It’s going to be an exceptionally slow week around these parts.
Basketball is off until the 18th. Bowl games don’t begin until Saturday. The Early Signing Period starts later next week (12/19). The football team is still recuperating for another week. So, we have a few features for you this week, but otherwise it’s a great time to finish up your holiday shopping, winter cleaning, and get caught up on your Netflix queue.
And that’s okay.
So, here’s what’s fresh:
For those who watch this venerable institution, the 32nd Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game is next Monday. BOL has a breakdown of the game and a list of recruits to keep an eye on (as well as the already committed, a la Auburn’s Bo Nix.)
Alabama fans have much to rejoice over this Holiday season, Coach Gattis has already declined a reported offer to go to Maryland. Coach Golding told Ole Miss “nah dog, I’m good.” And, this morning, equally big news broke.
In perhaps the most obvious decision ever, Nick Saban is expected to promote Assistant HC/Co-OC/QBC Dan Enos to the now-vacant offensive coordinator position.
There is not much up as yet: Zenitz and FootballScoop are just now breaking the story. But keep that link handy to refresh as the day goes on.
In the preseason, we predicted five players would make All-American teams. It actually wound up being six. No one really saw Jerry Jeudy’s breakout season, one which saw him earn the Biletnikoff award as the nation’s best receiver. Henry Ruggs III seemed to have the much better rapport with the quarterbacks by season’s end. And, while we had a defensive lineman pegged as an AA for the Tide, it was not Raekwon Davis who had the monster year. I don’t think anyone saw the impact that Quinnen Williams would have this year — even former Tide players, like Jonathan Allen, who hyped Williams for years.
It’s good to be wrong, huh?
Here are the Tide’s six All-Americans.
Offensive lineman Jonah Williams, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and defensive back Deionte Thompson earned All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Associated Press on Monday. Center Ross Pierschbacher and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy joined the quartet on the AP team.
Jonah and Quinnen Williams were first-team picks by the FWAA and AP while Thompson and Jeudy received first-team nods from AP. Thompson joined Pierschbacher and Tagovailoa on the AP second team with Tagovailoa and Thompson also earning second-team honors from the FWAA.
RIP Birmingham Traffic:
The Alabama Department of Transportation is planning to shut down I-20/59 in January, and drivers are asked to avoid the downtown area as much as possible. Here’s the real kicker, though: The road is expected to be closed for just over a year! You read that right. An entire year, plus some! (14 months to be exact)
According to AL.com, using Interstate 459 is highly recommended. Let’s put this into context. If you’re leaving Tuscaloosa and going to the airport, it is suggested that you take 459 and then come back. But what if you’re leaving Tuscaloosa to go to Huntsville?
It’s not sports, but you may want to know that the beating heart at the center of Alabama’s interstate hub is about to be gnarled for at least 14 months. And if you think for one second ALDOT will finish this on time, do I have some quality Big 12 defenses to sell you. You can barely get them to turn a shovel on an 80-degree clear day in late April.
I’m so very, very sorry.
Kira Lewis is saving jobs nearly single-handedly this week. His heroics the past two games have earned him SEC Freshman of the Week honors:
Lewis Jr. began the week by going 6-of-12 from the field and draining five three-pointers (5-of-10) on his way to team-high 19 points against Georgia State. He followed that performance by recording his fourth 20-point game of the year to lead the Tide in a three-point win over Arizona. Lewis Jr. connected on 7-of-13 shots from the floor, including hitting 4-of-5 treys on the night, and capped the performance by sinking a three-pointer with 13 seconds left to seal the victory over the Wildcats.
Rank the Nick Saban Alabama teams! TSN tries and that’s a heckuva’ Sophie’s Choice.
Try picking his best team. It’s tough. About the only thing certain when ranking his Alabama teams is which one was the worst — his first, in 2007. That team finished 7-6. Every other one of his teams has won at least 10 games.
So, who is Alabama’s best team? Take a look:
The Touchdown Club of Atlanta selects a national high school Back of the Year and national high school Lineman of the Year.
An Alabama high school star -- both committed to Alabama -- are among the finalists in both categories.
Big shout out to our dude Keaton Anderson, a Tide reserve DB who made the national academic All-American team. . DYK: Anderson has been a special teams standout the last three years, has played in every game since 2016?
Well done, Keaton.
Alabama football student-athlete Keaton Anderson was voted to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-All-American team, it was announced Monday.
The redshirt junior defensive back graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a 3.82 GPA and is now pursuing a master’s in marketing while carrying a 4.0 GPA.
Ah, yes, nothing gets your blood pumping for College Football Playoff action quite like...Imagine Dragons?
Imagine Dragons will headline the halftime telecast and perform from Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. The bands’ song “Natural” was used by ESPN as the theme song for much of the network’s college football coverage and promotions. Imagine Dragons will perform several songs in the set.
Is ‘Bama Fatigue a real thing? Here are several opinions from Drew DeArmond, Barrett Sallee, and others.
Callers are predictably unhappy, as well they should be.
And, if you want your blood to boil: Yes, if Fornelli’s justification is any indication, despite comparable yard-per-play metrics, Murray doing it against seven bottom-30 defenses was somehow more virtuous than a bad half from a banged-up Tua.
I can’t even with these f’n people anymore. I want the Ewok crushed and the B12 exposed for what it is.
That’s player of the year Tua Tagovailoa to you, Fornelli:
Tagovailoa has thrown for 3,353 yards and a school-record 37 touchdowns with just four interceptions on 199-of-294 passing (67.7 percent) this season. He has passed for 300 or more yards an Alabama-record five times in 2018 and has five games with four or more touchdown passes, which is also a UA single-season record. Tagovailoa’s 42 combined passing and rushing touchdowns (37/5) is a Crimson Tide season touchdown responsibility record. He is also 134 yards shy of the school record for passing yardage in a season.
Sporting News’ coach of the year was also announced yesterday. It was the same one as my choice, BTW. UAB’s Bill Clark. How he and Troy’s Neal Brown do not have bigger jobs yet is 100% beyond my ken.
Well, we can get back to hating Butch Jones again!
The former Tennessee head coach turned Crimson Tide analyst will be Maryland’s new tight ends coach and associate head coach, InsideMDsports.com reported Monday night.
Jones would join the staff of current Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, hired as the Terps’ head coach last week.
Speaking of Crootin’, Alabama is a mortal lock to (again) sign the best class in the country. And, it won’t be particularly close either:
Let’s not create drama where there is none. Alabama is going to sign the No. 1 recruiting class for the 2019 cycle. A year after finishing fifth to end a seven-year streak of No. 1 classes, the Tide has rolled back to the top spot.
So this piece is more about detailing how it will happen and how the composition of Alabama’s class will help decide who finishes second and third. The Early Signing Period runs Dec. 19-21, and regular National Signing Day is Feb. 6.
Finally, we’ll take you out with the Top 15 games of 2018.