I woke up yesterday around 3:30 and checked our queue to see what other folks were working on, and Brent has scheduled Gump Day for Tuesday. While that saved me a few hours of time, it undoubtedly makes the week long because only now do you get to the true Gump Day. Please direct all refund requests to Mssr. Taylor.
“When Coach Harbaugh called, it kind of caught me off guard because I was literally, the funny thing about it, I had just left a meeting with Nick Saban getting my butt chewed out for 20 minutes telling him I was leaving (for Maryland) and he was trying to keep me to stay...It did not go over well. So if there was any band aid to the bruise or to what he left on me, it was that phone call. It was exciting to hear his voice and to get a chance to talk to him personally.”
When it became clear Enos was falling apart and there would be no co-OC gig, Josh bolted for the first P5 team that came along: Maryland. Then, when Saban’s impolitic style could not convince him to stay, he got a better offer than Maryland. Can’t blame him in either case. He’s an ambitious young guy, and, as I told the Michigan folks, it may be that overarching ambitious (dare I say Peter Principle?) that could be his undoing: Literally no one thinks he’s ready to call a Big 10 game at Michigan. And, knowing Harbaugh, it won’t be his offense either. Whatever the case, don’t expect Gattis to be around Michigan very long. (Not like Jim Harbaugh has a sterling track record for being nice to assistants either, ya’ know?)
And, anyway this goes back to Saban as much as Gattis (though, I’ve already seen some flaming takes about his toughness). Saban is notoriously demanding on assistants, and is certainly not for everyone. As much as anything else, that explains a lot of lateral moves over the years. It also explains why Josh Gattis could not bolt out of Tuscaloosa fast enough.
So, was his departure (aside from being a baller promotion) an instance of #KidsTheseDays? Or does it signal a return of the Nicktator, after these past few years of a kinder, gentler Saban? Ignoring tthat kind of promotion — even if it’s in name only (and I suspect it will be), the underlying desire to GTFOH lies probably somewhere in between.
Pro: The Tua Tagovailoa connection?
By now, everyone is on board with Alabama’s returning starter at quarterback. Sarkisian, however, was an early adopter. As USC’s head coach, he was the first to offer Tua Tagovailoa a scholarship.
Lane Kiffin even told ESPN last year he thought Tagovailoa had been silently committed to the Trojans early in the process. He visited the Los Angeles campus in March 2015 after Sarkisian’s first season with the program.
First, let’s clarify this: Nick Saban was upset to see Sarkisian go in January of 2017. Second, this isn’t a second chance for Sark as much as it is one related to the above article — Sark’s hiring isn’t so much about Xs and Os (though it is about that) as much as it is for bringing in a known quantity and development coach for the brothers Tagovailoa. Hiring Sark is keeps Mama and Papa happy, makes Tua happy, and probably more importantly, and is an investment in Taulia and the future.
Let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page here.
Yogi Roth from the P12 Network has a nice interview here discussing Sark’s QB development.
Remember that Amari Cooper trade that everyone hated two months ago? Blogging the Boys can now put a price tag on its worth, and holy hell, did Dallas ever win that trade.
All year we have been scrutinizing the Amari Cooper trade and it’s still going to be a while before we know the true verdict, but we have a better sense of the value now. The trade started off heavily criticized because first-round picks are precious things, but then it started gaining more and more acceptance when Cooper started tearing it up for the Cowboys. Some can say he was this season’s savior as the offense was having all kinds of problems before he showed up.
Dallas gained a two-year pro-bowl wide receiver, one that became Dak’s deep threat — nay, his binkie — and turned that offense around. In turn, that led to Dallas winning more games, which in turn devalued the Cowboys pick — all the way down to No. 27.
If you want more Coop stuff, the ongoing beef between he and motormouth Marcus Peters has the potential to be outstanding if the Rams and the Cowboys continue to meet in high-stakes games.
What makes it even funnier is that Coop had been asked about Aqib Talib...Peters had not even been mentioned; he just decided to interject himself into the fray. Throw in a post-game fight, some swinging fists, chippy play, and a close emotional loss, and the stage is set for some enjoyable feudin’ as both of these 24-year-olds enter their prime with loaded contenders.
Alabama is projected to be a big loser with the departure of early talent for the NFL. We all have thoughts here — losing DT14 hurts, of course; and as maddening as Mack Wilson is, he was the more reliable of the inside guys. But, given the talent inside, maybe it’s time to accept that Alabama living or dying with a younger (and hopefully smarter) set of replacements is not necessarily the worst thing: Better to scheme in their learning curve than rely on execution that does not arrive. And, safe to say, Saivion had already lost his job to Surtain, and was only seeing starting because of Diggs’ injury.
In other words, at some spots, we could see addition by subtraction.
Related: Want a way-too-early prediction? Phidarian Mathis is going to blow up this year. He was starter-ready by season’s end and played very well in Q’s place. He didn’t get nearly enough love. Mathis may not be as explosive and slippery as Q or as strong as Payne, but he’ll be a damned good nose in his own right.
BOL took a stab at the post-NFL two-deep, and check out this re: ILB:
Moses is the clear-cut defender to lead the defense out of Egypt... I mean, into a new season as its quarterback. That’s an easy question to answer. What is difficult is which guy will fill in alongside Moses?
By seniority, sure. But Moses has to improve every facet of his game a ton in the next eight months. In pass coverage, he was especially a liability.
There are a ton of juniors declaring this year too. I’m not certain if it’s a record, but practically every school with a playmaker of marginal professional talent saw them bolt.
Expect to see a lot of these takes this season: ALABAMA REBUILDS, CLEMSON STANDS PAT ARGLE BARGLE — ignoring that it’s Clemson that lost a starting pro team’s worth of defensive linemen and that Alabama returns most of an historical offense.
Good, let someone else wear the mantle and the bullseye for a while.
Alabama basketball faces another desperate opponent on Tuesday. And, if you were worried about the veterans on the Aggies’ squad, this is one matchup that should give you pause: Alabama has not defended the perimeter well under Avery Johnson, and are especially bad this year. Cuonzo Martin’s Tigers lead the SEC in three-point shooting
Missouri is last in the league in scoring offense (69.1 ppg), but Alabama is at the bottom of the league in scoring defense (73.3 ppg). Alabama has a plus 3.6 ppg scoring margin, Missouri 2.6. The Tigers are first in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (39.4 percent). Bama is third in the SEC in rebounding margin at plus 6.4, Missouri 11th at plus 2.8. Both teams have poor turnover margins, the Tigers -0.9, the Tide -1.3.
Overall, this is another game Alabama should be able to win — they led for the entire game on Saturday. But, as we’ve seen with this team’s tendency to disappear for stretches at a time, “should” is not “will.” And on the road, there’s a not like to like for Bama: the Goon Squad bench depth of the Tide, poor defense, and poor road play firmly makes this one a Mizzou lean, right?
We’ll have more later today as Parker breaks down the rebuilding Tigers and the frustrating Crimson Tide.