Happy Monday, everyone. It was a great weekend, starting with the Gym Tide snapping Florida’s five year home win streak.
It was a tall task for sure. And a loss to the perennially-overscored Gators is nothing to hang your head about.
But, what happens if the visitors won’t play along?
Then you get what we saw last night, as the Crimson Tide led through three of four rotations, scored nine season-high rotations,bagged a perfect 10 from Lilly Hudson on Vault, found two season-highs from Olympian Luisa Blanco...and then beat Florida in their house.
And, for good measure, the Tide swept the podium.
The ladies look much improved from the past few seasons.
The men’s basketball team took care of LSU.
The SEC’s leading scorer, Sears, managed to score over his average, with 21 points — despite not making any three point attempts and only going 5-11 from the field. However, the Muscle Shoals senior was 11-11 from the free throw line and also contributed five assists, three rebounds, and a steal.
Wrightsell, Jr. continued his excellent play with 19 points on 6-12 shooting, 5-10 from deep, and added two steals. Aaron Estrada bounced back from his goose egg against Auburn by scoring 18 points, and leading the team in rebounds with six, and assists with seven. The grad student threw in two steals and earned another hard hat award.
Not to be outdone, the women’s team got off the schneid with a resounding victory over Kentucky.
The Alabama women’s basketball team ended its three-game skid by defeating the Kentucky Wildcats, 91-74, inside Coleman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. Sarah Ashlee Barker and Essence Cody collected double-doubles to lead the Crimson Tide (16-6, 3-4 SEC) to the win.
Barker led Alabama with a career-high 34 points, while hauling in 10 rebounds to pick up the third double-double, while Cody added 14 points and 10 rebounds. It is the first time since the 2021-22 season that two UA players collected double-doubles in the same game.
For some Gumpin’ fun to start your week, Gary Cosby is talking Nick Saban for president.
The cool thing is Saban didn’t cheat to win his championships. Not calling any names, but one candidate who accused the other candidate of cheating was the one who actually got caught cheating, so Saban is automatically better than either of those two bozos.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, that Saban’s time at Alabama produced record revenue and growth for the University of Alabama, so our candidate has a handle on how to move the needle when it comes to the economy.
Then there is the benefit he has brought to the Tuscaloosa community. Did you know the Sabans have funded 20 houses for Habitat for Humanity? I think number 21 house is about to be built very soon. Jimmy Carter did a bunch of volunteer work for Habitat, but that was after his presidency and I don’t think he funded them out of his pocket. Not sure about that, but I’m pretty dang sure Trump and Biden don’t have that kind of track record in benevolence.
The man has my vote.
Kenninton Smith III of The Athletic outlines just how different the SEC is going to look this season. Nothing is the same, folks.
The most glaring change to the SEC landscape in 2024 and beyond is the departure of the greatest coach the sport has ever seen in Saban. Dominance aside, he was the one constant in the SEC for close to two decades and was the fifth-longest tenured coach in the country at his retirement. Now the only SEC coaches who have been at their school for at least five years are Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops. But there are plenty of storylines to watch.
The SEC welcomes Texas’ Steve Sarkisian fresh off a Big 12 championship and a Playoff berth and Oklahoma’s Brent Venables, who led the Sooners to 10 wins in 2023 and has high expectations this fall. New Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer, who is 2-0 against Sarkisian, takes over the Crimson Tide after a national title game appearance at Washington.
Ben Flanagan takes a look at the most exciting game in each season of the Saban era, with some losses included.
We need not remind you of the details: 2nd-and-26, true freshman to true freshman, walk-off overtime touchdown to win a national championship. Alabama fans seemed to lose hope during the first half, when the offense sputtered and Georgia appeared to have a title in their grasp. Nick Saban chose to make a switch at quarterback, putting backup Tua Tagovailoa under center for a change of pace, and did he deliver. The Tide mounted a ferocious comeback to force overtime, and then Tua launched a deep ball to eventual Heisman winner and Bama legend DeVonta Smith to clinch the game and their legacies in Tide lore. Fans did not know what hit them. It was a collective out-of-body experience for everyone inside the stadium and watching at home around the world. Pure, raw emotion and joy. Even Saban couldn’t help himself, as he threw raised his arms and ran to midfield.
Will never not post this.
Adam Rittenberg at ESPN gave the DeBoer hire an A-, but it’s behind a paywall.
DeBoer is an excellent hire under the circumstances, especially as he comes off a national championship game appearance. Saban dramatically improved the Alabama job but also created unrealistic expectations for his successor. In DeBoer, Alabama lands a proven winner, but also someone with a different personality and approach than Saban who has a chance to continue the program’s success in the NIL/portal era. The only concern is DeBoer’s unfamiliarity with the SEC and the region.
Joe Gaither has a rundown of where Alabama coaches went on their recruiting expeditions last week.
The hard work has paid dividends as DeBoer re-secured Williams into the 2024 Alabama recruiting class and even added an edge rusher for good measure in 4-star Noah Carter.
Bama On The Road
The Crimson Tide coaching staff has been hitting the road across the southeast to get their foothold into the next recruiting class. Luckily, Saban and the previous staff locked up the majority of the Class of 2024 before retirement, leaving plenty of time for the new staff to get to know the next class.
lLast, the Lions may have lost a close one last night, but Jahmyr Gibbs found the end zone and Jameson Williams found it twice. All three were pretty outstanding plays.
Jameson Williams stays on his feet, scores NFC championship touchdown. pic.twitter.com/Ayr7iCpuiQ— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) January 28, 2024
TD No. 2 for Jameson Williams. https://t.co/PosDaFxeAH— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) January 29, 2024
Unfortunately Gibbs also lost a fumble in the second half, which became a pivotal moment in the game. Still. it’s nice to see the Bama dudes showing out on the big stage.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.