Category Archives: Alabama

“That’s Alabama value.”

If Nick Saban isn’t handing this quote out to every kid on the recruiting trail…

… he’s not Nick Saban.  Shit, they ought to print that on t-shirts.

20 Comments

Filed under Alabama, It's Just Bidness

Potential Lexicon entry?

My dad graduated from Rice back when the football program had a real pulse, so naturally I heard about Dicky Maegle, the running back in the 1954 Cotton Bowl who broke free for what would have been a touchdown run when he was tackled by an Alabama player who came off the bench.

Anyway, reading this obit of Maegle, I came across a quote from Tommy Lewis that I guess never sunk in with me before:  Lewis explained that he was “just too full of Alabama” to watch Maegle run for a touchdown.

“Too full of Alabama” seems like something we ought to make into a catchphrase here.  Lexicon worthy, or not?

37 Comments

Filed under Alabama, GTP Stuff

Life ain’t fair: the 2021 Blue-Chip Ratio.

Bud Elliott is back with this year’s edition of his Blue-Chip Ratio.  A reminder of what the BCR measures:

Put simply, to win the national championship, college football teams need to sign more four- and five-star recruits (AKA “Blue Chips”) than two- and three-star players over the previous four recruiting classes.

This has been true basically as far back as modern internet recruiting rankings have existed.

… All scholarship signees count. Transfers and walk-ons do not.

And why it matters:

The requirement to stack talent on top of talent makes sense when considering the violence of the sport of football. Even those teams who stay relatively healthy need depth to survive the season. Teams who sign elite class after elite class have greater competition in practice, and greater quality of depth.

Recruiting rankings are not perfect. But they are damn good, especially in the aggregate. Four- and five-star recruits are about 10 times more likely to be drafted in the first round than their two- and three-star counterparts. And five-stars are about 33 times more likely to be All-Americans as two-stars are. For every two-star who becomes a big success, there are multiples who will be going pro in something other than sports.

That is not to say that development does not matter. It certainly does. But nobody wins a national title by player development in lieu of elite recruiting. Plenty of coaches who are regarded as elite have never sniffed winning it all because they can’t get enough talent. On the other hand, there are examples of coaches who are not regarded as premier head men who have won it all thanks to elite recruits. Not to lump them into the same category, but nobody ever accused Gene Chizik, Les Miles, or Mack Brown of being tactical masterminds.

Coaching matters. But recruiting is by far the most important piece when it comes to separating the good from the great. After all, coaches only get 20 hours weekly with their players by NCAA rule.

The BCR isn’t a guarantee of a national championship.  Rather, it’s more a matter of if your team isn’t in the top fifteen or so, it’s not going to win one.

Here’s how 2021 looks.

Alabama’s percentage is the highest Elliott’s ever calculated, which ought to give you an idea how good Georgia’s number is.  To give you an idea of how those percentages play out in terms of roster numbers, take a look at this:

The spread between Georgia and Florida is fourteen points.  That’s about twelve players.  I don’t care how much the Portal Master™ portals, he ain’t making that gap up, especially when Kirby’s doing at least as good a job mining the transfer market.  Now, sure, there will be years when the stars align properly, as they did in 2020, and Florida will have the upper hand, but over time, this isn’t a winning hand for Dan Mullen.

What to do, then?  Well, if you’re a Florida fan who realizes his coach ain’t gonna beat ’em straight up, it’s the right time to handicap the others, all in the name of the greater good.

Now we have to be really honest with ourselves. Are we okay with Alabama and Clemson winning a 12-team tournament every year, or do we actually want a tournament that is more wide-open?

If we want the latter, it isn’t enough to just expand the field. Instead, I think that the NCAA needs to institute a salary cap on football recruiting.

What if Clemson had to decide between going after a big-time recruit in Florida or building a football facility with a slide? What if Dan Mullen could actually sell his winning record rather than having to sell the facilities that are now under construction?

Where do you set it? I’m sure there are mathematical models that could do a better job than just ballparking, but $1.5 million annually seems reasonable, annexed to some percentage of television deals. If you wanted, you could even have it be a 4-year rolling average so a team could spend $3 million one year but then would have a greatly reduced budget the next.

Immediately the giant advantage that Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Texas A&M and Texas enjoy goes away, or is at least severely limited. In fact, this entire proposal only limits 6 total programs if $1.5 million is the cap number.

Bless his heart.  Once thing he neatly skips over is how recruiting budgets didn’t mean shit last year in the wake of the COVID shut down.  Remind me how Alabama, Georgia and Florida finished with a level spending field.

Yes, there’s your Daily Gator:  better to have the NCAA commit another antitrust violation than to force Dan Mullen to end his vacation on the lake sooner to work recruiting a little harder.

49 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

My favorite ‘Bama player

Legend before he even plays in a game.

26 Comments

Filed under Alabama

Alabama’s bag man

Who needs the $100 handshake?  Not these guys.

Not saying NIL won’t make a difference in recruiting, but the really big bucks come in the NFL draft and the programs that can sell that opportunity the best to elite talent are still gonna make out fine.

13 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Recruiting, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Get your hindsight in early.

Athlon asks a question — “Who will be the SEC’s top quarterback in 2021?”  One answer:

The best quarterback in the SEC is a signal-caller who has only thrown 22 passes in college: Alabama’s Bryce Young. No, he doesn’t have the track record (yet), but he’s also the No. 2 overall recruit from the Class of 2020 and the sixth-best QB recruit of all-time, per 247Sports. It may take him a few games to get up to speed, but as we’ve seen the last few years with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, Alabama is built to create star quarterbacks. And they’ve never had a quarterback recruit like Young before. Even with the departure of two first-round receivers and a first-round running back, tight end, and offensive tackle, Young will have plenty of talent surrounding him to help put up a Heisman campaign.

So, after reading that, I’ve got a question:  in a few years, will people be criticizing Nick Saban for not benching Jones to start Young instead?

I keed, I keed… I think.

18 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Media Punditry/Foibles

Just what ‘Bama needed

So… a question.

Think the SEC is about to end its ban on intraconference transfers?  Nick Saban does, apparently.

17 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Cruisin’

Tell me, what does it say that Alabama, with the stronger SP+ rating, has less than half the chance Clemson does of going through the regular season undefeated?

20 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Alabama, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, SEC Football

Delusions of grandeur

C’mon, Gus.  Have you really thought this through?

I’m not sure “fun” means what he thinks it means.

19 Comments

Filed under Alabama, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Thursday morning buffet

A little noshfest from around the world of football:

96 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Political Wankery