Happy Friday, everyone.
Joe Smith at The Athletic interviewed Nick Saban among other great coaches about championship culture, and it’s a good read.
Saban: Just because you won last year, doesn’t mean you don’t have to go earn it next time. Success is momentary. If you don’t do the things you always did, you’re going to be disappointed when you have to play people in the next tier. It’s really about the standard, regardless of what happened yesterday — win, lose or draw. You win a championship, it still comes back to what the standards are.
The constant theme from Nick is focusing on day to day behaviors rather than outcomes, which we of course hear from him all the time. The Process never sleeps. Still, if success is momentary then Alabama football is living in a long moment.
Nick also spoke modern offense on a radio show.
“I would be bored if we were still running the I-formation if I was a defensive coach, and I am a defensive coach. … But it’s not that way anymore. It’s very challenging, a lot of adjustments to be made. But it’s also fun to watch for the fans because there’s more points scored. Sometime early on here in 2009, 2010 when we first came, we led the nation giving up eight points a game. Last year, we gave up 19 points a game and we were first in the SEC, aight.
“It’s just a reflection of how much more difficult it is to play defense — and good defense to me is how many points the other teams scored. You can go through all the statistics you want, but not letting the other guys score is what defines good defense. So that’s changed dramatically because people score more points. But we changed on offense because as good a defense as we had when we played Ole Miss and some of these spread teams that ran RPOs, they scored points against us, and we would lose the game 44-41. And I’m saying, ‘We’ve gotta change our style and be able to outscore people when you play teams that are that good on offense.’”
It isn’t more fun for all fans, Nick. Some of us appreciate an old-school slobberknocker. Alas, high octane offenses are here to stay. The rule changes that would give defenses a fighting chance will never happen, because as he says most people enjoy the basketball on grass.
Florida’s AD has some scheduling ideas.
Tenet No. 3: All kickoff times should be announced in the spring prior to the season.
This is the most fan-friendly of Stricklin’s suggestions. It hit him after meeting a Florida fan who lives in the Sunshine State but also is a big Chicago Bears fan. When the NFL releases its schedule each spring, that fan identifies the games he can attend and still catch a flight back home and make it to work on Monday morning. The NFL does occasionally use flex scheduling, but that doesn’t affect nearly every game like it does in college.
Power 5 leagues — especially the SEC and Big Ten — should have enough pull with their network partners to gently suggest this become the norm.
That would be delightful. Stricklin is also in favor of a pod scheduling system, presented as something of a new concept for some reason.
Phil Steele thinks the Aggies are going to be a tough out this season.
“I’m going with the Aggies,” Steele said. “Going over the team with Jimbo Fisher, the biggest question is the offensive line. They only have one returning starter but he feels this year’s offensive line is more athletic and bigger, and has got more upside than last year’s offensive line even had. I also like Haynes King at quarterback. I think he’s going to do a fine job there. They’ve got one of the best running back units in college football, dynamic defense. They’ve got nine starters back there. They do have to play LSU on the road and I think LSU is the next big challenger in the west. I see a big bounceback year for the Tigers. But I’m going with A&M second and LSU third.”
That trip to College Station will likely be the most difficult game on the slate this season.
Nate Oats is excited to be out recruiting again.
"I actually like being able to get back out again. It's more work but I actually like earning my money a lil bit."— Simone Eli (@SimoneEli_TV) June 24, 2021
Alabama's @nate_oats says it's been a busy few weeks with on-campus recruiting opening back. Coach says it's been great to be out and see guys play. pic.twitter.com/wYgCBTJafD
God bless that man.
Alabama beat Auburn again.
A spelling contest put Bama back on the board, though each time struggled with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last name. After the second commercial break, former Bama quarterback Joe Namath delivered a video message to inspire the UA contestants. They took a 100-90 lead into the “Two Minute Drill” round, in which the teams attempted to answer as many question as they could within the titular time limit. The Tigers answered 13 questions correctly. But Bama matched it, giving them a greater overall total and the win over Auburn.
Michigan would defeat Minnesota, pitting the Wolverines against the Tide in a future round. Auburn is still alive in the wild card round. All teams are playing for their piece of $1 million in scholarship money. You can stream the episode now on Hulu.
Never gets old.
Last, these videos are always great. DeVonta Smith got his NFL money and was able to take care of Momma.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.