Happy Tuesday, everyone. Alabama basketball hosts Auburn tonight in a huge game, for which we will have full coverage later on. As you know, an injury to Jameson Williams in the second quarter was the straw that broke the camel’s back in last night’s national title game. This was the best moment of the postgame press conference.
Alabama coach Nick Saban stops Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr. from leaving the #NationalChampionship postgame presser and sends a message: "These two guys that are sitting up here, they're not defined by one game." #RollTide @_bryce_young @will_anderson28 pic.twitter.com/TUZYYiT6Lw— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) January 11, 2022
Alabama is in fine shape for next season with those two guys returning along with a nice amount of experience on both sides of the ball, plus whoever Saban pulls from the portal. Of course, there are some guys with NFL decisions to make as well.
Jameson Williams is undoubtedly headed to the NFL, but he didn’t want to go out like that.
Saban said Williams wanted to come back to play in the second half against Georgia but that the doctors said no. With Williams more than likely headed to the NFL draft, the young wideouts who were forced to step up on the biggest stage of all, including Hall, Ja’Corey Brooks and Traeshon Holden, will have experience to rely on when the 2022 campaign rolls around.
“It will help them a lot,” Saban said. “The thing that’s tough about it is we played some guys tonight that didn’t get to play much during the season. So they didn’t have much experience going in, and they had some opportunities, and they made some plays. I’m sure that will help their confidence, and they’ll grow and learn from this, and it will be a positive experience for them and their development in the future.”
Just a gut wrenching injury in the kid’s last college game. If it is an ACL as Saban fears, he may well drop a round, and that sucks.
More on the game:
It really is, one of the best stories ever in a sport known for its mythmaking. And no, Stetson Bennett IV didn’t hitchhike to Georgia. He didn’t walk uphill both ways to get to football practice. But the quarterback we weren’t sure could win a national championship did just that. He’ll never pay for an adult beverage in the state of Georgia for the rest of his days.
“When you put as much time as we do into this thing — blood, sweat, tears — it means something,” he said.
That’s why Bennett was so emotional. But it’s also why we love these stories, and even more than that, that’s why we loved his.
This is already the second time we’ve seen Alabama and Georgia play in the CFP National Championship. I don’t think it’ll be the last. These are two teams built to win national titles, and they weren’t even the best versions of themselves this season. While Alabama had a tremendous year, few will tell you that this was one of Saban’s best teams. As for Georgia, while its defense is elite in every sense of the word, there are still holes on offense. Bennett played capably well, but he’s not a five-star game-changer type, and the Dawgs hardly had elite receivers.
The first time around in December, the Bulldogs struggled to get consistent pressure on Young and never sacked him.
On Monday, Georgia brought frequent heat after Young and didn’t let him get comfortable.
The number of sacks still wasn’t high for Georgia on Monday, but Young seldom had ample time to step into throws without evading pressure.
Young also threw two interceptions for the first time this season.
There are plenty more out there if you so desire.
Brent summed things up well. This team had warts, a lot of inexperience in key places, horrible injury luck, and still held a lead in the second half of the national title game. They really could have pulled it off too, had the game literally in their hands. The 2016 national title loss hurt because we knew that team was great. I’m not sure there was a truly great team in college football this year, but two damn good ones played for the title.
Not much more to say than that. We will have news as it comes in on the transfer portal, NFL decisions, and what will likely be a quiet signing day in early February. Bama dudes are all over the NFL playoffs including a healthy Derrick Henry and Julio Jones returning just in time to try and lead the top seeded Titans to the promised land. And, of course, we will be following the basketball team closely as they navigate conference play.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.