Category Archives: Alabama

2022 Joe Moore Award semifinalists

In case you’re wondering, Georgia did make the cut for the final nine.

I wonder when was the last time Alabama didn’t make the semifinal list.  Better luck in the portal next year, fellas!

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Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

But if he had Metchie and Williams, PAWWWLLL!!!

Yesterday’s discussion about Bryce Young made me realize something.  A Heisman Trophy winner, he’ll be the first Alabama starting quarterback not to win a national championship since Blake Sims in 2014.  And if you go back to 2009, six of the Tide’s last eight starting quarterbacks have national championship rings.  Weird, hunh?

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Filed under Alabama

How the coaching turntables have turned…

That was then.

We have comedy gold to open with this morning. Check out this amusing take from Georgia writer Brandon Adams, who feebly tries to flip the script on Kirby’s stealing of basically everything Alabama does.

One of the most ludicrous SEC storylines in recent years has been the notion that former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart has been copying the Crimson Tide since becoming Georgia head coach in 2016.

The supposed examples of Smart trying to be like Alabama include Sanford Stadium’s LED lights, care packages sent to Bulldogs alumni in the NFL and the decision to hire longtime Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran this offseason.

Frankly, these suggestions are silly. And UGA fans could be forgiven for laughing at the notion.

You can also forgive the rest of the country for perpetually laughing at Georgia fans, Brandon, and the idea that Nick is scheduling better opponents because of Kirby is laughable. The neutral site games have been incredibly difficult to schedule in recent years. It seems that nobody wants to open with Bama in such an environment anymore, thus the move to home and home series that will be more enjoyable to fans.

Besides the items listed, Kirby took Alabama’s recruiting board with him to use against Alabama when he left, took Glenn Schumann and Mel Tucker to run Saban’s defense, implemented the Fourth Quarter program, started a public spat over Maurice Smith, and has done his level best to recreate Alabama’s fan experience in Athens.

This is now,

We live in an age of miracles, my friends.  Cherish it.

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Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

Saw it coming

Never thought I’d be able to say I had a better feel for something than Bill Connelly, but when it comes to Alabama’s offensive line, I had a better feel for something than Bill Connelly ($$).

I assumed turnover explained virtually all of the regression and that, despite the loss of Neal and right tackle Chris Owens — they were replaced by Vanderbilt transfer Tyler Steen and sophomore JC Latham, respectively — plus the presence of a third offensive line coach in three seasons (Eric Wolford, brought from Kentucky), the line would improve a good amount in 2022. I spent far more words talking about potential issues at receiver and cornerback (which wasn’t entirely unfounded) but mostly ignored the line. It would improve because it just would, I reasoned.

According to data from Sports Info Solutions, the Tide currently rank 116th in offensive line penalties per game, 124th in blown run block rate and 109th in total blown block rate. Pass protection numbers have improved overall — 24.3% pressure rate (56th), 3.8% sacks per dropback (27th) — but that’s mostly because of work done in early-season blowouts. Young has been pressured significantly more since he returned from injury three weeks ago, and the penalties have not slowed down.

That being said, you don’t have to be a football savant to think that losing one of the conference’s best linemen and taking a transfer from Vanderbilt to help fill the hole wasn’t going to be the genius move that would solidify the Tide’s o-line.

Oh, and here’s the topper:

This issue could linger beyond 2022. Four of the six primary starters this season (including two different centers) are either juniors or seniors. There will likely be quite a bit of turnover heading into 2023.

Bet the answer doesn’t come from Vanderbilt next time.

64 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Transfers Are For Coaches.

The best laid plans of mice and Nick Saban

Alabama’s passing game this season ain’t what it used to be.  And it’s not Bryce Young’s fault.  It’s due to a receiving corps that lacks a dominant player.

Through eight games, Alabama’s leading receiver is Ja’Corey Brooks with 376 yards. That is the fewest yards the Tide’s leading receiver has amassed entering the ninth game of any season since 2013, when Kevin Norwood led the team with 348 — and Norwood hit that mark while appearing in only seven games.

Year Leading receiver (8 games) Yards
2022 Ja’Corey Brooks 376
2021 Jameson Williams 710
2020 DeVonta Smith 1,074
2019 DeVonta Smith 721
2018 Jerry Jeudy 777
2017 Calvin Ridley 523
2016 Calvin Ridley 497
2015 Calvin Ridley 525
2014 Amari Cooper 1,132
2013 Kevin Norwood 348

Alabama is spreading the ball out this season — five players have at least 20 catches and 250 receiving yards — but that could be more the product of not having an elite wide receiver it must keep on the field every play.

This time (post Metchie and Williams, that is), the transfer portal didn’t supply the answer.

Jermaine Burton and Tyler Harrell were Alabama’s attempts at recapturing the success it had in drawing Williams from the transfer portal. Burton’s production has been spotty. The junior has 20 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns, with two of those scores and nine of those catches coming in gimme games against Utah State and Vanderbilt.

Harrell was a summer arrival from Louisville billed to have top-end speed. Saban in August revealed Harrell had a foot sprain but termed him day-to-day when he had yet to make his debut in mid-September. By mid-October, Harrell had yet to see the field and Saban said he would not discuss the details of his injury. Harrell was available to play against Tennessee but did not play until the closing minutes of a blowout win over Mississippi State.

Sometimes, you go to the well too often.  Not that recruiting has been much help.

Alabama dipped into the transfer portal in part because there were not obvious home-grown solutions at wide receiver this past offseason. After the Tide struck gold in recruiting at wide receiver in 2015 (Calvin Ridley), 2017 (DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs), 2018 (Jaylen Waddle) and 2019 (John Metchie), the past three classes have not produced as immediate results.

It’s a good thing Bryce Young is a major talent.

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Filed under Alabama

It’s a referee conspiracy, PAWWWLLL!

Shot.

Chaser.

I know in the vast scheme of things, penalties rank very low in terms of affecting wins and losses, but, still, it’s kind of amazing to see an Alabama team so undisciplined that it’s managed only one game where it racked up less penalties than Georgia averages per game.

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Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“I didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the guy…”

Alabama coach Nick Saban said he had reason not to suspend receiver Jermaine Burton from Saturday’s game against Mississippi State after video surfaced that appeared to show Burton strike a woman who stormed the field when Tennessee beat the Crimson Tide last week at Neyland Stadium.

Okay, I have a few thoughts on this.

First, while I’m not sure I buy Saban’s fear explanation, I do think it wasn’t a good idea for Tennessee to basically encourage its fans to storm the field after the win.  The risk isn’t so much that a crazed Vol fan would deliberately seek to harm an Alabama coach or player, but just the basic idea that there’s an accident or two that gets someone seriously injured.

That all being said, I didn’t notice anyone else from Alabama, scared or otherwise, take a poke at someone else in the crowd.  For that matter, I seriously doubt Burton was scared of the girl he struck; it’s more likely he did so out of frustration over the loss.

Finally, Jermaine Burton needs counseling?  What’s that all about?  I don’t recall hearing about any behavior issues with him when he was in Athens.

I dunno, maybe I’m reading too much into this incident, but it does seem to reinforce my feeling that there’s something strange happening in Tuscaloosa this season.

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Filed under Alabama

You’re all worthless and weak. Now drop and give me 20.

Holy shit, ‘Bama, when you’ve lost Erik Evans

Again, not go Nega-Gump, but I’m just about done with this entire roster. Playing soft is one thing; soft between the ears and under the ribcage is another matter entirely. Give me 85 coachable three-stars from Bowling Green, or a hungry Vanderbilt kid who gives a shit for 60 minutes, over whatever we’ve been seeing the past 21 games.

You can’t coach brains, attitude or heart, and this iteration of Alabama football is sorely lacking in all of them.


And I put no small measure of this team’s performance on the coaching staff. Relative to talent level, they’ve grossly underperformed given what they are capable of. There is no Alabama Standard anymore. You can’t look out on the field and show me where I’m wrong either.

Erik, I wouldn’t think of it.

(By the way, if you think he’s had a real change of heart about things, he hasn’t.  “Nick Saban is telling the team that all of their goals are still ahead of them, and that is technically true. But does anyone actually believe that, given that Alabama will almost certainly face the Vols again…”

Dude is gonna be crushed if Georgia handles the Vols.)

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Filed under Alabama

TFW you lose to Tennessee for the first time

Jermaine, Jermaine, Jermaine…

*******************************************************************

UPDATE:

Nick Saban doesn’t have time for that shit, Jermaine.

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Filed under Alabama

Scenes from a meltdown, part three

‘Bama man, by Gawd:

Can’t wait to see how they react if there’s a second regular loss this season.

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Filed under Alabama