Happy Monday, everyone. The Tide enjoyed a tasty cupcake on Saturday and now move on to a bacon flavored one in Fayetteville. So far, so good.
The Tide moved back to No. 1 in scoring with 54.2 points a game while making the top-10 in nine different categories we survey every week.
Penalties, red-zone scoring and 20-yard plays allowed remain the areas of concern -- at least statistically.
Seems like bizarro world in Tuscaloosa, with an offense ranked #5 in raw yards (#2 in S&P+) and a defense ranked only #23 (#9 in S&P+). That is the reality of this year’s team, though. It is encouraging that the team ranks much higher with garbage time removed.
Lots of folks are talking about Jalen Hurts. As usual, Cecil Hurt hits the nail on the head.
Is that what Hurts really was required by all logic to do? Or, and I know this is a crazy hypothesis but bear with me here, is he actually doing what he has wanted to do along? Is he living up to his stated intention since he signed a scholarship, which is play football — not as a guaranteed starter but as a team member — and get a degree? Did he hear the applause from what seems to be an appreciative fan base? Is it just barely, remotely possible he likes the school, likes his teammates, likes being a part of a team that has at least some possibility of winning another national championship? Is he happy with four years of college and not sure if he even wants a fifth?
Frankly, this is one of the biggest problems in our culture. It’s a great thing when people speak up for those who truly can’t speak for themselves, but we have way too many people arrogantly speaking in place of those who can, usually without all of the information. None of us has any way of knowing what is or was in Jalen’s head, and while I didn’t love the timing or tone of his remarks to open camp, this was his complaint all along. People debated about him, listened to his father’s comments, and jumped to conclusions.
There are a myriad of reasons that the redshirt year might not be of value to him, not the least of which is that he might not care to go play football at a lesser program. While everyone has given their opinion of “what’s best for him,” Jalen has simply shown up to work and played better than he ever has. Good for him.
Good on the fans for recognizing him for it, too.
Nick Saban and his teammates praised Jalen Hurts for the character he showed by sticking with the team after being relegated to a backup role. WR Derek Kief: "As a man, he displays everything like a man should want to be."— Rainer Sabin (@RainerSabin) September 29, 2018
Members of sports media weighed in as well. No matter what happens from here on out, Hurts has cemented his place as a fan favorite in Tuscaloosa.
Speaking of fans, the students are being roasted for not showing up to, well, roast in the stands of an 11am cupcake game. Seems that the players noticed.
Must be nice to have people come to your home games https://t.co/Dbf7dHDNXB— Thomas Fletcher (@longsnapfletch) September 30, 2018
The obvious answer here is schedule more compelling games, but as hashed out in many an #offseason, that is a complex issue.
Moving on to Fayetteville...
The betting line is out for this weekend’s matchup between Alabama and Arkansas, and the defending champions are a five-touchdown favorite over its sixth opponent of the season.
The Crimson Tide is considered a 35-point favorite over the Razorbacks, per VegasInsider.com.
Getting five touchdowns on the road is patently absurd, but unlike last week I’d expect it to be easy money. Saban usually doesn’t seem to be concerned with letting the team run it up a bit on SEC schools.
It’s been somewhat forgotten, but Deionte Thompson’s court case is still hanging out there.
According to a motion of continuance filed last Tuesday by the attorney for Alabama safety Deionte Thompson in the 122nd Judicial Court in Galveston County, Texas, a jury trial previously set for Thompson’s felony assault case on Oct. 8 has been postponed until “some future date” due to defense counsel being out of town.
Per the motion, “[Defense] Counsel has discussed this with Assistant District Attorney, James Haugh, who has agreed with this continuance.”
Mid-January sounds good to me.
Avery Johnson landed another Top 100 prospect.
A left-handed guard with shooting range to 23 feet, Shackelford is rated the No. 99 prospect in the USA by 247 Sports and No. 135 nationally by Rivals.com.
Alabama is continuing to recruit inside players for the 2019-2020 class including 6-10 forward Drew Timme of Dallas, Tex., and 6-8 Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook.
You can never have too many shooters. If Avery can land at least one of the two big men listed, he will have another stellar class. Watford is obviously our first choice. HFTB.
Last, can we take a moment to laugh at an Auburn blog? I didn’t think you’d mind.
I wonder if Southern Miss agrees? Regardless, nobody can manufacture a moral victory like Auburn fans.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.