Happy Monday, everyone. The college football world got some awful news last night. Mike Leach was life flighted from his home after a sudden, undisclosed medical event and all indications are that it is a very serious situation.
Leach, in his third season as Mississippi State’s coach, told ESPN after the regular season concluded that he struggled with pneumonia during the season but that he was feeling better.
Mississippi State president Mark Keenum and athletic director Bracky Brett decided to place defensive coordinator Zach Arnett in charge of the football program until Leach returns. Practice for the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 2 against Illinois has already begun. Leach was at practice Saturday before suffering his health issue on Sunday.
Honestly, things don’t sound great at this stage based on a few cryptic messages from those close to Leach and the Mississippi State program. Several of his coaching peers have tweeted expressions of love and concern for Mike and his family. Needless to say, we share that concern. Get well soon, Pirate.
Will Anderson is winning all the individual hardware on his way to the NFL.
Anderson is the first player to win the Nagurski, Bednarik, Lombardi and Lott awards in the same season since Manti Te’o in 2012. The Notre Dame linebacker also won the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards that season as college football’s best overall player, and the Butkus Award as the best linebacker.
Sunday’s honor wraps up a busy awards week for Anderson, although he can still earn unanimous All-America status for a second consecutive season if he is named to the Associated Press, Sporting News and AFCA lists this week. He has already been named a Walter Camp and FWAA All-American, and was voted SEC defensive player of the year by both the Associated Press and SEC coaches.
It’s good to see him recognized for his leadership and not just his insane athletic exploits.
Alabama basketball is getting noticed in a big way following that road win over Houston.
So rare is Alabama’s feat of beating a second No. 1 team this early in the season, consider this: The last team to do it was Duke in 1965, and per ESPN Stats & Information, that year’s Duke team and this Alabama team are the only ones to pull it off. It doubled in its historic significance in this regard: Saturday was Alabama’s first road victory over a top-ranked team since a 70-67 takedown of No. 1 UCLA on Jan. 28, 1983.
The Cougars entered the day ranked second in defensive efficiency at KenPom.com. And per KenPom and BartTorvik.com — two of the best predictive metrics in the sport — Houston was performing as the best team in college basketball through the first five weeks. Houston was holding foes to 47.3 points.
Alabama got 71.
Yahoo projects the Tide to move up only one slot, to number 7.
Lest anyone think that Nick Saban is slowing down on the recruiting trail:
Nice moves, Coach.
Traeshon Holden has found his new home.
Alabama wide receiver Traeshon Holden announced Sunday evening on Twitter that he is transferring to Oregon.
Holden, a junior, was one of three Tide wide receivers to enter the transfer portal last week along with sophomores Christian Leary and JoJo Earle. In total, 11 scholarship players from Alabama have entered the portal since the start of the 2022 season.
Last, while the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa had a rough one last night, the Eagles kept on rolling and have all but clinched the top seed in the NFC at this point. Jalen Hurts had a rather pedestrian passing day with 217 yards on 31 attempts, but he did throw two TDs to go with 77 rushing yards with another TD.
His hook-up with the Slim Reaper will kick off our montage of Bama players doing Bama things.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.