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Jumbo Package: NCAA fixes both loopholes that caused Alabama to lose 2019 Iron Bowl

Sorry Auburn fans, but turns out winning on once-off failings of referees isn’t a sustainable tactic.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Auburn
“Wait, you mean we actually have to win without freebies next year?”
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Gump Day, everyone. You’ve all heard nothing other than the “will they/won’t they” arguing over whether there will be a football season, so I won’t be linking anything related to that today.

Jeremy Pruitt has added another staffer with Alabama ties to his staff at Tennessee.

Pruitt has hired Kindal Moorehead as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, has confirmed.

Moorehead, a former Alabama and NFL defensive tackle, had been an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Crimson Tide since 2010.

Good for Kindal. A promotion is always a good thing, even if it’s in orange. Moorehead was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise desolate stretch of time for Alabama football, and then turned that unheralded success into a solid pro career.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy released their preseason watch lists Tuesday, and Alabama was well-represented on both lists. Dylan Moses, Patrick Surtain II and LaBryan Ray were named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list, while Ray, Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown and Landon Dickerson were named to the Outland Trophy watch list.

Preseason watch lists are always a bit bloated, of course, but it still speaks towards the national recognition of the players included. That LaBryan Ray is on the list despite starting all of, what, 3 games(?) in his career is definitely indicative of his high potential.

If he plays well enough to stay in contention well into the season, then I imagine we’ll all be feeling pretty good about Alabama’s defense.

Alabama in Top100 DL Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins’ top group

“I’m putting Bama in (my top group). It’s probably going to be another top six,” Ingram-Dawkins told BamaOnLine last month after earning an offer from the program. “It’s good tradition. They have a tradition of winning. I don’t want to lose. I’ve seen what Bama produces over the years. It’s big.”

At 6-foot-5, 298 pounds, Ingram-Dawkins is rated the No. 17 defensive tackle and the No. 285 overall player in the country per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings. 247Sports rates Ingram-Dawkins the No. 5 defensive tackle and the No. 86 overall player in the 2021 class.

Alabama is in the mix from another interior lineman, and this is one we haven’t heard much about before. Interestingly, 247 has him in their top-100, while Rivals and ESPN both view his as a 3-star player. There’s seemed to be much more disparity between the services so far in this recruiting class, which I assume to be a result of the cancellation of the spring and summer camps that would be solidifying the rankings of many top prospects at this point in the process.

Defenses will be allowed to have 12 or more men on the field “to anticipate the offensive formation,” but must have 11 players on the field when the ball is snapped. The rule change is a direct result of a trick formation in the Alabama-Auburn rivalry in which Auburn lined up its quarterback at punter and its punter at receiver on fourth down late in a close game. Alabama kept 12 men on the field trying to substitute players before the snap and were charged with a foul, resulting in a first down for Auburn, which was able to ice the game on the ensuing set of downs.

247 has recapped all the rule changes the NCAA announced this offseason, and, wouldn’t you know it, not one, but BOTH of the loopholes Auburn accidentally exploited in the 2019 Iron Bowl fiasco to squeak out with a win have now been fixed.

The end of the first half field goal was talked about quite a bit already and the rule change made big news earlier this spring, but the NCAA also changed the rule around the 12 men on the field penalty to match the NFL style. Basically, you can have 12 men at any given time, as long as there is only 11 when the ball is snapped.

This differs from the previous NCAA ruling that 12 men on the field for the defense becomes a dead ball foul if they are all set in formation for at least 3 seconds. I emphasize that last part for a reason. That reason being that, in the now infamous ending play of the 2019 Iron Bowl, Alabama’s 12th person onto the field, Byron Young, jogged across the line and settled into his position about 1.5 seconds before the whistle was blown. I just went back and timed it myself.

In other words, it should not yet have been a penalty even under the rules at the time, and Waddle likely would have been moving and off the field before Auburn ever actually snapped it.

So for anyone trying to give Malzahn credit for smart rule exploitation or whatnot, it was just sheer, dumb luck that the refs blew the whistle too early.

Anyway, there are a list of other rule changes in there to check out. They will FINALLY allow a player suspended for targeting to stay on the sidelines. It was always horrible that these players were kicked off the field for plays that, 90% of the time, are totally accidental.

Finally, in light of Derrick Henry getting PAID on his first non-Rookie NFL contract, here’s the highlights from his league-leading season:

At the same time, here’s another highlight reel of Henry Ruggs III in celebration of him signing his rookie contract with the Raiders: