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Jumbo Package: Saban and Oats Cornered on a Golf Course

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Regions Tradition - Preview Day 3
Alabama head football coach, Nick Saban chats with PGA golfer Jim Furyk at Greystone Golf and Country Club on May 11, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Today is, May 12th, is National Limerick Day. In honor of this cherished day, all news will be in limerick form:

There once was a G.O.A.T. named Nick Saban
Who took as a wife a fair maiden
He said to Miss Terry
“It’s you who I’ll marry
“But The Process® will always be my companion.”

Okay enough of that awfulness. On the with the Gump.

The Regions Tradition Pro-Am was held on Wednesday at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham and Nick Saban and Nate Oats were on site fielding questions between swings.

Being a slow news week, Saban was asked about Scott Satterfield’s blasphemous accusations about tampering to acquire wide receiver transfer Tyler Harrell.

“We don’t tamper with anybody,” Saban said. “So I don’t know of anything or anybody that tampered with him. And I don’t really know that anybody’s ever tampered with our players. I just think sometimes when things happen, it makes you wonder.

“I’m not making any accusations against anybody that’s done anything with our players. I don’t have any knowledge of anybody that’s done anything with anybody else’s players.”

Saban could have gotten all riled up and gone off on a overly-defensive tantrum, but he knows when and why to pick his fights.

Oats was asked about his roster that currently still has two available scholarships.

“A couple of guys we’ve gone after got a little scared with our current roster, so we need somebody that’s willing to fight for minutes. We’ve got a pretty good roster right now, but with Quinerly being hurt and not available to start the year, that’s 10 healthy scholarship players to start the year if we don’t have any more injuries, so we need to add at least one.

“You don’t have to play 13 guys, but we’d like to add at least one, if not both of those open scholarships.”

Hmm. Was that a shot at a certain former Oregon State guard who opted instead for (ahem) Nevada?

Maybe I am looking too deep into Oats’s comments, but it makes me wonder if he might be holding out hope that one of Keon Ellis, JD Davison, or Jaden Shackleford return to the Capstone for one more year of seasoning. They all sound like they are for sure gone, but ya never know.

Speaking of Bama hoops and the NBA Draft, two of the aforementioned were invited to the NBA Combine.

Former Alabama guards Keon Ellis and JD Davison were among 76 prospects invited to the 2022 NBA draft combine, which will be held next week in Chicago...

Ellis, Davison and Shackelford were among 283 total prospects who applied as early entrants to the two-round, 60-pick NBA draft. Davison is ESPN’s No. 41 ranked prospect, Ellis is No. 48 and Shackelford is not in the top 100.

That is probably not a good sign for Shack. The NBA has only 58 picks this season. He may want to brush up on his Turkish language skills.

Some key dates:

  • May 16-22: The 2022 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago
  • May 17: The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago
  • June 1: The deadline for early entry underclassmen who wish to maintain their collegiate eligibility

Back to the gridiron, The Athletic keeps doing Saban’s job for him by pointing out an impressive stat of the frequency in which college programs put 5-stars into the first round of the NFL Draft.

The thing that tends to get lost in such discussions is which programs do the best job of developing their best recruits. It’s easy to take that for granted. Not every five-star prospect will become a first-round pick, but it’s clear that these elite players become first-rounders at a higher rate than any other subset of recruits.

Would you be surprised to learn that Alabama has signed 20 5-star recruits through the last five draft-eligible classes and 10 of them became first rounders? Probably not. Georgia on the other hand is 2-for-20 in that same span. Southern Cal is 0-for-12. I hope recruits are paying attention.

CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee has some good feels toward Billy Napier when comparing him to Brian Kelly as to who will have more success early on.

While Kelly is more likely to have long-term success, Napier is better-positioned to see immediate success this season. He has a more stable foundation and an easier path to at least get the Gators back to relevance in the SEC.

He also has plenty of love for Kelly. Appearing on the The Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday, Sallee proclaimed that Kelly will at some point win a national championship at LSU. Any thoughts on that y’all?

The old saying is “hindsight is 20/20.” Tom Fornelli of CBS took on that thought by regrading the Coaching Carousel hirings of 2017-18.

How’s it going? If you were to poll Texas A&M fans about Jimbo Fisher, the approval rating would be pretty high, but not as high as hoped. Fisher and the Aggies were close to a College Football Playoff berth in 2020 but have lost at least four games in every other season since he arrived in College Station. Still, the program is recruiting at an elite level, and now it just needs those recruiting wins to translate to more wins on the field. Another four-loss season could be bad for both parties. Grade: B+ | Original grade: A

Fornelli follows up on all 20 coaches who were hired by FBS programs during that cycle. Remember how head over heels everyone was about Scott Frost and Chip Kelly? Yes, he has changed those grades, as well as Jeremy Pruitt, Dan Mullen and the others.

Alabama softball has their first game of the SEC Tournament coming up later today. Our grumpy ol’ perfectionist softball writer will have a story coming henceforth.

Got any good limericks for us? Keep it clean lest ye get Bethanized.

Go forth and Roll Tide!


Worst Coaching hire of 2017-18?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Scott Frost, Nebraska
    (123 votes)
  • 2%
    Chip Kelly, UCLA
    (15 votes)
  • 9%
    Dan Mullen, Florida
    (64 votes)
  • 11%
    Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee
    (76 votes)
  • 41%
    Chad Morris, Arkansas
    (272 votes)
  • 6%
    Matt Luke, Ole Miss
    (40 votes)
  • 9%
    Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State
    (61 votes)
651 votes total Vote Now