Six weeks out from the Early Signing Period, 247 has broken down the Tide’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class and highlighted some targets and areas of continued need. Good stuff here: this is what they do the best.
Alabama currently sits with the No. 1-ranked class in the country, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings, heading into the month of November. The Crimson Tide is set to host three homes games over the course of the next five weeks, culminating to the Iron Bowl, which will be arguably the biggest recruiting weekend of the 2019 cycle for UA.
The Tide currently has 22 commitments on its list and has several needs remaining to close out the class, including inside linebacker, defensive line, and running back.
There was a limited practice yesterday. However, those deets are behind a paywall :(
And I’m not going to send you to that. So, assume no news is good news.
Our Card Chronicle pal, Mike Rutherford, broke down the landmark U.S. v. Gatto et al. jury verdict yesterday. In case you missed it, incredibly the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts based on a prosecutorial theory that schools who offered an ineligible player a scholarship are somehow the victims of fraud and honest services.
This means, in short, that most of the worst offenders in the sty of college hoops can now trot out a jury form into the NCAA’s office and cry “see, we were wronged” and hopefully avoid sanctioning. Alabama, of course, was spared any recriminations throughout.
The winners and loser piece is worth reading, but one loser in particular is the ethical mess in Baton Rouge known as Will Wade. For nigh 18 months dark, dark rumors have been swirling around LSU’s basketball program as a competitive-but-nothing-special program has suddenly turned into a recruiting juggernaut.
Now we know why:
For the most part, head coaches were able to avoid being on the wrong end of a smoking gun throughout the proceedings in New York. Part of that is because Judge Lewis A. Kaplan didn’t allow much of the evidence that was rumored to be especially damning for multiple head coaches to enter the courtroom. The other part is that while coaches were often shown to be actively seeking help from the shady figures in this trial, they were also smart enough to not go into detail about what that “help” might entail.
The major exception here is Will Wade, who has been on a recruiting roll since taking over at LSU in March of 2017. An FBI monitored call between defendant Christian Dawkins and Wade revealed the following conversation about class of 2019 recruit Balsa Koprivica:
Dawkins: “So you said to me in Atlanta there was a 2019 kid I wanted to recruit, they can get him to LSU, you would have funded. Would you want Balsa?”
Wade: “Oh, the big kid?”
Wade: “OK. But there’s other (expletive) involved in it. I have got to shut my door ... Here’s my thing: I can get you what you need, but it’s got to work.”
Go check it out: Even if you’re not a hoops-head, it’s bye week.
Everyone basically agrees that the CFP rankings to be released next Tuesday will have Alabama at No. 1, then Clemson and Notre Dame at No. 2 and No. 3 (or, as I think, it should be No. 3 and No. 2.) Thereafter, it’s a hodgepodge of guesses as to No. 4 — Michigan? LSU? (I think Florida has an excellent shot of being the 5-seed and maybe even squeaking in if it beats UGA this week.) But, projecting S&P, what team is most likely to edge into the final slot by season’s end? SPOILER: It’s not who you think.
The problem UCF had last year is the same one it has this season, which is its strength of schedule … or lack thereof. None of the Knights’ first seven opponents this season currently have a record better than .500. Four of their five remaining opponents do, however, if one assumes UCF makes the AAC Championship Game again. At most, UCF will likely have played just one team that is ranked in the final CFP Rankings at the end of the season, just as it did in 2017.
One team with a still mathematical shot? The Texas A&M Aggies. They’re a quiet 5-2 with losses only to No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson. Meanwhile, they’ve beaten USCe and No. 7 Kentcuky. They’ll have chances for other quality wins too in a backloaded schedule that features 5-3 Ole Miss, No. 4 LSU, and 5-3 Auburn.
With Jeremy Pruitt now under the thumb of the flabby backstabbing crybaby snitch in Knoxville*, the mantel of best defensive coordinator indisputably resides with Dave Aranda in Baton Rouge. Coach Orgeron is under no illusions of what a challenge even the Tigers’ star-studded secondary will face next Saturday night.
Orgeron is very impressed with the play of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. That’s an understatement. “He’s the best player in college football. He’s very instinctive. He has a good release. They’ve got him in the right offense. He’s a great young man. I know he and his family. Again, I think he’s the best player in college football.”
Da’ Coach O’s presser at the link above.
* No, I’m still not over it — this is a Saturday Evening Post - Bear Bryant sort of lifetime feud, my friends.
LSU Fan’s silly #FreeDevinWhite billboard campaign has raised $6,000. But, may we suggest something better? Alabama fans have created their own sign campaign and donations for those affected by the Hurricane Michael megastorm.
This is a far better use of your dollars.
While LSU fans waste their money on meaningless billboards based on a conspiracy theory between The University Of Alabama and the Southeastern Conference offices in Birmingham, we are starting this campaign to raise money for hurricane relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Michael, which devastated parts of the Eastern United States in early October.
Speaking of good uses of dollars, the folks at Hogs Haven, SBN’s Redskins site, are selling some sweet ‘Bama swag commemorating their very Crimson-laden dominating front seven.
The nickname given to the quartet of Da’ron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Ryan Anderson? The Alabama Wall.
You can get yours here from Hogs Haven.
Saban’s customary Wednesday presser was held yesterday, and he really hit on the themes of accountability and the emergence of America’s best interior defensive lineman, Quinnen Williams:
“I think any time you have really productive guys up front, especially guys that play the run well, as well as have pass-rush ability, that’s a real key to having a good defensive team because it all starts up front, in my opinion. And Q has certainly developed nicely here and is playing really well this year and has been very productive for us.”
“I think he can play either place. It just fits best for the players that we have this year, and he’s embraced the role and done a good job. Last week, he played five technique quite a bit when Raekwon (Davis) was out.”
Why do we call him the best, aside from our lying eyes and simple homerism? He has comparable numbers to Ed Oliver, is more versatile, and 75% through the season has graded out as the best defensive lineman in the country.
With hoops beginning, volleyball underway, and baseball/softball/gym fast approaching — it’s time to focus on some nonsensical housekeeping. Alabama’s clear bag policy — one in place in all SEC football venues — is being extended by the school to all ticketed activities now: From volleyball to baseball to hoops.
Check out the schedule and the how-tos here:
Alabama Athletics’ clear bag policy, which has been used at Bryant-Denny Stadium since the 2016 season, will now be implemented at all home ticketed sporting events, beginning with the men’s basketball regular season opener on November 6.
In addition to football and men’s basketball, the clear bag policy will be in effect at women’s basketball, gymnastics, baseball and softball during the 2018-19 season. Volleyball will begin to use the clear bag policy in 2019.
Big love for the Big Uglies from Coach Cutcliffe:
“They’re the greatest humans in football,” he said. “They have no official statistic. Think about it. We make them up. What do we call them, pancake blocks? Come on, man. That doesn’t show up in the stats. D-linemen get hurries, they get sacks, they get fumble recoveries…. You know what (offensive linemen) care about? Their team. The scoreboard is the only stat they pay attention to.”
We here at Roll ‘Bama Roll endorse this opinion.
We’ll have some more stuff for you over the next two days: Giving Away Money, the belated Blogpoll and some game previews/threads for tonight. Brent is working on a two-QB piece which may be today (or more likely tomorrow.) We also have Jordan’s Quinnen Williams film review coming tomorrow, as well the usual JP, RBR R10, and some game previews/threads for you. Plus whatever else we feel like.
It’s a bye week, but we’re trying, y’all.