Alabama athletics director Bill Battle, on his reaction to Saban hiring Junior:
My first reaction, because I didn’t know Lane, wasn’t very positive. I talked to Coach Saban about it. He asked me if I had ever met him and I said no. He said, “Why don’t you meet him?” He had him in for a visit, I spent about an hour with him and I was very impressed. I followed up and talked to several different people. I called (athletics director) Pat Haden at Southern California. I talked to David Blackbird, who’s the AD at UT-Chattanooga. David was the compliance officer for football at Tennessee when Lane was there. They both told me that they thought he would be a great fit here, and I got really comfortable with it.
So the last guy who fired the Laner and the guy who had to keep up with his regular brushes with secondary violations at Tennessee told you he’d be a great fit at Alabama? Maybe you should consider the source, man.
Rise and shine, campers. It’s the start of another work week.
- It sounds like Junior’s gonna revolutionize Alabama’s offense. Right.
- I think people have taken Spurrier’s comment last week about Tennessee wanting to keep the rivalry game with Alabama out of context. It’s not so much a shot at UT as it is wondering why the Vols wouldn’t want to have more of a scheduling mix with weaker programs in the West.
- Five of the top ten spring game attendance marks came from SEC schools.
- This had to suck: Ralph Friedgen missed the Rutgers spring game while passing a kidney stone on Saturday.
- Should Alabama host Georgia in 2016, the two teams would not be scheduled to play again in Tuscaloosa until 2028.
- Speaking of the Great Scheduling Compromise, Nick Saban called it a week ago: “I think there’s a little bit more support for staying with an eight-game schedule and everybody playing a ninth opponent that’s in the five major conferences.”
- Now it’s the NFL that’s got a top official willing to consider a developmental league.
- LSU beat writer sympathizes with Joe Alleva’s fairness whine, suggests moving “Alabama and Auburn to the SEC East and put newcomer Missouri in the West, where it geographically belongs (along with Vanderbilt or Kentucky)”. Hey, if by “fair” you mean making life easier for LSU, that’s fair.
- Quarterbacks coach Terry Shea, who ran Aaron Murray’s Pro Day and helped Griffin, Sam Bradford and Matt Stafford prepare for their drafts, thinks Murray most closely compares to Stafford: “But Aaron can drive the ball, and he might even be more advanced than Matthew was because he’s had four years of great SEC football…”
Alabama’s offense pretty much blew at this weekend’s A-Day game, but that’s only because Junior was holding back 90% of the playbook, y’all.
You’d think Alabama’s got so much talent on the offensive side of the ball that it really doesn’t matter who’s calling the plays, but, then again, that’s what they thought at Southern Cal the last three seasons.
Clearing the decks… dig in.
- “We felt like our tight end position was really a little scary with the depth there,” coach Mark Richt said.
- To me, the most interesting aspect of the Michael Sam coming out story is whether the NFL will be able to deal with Sam’s sexual orientation as maturely as Missouri did.
- Rodney Garner complains of overcoming negative recruiting in his success in getting Dontavius Russell to flip from Georgia to Auburn.
- Good story from the Chattanooga paper on how their college football careers played out for 50 area recruits. (h/t Scorpio Jones, III)
- Bill Connelly has his first S&P+ projections for 2014. Georgia is eighth.
- I’m not sure Bret Bielema understands how recruiting rankings work. Either that, or he’s convinced he’s really, really good at finding diamonds in the rough.
- Chalk up another head coach who sees the role technology plays in recruiting these days. Mark Stoops: “I think it’s easier in some ways because of all the social media that you have,” he said.
- Junior, a look back.
Yep, Nick Saban’s hire of Junior is already bearing fruit.
Even the presence of Lane Kiffin, Alabama’s new and heralded offensive coordinator, couldn’t help the Crimson Tide keep the one of the best quarterbacks the school has ever recruited.
Ricky Town, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style QB for 2015, announced on Twitter on Saturday that he had de-committed from Alabama.
The 6-foot-4 quarterback from Ventura, Calif., had committed to Alabama last summer, and the Crimson Tide became nervous when he made an unofficial visit last week to USC (Kiffin’s former employer).
Alabama’s Nick Saban tried to salvage Town’s commitment last week, making a recruiting trip to St. Bonaventure high school. It didn’t work…
Color me shocked. Evidently a Kiffin-less Southern Cal looks a lot more attractive to Town now. Go figure.
A few choice morsels to get your day started:
- The only program in the SEC since 2001 that’s changed less than thirty members of its coaching staff in that time? Georgia, at seventeen.
- Seth Emerson has a list of the players from teams Georgia is scheduled to play next season and the underclassmen they lost to the draft here.
- When it comes to minority hires, Sylvester Croom suggests that athletic directors have moved ahead of head coaches on the curve.
- It didn’t take long for Tony Brown to become shit that Nick Saban has to make time for.
- Speaking of Saban, Stewart Mandel makes an interesting point about his hire of Junior: “Saban’s last two offensive coordinators — Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier — worked in relative anonymity. But with Kiffin, I have no doubt he will get the requisite praise or blame for the Crimson Tide’s offensive performance.” I wonder if that will turn out to be a feature or a bug.
- Hal Mumme lands his seventh head coaching job.
- Supposedly FSU was willing to go toe to toe with Georgia on Jeremy Pruitt’s salary, but couldn’t come up with the jack to outbid Mississippi State for Geoff Collins’ services. Interesting.
Thank you, blogging gods. Much appreciated.