Pat Forde gets a whole lot wrong..but in this case, he got a lot more right. Nick Saban really ought to be a National COTY candidate. This has been one of his finest coaching jobs.
Nick Saban (22), Alabama. We’re so accustomed to seeing Saban teams rack up victories without much struggle that this season has been something different. The Crimson Tide lost their second game of the season at home by 10 points, then benched their starting quarterback and flailed past South Florida—at that point, the season was on the brink. But vulnerable Alabama has morphed into powerful Alabama, beating Mississippi, Tennessee and LSU each by 14 points on the way to 9–1. This season ranks high among Saban’s many great coaching jobs.
Although I’m curious as to why he has Dan Lanning, Kalen DeBoer or Kirby Smart on this list. They won two Conference titles, had 10+ wins, and entered the season as Top 10 teams. Given the butterfly kisses of their schedules, I’d frankly be worried if they weren’t having good seasons. Likewise, Texas was a Top 20 team returning 21 starters. COTY can’t just mean “meeting expectations.”
Speaking of individual accolades, this one put my jaw on the floor yesterday. One of Alabama’s coordinators has been nominated for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s best assistant coach (usually a coordinator). The Tide has a semifinalist, so that’s not unexpected — Kevin Steele has done a masterful job.
But he’s not nominated. Tommy Rees is.
This is where I should point out that this is the Tide’s worst overall offense since 2016, and has set some futility records dating back decades.
We’re happy for him, I suppose. And it is good that he is capable of adjusting after the half. And, yes, he’s called good games the Tide’s last two outings. But that simply is not Broyles Award work.
So, how do we interpret the snub of Kevin Steele and the plaudits for Rees? As to the fprmer, I can only conclude that the Texas game stank, and some late scores given up lately, have elevated the Tide’s score-against profile. And, on the other hand, given the last few weeks of high-profile offensive output on national television, this is more an encouragement to Rees than anything from other members of the coaching fraternity: We see your vast improvement after years — even within this one — of being stuck in mud. Keep it up.
I’m past rage at this point, so I’m simply not going to rise to the bait. Alabama did not move a lick in the latest CFP rankings. One would think the committee were just standing pat, since all eight contenders were the same. But, no, UGA moved up to No. 1 on the heels of their second win over a ranked opponent. Alabama, meanwhile, has three and did not move an iota.
SOS be damned, somehow the committee thinks the output of the one-loss Tide (1) and Texas (8) is inferior to the Ducks, which also have one loss...with the 65th worst schedule in the country. This is where we remind you that Oregon’s best win is against a Utah team that had to start a walk-on at tailback, a third-stringer at QB, and was at home. Meanwhile, Washington’s best win is against the team that Oregon team, in a game it should have lost, and was bailed out at home twice in three weeks by iffy as hell last minute officiating.
Read and rage if you will, but I’m done with these fools. We needs to handle business on this end, and start tallying some losses from teams ahead of the Tide. I think at least one (and possibly two) happen this week: the Beavers can get Washington in Corvallis. Ditto, Texas has a night game in one of the most understated difficult road environments in the country. Iowa State is just a MFer in Ames. Sarkisian also tends to produce fairly poor road teams. We’ve seen a lot of slippage lately from the Horns. They can derp that game away against the Clones outstanding defense.
Alabama and UGA will sort out one team — and the Vawls could just as easily do it this weekend in Neyland. Washington/Oregon will be sorted out in the P12 title game, if not sooner. And FSU was looking a might-bit mortal against a very average Miami squad last week. It’s the first offense that was able to run with them and not turn the ball over (LSU’s issue). You got the feeling that a dangerous group like UNC has a punchers chance too.
We’re not quite to panic time. It’s usually these last few weeks where chaos reigns. But if it doesn’t come, Nick Saban will need all the salesmanship of Blake to make sure the Tide don’t get screwed yet again.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING!
Warning: Naughty words and themes, because apparently 20-something infants apparently safeguard the sensibilities of grown-damn people or something now.
One of the problems with Alabama’s new efficient offense is that it is robbing Will BDE Reichard of precious opportunities to claim CFB’s all-time scoring record.
He’ll have a chance to do something special on his way out, sitting just 21 points away from tying the NCAA’s all-time points record and 22 from owning it outright.
According to Reichard, his proximity to the mark isn’t front of mind at the moment.
“I don’t really know how many points I am away from it,” Reichard said. “I think when my career’s over I’ll really care about it but right now, not too concerned about it honestly. I’m more focused on being able to play well this week and kind of continue to prepare to play well and continue to practice well, continue to grow. That’s what I’m concerned about, not too concerned about (the record) right now, to be honest.”
Reichard currently sits third on the all-time list with 509 points.
I know he says it doesn’t affect him, but Will has been ice from long range this year, and two weeks ago he missed two very long kicks (47, 50). He could be gripping a bit. I think we all want this so much for him. He’s sort of the last tangible link to that remarkable 2020 team. He needs to get his too. At Alabama’s present rate of scoring and competition, it looks like he will walk into the SECCG and beyond needing about 9-10 points. Should be manageable, right?
Alabama has moved up just a smidge in the latest AP College Basketball Top 25. And, honestly, I kind of like down here without the giant target. That will come in time, and sooner rather than later if this team takes care of some non-con business this winter.
If you missed it, Alabama once again romped last night, simply destroying South Alabama. Defense was the key, and a very deep productive bench.
Here’s everything Nate Oats had to say after the Dub.
That was a lot more like we’re trying to get on the defensive end. I thought our effort was significantly improved from everybody on the team. I thought some guys really stepped up. I thought Nick Pringle was much better. I don’t think the official box score is correct. I think he had more blocks than the one they gave him credit for, but we’ll go back and look on the video and get that squared up. I thought he challenged shots at the rim, even when he didn’t block them. I thought Mo Wague played super hard like he always has. Jarin (Stevenson) and Grant (Nelson) were trying to go block some shots at the rim, give us some rim protection. Grant had three blocks. It was much better that way.
FINALLY, if you like last second field goals that doink in (or out), then thank the Earth’s rotation.
We’ll see you later. Have a great one. Roll Tide
Was Kevin Steele snubbed as a Broyles Award semifinalist?
This poll is closed
Dunno / Maybe
I’m just here for the basketball.