When asked to point to one signee on either side of the ball that will make a difference in 2018, Eyabi Anoma comes to mind immediately. Let us offer you the offensive player many of us here at RBR believe will have an instant impact: 4-star WR Jaylen Waddle.
It was rumored that Waddle was the wide receiving priority for the Tide this cycle. And, it’s easy to see why. He’s small — just 5’10”, but the word “dynamic” doesn’t do justice to how versatile and explosive Jaylen is. Despite rolling into 2018 with an excellent corps of young wideouts, there will be snaps for Waddle. He has the look of a natural playmaker, one as natural as former Alabama-great Tyrone Prothro. (No pressure, kid!)
“We had him in a camp last summer and we’ve recruited him for a long time,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “He’s got great quickness and change of direction and run after catch (ability). Really an outstanding overall receiver, but would work really well for us in the slot. Has really good run after catch speed, sweep-type of ability. Maybe a little different than some of the guys we have right now, which is a really good thing.”
I’m guessing we won’t see the 6’5” Cam Sims-types galloping around on jet sweeps anymore, eh?
This offseason we have been very high on the moves Saban made with Alabama’s coaching personnel. Josh Gattis is special, and Craig Kuligowski (DL) is probably the best DL position coach in college football. Bruce Feldman goes in-depth a little more on Coach Kool.
Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports also raves about those two coaches, calling them some of the most important moves of the offseason. From his article on offseason assistant hires (plenty more at the link):
With the young wide receiver group that he’s inheriting at Alabama, Gattis is well-equipped to maximize their potential. Kuligowski has similar credentials. He regularly produced first-round candidates out of nowhere at Missouri and he quickly turned a Miami defensive front into a dominating unit. It’s hard to imagine what Kuligowski is capable of with the five-stars that regularly sign with the Tide.
Lost in the Ole Miss sanctions was the additional bowl ban the NCAA dropped on the Rebels. We may not think too much of missing the Independence Bowl, but Ole Miss has appealed. And their reason is an overlooked one:
“A postseason ban is an extraordinarily severe penalty,” the school wrote in its appeal. “And, more importantly, not all postseason bans are created equal. As was explained to the COI at the University’s hearing, the imposition of a one-year postseason ban on an institution’s football program in the SEC results in a financial penalty of at least $4 million. A second postseason ban year doubles this amount, resulting in a total minimum financial penalty to the University of $8 million.”
Remember: Ole Miss already forfeited its share of league cash last year (about $12 million), and lost $4 million in revenue for its 2017 bowl ban. Another $4 million, for what used to be one of the SEC’s poorest schools, would be devastating. Ross Bjork sunk all of that ill-gotten wampum into capital improvements, especially the Pavillion and Vaught-Hemingway’s expansion. There’s just not any money left now. A total of $20 million over two years will have the trickle-down effect of keeping underperforming coaches safe in Oxford and will make hiring a quality $3 million-type basketball coach so much more difficult.
More importantly, it’s a serious additional hit to recruiting. Ole Miss revenue had almost doubled over the last decade, and each of the previous two years, revenue jumped by $10 million dollars each year. That allowed the Rebs to spend the 17th most on equipment and lagniappe for players, and drop the 4th-most cash on recruiting.
But, where did that revenue come from? Why, it came from the Rebels’ appearance in the Peach Bowl (for one). In 2015-2016, OM had jumped to 11th in bowl revenue taken in: cash directly attributable to that shady AF class of 2013.
The additional bowl ban acts in essence as a 10% cheater tax on a school that had moved all the way up to 24th in NCAA revenue during Hugh Freeze’s tenure.
Looming storm for SEC rivals
It’s been a weird week in Starkville (and now in Gainesville). First, Dan Mullen got sued by Rebel Rags for defamation, stemming from statements he and players made to the NCAA during the Ole Miss investigation.
Why does this litigation matter? It matters because of a growing storm at MSU regarding a seemingly-unrelated Andy Cannizaro firing.
ICYMI, former LSU hitting coach Andy Cannizaro was tabbed to be Bully’s skipper this season. He promptly started poaching LSU commitments, exacerbating the already-bad blood between Manieri and Cohen. But, in a karmic twist of fate, Cannizaro abruptly got kicked to the curb earlier this week for having an extramarital affair. We’re not going to name the woman, but it is the worst-kept secret in the SEC that this person was allegedly a former employee with ‘State’s football operations and was rumored to be having a long-time affair with Dan Mullen...an affair he now continues at Florida.
Now, enter the Rebels Rags case: practically everything is discoverable in a civil case (just ask Hugh Freeze!). Mullen sleeping with a subordinate and hiring sexual partners is a tremendous source of liability for the university. It can absolutely result in for-cause termination, and is exactly what Bobby Petrino was doing...only the sexy time happened with mittens instead of an awesome neckbrace (You’re welcome for that mental image, BTW.) Given that Cannizaro’s wife is expecting their child this week in a now-uncertain marriage, and given that UF AD (former MSU AD) Scott Stricklin is also named in the Rebels Rags suit, and given that the mistress’ spouse may not like to be cuckolded, and given that Ms. Mullen may not like to be publicly clowned, it is now highly likely that Mullen’s affair becomes very public knowledge, very quickly — whether we learn it through a divorce suit, child custody hearing, or the defamation case. The affair isn’t the big deal: the sexin’ your subordinate is — this could cost Mullen everything.
Grab your butts, Florida Football. I don’t think you’ll be able to breathe easily here for a long, long time.
As we reported last week, ‘Bama is zeroing in on ECU quarterback Gardner Minshew as a grad transfer. The speculation is that the Tide, already thin at QB, will grow thinner following spring ball.
Gardner Minshew is set to visit Alabama this weekend, AL.com has learned.
As has been the case for multiple weeks, the Crimson Tide continues to look like the favorite to land the Brandon, Mississippi native.
Minshew left East Carolina in late January despite being named the team’s No. 1 quarterback entering the spring, citing a family situation in Mississippi and a desire to play his final college season closer to home
Former Mississippi State quarterback Matt Wyatt has begun a really cool film project on YouTube: Breaking down every pass that Tua Tagovailoa made in 2017-2018 — all 70 of them. Check it out.
Last night the US Women’s Hockey took home the Gold over hated/heated archrival Canada. The Canuck bastards have owned us the past decade, and ‘Murica has lost nearly every encounter (and every gold) against them in both the Olympics and Worlds. Last night, Uncle Sam finally had its due against America’s Hat. Twin sisters Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando showed out. First, Monique tied the game up late, then Jocelyne had the game-winning, gold-winning shootout goal to secure the victory.
Roll Damn ‘Murica
FINALLY, a quick apology about the JP yesterday. Bront was out of pocket, and, between Josh and I, we just plain forgot one of us needed to do it. Consider us chastised.
That’s it for today. Go forth to evil.