An old nemesis hangs ‘em up
In an oddly-timed abrupt departure, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops hung up the whistle yesterday. After 18 years, the longest-tenured coach in FBS retires with 190 wins (the most in a school history that has churned out Bud and Barry,) 10 conference titles, and a national title. To Alabama fans, more irritatingly, three of those wins are against the Crimson Tide, a team he never lost to. Red-hot offensive coordinator, Lincoln Riley takes over for Stoops.
And, tongue-in-cheek teasing about impending NCAA investigations has started too. I’m not saying that at all, but a punctuated departure is naturally going to raise questions as to why a man would end his career at 56. As Josh noted this morning, Nick Saban began his Alabama tenure at age 56. Then again, perhaps the occasionally-noted staleness in Norman arises because he’s tired of it all. Lack of motivation had a great deal to do with other legendary coaches: Bowden grew bored, Spurrier had golf to play, etc.
He leaves untouchable in Norman, to be sure. But, between unapologetically playing a lot of violent nut cases; too many big losses in too many big games; and diminishing returns in the last decade, a more mixed legacy for Stoops will emerge in the coming weeks.
His “great friend,” Nick Saban may miss Stoops, but most Alabama fan will not.
Stewart has been a mentor and big brother figure for Simmons. And Simmons is now emerging as a legitimate contender for playing time entering Year 2 with the Tide while reminding at least some inside the program of his former hotel roommate.
"I see a lot of me in him," said Stewart, a first-team All-SEC selection last season.
Nice story on T.J. Simmons, a receiver that we tend to forget when mentally carving up the two-deep. Besides his size, Simmons has the work ethic and physicality to see the field in some situations.
Tide reserve defensive lineman, O.J. Smith, tweeted-then-announced he was leaving the university. For Smith it makes sense: He can get more playing time at a school and scheme more in line with his size (6’3” 330.) In this spread era, Saban’s recent defenses have increasingly become lighter and leaner and more in-betweener.
The days of strong, mammoth, run-stopping nose tackles are largely over in Tuscaloosa. However, there are several potential stops for a huge 3-4 NG: Michigan, having lost its entire defense, comes to mind for the three-star.
Best of luck, O.J.
Tony Brown, still supah fast.
Brown ran a personal best yesterday, in what has been the best season of his track career. I’m sure PiperTJ will brief us on the results of Nationals when they conclude. I can’t even speak half knowledgeably on the disparate sports.
Athlon’s “Shameful” games
Alabama and Auburn both get opprobrium for scheduling the woeful Mercer Bears for an FCS bloodbath. But, ya’ know, let’s just ignore that Alabama also plays No. 2 Florida State to open the season.
It’s just a really slow day, folks. Sorry about that. We’ll do better to get some players arrested or something. #Offseason