw, ATL
Jarran Reed, SEA
Dont'a Hightower, NE
Cyrus Jones, NE
Kareem Jackson, HOU

GYMNASTICS

The Tide tumblers have started the season 0-2 with losses at defending national champs Oklahoma (196.700-197.750) and at home Friday night to 2016 runner-up LSU (197.100-197.575). Fortunately, meet record means less than the average score of which Alabama is top four. Still, this is not looking like a championship contender. They have lost 12 of their last 22 meets including allowing Auburn to snap the 117 meet losing streak. Should we be concerned about the program?

WOMEN'S HOOPS

The Crimson Tide is 14-3, 2-2 in the SEC. It looks like a move back to Coleman Coliseum has served them well.