Happy Monday, everyone.
We pretty well covered the media days shenanigans last week, but there are a few solid notes for you this morning:
The Crimson Tide was picked by reporters at SEC Media Days to win its fourth consecutive conference championship. SEC media has Alabama defeating Georgia in the SEC title game. Georgia narrowly edged Florida for the vote in the East.
Since 2008, Saban’s second season — when Alabama had its first showdown with Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer and Florida in the SEC Championship Game — the Crimson Tide have fielded 29 consensus All-American selections earned by 25 players.
That’s more than California, Clemson and Wisconsin have had during their entire football histories.
It also nearly tops every other team all time in the SEC West Division.
This is a great find by Christopher Walsh, and perhaps the most jaw-dropping of all of Saban’s accomplishments and accolades. Alabama has three fewer consensus All-Americans in the Saban era than LSU has in their entire program history, only one fewer than Auburn, and more than all other division opponents. At the current pace, it won’t be long before Saban-era Alabama passes them all.
Under the direction of new coordinator Brian Daboll, Ridley, Hurts and the rest of the UA offense will look to validate its improvement when the Crimson Tide opens the season against powerhouse Florida State in Atlanta on Sept. 2. The last time we saw the Alabama passing game when something more than steak and beans were on the line, it sputtered down the stretch of the 2016 campaign. If anything, Ridley thinks the memory of that disappointing stretch has helped facilitate gains in the offseason.
To be frank, it sputtered for much of the spring game too. Jalen’s line looked great: 16/25 for 301 yards, but 162 of those yards came on three deep balls against Trevon Diggs, who clearly wasn’t ready to be left on an island. Granted, the last one was perhaps the best touch throw we’ve seen Jalen make in Tuscaloosa. Still, the meager 6.31 YPA on the other 22 throws does not portend well against teams that can take away the deep stuff.
The good news is that better accuracy on the long ball, as Hurts seemed to show, should also help open up the run game as teams are forced to respect the deep threat, and play action is bound to spring some wide open opportunities as well.
One of the many storylines of this game will be that of mentor vs. pupil, as Nick Saban and his protege Jimbo Fisher face off as head coaches for the first time. If Seminole fans are looking for a piece of history that bodes well for their side, they need only reference Fisher’s impressive 9-1 record against the SEC since taking the helm in Tallahassee.
I can’t think of a better time for loss number two.
The basketball team has started their special ten-day practice session for the upcoming Canada tour:
. Tonight we had our 1st full practice in preparation for our Canadian trip. Lots of teaching! Love our teamwork & attitude! #Hardwork— Avery Johnson (@CoachAvery6) July 17, 2017
Great move by Coach Johnson to steal some time with his rebuilt squad.
We’ll close with AD Greg Byrne completing the whipped cream challenge for 17 Strong, a non-profit that sends terminally ill young adults who are slightly too old to qualify for “Make a Wish” trips on similar adventures.
Great stuff. Rece says he will have his done by Tuesday, no word yet from Avery.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.