February 26, 2023 · 10:38 AM
So, here’s today’s question.
Alabama is hiring Liberty linebackers coach Robert Bala as its new inside linebackers coach, program sources confirmed to The Athletic on Saturday…
Bala, who came to Liberty after being the defensive coordinator at Southern Utah, had blown Hugh Freeze away in the interview process with his knowledge and demeanor. Bala obviously did something similar when he met with Saban earlier this week.
So, this guy blew Freeze away so strongly… that Freeze didn’t bring him to Auburn, but Saban’s grabbing him now? I know he’s the GOAT and all, but that seems like I’m missing something.
February 17, 2023 · 9:36 AM
Big Ten dude at Saturday Down South has this observation in a piece about how Monken’s departure could open the natty doors for Michigan and Ohio State:
Yeah, dumb typo, and all. But I’m not sure that harping on the departures at ‘Bama and Georgia, while downplaying Stroud’s departure at OSU, is that much smarter.
February 16, 2023 · 8:00 AM
Folks, I don’t know how to break this to you other than to just come right out with it, but with Todd Monken’s departure from Athens, the party is over. There’s a new sheriff in town. Oh, and that goes for you, too, Tuscaloosa.
The Tennessee Vols haven’t won the SEC since 1998.
And they’ve never reached the College Football Playoff.
Alabama and Georgia, meanwhile, have won a combined 13 SEC Championships since 1998. And they’ve won the last three national championships.
But despite those accomplishments, Tennessee is set up better for longterm success than Alabama or Georgia.
Crazy talk, right?
Maybe not as crazy as you think.
Or, crazy like a fox, amirite? What’s the Vols’ secret sauce? Glad you asked.
Tennessee may have found their Saban/Smart in Josh Heupel.
And Heupel comes with a built-in advantage that neither Saban nor Smart posses.
Heupel is an offensive guru. He’s not reliant on making the right offensive coordinator hire for his offense to work. It all starts with Heupel.
Which is why Heupel will never have to go through what Alabama and Georgia went through this offseason.
Eventually, Saban and/or Smart are going to make the wrong hire. And their offense is going to be a disaster.
Dude, Kirby’s already made that wrong hire. And despite Coley’s ineptitude, the 2019 Dawgs still went 12-2, won the East and finished fourth in the final AP poll. Let us know when UT manages to hit any of those benchmarks.
February 7, 2023 · 1:01 PM
I like the way Tommy Rees’ latest career choice is framed in this article ($$).
Now Rees may be these multitudes all over again after accepting Saban’s offer to join the sport’s preeminent program, or perhaps one working to retake Georgia following Kirby Smart’s back-to-back-national championships…
An industry source told The Athletic that Rees had eyed this shot at the sport’s summit a year ago when Notre Dame promoted Marcus Freeman from defensive coordinator to head coach. Rees wanted to be considered for that job more than he ultimately was, which spurred him to figure out how he could be in better position next time around. Two programs came to mind for Rees. The one that just hired him and the one he’s been hired to beat in the SEC Championship Game.
Looks like both Saban and Rees had to settle.
February 6, 2023 · 8:15 AM
Steele and Rees. Rees and Steele. Look, there’s nothing particularly egregious about either hire; both have done competent work. And Alabama is loaded with talent, so it’s not like they’re going to lead to a four-loss season. It’s just that I share Bill Connelly’s take on the two hires.
Okay, but not elite, isn’t the way to go after Kirby Smart and Georgia’s run, so we’ll see if Saban’s drive is enough to push the ‘Bama program back to where the fan base wants to be.
That being said, I think this offseason has put the stake through the “Saban can hire anybody he wants, ’cause Saban” narrative. We’ve already heard reports that Rees was his third choice, and it’s likely that a similar story applies to Steele (although in that case, I’m guessing that Saban was told by the conference he couldn’t hire his first choice without serious repercussions). Like I said, these two may work out fine, but it feels like a little glamour has fallen from the program.
On a related note, here are the 2022 stats for Alabama’s receivers and Notre Dame’s receivers. Does anybody want to tell Jermaine Burton?
February 4, 2023 · 9:00 AM
I’m going to try and be as fair as possible here, but the data are what the data are. And analytically, the decision is beyond baffling: it’s downright awful.
At best, Rees has proven to be just a guy. For him to morph into some wunderkind will require Alabama to pay millions for a learning curve, and grow into an offensive mind that three years experience suggest do not exist. At worst, it’s a calamitous hire on paper, with a far worse CV than anyone Nick Saban has ever brought into Tuscaloosa to run the offense.
Yes, yes, Daboll. I know. But Brian Kelly is hardly Bill Belichick, the offense Notre Dame runs is is no way similar to what Alabama has had in place for over half a decade. It is a deliberative, slower paced one that does not move the ball vertically. It has little explosion beyond broken tackles by the running backs. It is a scheme that relies heavily on a powerful interior offensive line (that Alabama does not have), and game-breaking athletic tight ends (that Alabama also has not shown to possess — or at least do not employ). And it simply does not put world-class speed and skill into space.
Sounds promising, Erik.
February 3, 2023 · 1:07 PM
I was really looking forward to seeing Alabama’s towel guy.
Filed under Alabama
Tagged as Todd Grantham
January 31, 2023 · 12:45 PM
Apparently that’s not enough of a charm now.
I don’t know what’s going on in Tuscaloosa, but I’m beginning to understand why Todd Grantham is still in the picture as a coordinator hire.
January 31, 2023 · 6:30 AM
I tell you what — there’s gonna have to be a whole hell of a lot of coaching up those three stars stories to make up for that particular gap.
January 26, 2023 · 2:04 PM
At Roll Bama Roll, there’s a certain flame that will never burn out.
However when Kirby Smart made his classless exit from Tuscaloosa while photographing the recruiting board, he also stole a few Bama rising star staff members including Schumann. After a couple years as inside linebacker coach, he was promoted to co-defensive coordinator along with another former Bama staffer Dan Lanning (also pilfered). Those two built the best defenses in the nation.
Butt still hurts, does it?
(Schumann) has proven his worth. He knows the system. He can recruit. He is an Alabama man. And taking a guy back from Kirby would be so satisfying.
I’m beginning to think they want Schumann more for sticking it to Kirby than for his coaching ability.
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