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Happy Gump Day: It’s Mark Sears’ world, we’re just living in it

The senior PG is a one-man wrecking crew.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 24 Div I Men’s Championship - San Diego State vs Alabama

Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yesterday, two players made their career announcements known:

Jase McClellan is moving on to the NFL, and Mal Moore is returning.

We’ve debated the best place for Malachi, and while he made some money at Star this year, his best position may be a move to on-ball safety. He is a very physical player who does his best work near the line of scrimmage. And, frankly, any professional career will likely be at that position.

Best of luck to Jase, and we eagerly await to see what ‘Bama’s new DC (hopefully T Rob) does with Mal.

Yesterday, Josh broke down the absurdity of Alabama finishing 5th on the season in the AP poll. But, it wasn’t just the press folks who did some hating; there was a lot of petty in the coaches’ poll, with 31 of them voting for UGA over Alabama.

Josh’s personal favorite was the saltiness of Gus Malzahn, who inexplicably dropped ‘Bama all the way down to 8th.

Mine, however, was Mark Stoops — who put Alabama 5th and UGA 3rd, despite Alabama absolutely demolishing the ‘Cats in their house, in a game that Kentucky entered feeling very upbeat.

Another interesting thing here was the almost uniform hatin’ that the ACC coaches directed towards the Tide. I guess “stealing” a spot from the team with the weakest resume, who looked the worst, and was injured, robbed a lot of those guys of their Christmas money.

Die mad, hoes.

This was an absolutely fantastic story by Casagrande. Back in 2021, Nick Saban made several predictions about the advent of the Portal and NIL, all with the same bottom line: the rich would get richer.

It turns out, these are empirical questions, and Michael — the Skyline-eating monster that he is — actually brought receipts.

The bottom line? Mixed results, mainly.

So, in the last three years, four teams made the four-team College Football Playoff field for the first time. Washington made its second trip this year after making it as a distant No. 4 in 2016.

Clemson, meanwhile, hasn’t sniffed a playoff in the past three years. Dabo Swinney’s been famously resistant to the transfer market, certainly, a factor when considering the program’s last two postseason wins came in the Cheez-It and Gator bowls.

Ohio State’s been to one of the last three playoffs.

Oklahoma hasn’t made it since 2019.

Alabama has been the most successful of the group, making two of the last three semifinals and playing for the 2021 title. Georgia claimed that one and the next one after making just one of the first seven playoff fields.

The bottom line: The transfer rule and advent of NIL did more to expand the tent than just add wealth to the already rich.

Really nice piece here.

And, that seems to check out too, as this bowl season revealed a lot of very average teams playing very average games, and with conferences having perfect .500 Bowl Seasons.

Folks, our long national nightmare is over. Aside from the one-year rental of Gibbs, since 2021, Alabama has featured a running game high on power, light on explosion, yet with very mixed results between the tackles. But, as we saw in the Rose Bowl, it appears that the Tide is leaving behind the Jase and Roydell era.

Jam and Justice are the next men up, and both have a lot more pop, to go along with dual-threat Milroe.

“It reminds me, a little bit, of when they gave Derrick Henry a little more run in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State after not using him very much in 2014,” Staples said. “I think we’re going to see a lot of Justice Haynes early on based on the flashes we saw in the Rose Bowl. And for those of us that follow recruiting, we’re very excited for what he can be.”

Alabama has a long lineage of running backs under Nick Saban, with two winning the Heisman Trophy. Even when the offense evolved with Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, and Bryce Young at quarterback, there were star players in the backfield.

Alongside Jalen Milroe, the Alabama offense is expected to be a ton more explosive and primed to compete for another national championship in 2024.

None of this is to diminish how hard Jase played for years, nor the occasional explosive output Roydell had, but we have to be honest with ourselves: by Alabama standards, neither would have started in years past. We wish both good luck, even as we acknowledge that their moving on is in the best interests of everyone.

Is Mark Sears the best player in the SEC? It’s hard to make a case against the Senior PG, who we were warned in the offseason was poised to go off. And he’s been nothing short of spectacular:

Mark Sears led the team in points with 15 in the first half. He did it again in the second half, leading all scorers with 31 points on the night. Tonight’s performance only helps his case to be SEC Player of the Year.

Sears finished the night with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Aaron Estrada was the Tide’s second leader with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Sears leads the SEC in scoring (20.6 PPG), is 9th in dimes (3.7 APG), 10th in thefts (2.0 SPG). He’s 4th in shooting from the floor at 54.8%, and he’s 1st in the SEC from deep — shooting an ungodly 49.4%. He’s 5th in TO per 40 minutes. And he’s even 12th in FT shooting, netting 81.8% from the charity stripe.

With all due respect to Brandon Miller and Herb, Sears’ win-contribution this season could wind up blowing those two off the record books.

More here:


Is Mark Sears the best player in the SEC?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Numbers don’t lie, yes.
    (152 votes)
  • 41%
    He’s very good, but may be not the best.
    (160 votes)
  • 6%
    Nope. He’s posting stats because he has to.
    (25 votes)
  • 12%
    (50 votes)
387 votes total Vote Now