Retired business executive

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Yes, all true...and look for more improvement next year at UT and Kentucky to help make the SEC East more competitive....and give Billy Napier a couple of years to get Florida back on track and challenging every year. It's gonna be fun. The clowns from the other conferences trying to "work the room" with Commissioner Sankey and contriving a relative presence in the expansion discussions ON THEIR TERMS would be better served re-watching the glaring lack of team speed and inferior athleticism displayed by Michigan and Cincinnati in the CFP semi-finals. Aye, there's the be grateful the SEC is willing to sit down with you and admit you to the party when the overwhelming majority of your teams' shortcomings on the field are inarguable. In other words: go out and recruit as if your lives depend upon it (because they do.)
Postscript>> Just read that Jay Valai is leaving...perhaps the best "first step" in remedying the shortcoming I mentioned above.
Everything Saban says here is true, and in his remarks he reveals why he is seen as the consummate professional, as well as being the GOAT. BUT...apart from the injuries, anyone watching this game from an analytical point of view must concede that the same troubles in the secondary that bedeviled Alabama in the loss to Jimbo came back to haunt Bama last night. Why fundamental techniques related to effective pass coverage in the secondary seem to be beyond the ken of Alabama's position coaches and/or their cornerbacks remains a mystery. Kool-Aid continues to look a bit lost and out of position, and blaming Khyree Jackson's lapse on the long TD on his "not having had playing experience" is ludicrous. He is a JUCO transfer, not a green freshman. Let's just hope that Saban tends to this situation in earnest over the spring and summer so that Bama's pre-season 2022-23 ranking of #1 can be realized and maintained for the season. No team, including Georgia, is ever going to "out athlete" Alabama as long as Nick's at the helm of the recruiting train -- so the root of this problem obviously lies elsewhere.
This observation echoes what I've been seeing and saying all year...and is dead-on correct. Nick really does need to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with all of his position coaches (except running backs) and reemphasize the obvious: that all the 4- and 5-star talent on the planet can't make up for lack of attention, missed assignments, poor technique, inconsistent blocking, spotty tackling, etc. This is elementary stuff, let's get it fixed.
I say again: Bama has the athletes, they have the talent, and they CAN perform to expectations when given the chance. But without some more imagination on O'Brien's part Bama simply will not be able to generate a win with an offensive line that's still a work in progress...and with only one healthy running back at that. Regardless of how the game turns out, I cannot fathom Saban bringing back O'Brien for another season. Moreover, Pete Golding should be packing his bags, too. AND... let's find some position coaches who can properly develop 4- and 5-star talent with an emphasis on techniques and fundamentals. I know achieving an 11-1 record in this conference is no mean feat. But, seriously -- does anyone who has watched this team all year REALLY believe they have played to their potential, regardless of their age and previous experience?
OK....this article is generally on point. But wouldn't it be nice if Bill O'Brien became a little more imaginative in his play-calling to help neutralize Georgia's pass rush and linebacker play. I've been waiting all year to see some of the Sarkisian "spark" that maximized Bama's versatility and athletic ability, but it hasn't happened. Frankly, I'm ready for Bill to depart for a HC position & for Saban to hire someone with a more creative approach that recognizes that, if it's true Bama's O-line is having trouble with the defense (and it is), running Brian Robinson into the line on short yardage situations time after time may not avail success. Does anyone else reading this post agree with me?
Everyone knew coming into this season that some youth and inexperience on both offense and defense would be challenges for Alabama. But what I saw against A&M (defense) and this past Saturday against LSU (offense) were breakdowns in assignments and execution. This far along, however, fundamentals and techniques ought to be ingrained in even the youngest of players -- keeping in mind, too, that most of these kids came out of high school as 4- and 5-star prospects who in most cases already had benefitted from sound coaching. So, what's going on, and what should be done? Well, cloning Will Anderson is a thought, and while firing Golding and O'Brien might be premature Saban needs to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with Bama's position coaches in a small room with locked exits. What most of us witnessed this past Saturday night was a team adrift, unprepared, and undisciplined. All solvable problems...but if these troubles persist even with superior talent Alabama would be hard-pressed to survive against Georgia-- even though on paper I believe the Tide is the better team. Regardless, it's rare to see a Saban squad be so disjointed and ineffective. So let's hope the LSU game will accomplish what the games against Florida and Jimbo did not -- a renaissance to lay the groundwork for a brighter future, worthy of the extraordinary talent on the team.
The defensive lapses -- missed assignments, blowing coverage on A&M's tight end in the 1st quarter, that late 4th quarter pass interference penalty, the long kickoff return for a score -- MUST be Bama was a good 2-3 touchdowns better than A&M, but all the 5-star talent in the world can only make up for so much loss of attention, carelessness, and poor judgment. Some of this is on the DC and his position coaches, but most of it is on the players. All correctible... But what are we going to do about Bill O'Brien's decision to pass three times when a TD was three yards away and Brian Robinson had been running effectively all night? Wonder if Sark might be amenable to another buyout...
In his comments, Ryan Day seems determined to avoid recognizing what anyone else watching the Tide-Buckeye game I'm confident noticed immediately: Ohio State simply lacked the quality of athlete and the team speed necessary to compete with Alabama. These shortfalls were especially evident in the interior lines on both sides of the ball. Blaming Covid-19 and all related matters for Ohio State's defeat might be a convenient excuse, including roster depletion, but none of that was at play here, nor were the possible effects of the Buckeyes' having played a shortened regular season. Day appears to recruit well, however, and I believe he's a solid coach. So these problems may be on the wane. I hope so, and I wish him and his program all the best.
Bo Scarborough revisited...too late for a medical redshirt?
Chris Doering is "spot on" correct." Anyone who saw Slade Bolden perform so well after Jaylen Waddle left the field against UT need not fear any inability of Alabama to overcome Waddle's loss. Yes, Jaylen brings a peculiarly gifted skill set to the game and his explosiveness was unmatched. But, really -- Bolden will join Devonta Smith and Metchie in compensating quite nicely for this development. Analysts supposedly as experienced as David Pollack ought to think twice before uttering apocalyptic statements about Bama's playoff fortunes, given the depth and talent level of Nick's other receivers. I imagine about the only change we should expect from Sarkisian is perhaps a different play mix in various down and distance situations. Bama enjoys a surfeit of weapons on offense -- far too many to be summarily excluded from playoff consideration because one of them is sidelined.
The gaps in depth and talent, especially at the skill positions, are oceanic in size. Pruitt knows this, and should stop making ridiculous comments about the state of Tennessee's competitiveness with the top-tier schools in the conference. On the other hand, he's also a hard, proud & and determined worker who's a fairly effective recruiter. He simply needs time and patience, but I wonder if the Vols' fan base and their alumni donors will afford these because Fulmer's phone is going to be ringing loud and clear. When I evaluate his three-year run, I wonder if the average observer of the debacle in Knoxville realizes just how far UT had sunk before Pruitt's arrival. It's gonna take awhile, folks, for a revival....and Pruitt may not be around to see it.
Once again, too many missed assignment by linebackers and corners. Why this problem persists with mostly 5-stars at the positions, year after year, defies belief. Too bad Nick can't persuade Kirby Smart to return to Tuscaloosa, because since he left as DC this weakness has become entrenched. But why?
Does anyone on this site believe Bama won't rebound with a warlike tenacity this year? My guess is they'll take the SEC title and return to the CFP with blood in their eye. Just too much, talent, depth, and now a revenge motive to go along with them. Not good news for the rest of the league, and especially for LSU.
Clean up the pass defense and another natty should be the outcome. Remember that Bama lost to Auburn and LSU this past season by a combined total of eight points, in spite of all the injuries and distractions. Just way too much talent and depth for another title not to be a distinct possibility.
Thanks, Afan. It's simply difficult to believe adults could make some of the comments we see here. Those of us who can think beyond our adolescent animus, it seems to be, are obligated to raise the level of the discussion. Silly me.
Amen. This entire argument is baseless. If Michigan didn't want Alabama to score, well, then tackle the ballcarrier. And get off Finebaum's back. He's not Saban's press agent, and I've heard him examine Saban quite critically on occasion. The problem here is that virtually everyone else in the SEC other than LSU -- both their organizations and their fans-- are simply envious of Saban and what he's built at Alabama. He puts in the work, he recruits at the top level every year, and he produces --- EXACTLY what he was hired to do. He's not a miracle worker, but he is professional in the way he goes about his business. So "get over it" when he "schools" cretins and pretenders like Harbaugh by reminding him of the difference between fantasy and reality.
I concur wholeheartedly. Harbaugh is one of the more unlikable head coaches in the country, a whiner, and the personification of petulant mediocrity. His calling Saban a cheater came as no surprise to me because he's frustrated he cannot compete head-to-head with the best, and that's what "small" men do when they're exposed as being either incompetent or simply iñadequate. Yes, Saban was probably tasting a little revenge, but he was also sending a signal to any other coach who might be tempted to assail his professional reputation. Just hope OSU keeps making Jim's life in the Big 10 a "hot mess" until the Michigan AD comes to his senses and rids the school of his coaching charlatan.
Let's not bury Saban just yet. Right now, his competitive juices must be churning. And I imagine he's thinking what a lot of us are thinking: "If I can a) reinstill some discipline on offense and eliminate the kind of lack-of-focus penalties that kill drives, and b) find some competent position coaches to actually "coach" the defense, it could be a short step from 10-2 back to the CFP." Honestly, there's simply too much top-tier talent on that side of the ball to allow this year's slippage to continue. Anyway, 2019 has been a wake-up call, and with the deep skill pool on the team the Tide's problems are solvable. We'll see. But my money's on Saban to make the necessary coaching changes and come roaring out of the gate next year with renewed purpose.
There's nothing that's happened to suggest Bama's star is falling...but Nick can longer win simply by "out-athleting" the other team. Prior to 2018, he succeeded. No longer. Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, etc. are now recruiting the same caliber of talent. Answer? Much, much better instruction by the position coaches preaching tougher field discipline, better technique, better concentration, better grasp of assignments. Yes, Bama has had a lot of injuries to overcome. But we're talking Football 101 here....If Saban can bring in some "drill instructors" on the defensive side of the ball, he should be able to bounce back. God knows he'll have competitive talent, and plenty of it. In short: this is a soluble problem....and this year's slip-up may be the thing that could have happened to Saban. Definitely a wake-up call, but not necessarily a sign that the palace is crumbling beyond repair. coaches
Re: Vanderbilt -- As a native Nashvillian and someone with ties to the university, I've been watching VU struggle with SEC football for decades. Yes, Mason's got his weaknesses and fielding 2- and 3-star recruits against thorobreds can't be fun. But the real problem at Vandy over the years has been the lack of commitment by the administration to ding what it takes to be at least marginally competitive. The school holds a cynical, condescending attitude toward the football program and pays little more than lip service to it. Meanwhile, though, the school has no qualms whatsoever in taking in millions of dollars in bowl revenue with which it gleefully funds its non-revenue-producing sports teams and its Title IX obligations. Fact is, of course, other academically exceptional institutions (Stanford and Notre Dame come to mind) most every year field competitive football teams. And I'm confident most of their players aren't studying Aristotle and mechanical engineering. So, until the Board of Trust and the school's leadership put an end to the insufferable pretense neither Derek Mason nor any other coach is likely to experience anything but occasional success.
You misunderstand. My problem is WHY they lost, not that they lost.
No surprise here. When Bama puts up 41 points, they're supposed to win. But when their secondary can't/won't tackle, miss assignments, lose eye discipline and concentration, and generally look as if they're out of sorts, quality teams with talented quarterbacks like Burrow and Trevor Lawrence will dine on them like they're caviar on the holiday buffet table. This deficiency has plagued the Tide for the past several years, and why it hasn't been corrected I simply cannot understand. We know it's not a lack of talent or athleticism that is at the root of the matter. But unless and until Saban solves the problem, the days of Alabama dominating playoff considerations will continue to wane. In other words, there has to be another Brent Venables out there who can shore up the defense and bring in a new position coach for the secondary who can actually "coach." We're talking fundamentals here, folks. That's all.
All of us want Tua to recover fully as quickly as possible, of course. But now Nick's OL seems to be jelling...fewer missed assignments, opening wider holes, fewer penalties, etc. Let's turn Najee and Robinson loose, and keep them running even after Tua returns. And I'm sure Sarkisian can find a pitch-out somewhere in his bag of plays...cannot understand why that option isn't used more.
Plenty of star power on the offensive side of the ball...not so much on the other, despite the raw talent and athleticism. Injuries, of course, have taken their toll, and Nick's freshmen need to mature a bit. The showdown with LSU will provide a good barometer of the Tide's "greatness," and I for one would love to see Nick grind out a 21-17 win. A close, low-scoring win over a Top 5 opponent with a high-powered offense would be reassuring.
Lewis is this year's Bo Scarborough: a great talent who can't seem to stay healthy. Just hope he'll be able to make it to the NFL and enjoy as productive a career as possible.
As soon as UT's leadership understands that Fulmer is a very big part of the school's problem, I hope the school does what needs to be done: fire Phil, hire an experienced AD, who in turn should be given the leeway of hiring an established, existing head football coach. The money's there, the facilities are there, the tradition is there, the fan loyalty is there. But the will to see beyond the homespun gibberish ("he bleeds orange") and the pernicious effect of Fulmer's influence has not yet emerged. I hope it will soon...possibly in time to begin righting the ship before the start of next season. God knows every UT supporter on the planet deserves better than the tragicomedy currently playing out in Knoxville.
I'll say it again. Fulmer is part of this problem. He's the one thread that runs through the past 10 years of the Vols' misery, and no doubt has meddled in (read: influenced) the coach-selection process every step of the way. He needs to retire...again...and stay retired, rather than insist on being "relevant" (read: being the power behind the throne). UT needs an aggressive AD with established credentials (nope, not Fulmer) and the administration needs to give him a wide berth in hiring an established head coach ( again, not Pruitt), and pay both of them competitively. More importantly, the school needs to extract itself from the parochialism and "he bleeds orange" nonsense that have weakened decision-making & have made UT's circumstances far worse than they should have been. The situation is ridiculous and an unnecessary embarrassment when clearly there's a way out of this mess.