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Jumbo Package: Saban to hire Todd Grantham

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Florida Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Softball whipped #20 Louisiana last night and will take the field against Nicholls St. then Southeastern LA today. Baseball is in Austin to take on #1 Texas, and the Gym Tide are at home against Missouri tonight.

As you may have heard, Todd Grantham is coming on board.

Grantham is known for his aggressive and attacking style on the defensive side of the ball and would certainly bring a lot of experience and knowledge to the coaching staff in Tuscaloosa.

This wouldn’t be the first go-around for Grantham and Saban. The two worked together at Michigan State. Grantham served as associate head coach and defensive line coach in 1998. Prior to the promotion, he was the defensive line coach under Saban in 1996-97.

It says that Grantham had several offers which would suggest an on-field role, but at the moment Alabama doesn’t have any openings. It’s highly possible that Todd is going to spend a year in Saban’s coaching rehab program and hope to better himself next year, in Tuscaloosa or elsewhere.

Nate Oats gave us some good news yesterday.

Gurley has provided some much needed offense in the low post at times this year, though his three point shooting has fallen off substantially from his Furman days. Still, he is an important piece to get back for next season.

If the Tide can go on a little run to end the season, they have a chance at a strong seed.

Alabama lost later that day to Kentucky but beat Vanderbilt earlier this week, and despite its ups and downs of conference play remains steady as No. 22 in NET. The NET system created by the tournament committee will carry significant weight when the final field is decided, and Alabama’s nation’s-best strength of schedule plus wins over Gonzaga (No. 1 in NET), Houston (No. 4 in NET) and Baylor (No. 6 in NET) will be key points of Alabama’s résumé when its seed is revealed March 13.

As for where Alabama will be seeded, BracketMatrix.com’s average of dozens of projections currently has Alabama among No. 5 seeds in the NCAA tournament. That includes a No. 5 seed as projected Thursday by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and a No. 4 seed as projected Monday by CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm.

Should they win at least three of the four left and make the semifinals of the conference tournament, they could go as high as a three seed. Of course, they could also fall as low as an 8 or 9 with a poor finish.

Nick Saban had some wisdom for Justin Thomas.

“When you win a championship they say you have to defend,” Saban told PGATour.com. “You don’t have to defend. No one can take away what you did last year. Just go have fun and do it again.

“There’s no such thing as defending a title, in my opinion. If they took it away from you, it would be different. But you’re always going to be a Players champion and you’re always going to have that special place in the locker room, so just have fun and win it again.”

Thomas would be wise to follow Saban’s advice, as he became the only college football coach to lead his team to back-to-back national championships in the BCS and CFP era in 2012.

No matter what happened last year, the Process is always about what you do today and how it affects tomorrow.

College football attendance was down from 2019 levels.

September games sometimes start in the heat of midday to accommodate networks. Some schools are still building out stadium bandwidth so fans can use their mobile phones in the stands. In general, colleges can’t easily build a new stadium to replace an antiquated one given their constrained campus footprints. As such, renovations rule the day, but not everyone can spend $500 million, like Texas A&M did, on a stadium expansion. It also remains a struggle to attract students.

“In some ways, the game doesn’t cater to the fan who chooses to attend the game in-person,” said Chris Bevilacqua, one of the most respected sports media consultants in the industry.

What a quote. In some ways, smoking is bad for your health. In some ways, Putin isn’t a very nice guy. In some ways, water is wet.

The problem, of course, is that losing 7k butts in the seats matters far less than losing eyeballs at home where athletic department revenue is concerned. As long as that remains the case, don’t expect to see anything more than lip service paid to fixing this issue. It’s all about that TV dollar.

Last, there is an aspiring musician on the football team and he’s playing in Tuscaloosa tonight.

Freshman long snapper Kneeland Hibbett will be performing an acoustic solo gig at Decades Pub and Grub in Tuscaloosa Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Kneeland is also a local celebrity here in Tuscaloosa, as one of his recent TikToks went viral which also included Australian punter James Burnip. Fans also got to hear Hibbett’s incredible singing voice on TikTok, where he has posted various acoustic covers, including this cover of country star Morgan Wallen’s “Cover Me Up.”

Best of luck to him.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.