Happy Friday, everyone. The women’s basketball team pulled out a nice win over Florida last night to push their record to 15-11, 5-8 in the SEC. Like the men, they are on the outside looking in at the NCAA bubble, and would likely need to win all three of their remaining games to have a shot. Also like the men, a NIT bid is probably more likely, but we will root as hard as we can for them to finish strong.
Roger is out in Vegas right now with a big weekend planned, watching Alabama baseball play at UNLV and Tuscaloosa’s own Deontay Wilder defend his WBC belt against Tyson Fury. Meanwhile, softball is at home hoping to get well in the Bama Bash invitational, and the Gym Tide face Florida tonight at 5pm CT on SEC Network.
The Big Ten has now signed on to the ACC’s proposal to allow players across all sports a one time transfer opportunity, that would waive the one year residency requirement, making them immediately eligible at their new schools.
“It’s not a good rule for the health of college basketball,” Houston’s Kelvin Sampson told me on Tuesday night. “If we allow this rule, there’s going to be more bad decisions than good ones. Trust me, I’ve lived this.”
There’s a reason why this is already being supported by the Big Ten and the ACC. Now guys like Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Bill Self and Tom Izzo can plug holes in their roster with ease. There’s also a reason none of those coaches have spoken out publicly.
They know how much of an advantage it’ll be for them.
“I think it will adversely affect everybody except for the top programs,” Richmond’s Chris Mooney said.
This was my initial reaction when I heard that the ACC was pushing it first. There are only two revenue sports and, traditionally, the ACC’s strength is in basketball. A single basketball player can obviously have a much greater impact on his team than any football player. There have been a few exceptions, Cam Newton the most notable, but for the most part immediate eligibility for a football transfer just doesn’t have the same effect.
In fact, it could be argued that immediate eligibility will have an opposite effect on football and basketball. In basketball, smaller programs could effectively become a farm system for the blueblood programs, where players who fly under the radar as recruits can show out as freshmen and then land that premium offer. On the other side, it is more likely that football players are going to transfer due to lack of playing time. Considering the way that the SEC hogs the southern football talent, it stands to reason that the ACC schools would have a chance to benefit from blue chip attrition.
One benefit would be eliminating a clumsy and inconsistent waiver process. Alabama was denied one for Jahvon Quinerly, featured in the cover photo, just this season. His response to the proposal?
unbelievable— Jahvon Quinerly (@RealJahvonQ) February 18, 2020
You have to feel for him at this point, and what a difference he may have made this season.
In any case, this is going to be a mess. Tampering will be rampant, and it will be utterly unenforceable. Hope for the best.
The SEC Media Days schedule is out, and it’s about what you’d expect.
The SEC announced Thursday that it will hold its annual media days from July 13-16.
Alabama coach Nick Saban will hold his news conference Wednesday, July 15, while Auburn coach Gus Malzahn will speak Thursday, July 16.
By Thursday everyone is tired and itching to get out of there. It makes sense to schedule Gus and Jimbo on that day, since nobody cares what they have to say anyway. Mike Leach is on Wednesday with Saban, so that will be the day to watch.
For once, Alabama isn’t on this list.
Todd Monken, Georgia offensive coordinator
Kirby Smart turns to Monken, his third offensive coordinator in as many seasons, to fix Georgia’s offensive woes. Under James Coley last season, Georgia saw significant drops in key offensive categories despite possessing one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks in Jake Fromm, a strong offensive line and plenty of weapons to work with like D’Andre Swift. Monken hasn’t coached in college since 2015 but proved able to do more with less at Southern Miss including turning lightly recruited quarterback Nick Mullens into an NFL player. He’ll have much more to work with in Athens next season including Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman, a mobile quarterback with a strong arm who threw for 26 touchdowns last season. If Monken can live up to his reputation and expensive salary, Georgia could finally get over that Alabama hurdle this season.
For Georgia to have any chance to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, they will need their offense including a new transfer QB, playing in his first conference road game behind a fully rebuilt offensive line and for a brand new offensive coordinator, to be ready by week three.
Good luck with that.
The Saban rehab program rolls on.
And the list isn’t limited to coaches a casual fan might identify.
Billy Napier spent 2011 in the role after getting dismissed as Clemson’s offensive coordinator. While he’s since become Louisiana’s head coach, a Power Five offer is likely on the horizon.
“I probably learned as much in that one year that I’d learned in a long time,” Napier said in 2016 of his time under Saban, per Manie Robinson of the Greenville News.
Lou Spanos was the Tennessee Titans’ linebackers coach, spent a year in the image program and left to become UConn’s defensive coordinator in 2019. Dan Werner was Mississippi’s co-offensive coordinator, stopped at Alabama and then departed to be South Carolina’s quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator.
Former head coaches get all the publicity, but others such as Tosh Lupoi started as analysts, too.
Last, Tua Tagovailoa shed some light on his favorite NFL team.
“If you’re saying to me, if I can choose what team I want to play on, as far as my favorite team growing up, then I probably tell you the Cowboys.”
Of course, the Cowboys aren’t exactly in need of drafting a quarterback with Dak Prescott in the picture and Tagovailoa acknowledged that Dallas is far down the draft order as well in holding the 17th overall pick.
“I’m not trying to bump him. I’ll learn under him,” Tagovailoa said of Prescott. “I’d handle it the way that the coaches there want to handle it. Honestly, I just want to be able play again. I wouldn’t mind learning under whatever guy that’s the starter. Give me a whole year to rest up and then go back out and compete, but I just want to go back out and play.”
I obviously have no idea what the Cowboys plan to do with Prescott, but his upside is nowhere near that of Tua’s. They would likely have to trade up to get him anyway.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.