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Jumbo Package: Tony Barnhart picks his national champ, and it ain’t Alabama

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl Classic-Cincinnati at Alabama Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Nick Saban gave a long interview to Chris Low that published yesterday, and it could be summed up thusly.

His longevity wasn’t the only topic that he discussed, however. Nick self-reflects with the best of them, and acknowledged that he has softened a bit with age.

“I think I’ve become a better teacher,” Saban said. “I think yelling and screaming at players in this day and age really goes in one ear and out the other. If you want them to really resonate on what you’re saying, you just need to teach it, and sometimes, it works better if you do it individually than if you do it in front of other people. That’s not something I considered in years past, several years past.

“I still can get hot under the collar every now and then, but I try to leave that to intangible things like giving effort, playing with toughness and finishing plays and not necessarily mental errors.”

One of the things Saban said he likes best about this team is the leadership and the way players hold each other accountable.

“We don’t have a lot of what I call energy vampires, guys that take all your time because they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do,” Saban said. “We have a team that has bought in, and they’re all trying to do the right thing.”

Great to read that nugget about the team buying in.

Oh, and Nick is now a TikTok star.

ESPN put out their All-America team and Alabama leads the way.

Included are four players who made ESPN’s 2021 postseason All-America team — Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, USC receiver Jordan Addison and Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. Of course, the caveat with Addison is that he has changed addresses from Pittsburgh to USC via the transfer portal.

Alabama leads the way with four players on the team, while Clemson and Ohio State each have three. For what it’s worth, those three teams have combined for 17 College Football Playoff appearances.

Dallas Turner and Jordan Battle were the other two Alabama players to make the cut.

Smitty and Waddle are forever linked.

“It means a lot,” Smith said of his friendship with Waddle. “Just the relationship that we have – I call him Nephew; he calls me Unc. That’s just kind of the relationship we have. With everything that went down and him getting hurt and me just being there with him all the time and him coming back for that last game, it just meant a lot just for both of us just to see that the past year everything we do has paid off.”

Those two are examples of what we would all want our children to be as adults.

You will have the opportunity to watch Alabama’s opening opponent this weekend.

Utah State will be one of the better teams in the Mountain West. I’m confident in that, just as I’m confident that Utah State is much better than UConn. That said, my numbers suggest Utah State isn’t 27 points better than UConn. My numbers say this spread should be closer to 24 points, so I’m trusting those numbers until I have a reason not to. Betting UConn is never fun, nor is it easy. This will be a sweat, but if we’re starting a season, we may as well dive in head first. Utah State 34, UConn 10 | UConn +27

While it certainly shouldn’t put a win in jeopardy, the Aggies having a game under their belts will likely help them when they face Alabama.

Last, Tony Barnhart made his national title pick.


Jan. 9, 2023 in Los Angeles

Alabama vs. Georgia




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

Roll Tide.