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Also throw in there Blake Sims, who threw for nearly 3,500 yards with 28 TDs in 2014 leading Alabama to an SEC title and a #1-ranking into the first-ever playoff (though that Sugar Bowl against Ohio State was not pretty). This being before Alabama went all Big XII offense.
Big Ten: "It's not fair! We were forced to play in the South and West! In warm weather when we're used to it being freezing cold right now! Come play us in the North and we'll see who's best! You won't stand a...wait, this is basketball and not football? And it's being played in the heart of Big Ten Country in Indianapolis? Um...it's not fair! We're being made to play close to home! We aren't getting to travel! Go back to playing all over the country and we'll see how you stand up to us! ANTI-BIG TEN BIAS! THE GREATEST CONFERENCE IN EVERYTHING!!!"
Alabama didn't win the SEC in 2011, LSU did, though the Tide did get the natty that season.
Technically we had one as OJ Howard was on injured reserve for TB. And we did have the Offensive Player of the Year and the two-time NFL rushing leading in Derrick Henry. But I guess when you're a Dawgs fan that saw his team collapse in the second half against 'Bama (for the third time in a row!) you gotta hang your hat on something.
Alabama signed a 2-for-1 with South Florida which will be starting in a few years. I'd much rather see us go on the road to play a P5 team than host FCS Mercer as we will be doing the second game of this season.
Duel threat? When is he going to show it? Cam Newton he ain't.
Gus' problem with is offense (and I still shake my head at this) is that he needs a dual-threat QB to run it properly, and yet he didn't have one since his first season as HC on the Plains. I think Bo Nix was shoved on him by the boosters because of his legacy status, even though a pocket-passer like Nix is not a good fit for Malzahn's offense. And Malzahn likely pushed back at some point, leading to him getting canned. The boosters at Auburn have been a huge problem for a long time now...as Harsin is about to find out.
We actually were ranked #1 in the AP poll in I think 2002...for two weeks. Then we lost at Utah, and things slowly sunk downwards until we made the NCAA as a 10-seed and lost to Indiana in the first round, finishing 17-12.
I believe if you declare yourself ineligible for the NCAA Tournament, you are also ineligible for the SEC Tournament. Could be wrong, but I think that's how it works.
Robinson reminds me more of a Trent Richardson-type brahma bull of a running back. Not so much a finesse open-field runner as he is a plow-through-everyone juggernaut. We'll see how that works out for him next year as he's going to need some good backs to spell him frequently because of that.
I am not sure what kind of offense Bill O'Brien runs, but it surely cannot be more prolific than Sark's. We'll probably see Alabama go to a little more of a ball-control style with the inexperience in the passing game combined with the embarrassment of riches in the backfield. That means the defense is going to have to step it up against elite offenses, though, as we are going to be less capable of winning shootouts as we did against Ole Miss and Florida this past season.
True, though you have to remember that Young did not have the benefit of a spring practice season the way Tua did. He should get one this year (as we cannot take anything for granted in the age of COVID) so we'll see how he progresses then.
Neither North Carolina nor Duke is in the tournament picture right now? Joe Lunardi and ESPN have the Tar Heels as a 9-seed right now, while Duke is in the Next Four Out (as in one little toe on the bubble).
And that last unbeaten and/or played for a national championship season was eight years ago, which is an eternity in college football. Plus each of those seasons saw a collapse or a turn to mediocrity soon afterwards. You've lost at least four games a year now for seven straight seasons, and those numbers above regarding recruiting money spent is a big reason why. Auburn still believes that it's the 1980s, that beating Alabama is still the ultimate measure of success, and that it is done by winning the recruiting battles within 200 miles of campus because those are the kids who were raised caring about the Iron Bowl, let alone know what it is. That might be good for the occasional magic season like 2010 because of a generational player such as Cam Newton, but mostly it results in four-loss-plus seasons as you've had for seven straight years. When Auburn decides that winning recruiting battles for five-stars in Texas and California and Florida are more important than winning them for three-stars in Birmingham, then it may have sustained run of its own. Otherwise, it's just going to wait for the stars to align for that one outlier great season in the middle of a bunch of middle-of-the-pack ones.
Sark's success at Texas depends on whether the boosters there will stay out of his way and let him run the team as he sees fit. Even when Mac Brown had the Horns winning a national title and playing for another, the big-money guys kept sticking their noses in. How Sark handles that will be even more important than how he handles his players.
The only way Tennessee gets anything approaching a quality coach is if they offer at least a six-year, 100% guaranteed money contract for north of $5 million a year along with complete control over the program including hiring of assistants. No way anyone with any credentials is going to show up in Knoxville for anything less while staring down the barrel of the NCAA sanctions gun knowing that the first few years are going to be rough. If Tennessee isn't willing to do that, then they may as well take the interim tag off Steele and let him run things at least through the end of whatever recruiting sanctions the Vols get.
His offense succeeds when he has a dual-threat QB, something that he amazingly has not had in a while. Why he cannot seem to get one when that is what he needs and not a Bo Nix-style pocket-passer is inexplicable and really is a big question mark on his recruiting abiliites.
Perkins and Curry weren't fired, but they left before they were because of the booster infighting that plagued Alabama between Bear's retirement/death and Saban's hire.
You might have had a shot at Saban 7-8 years ago with the right money but he's too established in Tuscaloosa/Birmingham (part owner of a Mercedes dealership in Birmingham, children and grandchildren live there, too) as well as too old (he will turn 70 during the next season) to start over somewhere else, especially with the mess that Tennessee is in.
Tennessee does have the ability to once again become one of the top programs in the SEC and by extension the country, but right now there is a ton of toxicity in the program that's going to make finding the right guy to do it practically impossible. They may have to hire someone that can be a sacrificial lamb and at least get them through what is going to be a rough stretch the next 3-4 years if the Vols get hit with serious sanctions while cleaning up the mess in the administration. And they really are going to have to start recruiting better on a national level; it's how Saban has been able to keep reloading at Alabama despite losing lots of players to the NFL each year. But again, there may be some broken glass to crawl through before Tennessee can be in position to do that again.
There is a decent chance that had Smart not spent more than half the season mishandling his QB position this year that right now we'd be talking about Georgia winning its first national title in forty years and whether it had stopped Alabama's dynasty with the start of its own. But it always seems to be that way with Smart where he stops himself with some bone-headed decision or inability to handle his offense properly. He may figure it out soon, but until then there's going to be more "if onlys" for Georgia fans to suffer through.
You hit the nail on the head there when it comes to boosters, because they're the biggest problem in all of this. They all want to be the kingmakers at their respective schools by having the head coach be one of their guys. It's why I have serious questions about whether Sarkesian made a mistake in taking the Texas job because it is the worst of the lot when it comes to meddlesome boosters, and that's saying a lot. Saban has been successful at Alabama because he is powerful enough to keep them at bay, but I fear that when he steps down that the same thing will happen in Tuscaloosa as it was before he came where the big dogs swoop in to run the program in their love of power, and inevitably ruin it.
Could be worse; they could have shown "Dad Bod" Mac from this season instead. LOL
I don't get the impression that this is about whether any coach can beat Saban; not even the Auburn firings had anything to do with that as Tuberville, Chizik, and Malzahn all had more success against Saban than most other SEC coaches. And how would that figure in at places like South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Missouri which rarely play Alabama (Spurrier won his last game against Alabama in 2010, and the Gamecocks didn't even face Alabama again until 2019 with Muschamp not getting fired until the next year when they didn't play the Tide)? It's rather comparing the relative turmoil everywhere else in the league during Saban's run at Alabama as dean of SEC coaches.
Before confusion reigns again among the Tide faithful, the game against Texas for Saban’s first natty at Bama was the BCS National Championship Game at Rose Bowl Stadium, not the Rose Bowl Game itself. This was a few years after the “Plus One” was implemented. Ohio State defeated Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game that year.
They can, but the problem at Texas is that it has the most-meddlesome boosters in college football. From the big oil barons to the politicians right in Austin, there are constant power struggles over control of the program and the coach often is just a pawn in them. If Finebaum is correct, Saban got a taste of that several years ago when the thinking was Mac Brown was going to retire and Saban was being courted by a powerful booster there to take over after being assured that Brown was stepping down. When Brown instead announced he wasn't going anywhere, Saban quickly distanced himself from the whole thing as Brown is a close friend of his. Sark is stepping into a (long)hornets' nest; hope he has plenty of cans of Raid.
So you're saying Trask should have won...because Florida would have sucked without him? Sure that's news to Pitts and the rest of his receiving corps that's considered the best in the SEC outside of Tuscaloosa.