Retired business executive
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.
An exquisitely faír comment & evaluation....
Jeremy Pruitt discusses the direction of his Tennessee program following another big loss to Alabama
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.
Paul Finebaum explains why Nick Saban no longer dominates college football, evokes Bear Bryant comparison
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.
Jeremy Pruitt explains why he believes Tennessee is ‘100 times better than it was this time last year’
Wonder if Fulmer holds this opinion...
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.
It's early, but Shane Lee is looking a lot like Dont'a Hightower. Predict he'll be an All-American by the end of his sophomore year.
Two thoughts: the OL needs to come off the ball more quickly and hold their blocks longer.....and....let's try quick pitches to Harris, et al, rather than running almost exclusively between the tackles. We're only two games in, but the running game lacks imagination and variety. Bama has the athletes and talent to do much, much better. And Nick will have to as the competition stiffens.
Fulmer is part of the problem. Frankly, UT needs a new AD and a forward-thinking administration that will support him. There's been an infestation of nativist thinking at UT since Phil was terminated, and the school has allowed him to insinuate himself back into UT's decision-making process...which has only made the parochialism fester and worsen. Phil's time has come and gone, and Phil needs to follow. UT is a tradition-rich program, but the school needs to shed its "homespun" approach to problem-solving and lower the bar on what it is willing to tolerate in the management of this situation. Otherwise, I predict matters will only get worse.
I think this youngster will be fine. As the # 1 kicker coming out of high school, obviously he has the skill and technique to succeed. Just needs a couple of those kicks to be good to raise his confidence and relieve some of the pressure that comes with being a freshman at the most prestigious football school in the nation, and at a position that is under so much scrutiny.
Tennessee radio host rips Vols on Twitter after loss: ‘I’m not sure Jeremy Pruitt or the players truly care’
My thoughts exactly, 'licious. UT's administrative culture is entirely too parochial, and an "intervention" is long past due. Can't imagine any influential UT donors being able to take this train wreck much longer....but the root cause is a step or two above Pruitt.
Offensive line łacked energy....Jedrick Wills AWOL. What's the story?
Yeah, it was Duke. But I thought Shane Lee did a lot to make Saban worry a bit less about the injury to Dylan Moses. Don't know, of course, how Shane will grade out, but he was aggressive, appeared to handle his assignments well, and impressed with his sideline-to-sideline speed. Offensive line? Ragged, inconsistent, and not ready for prime time. Unless they "clean up" they'll have a tough time with LSU's and A&M's defensive fronts. (Najee Harris can't be pleased.) Jury's still out on the corners and safeties because they weren't challenged. (Baja learned a valuable lesson from the the CFP disaster against Clemson: that they no longer can "out athlete" every opponent, nor win with indífferent płay. I hope Saban reminds Jedrick Wills of this truth and that he'll play up to his considerable ability from here on out.)
Tennessee radio host rips Vols on Twitter after loss: ‘I’m not sure Jeremy Pruitt or the players truly care’
Contrarian thought: UT would be better off without Fulmer, who has never gotten over being terminated and has managed to worm his way back into the school's affairs. Yes, he had success and, yes, he loves his alma mater. But that doesn't mean he's qualified to remedy what's going on at the school now. UT needs some fresh blood in the AD slot, with a proven track record as an AD (which Fulmer does not have) and experience hiring a top-tier head football coach (ditto to above). There simply appears to be a deeply dug-in morale problem in the football locker room that would benefit from a fresh set of eyes taking a look at it and recommending a remedy. As long as Fulmer's there in his current position, that's not going to happen.
Frankly, I'm a lot more concerned about the corners and safeties. If they play to their ability and focus on the fundamentals, a trip back to the CFP is virtually assured. If they don't, a lot more tears will be shed in Tuscaloosa.