Yesterday I was kind of grousing on Twitter about how attending a football game at Alabama has become an over-marketed, over-branded, over-monetized, corporatized orgy of greed. (It appears Alabama is not alone in this regard, BTW. Florida, Georgia, OSU and USC fans among others report the same.) Then, an hour later, what news should break?
Per @SmittySBJ, Aflac is close to signing a deal to put its duck logo on the top of medical tents on SEC sidelines for a cool six-figures per school. These didn’t even exist a few years ago! https://t.co/PYocqPA0aO— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) June 12, 2019
What’s one more corporate brand on the ole’ CBS wide-angle shot, eh? The NFL’ing of the SEC is almost here, y’all!
I love this piece on BOL, a truly granular examination of Tua Tagovailoa’s special 2018 season:
Tagovailoa set nearly every single-season Alabama passing record, yet it caused hardly a ripple. The former five-star passer didn’t chase Crimson Tide legends a year ago. He ran full speed toward national records with this stat line: 3,966 yards, 43 TDs, 6 INTs, 69 CMP%, 12.8 YPA
There are few, if any, seasons like his. Using Sports Reference data, which dates back to 2000, 247Sports found just seven Power Five seasons that saw a passer complete at least 69 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,500-plus yards, 40-plus TDs and fewer than 10 interceptions.
Only two of those players only Tagovailoa and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins were underclassmen; Haskins was technically a redshirt sophomore. It’s important to remember in this examination that Tagovailoa’s numbers came with a governor. Tagovailoa didn’t play in the second half of a game until November, meaning his overall numbers were throttled in a mercy effort.
Steelemas is almost upon us! And, therein Phil’s inscrutable publication — one that is JAM-PACKED WITH INFORMATION — Steele picks Alabama over Clemson to win it all.
Most analysts agree that as Kellen Mond goes, so goeth the Texas A&M Aggies this season. That’s true...sorta’. If I were Jimbo, I’d still be worried about a defense with a whole lot of stress points in the secondary, replacing a running game that has been gutted by graduation and injury the past five months, and the traditional uneven performances Fisher’s teams display from one week to the next.
But, that’s just me.
Yesterday, another UT offensive lineman retired for medical reasons. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s nine to retire since December, and six of them are offensive linemen. And I honestly have no idea if this is a function of poor injury evaluation at the high school level, a snake-bitten program, marginal players pushed out the door, still others deciding they can take a scholarship without having to play for a program in turmoil, or what. But, best of luck to all of them as they begin their lives. I may hate a Vol, but not enough to wish ill on some 19-year-old-kids.
Big 12 commish and CFP Playoff Chair Bob Bowlsby is saying what I think most are thinking, at least at the institutional level: Transfers should sit a year; no exceptions.
“You’d still have transfers, but you’d have transfers that are less purely for athletic reasons and I think it would be more difficult to transfer,” Bowlsby said. “People would think hard about whether they wanted to transfer if they had to sit out a year. They would think about whether or not they were planning to graduate and, in doing so, get their year back. I think it would cause them to think more about their initial choice of schools at the outset. I think all those are good things.”
No question, given the baffling waiver decisions that the NCAA has made over the past six months, the rules will be tweaked even further. I doubt seriously the new tweaks will be as draconian as Bowlsby suggests. But, they won’t be quite as promiscuous as the Tate Martell-butthurt-waivers we’re seeing now either.
Probably. Maybe. Who knows.
And, finally, though Alabama did not have any national title winners at the NCAAs in Track and Field, the season concluded with an all-around excellent (and sometimes dominating) performance across a wide range of sports, both for the men and women:
The Alabama track and field team closed out the outdoor season with 31 All-America honors following an outdoor season that saw the Crimson Tide men and women both finish in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships.
”We had a great showing at the NCAA Championships, which was indicative of the way we trained and prepared this season,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “I also think the number of All-America honors that we earned is a good barometer of how well we performed at the outdoor championships.”
Congratulations; what an awesome job. This is the consistent excellence I think most of us would like to see in every sport on campus. And, given the money that Alabama has, is not unrealistic to expect.