Category Archives: Alabama

The trouble with ‘Bama

So, as I’ve already mentioned, the selection committee served up a whole bunch of “oh, crap” to Nick Saban last night, dropping the Tide seven spots in the rankings after its loss to Auburn.

Here’s the committee’s rationale:

I get that, even if I’m not completely sold on it.  I also suspect that Tua’s season ending injury played into the drop as well.  Still, behind teams like Florida and Wisconsin?  Eh, doubtful either of those two would take ‘Bama.  Not that it matters; the really big deal here is that the selection committee has likely locked Alabama out of a NY6 bowl.  Tell me you saw that coming.

I’m not saying that because I care.  But a weakened Alabama team is playing havoc with everyone (and their computers) who ranks college football teams.  Check out the Massey Composite to get a sense of what I’m talking about.  Alabama is ranked anywhere from third to twenty fifth.  That’s a helluva range.

The consequences of this intrigue me, even if I’m someone not close to ready to buy into the “dynasty is over” talk.  For one thing, consider what it took for ‘Bama to find itself in its current state.

Not sure you can count on something like that replicating itself annually.

On the other hand, in the world of college football, the first thing that has to happen for a powerhouse program to slide is a perception that the program is not quite the same anymore.  It’s a subjective sport and doubt is a powerful tool.  I’m not certain we’re quite there yet, but I’m also not certain we’re not seeing the first cracks in the Saban wall, either.

Next year, especially if Tua takes off, is going to be the most interesting year of Saban’s Alabama tenure, in my humble opinion.  I don’t have a clue from here how it’s gonna play out, but I’ll be watching.

In the meantime, it’s shaping up to be a real winter of discontent for Tahd Nation.


Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs

Turning of the Tide

Just inject this directly into my veins.

Finebaum ought to be a real treat today.


Filed under Alabama

“And the person that loses in that is the player.”

One thing I’m really looking forward to watching over the next month is how many Alabama players make the business decision to sit out the most meaningless postseason any of them have faced in order to prepare for an NFL payday.

“Since when is determining to play or not play in your bowl game just about what the NFL needs to see?!? The NFL has known about these guys and their abilities for years. You play to go COMPETE in another game with your boys. And if you decide it’s not worth skip,” Herbstreit tweeted Sunday.

Herbie knows the NFL doesn’t give a rat’s ass about a kid not playing in a bowl game.  He’s just worried that Mickey’s going to have to feign excitement about an Alabama game that the team and its own fans won’t care about much.

That should be fun.  Live by the football playoff, die by the football playoff, ESPN.


Filed under Alabama, ESPN Is The Devil

Best 10-2 team ever, PAWWWLLL!!!

Man, listening to the Alabama fan base whine, “but the advanced stats say” all offseason is gonna be awesome.


Filed under Alabama

A penny saved is a penny not available to protect a player’s future.

Well, ain’t this a real kick in the pants.

Tua Tagovailoa’s season-ending hip injury may have cost him upwards of $10 million. Why? Unlike other high-profile NFL prospects, the insurance provided to him by the University of Alabama did not include a loss-of-value policy.

That means he will not be able to recoup millions of dollars in potential losses if he falls from the possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft to, say, the mid-first round, which some prognosticators are expecting.

Tagovailoa, sources said, decided to only take the coverage that Alabama gave to him. Tua’s coverage entitles him to collect if doctors rule he can never play again, as the school purchased permanent total disability insurance for the QB.

And why doesn’t ‘Bama, with all its soon-to-be pro studs on the roster, fork out for the coverage?

Sources said Alabama has not, in recent memory, agreed to pay for loss of value for any of its players due to the policy’s cost compared to the percentage of players who actually collect.

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne told The Action Network the school currently has 16 football players for which it pays permanent total disability premiums.

The money Alabama spends on those premiums took up 68% of the school’s allocation of its Student Assistance Fund this year. (The NCAA stipulates that the only way schools can pay for insurance premiums for players is through this fund, which is a pool of hundreds of millions of dollars that is split among institutions.)

Schools have to always leave some money available in their fund to pay for approved use of giving student athletes benefits in case of emergencies (death in the family, natural disaster, etc).

“In consultation with industry experts, loss of value has not been shown to consistently benefit student-athletes who file a claim,” Byrne said. “If you have loss of value, you still have the opportunity to have a successful professional career. One of the reasons we go with permanent total disability is to protect the student-athletes should they not be able to play again, in which case they have no ability to make any future earnings through their sport professionally. In the event of injury, we utilize our resources through health care and rehab to help them increase their draft value.”

Very prudent.

The point here isn’t to throw shade at Alabama.  Byrne is doing the best he can under the rules, which are set by every player’s friend, the NCAA.  But this is what you get when a school is loaded with pro prospects; the system simply isn’t set up to accommodate a situation like that, basically because schools in general don’t want the expense.

Which sucks for Tua.  And, yes, the family could have bought coverage on their own, assuming they could afford it.  That’s a pretty steep bill, though, and if they couldn’t swing it, it’s not like they could have asked a friend (or an agent) to front it for them without getting into a different issue with the NCAA.

I will say that this could make for an interesting sales pitch on the recruiting trail, though.



Filed under Alabama, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

TFW you’re concerned Alabama’s not getting enough love

Gee, I wonder what happened.


Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs, PAWWWLLL!!!

Today, a special edition of stick to sports

Here’s the perfect appetizer for an Alabama-LSU game day thread.

I dunno about you, but if I were an Alabama tailgater today, chatting about Trump wouldn’t be at the top of my list of things to mention to Tubs.

Anyways, I think the ‘Bama defense will be just a little better limiting LSU offense than vice versa.  Tide by a touchdown.

Your thoughts are welcome.


Filed under Alabama, Political Wankery