Happy Monday, everyone. Sorry we are a little late today, power went out for a few hours. We do have a few interesting tidbits for you, starting with Rich Rodriguez’s self-awareness.
Gazing around at Alabama’s grandiose football digs, Rodriguez couldn’t help himself and quipped, “Where’s my statue?”
The Alabama booster looked at him curiously and said, “What do you mean?”
With a sheepish smile, Rodriguez deadpanned, “I’m partly responsible for those five national championships because if I had said yes, you wouldn’t have had the greatest coach of all time, Nick Saban, winning all those championships.”
All these years later, one of the most fascinating coaching what-ifs in college football history still reverberates from the hills of West Virginia, to Denny Chimes Tower at Alabama, to The Big House at Michigan.
”At least I can still get a laugh out of it,” said Rodriguez, who had three Power 5 head-coaching stops at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona before spending last season as Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator. Rodriguez was not retained when Lane Kiffin was hired as the Rebels’ head coach and brought in his own staff.
That’s pretty hilarious. Rich backing out of his Alabama deal and Mal Moore subsequently landing Nick Saban is college football’s Greatest Story Ever Told.
Saban has a program on ESPN+, if you choose to subscribe.
Saban turns on the Missouri game to show why, pointing out Tagovailoa’s ability to go through progressions quickly, working left to right, and getting the ball deep. Of the ability to see that the safety was out of position and hit Jerry Jeudy for a long touchdown, Saban said, “A lot of guys can’t do this.”
Tagovailoa’s greatest strengths, Saban said, are his instincts and accuracy.
”One of the things that makes an outstanding quarterback, all right, is when you can throw the ball accurately like this, you’re putting it in position where the guy can catch the ball and run with it,” Saban said.
That last point is so underrated by people, and it’s especially true with RPO offenses. A QB who can make the decision to pull and then get the ball out on time with that kind of accuracy is rare and valuable.
One freshman DB is chomping at the bit to get out there.
“He was like, ‘Dad, I went through Fourth Quarter, and that was like the worst situation I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve never ran as much, I’ve never lifted as much. My focus is so driven towards this spring coming up. I needed the break for my body.’ But he was so driven to get out there and practice and see exactly what he could do on the field.”
A product of Sandalwood (Fla.) High School, Robinson was the nation’s No. 22-ranked corner, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. The former 4-star recruit is listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds on UA’s online roster, but his father said Robinson left home weighing 175 pounds and returned to Florida 30 pounds heavier at 205 pounds in mid-March.
Thirty pounds in a little less than three months sounds like a stretch, but it certainly seems that Jahquez has the work ethic.
Dawgnation has a piece about the evolution of Kirby’s defense:
Smart pointed back to the BCS title game following the 2014 season, when Ohio State shredded the Alabama defense he headed up in a 42-35 victory.
“We looked at ourselves and said, “We’re slipping, we still got good players, the 2014 team had three or four first-round picks, but something else is going on schematically, football is changing.”
Smart sought out former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to learn how the Buckeyes had exploited his defense after Herman took over as Houston’s head coach.
Herman shared some nuances he had picked up — such as the size of the Alabama players on the defensive line, and their inability to provide adequate pursuit on perimeter runs.
247sports has a listing of every five-star signed by Saban at Alabama. As you would imagine, there is a mix of happy and sad in there, but the hit rate is much higher than anywhere else.
Last, Alabama weatherman extraordinaire James Spann got oddly specific with his storm tracking last night.
When your local meteorologist is referencing the location of strip clubs...you know it’s getting real. pic.twitter.com/Ryq8iLve5e— Marco Esquandistance (@MrcoEsquandolas) April 13, 2020
So what if James goes to titty bars in his spare time?
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.