Happy Monday, everyone. The calendar has flipped to August, meaning that we are in the home stretch of the offseason. The Tide will open practice this Friday, though with COVID protocols still in place you can bet that Saban will have it on media lockdown just like last year. Still, we will begin our positional previews in short order.
Alabama picked up another commit over the weekend.
Shor was yet another from IMG academy, but a shoulder injury kept him out of the 2020 season and he decided to move back home to Alpharetta, GA for his final season. He is 6’6”, 295 lb. and is rated three-star, but Saban and Marrone clearly see something in him. We’ll keep an eye on him to see how those ratings increase as he gets back on the field.
Shor is going to be an Alabama tackle, and it turns out that Jon Gruden likes those.
#Raiders Jon Gruden: "I like Alabama tackles..because when I turn on their games, they're beating the hell out of people."— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) July 31, 2021
Thanks for the recruiting, Chucky.
Check out this very honest Vol.
After pondering the question, I settled on Mississippi. While this choice may seem odd, it’s my hope Ole Miss wins it all, but it’s subsequently discovered that Kiffin has committed numerous level I NCAA recruiting violations and is stripped of the title.
A close second is Alabama in the hope that Saban finally has enough titles that he decides to call it quits.
Multiple Tennessee fans say they’ll root for Georgia. How distasteful. Imagine the local paper asking which other college team you want to see win a title since yours has no shot. Can’t relate.
Herbie weighed in on conference realignment.
Kirk Herbstreit on SportsCenter:— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) July 30, 2021
“I hate losing the tradition of the sport. I’ve always been, I guess, naive to it. I’ve tried to be the guy who thinks people care about tradition and rivalries. Clearly, the decision-makers don’t. It’s an arms race and it’s about the money."
Many correctly pointed out that the Big 12 conference was itself a disruptor of tradition that killed off the Southwest Conference in order to expand its coffers. The predator is now the prey.
The ACC could be next unless they find a way to get ESPN to renegotiate their TV deal.
Now that Texas and Oklahoma are poised to join the SEC, adding to that league’s already daunting roster, the pressure for the ACC to lure the Fighting Irish is greater than ever. The new-look SEC, which shares a footprint with the ACC, could potentially earn double the ACC’s per-school distribution — the ACC distributed $32.3M/team last year while the SEC distributed $43.7M/team, but the SEC will earn more with new ESPN contract, so with addition of Texas and Oklahoma, there’s thought that new money could exceed $70M down the road. Already as a league, the SEC had $721M in revenue to the ACC’s $497.2M. Money aside, the allure of a mega-conference just a tier behind the NFL would give the SEC a massive recruiting advantage over its neighbor, too.
Notre Dame is a lifeline.
“Notre Dame adds real value,” one administrator said. “They’re the only big prize out there.”
Imagine your very survival hinging on accommodating Notre Dame. That would suck. Unlike Texas in the SEC, the Domers would have all the leverage in that relationship. They would be insufferable.
ESPN did ESPN things, creating an arbitrary metric to delve into the “Position U” argument.
Running Back U
The winner: Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide’s RB Mt. Rushmore
Alabama is also OLU and DLU according to the rankings, and ranks in the top four at WR, LB, and DB.
Down in Miami, Tua Tagovailoa looks primed to make a lot of critics eat some crow.
“He’s had a really strong week,” Fowler said. “And I was there yesterday at practice. He was throwing several deep balls. All week he has been doing that. He hit a 63-yard touchdown in 11-man work. And I know, talking to some people around the Dolphins, they’re very pleased with where he’s at. I know there are rumors about the Dolphins’ quarterback position — do they go after a Deshaun Watson? But they have set Tua up for success right now. And talking to teammates like running back Myles Gaskin, they say, ‘This guy has earned the leadership role.’ It was not given to him. He has developed that with his teammates.”
The kid was coming off a brutal injury and had nothing resembling a full camp before his rookie season. It’ll be exciting to see a healthy and prepared Tua.
Of course, he has an Alabama teammate to throw to this season, also coming off an injury but feeling good.
Perhaps the level of Waddle’s fitness could be judged by the big plays being turned in by the Dolphins’ offense when practicing against Miami’s defense, which gave up the sixth-fewest points in the NFL last season.
“Obviously, defensively, we don’t want to give up any big plays, and offensively, we want to try to create explosive plays,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said on Saturday when asked about the long-gainers being hit by Miami’s offense at training camp. “It’s good to see the offense – whether it’s (quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) to (wide receiver) Albert (Wilson), to Waddle, to (tight end) Mike G(esicki) — get good protection, make a good throw, make a good catch and execute offensively.
Last, Nick’s Kids Foundation built yet another home.
Joining her in bringing that blush-and-gray dream to life Tuesday were Phidarian Mathis, Major Tennison, Kendall Randolph, Evan Neal, Henry To’o To’o, Brian Robinson Jr., Daniel Wright, Shane Lee, DJ Dale, John Metchie III, Chris Owens and Jordan Battle, as well as Nick Saban.
“It’s a great feeling to be out here working, building up the community,” said Robinson, a graduate of Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa.
Lots of leadership on that list.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.