Players of the Year X 2
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Will Anderson Jr. and Bryce Young were named the AP’s SEC Players of the Year. Anderson has already begun to collect his hardware, including the defensive Heisman. And Young will be on the stage Saturday evening in New York...very likely to collect ‘Bama’s fourth Heisman Trophy, and the first for a UA quarterback.
But, it was not just the nerds behind laptop screens who decided these two were the best of the SEC. Yesterday, the SEC Coaches made their pick, and also named Will and Bryce their players of the year for the conference.
Congratulations to both men. Roll Tide.
CBS Sports Annual All-American team dropped yesterday, and the Tide netted four players on the first team (bet you can name them!), with Jordan Battle earning Second-Team honors.
The rest of the SEC had six combined All-Americans.
Jimmies and Joes > Xs and Os.
After just three full seasons of the Early Signing Period, there is news out that the NCAA may wind up aborting it all together. This, despite that fact that 80% of players are signing during the December ESP.
Why? On one hand is the cold calculus of protecting coaches, and by extension, hopefully improving seasons and bowl bids. On the other, is that firing a lame duck early protects the incoming class, or at least lets programs know where they need to go in terms of recruiting.
This year’s spate of mid-season firings is what triggered the alarm among administrators:
Speaking Wednesday at the Sports Business Journal Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the college football oversight committee was debating whether or not to eliminate the December early signing period, per SI’s Ross Dellenger. Also on the table was moving the early signing period back to January.
The late-December signing period was instituted in 2017, and has had a massive effect on the sport at large. This year’s uptick in midseason firings can be tied directly to the early signing period, as schools feel a heightened sense of urgency to have a new head coach in place in time to salvage a recruiting class.
Notice who’s not being mentioned here, right? The players themselves.
As usual, the NCAA doesn’t particularly care about the needs or wants of the incoming crop of recruits, except to the extent that collectively form a quality class for the next coach.
Selfishly, I have rather enjoyed the ESP. It has greatly cut down on shenanigans, signing day productions, months-long diva drama, and overall has helped cement rosters earlier.
Players that are serious about Alabama, and thus their career, will put their name on the dotted line before Christmas.
The Senior Bowl began officially extending invitations yesterday, and two Tide players have already accepted:
The Senior Bowl has been announcing accepted invites to the 2022 edition of the showcase over the past few weeks. Alabama had seven players on the preseason watchlist and so far two Crimson Tide seniors have accepted their invites: defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis and running back Brian Robinson.
I could not be happier for both of these guys. Phil Mathis finally had the breakout season we have been predicting for him the last two-plus years. Mathis is second on the team in TFL and has racked up a quiet 8.5 sacks from the nose, second behind The Terminator.
As for Robinson, I think we’re all delighted for him. In B Rob’s first season as RB1, the steady workhorse plugged away behind a pedestrian (for Alabama) offensive line en route to a 1000-yard, 14-touchdown season. He has added pass catching to his repertoire, and shown a lot of resilience and toughness when being tasked with being the man in the backfield.
Congratulations to this pair; I’m certain more will follow.
We covered this a few days ago, but further research has revealed a very interesting fact. Alabama Basketball’s sweep of the national player of the week honors? That’s only the second time in school history it has happened in the 31 years of the awards.
Amazing. Whatever Nate Oats is earning, give him a raise.
And get that man his new gym up, pronto. Don’t make me write my annual nastygram about Coleman Coliseum.
First Jeff Scott. Then Brent Venables. Now, the last of the trio that made Dabo Swinney’s career appears to also be on his way to greener pastures, with news that OC Tony Elliott has emerged as the frontrunner for the Virginia Cavaliers job.
Swinney has already had difficulty recruiting and developing elite depth, and this season showed the effects of losing just one of those outstanding coordinators. Now, with the loss of Clemson’s chief recruiter and the best DC in the nation, and the final architect of the Watson/Sunshine offense, we’ll see what Dabo is exactly capable of. He has been propped up by some outstanding coordinators throughout his career: Billy Napier, Kevin Steele, Venables, Scott, Chad Morris, and Elliot among them.
It’s not academic either. The ACC is about to get a whole lot more competitive — the hiring of Cristobal in Miami, with Mack at UNC, with an improving Louisville and Florida State, with Clawson and Doeren staying put at Wake and NC State, how he replaces these key pieces will determine the power balance of the ACC for years to come. And that doesn’t even factor in how well Brent Pry and Tony Elliott will do at the Virginia schools.
Was 2021 a blip on the radar? We’ll see. Tell me who he hires and I can tell you whether it will be another 9-win year and a resounding loss in the Meineke Car Care Bowl or whether he will field a Playoff contender. Grab your popcorn!
Just how dumb were the LSU Tigers administrators prepared to be in searching for Ed Orgeron’s replacement? Exceptionally, jaw-droppingly dumb — even for Louisiana.
The #BeatBama psychosis hit Baton Rouge hard. They were willing to give Jimbo Fisher an 8-year, $125-million to come right the ship. You know, the Jimbo Fisher that a 6-6 LSU team beat just this season.
As expected (and as I’ve shit-talked about on Twitter many times), Jimbo was always going to turn down that offer, no matter how lucrative. Let’s count the ways, shall we?
He’s built a crootin’ empire at A&M, a school with near-infinite resources and some of the best facilities in the country. There is zero personal income tax in Texas. The apparatus of state is not teetering on the brink of financial collapse every year. It is a “happening” and growing state, with College Station being situated just outside of America’s fastest growing major city. There’s no NCAA investigation underway. There are world class medical facilities at-hand for his son. It is much, much safer than Baton Rouge. It is also one of the nation’s most rabid, but sane fanbases — a group who are nuttier than squirrel shit but happen to have far more realistic expectations. And he’s just a great fit overall.
Those are just a dozen off the top of my head. There are dozens more you could list.
So, enjoy your Domer sloppy seconds, Kelly’s bad fake accent, and the continued beatings from your betters, Tigers...at least until the COI drops a rock on you from orbit.
What should be done about the Early Signing Period?
This poll is closed
Eliminate it altogether
Move it back to January
Keep it as-is