This year’s Georgia class is certainly something worth getting excited about, but when you read this David Wunderlich piece comparing the talent of Alabama, FSU and Ohio State, you realize Kirby Smart still has a long way to go.
I mean, this is friggin’ impressive/depressing, depending on your point of view.
Looking more at the top end, I counted how many players each team had rated at 0.9400 and above. That will tell me how many players the programs have in the 5-star and top half of the 4-star range. Alabama wins, of course, with 45 such guys — more than half of its 84 scholarship players. Ohio State has 35, and Florida State has 28. These truly are three of the most talented teams in the country, yet Alabama outpaces the other two with startling ease in some ways. [Emphasis added.]
This goes to show how much Saban and Urban Meyer are sitting on top of the game right now. Florida State is a consensus College Football Playoff contender and the expected champion of what was arguably the game’s best conference last year. It has a roster that nearly every other FBS program would gladly trade for its own. Yet Alabama and Ohio State have noticeable talent advantages over it.
When you recall what David had to say about Georgia’s roster, in comparison, it’s hard to avoid the depressing option. You could make the argument that Alabama’s second team is talented enough on its own to make a run to win the SEC East.
Kirby’s got to keep grinding, that’s all.
How’s this for a stat?
Fun fact: Alabama vs. Georgia would be the fourth straight SEC Championship Game in which Saban has faced either a former assistant or a former college teammate (see Gary Pinkel) for the conference title.
He’s the Kevin Bacon of SEC football.
Nick Saban is only SEC head coach still with same job after 10 years.
After his retirement, I wonder if we’ll ever see that again.
You know, for a conference that prides itself on being tougher than all the others, there sure is a lot of sanctimonious whining about playing Alabama going on lately.
I guess it’s easier to complain about playing Nick Saban than to advocate a nine-game conference schedule.
al.com argues this year’s SEC spring meetings were All About Saban.
The SEC spring meetings have started to feel like an annual conference at the beach where coaches talk about how to keep Alabama from killing everyone on the football field. What rules can be put in place to cap Alabama’s spending? How can schedules be tweaked to make life easier for everyone else?
Nick Saban is in favor of fewer rules. Others want more rules. For example, the latest rule that discourages SEC football teams from hiring a high school coach as a support staffer. If a team hires a high school coach, then that team can’t recruit that high school for two years.
The rule sounds very well intentioned, of course. SEC teams with tons of money shouldn’t be able to hire a high school coach just to land a prospect from that coaches team. In reality, it sounds like just another rule to keep Alabama in check.
It’s a nice theory, except for one thing. That’s a NCAA rule.
The header may have been what drew me into this article, but it’s the conclusion that grabbed me.
Should the SEC elect to completely open up its transfer policy, Saban not-so-playfully suggested the Crimson Tide would only be aided by such a move.
“We would benefit as much as anybody in our league if you said you can transfer. Kentucky’s got a good player? We’ll go see if we can get him to come to Alabama,” Saban said. “Why do we want that? Why do we need that? How does that help the integrity of what we’re trying to do as a conference or as a league? I’m not for having free agency in our conference.”
The man who had a rule named after Jonathan Taylor is whining about “the integrity of what we’re trying to do as a conference”? Don’t make me laugh.
Beyond that, what Saban is talking about there (“Kentucky’s got a good player? We’ll go see if we can get him to come to Alabama”) is tampering, potentially speaking. Somehow that strikes me as a much bigger threat to integrity than anything Maurice Smith wanted.
The reason Saban is up in arms about this is because his program has greater depth than any other team in the SEC, which means the odds that a loosening of the transfer rules leads to a net talent drain from ‘Bama are decent. That’s some shit Saban has time for.
Anybody think that his next step will be to manage his players’ academic progress to cut down the number of kids eligible for graduate transfers? The man does like to work those envelope edges.
Nick Saban, for once, is positively lost for an answer.
I wonder if he ever said the same thing to himself about Jonathan Taylor.