Category Archives: Blowing Smoke

TFW “rebuilding” is the new “throwaway”

El Oh El.

Despite winning the SEC, beating Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl and competing in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Alabama coach Nick Saban looked back on last season Wednesday and called it “kind of a rebuilding year.”

Tell that to Metchie and Williams, boss.



Filed under Blowing Smoke, Nick Saban Rules

Today, in always be ‘crootin’

That may be Kirby’s motto, but Nick’s right there with him, or maybe even past him, when it comes to selective puffery.

At this event last year in Hoover, Ala., Alabama’s Nick Saban raised eyebrows when he casually mentioned that at least one of his players had inked an NIL deal approaching $1 million. The Crimson Tide’s legendary coach offered some numbers again Tuesday at SEC Media Days.

Unsolicited, Saban mentioned that Alabama players have garnered name, image and likeness deals totaling more than $3 million. He proudly proclaimed that as “better than anybody in the country.”

Yeah?  And exactly how does he know that?  Did he survey his peers at the 130 other programs to find out?

I guess we’ll all have to take his word.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Nick Saban Rules

Alex, I’ll take “false bravado” for $200.

Yeah, I’m sure that’s just the thing to shame Greg Sankey into action, Governor.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Political Wankery

The Look

Be afwaid.  Be vewy, vewy, afwaid.

Bryce Young has had the look.

His dad, Craig Young, knows it well. He’s witnessed it before. Several times, in fact, throughout the Alabama football quarterback’s life. And it’s back this offseason.

“I can see that look in his eyes where he’s been so motivated,” Craig said.

… The look appeared again in 2021 when Young strived to take advantage of the open Alabama quarterback spot. He ended up winning the Heisman Trophy.

“This,” Craig said, “looks very familiar to those times.”

Young is fresh off a season that ended with a 33-18 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff championship. It was only Young’s fifth loss over his past four seasons of football.

Now, the quarterback who seldom loses has the task of responding to his greatest loss yet.

“He’s hungry,” said Taylor Kelly, a long-time QB trainer for Young. “It’s the hungriest that I’ve seen him.”

So, you’re saying he wasn’t hungry to win a national title?  Maybe he just lost his appetite after Metchie and Williams went down.


Filed under Alabama, Blowing Smoke

How quickly they forget.

This is an impressive defense of Nick Saban.

Recruiting better than any school in the country has been a hallmark of Saban’s tenure since his first full signing class in 2008. It has filled his roster not only with star-studded starting lineups, but also with depth none could match, which pays off in high-stakes, late-season games when a few key starters are often sidelined with injury.

And to think I’m old enough to remember Metchie and Williams.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Nick Saban Rules

Lincoln Riley, straight talker

Man, this guy is so full of it.

No matter what bitter OU fans think of the blink-of-an-eye move following a brutal late-November loss to rival Oklahoma State, the man knows what it takes to get to the playoff. Counting his time as a coordinator, he has been to four of the eight CFPs.

During a wide-ranging interview with CBS Sports this week, Riley clearly believes USC at least an even chance to getting to that point.

“I’ve walked into four playoffs, and I’ve never had better than maybe the third-best roster [of the four teams],” Riley said. “Every other year, we were four of four. We had really good rosters, but they weren’t the same. … I can’t imagine that there could be a setting that we could build a better roster than we can here.”

I can’t help but wonder where 2017 fits into that story.  But I digress.  If you can’t make things work better at Oklahoma, is that really a shortcoming of the school, or the coaching staff?


Filed under Blowing Smoke

Pinocchio in the SEC West

Tell me, which of these do you think is the bigger fib?

I lean towards Saban’s comment, although if Jimbo’s being truthful, that’s a helluvan admission.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to win games.”

Georgia Tech’s athletic director’s not saying, he’s just saying, if you know what I mean.

Stansbury did not say there was a specific number of games that Tech has to win in order for Collins to continue into a fifth season, although his response made clear that the time has come for a better product on the field.

“Obviously, the main threshold is, we’ve got to get better,” Stansbury said. “Obviously, we’ve got to win more games. We’ve got to look like we’re making progress. But there’s not necessarily a magic number. But we definitely need to be making progress.”

In response, this may be the understatement of the decade:  “On paper, significant improvement won’t be easy.”

Stansbury, in looking at what Coach 404 hath wrought, must have some sort of X-ray vision, because he sees things nobody else sees (Coach 404 excepted, of course).

“Him being ‘my guy’ is he’s recruiting at an incredibly high level,” Stansbury said. “I know we’ve got to fill the pipeline to get there. He’s my guy because I’m seeing the building blocks of what needs to be done ultimately to get the wins that we need to get.”

Some fans might challenge Stansbury’s assessment of Collins’ recruiting. Since bringing in the No. 27 class (247Sports Composite) in 2020 – headlined by Gibbs – the next two classes have ranked 47th and 53rd.

“Some fans”.  It’s easy to understand why the excitement level on the Flats is on the rise.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Tech Football

What is the deal with Will Levis?

Not being snarky here.  But how does a kid coming off a season when he finished sixth in the conference with a middling passer rating of 147.99 jump to this halfway through the following offseason?

I mean, I watched him against Georgia.  He threw a lot of passes and wasn’t intercepted, but it was a day of dinks and dunks (he only averaged 4.2 ypa).  He did have a couple of nice scrambles, but nobody is going to confuse him with a burner.

So how did we get from there to here?

Now Stoops says Levis can be the first quarterback taken in next year’s NFL Draft. Two scouts I spoke with last week say that’s not hyperbole.

Both scouts, without prompting, brought up the meteoric rise of Burrow.

From a project recruit, to a run-only option, to Joe Burrow comparisons.

Joe Burrow comparisons.  Jeebus.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think the kid plays for Malzahn.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, SEC Football

Everything is beautiful.

Coach 404 is getting his inner Booch on, now.

Gibbs was the first of 12 players to leave the Yellow Jackets through the transfer portal. Among other significant departures were defensive end Jordan Domineck, the team’s top pass rusher, running back Jamious Griffin, and starting safety Wesley Walker.

Collins, 9-25 through three seasons at Georgia Tech, said he doesn’t see the heavy losses through transfers as a collective vote of no-confidence in his program.

“I do not,” Collins said. “I just take it as we love those guys, we care about those guys. If they feel there’s another situation that they need, we counsel those guys, we have conversations with them. But then you have to look to the guys who are on your roster, on your team and your program that you’re blessed every single day you get to coach and focus on that and keep it moving.”

He’s about to care himself into another 3-win season.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Tech Football