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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban tells the truth, internet freaks out: 2021 really was a rebuilding year

At least we didn’t mention that UGA’s CFPCG outta’ come with about half-a-dozen asterisks!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JUL 19 SEC Football Kickoff Media Days

I saw this entering the maws of hell on Twitter the other day, and it was fairly awesome. So I made a reminder to share it.

Gump on, my friends. Gump on.

Speaking of the GOAT, he had a lot of Dawgs up in their feels yesterday for stating a very clear fact:

“Last year, we had kind of a rebuilding year,” Saban said on the WJOX’s Mac and Cube show Wednesday. “We should have nine starters back on offense, nine on defense but (seven) guys go out early for the draft so now we have five back on offense and seven back on defense. So that in and of itself creates a few more question marks but it also creates opportunities for other players to be able to shine in the program and contribute in a positive way.”

Not sure why they were so assmad about it being a rebuilding year. It’s not like Nick Saban brought up that in a rematch, Alabama was without its two 1000-yard receivers, its starting cornerbacks, two and a half of the team’s four running backs, and lost the nose tackle that had bottled up the Georgia running game for seven quarters.

Because that’s true too.

Still: Thirteen wins, SEC West champion, SEC Champion, National runner-up, Heisman and Nagurski winners...and we felt a bit let down at times. As we said often last year, 2021 was playing with house money. 2022 was meant to be the year to contend. I think most would kill to have that kind of rebuilding season...including all-but 115 or so previous Tide teams.

But this is what people don’t understand: Alabama doesn’t have a different standard. Alabama sets the standard. And 13 wins or not, how many complete games did the Tide actually play last season? How many times did that very young, rebuilding squad live up to their standards?

That’s what Nick means. And it’s not an excuse; it’s not even a reason. It’s just stone cold fact.

Unfortunately, Alabama will have to begin its season without the hall-of-fame golden voice we’ve associated with the Tide now for almost 35 years: Eli Gold is going to miss the first few weeks of the season.

Jim Carabin, vice president and general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, said that Chris Stewart will take over play-by-play duties in his absence. He didn’t specify the nature of the 68-year-old Gold’s health issues.

Oh, god, it’s the Monkeypox isn’t it?!
Look, anyone can get it. Twitter told me so!

We jest, of course, and wish nothing but the best for Eli. Stewart has his strengths, but they shine in pregame and especially in baseball. Saturday just isn’t right without you.

This is such an awesome story, particularly Alabama’s Assistant Brian Hodgson, as the Tide assistants took home 1st place in the 64-team charity tournament at Dayton U.

Alabama assistant coach Bryan Hodgson served as general manager and Tide director of scouting and analytics Adam Bauman served as head coach for the “Blue Collar U” team that won the annual 64-team summer tournament.

The tournament, which has been played since 2014 and aired on ESPN networks, featured groups of professional players in some cases reunited with their former college teammates on self-organized teams.

The “Blue Collar U” team beat “Americana For Autism,” 89-67, in University of Dayton Arena to win the tournament’s $1 million prize. According to the team’s website, Blue Collar U will donate a portion of its winnings to Coaching Love Inc., a non-profit started by Hodgson to benefit at-risk youth in the foster system. Hodgson was raised by a foster family in New York.

Final Four confirmed!

CBS’s Preseason 1-131 just dropped. And there will be no surprise who is No. 1...or, for that matter, who’s No. 2. And likely not even No. 3.

But, there were some surprising movers, like LSU nudging up into the Top 30, and Ole Miss firmly already there.

Want to contribute to the Tide’s NIL collective but don’t have those eye-watering dollars that some Central Texas teams with a lot of alumni in the oil business may have? Well, you’re in luck. There’s room for us schlubs too! High Tide traditions is rolling out a subscription plan for regular-dollar donors like you and I.

(Well, maybe not me. I already give the REC enough money. Allegedly).

Clemson’s starting safety is just completely quitting football. Zanders has had three surgeries to repair a torn labrum, and despite Clemson’s medical staff clearing him to play, he just didn’t think he wasn’t physically ready. So he peaced out.

Take care of yourself, kiddo, and best wishes going forward. Too many players don’t know when to preserve their health, including your former teammate. But it’s the rest of your life, and you’re the only one who has to live in the one body you’re given...and the one that is damaged.

For Clemson, a team expected to contend with their defense...Welp, that’s gotta suck.

It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves for a while: Are the Fish finally all-in on Tua? He was repeatedly undermined for the first two seasons, not given an offense in which to succeed, and barely even given functional parts to have success.

But is Miami now all-in, given the pieces he has to work with yet?

It remains to be seen for 2022, but between Fitzmagic and tampering for Brady and pursuing Cleveland’s Baby Batter Menace, it’s clear Brian Flores plainly did not ever really want to hand over the reigns to Tagovailoa. (Not a surprise, really, given that Flores is somewhat of an asshole, to use the highly technical term of art.)

So, while Tua’s QB cohort were getting the ball and a chance to take their lumps, the Hawaiian Prince was still on training wheels.

I look forward to seeing Tua grow. And if he busts, then let him bust on his own merits and on his play...not because he’s been dirked between the shoulder blades.

That about wraps it up for now: Saban is in the midst of a final preseason recruiting push and media availability period. The Tide begins practice very soon. And we’re even rolling out unit previews starting next week.

I’ll have something for you later today RE: basketball, but for now, Roll Tide.


Which SEC West team is most likely to surprise?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Arkansas, Worse than expected
    (22 votes)
  • 10%
    Arkansas, Better than expected
    (65 votes)
  • 10%
    Auburn, Worse than expected
    (69 votes)
  • 8%
    Auburn, Better than expected
    (55 votes)
  • 3%
    Ole Miss, Worse than expected
    (22 votes)
  • 4%
    Ole Miss, Better than expected
    (29 votes)
  • 0%
    Mississippi State, Worse than expected
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    Mississippi State, Better than expected
    (39 votes)
  • 30%
    Texas A&M, Worse than expected
    (198 votes)
  • 0%
    Texas A&M, Better than expected
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    LSU, Worse than expected
    (43 votes)
  • 13%
    LSU, Better than expected
    (89 votes)
640 votes total Vote Now