Happy Friday, everyone. I trust that you all have enjoyed your week of gloating, wearing your gump swag to the office, needling your Auburn/Georgia/whoever coworkers about their favored team’s lack of hardware, etc. It really was a storybook ending, wasn’t it?
That one may be their best work yet.
You may have heard that DL coach Karl Dunbar had some personal items stolen from a hotel conference room where Alabama was holding staff meetings before the title game. A playbook and laptop were among the reported losses. Check this out:
Alabama had a playbook stolen before national championship game. One week earlier, in same hotel, someone tried to steal an important laptop from Auburn's defense before Peach Bowl. Story: https://t.co/V0mqlEEkMH— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) January 11, 2018
That seems like an odd coincidence, doesn’t it?
What’s funny is that Kirby had his team drive back to Athens to practice because he was worried about spies in MBS. We’ve reached peak college football espionage levels.— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) January 11, 2018
Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
Interesting note about new coach Jeff Banks: his special teams led the nation with eight blocked kicks this season. Perhaps we will see some additional scheming in that regard. Check out his postgame press conference after coaching in the Belk Bowl.
Seems like a pretty sharp coach who knows how to build relationships with his players.
Yep, folks are still talking about Tua Tagovailoa.
By halftime Monday it was clear Nick Saban had a decision to make. His offense was stuck in the mud after a listless first half on the grandest stage. Down 13, but feeling like more, something had to change.
These are the decisions that come with $11.2 million pay check. Most of the time in Saban’s 11 Alabama seasons, those bold choices paid off for the Crimson Tide.
Interesting data point on @Tuaamann_ ... Tua has enormous mitts. At @ArmyAllAmerican check in, @247Sports database team measured his hands at 10 1/4 inches, surpassing Aaron Rodgers well discussed paws of 10 1/8 inches (NFL combine). Helps explain his ability to spin the rock.— Shannon B. Terry (@sbterry247) January 11, 2018
Apparently anything over 9.5 inches is considered above average, and Rodgers’s are considered exceptionally large. Tua clutches a football better than Georgia fans clutch pearls. He still needs to tuck it away better when he runs, though.
Someone also asked about his height for reference:
Measured exactly 6-0 3/4 inches with no shoes.— Shannon B. Terry (@sbterry247) January 11, 2018
That is short for a quarterback, but it’s slightly taller than Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. Those guys seem to get by.
Rich Eisen summed up Tua’s performance with what most of us were thinking. (H/T to commenter d12):
Trainer Jeff Allen tweeted out something about the adversity that the team went through this season and suggested that it was more than anyone knew. In time, we will probably get the whole story, but here is the first nugget.
Lowkey nervous about having surgery tomorrow I've been playing on a broke ankle since week 5. It’s definitely been hard playing knowing that any play could be your last. I'm grateful and blessed to had finish the season much more coming soon #Blessed #Bama #RollTide #TheReturn— Josh Jacobs (@iAM_JoshJacobs) January 12, 2018
Guess we know why Jacobs wasn’t getting as many touches. We had some tough hombres on this team.
When Devonta Smith caught the iconic pass, no one was more relieved than Andy Pappanastos. He’s taking it all in stride though, and appreciates his teammates for picking him up.
Thanks for that Coach. Classic example of a team finding a way to win no matter what it takes. We always have each other’s backs! https://t.co/m5CazC5quS— Andy Pappanastos (@AP2vamos) January 10, 2018
Lot of good kids on this team, some of whom now have to replaced. Such is life in college ball.
Fitzpatrick and Harrison were mainstays in a secondary that will undergo a complete transformation this off-season after Anthony Averett, Levi Wallace, Hootie Jones and Tony Brown exhausted their eligibility on Monday.
Payne was a fixture in the middle of a defensive line -- absorbing double teams with his 319-pound build and Herculean strength.
None of them will be easy to replace.
Fitzpatrick and Payne are probably the best of the Saban era at their respective positions and will not be fully replaced. Raekwon Davis is the likely heir at the nose, but the secondary is anyone’s guess.
That’s what Monday was about: Appreciating Saban’s awesome ability to push, pull and pry his team to victory through a pit of mud. The process wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was downright gross most of the night. But the result was as sparkling as the coach’s five previous national titles.
No one in the SEC, not even rising Georgia, has an answer for the incredible force that made Alabama college football’s best once more.
No one else is Saban.
No they are not, and for that we are thankful.
“When you’re a competitor, you always want to play,” McCarron said. “I went through it myself during my freshman year at Alabama. I remember being frustrated and after practice one day, I told my dad I was going to transfer. I was going to go to Ole Miss. But then we sat down and talked about it, and I decided to stay. Obviously, that all worked out for the best.
If this is the case, sitting behind Andy Dalton has to be driving him batty.
We are going to miss Coach Pruitt, y’all.
Hey @Vol_Football this is your new Head Coach. Such a players coach. @CoachJPruitt with some cool moments with @Raekwondavis_99 and @iam__mw3o after the National Championship in the Alabama locker room. Offering advice and love on his way out. pic.twitter.com/Q95PbWmtBT— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) January 11, 2018
For his last act in Crimson, he ate Jim Chaney’s lunch in the second half of a title game. You just never know. Maybe one day Mama will call.
Last but not least, did you see this abomination?
Is this real? If so, woof. It’s bad. pic.twitter.com/DRujzouO2v— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) January 11, 2018
Kill. It. With. Fire.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.