It’s the end of the week. You must be hungry.
Shorter Nick Saban: A smash-mouth LSU offense having success against my defense totally proves that you people in the media don’t understand my whine about playing no-huddle offenses.
Let’s clear the decks with some tasty hump day nourishment:
- Ole Miss hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record this season, but CFN says that’s about to change this Saturday in Athens… because the Dawgs didn’t lose to Kentucky.
- Mark Shurtleff surrenders; Bill Hancock yawns.
- Florida feels good about its defensive showing against Georgia. It should.
- You want Georgia to be more like Alabama? Here’s one way that’s happening.
- Coaches Hot Seat Blog does a best of Erk post.
- Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on Richt: “You kind of find yourself pulling for him when you’re not playing him.”
- The Rebel Black Bears play fast on offense, and some Dawg defenders see Nick Saban’s point about that. But not Christian Robinson: “If they’re beating us, then we need to figure out a way to stop it,” Robinson said. “That’s not a safety issue. That’s a defensive issue.”
- The NCAA announces its new enforcement structure, with an emphasis on “conduct breaches that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA Constitution”. The most interesting development is that head coaches will be presumed guilty – “if a violation occurs, the head coach is presumed responsible, and if he or she can’t overcome that presumption, charges will be forthcoming.” No doubt JoePa is turning over in his grave.
You’re forgiven if you weren’t watching the ‘Bama-Missouri game in its late stages, but if you weren’t, you may have missed this body slam performed by the Tide’s LaMichael Fanning.
Now one play doesn’t make a player a thug, or bad, or whatever, but in light of all the mouth noises Slive has made about player safety this year, you would think that suspending Fanning for a game would be a – forgive me here – slam dunk decision. I hadn’t said anything before now because I thought it was a pretty obvious call for the conference to make. So far, though, nothing but crickets from the SEC.
Then again, since Nick Saban has made Fanning apologize, maybe the conference has just decided to outsource its discipline. I will admit that Fanning is probably more afraid of his coach than the SEC commissioner.
Shorter Nick Saban: It’s not fair for Ole Miss to try to score on my defense.
UPDATE: Allow Hugh Freeze to retort.
“I think we’re going to get hurt because they’re so big and physical. Obviously I’m for it. I think it’s an equalizer and it’s something I believe in. I have great respect for Nick and what he says but of course we’re going to be on opposite sides of this debate.”
When Nick Saban has time for shit like this.
Alabama coach Nick Saban admonished Crimson Tide fans Thursday night for not selling out Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky.
The Alabama ticket office announced Thursday afternoon that fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for the game, which is in Tuscaloosa.
Speaking on his weekly hour-long radio show, Saban said, “A thousand tickets? I’ll buy them and give them away. We can’t sell out with all the games we’ve won?”
Ripping the media and the fans in the same week? Next thing you know, we’ll be calling Saban Mr. Small Stuff.
Seriously, is there any other coach in college football who could get away with serially crapping on the media the way Nick Saban does?
And I likes it.
“… we should have about 60 or 70 teams that are in the NCAA super-welterweight or whatever-you-want-to-call-it division and every game that you play, you have to play against one of those 60 or 70 teams,” Saban said Saturday in an appearance at SEC Beach Fest. “If you lose a game – and for sure, if you lose two – and somebody else goes undefeated, even if they haven’t played the quality of teams that you have, they’re going to get in the game and you’re not. And I’m not sure that’s fair.”
At the heart of Saban’s irritation about the inconsistency of scheduling in the Football Bowl Subdivision is his desire that in a newly expanded 14-team SEC, all schools would get to play each other at least once in the careers of each of their players.
“The fact that we only play eight conference games and we increased the size of the league by 15 percent, I don’t think it’s fair to the players,” he said. “I think every player that comes through in the SEC ought to have the opportunity to play against every other school in the SEC – east or west.
“So I’m for playing more SEC games. If we’re going to do that and make it fair in terms of this four-team national championship playoff, then everybody ought to have to have the same quality of schedule that some of us do.”
Wishful thinking, or a roadmap for Mike Slive if the TV money from expansion is not where he wants it?
Clearing the decks with a bunch of stuff I didn’t get to over the weekend:
- Nick Saban is already in mid-season form in his media relations.
- Todd Grantham’s response to the question that is asked about the 1:00 mark in this clip is priceless.
- Mike Huguenin likes, but doesn’t love, Georgia’s chances this year.
- Jerry Hinnen, on the other hand, thinks the Dawgs will go as far in the SEC East as their offensive line takes them.
- Matt Melton makes a good point in his SEC preview: if Vanderbilt has a successful 2012 season, how many people are going to knock that down because of its relatively easy schedule?
- Phil Steele looks at how often underdogs win their games outright.
- He also looks at home field edges. Georgia is ranked 12th (fifth best in the SEC). Georgia Tech is 41st.
- College Football by the Numbers is back with a bunch of stuff on a number of topics: how much a kicker is worth (Georgia at minus-4.6 points last season is no surprise, but ‘Bama at minus-5.1 is; also, check out Missouri’s number); what a running back is worth; and average starting field position (Georgia last season was a surprising tenth, and tops in the SEC).
- The Mario Mathis/Ole Miss story sounds like it’s more complicated than what Michael Carvell was told.
- Good catch by Barrett Sallee about the Brandon Smith situation.
Quite frankly, this is getting ridiculous.
Alabama coach Nick Saban’s support staff has expanded to nine “analysts.” That’s up from six in 2011, three in 2010 and none before then.
Five of the analysts work with the offense: Kevin Garner, Jules Montinar, Jeff Norrid, Kelvin Sigler and Jody Wright. Norrid is back for a third year. Wright was the offensive graduate assistant two years ago and an offensive analyst last year. Sigler is the former head coach at Blount High School near Mobile.
Three analysts will work with the defense: Dean Altobelli, Russ Callaway and Wesley Neighbors. Altobelli and Callaway also were defensive analysts last year. Callaway is the son of former UAB head coach Neil Callaway, a former Alabama lineman and linebacker. Neighbors, a walk-on defensive back at Alabama (2008-10), is the son and grandson of former Alabama stars.
John Wozniak, most recently the running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator at UAB, is Alabama’s new special teams analyst.
Adding someone to your staff and calling him an “analyst” may not violate the letter of the rules, but it sure as hell does the spirit. If all we get is crickets from the NCAA on this, expect it to become the next subject of college football’s arms race.