Really, this is almost perfect.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has been in contact with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones regarding an offensive analyst position, sources told AL.com. Jones has visited Tuscaloosa and met with Saban in person, per sources.
One can only imagine how that interview went. I don’t suppose Saban’s got time for that Champions of Life/five-star hearts shit, but what do I know?
I haven’t taken the chafing dishes out in a while, so here goes…
Savor these times, friends.
JC Shurburtt, the former national scouting director at 247Sports, said it’s still not impossible for Alabama to pull a signing day straight and steal another No. 1 spot. It’s just a real longshot at this point.
“Where I would caution people, is don’t think this is a down year for Alabama,” Shurburtt said. “This is a situation where Georgia is getting their share of guys because of their success and it’s always been that way in the state of Georgia. Georgia is the preferred team for a lot of these guys who grow up over there. And you can’t take advantage of them under-achieving with them playing for the national championship and Kirby Smart and his staff do an excellent job.”
The Kirby Smart factor is hard to ignore in this whole dynamic.
One of Alabama’s best recruiters in his eight seasons as defensive coordinator, Smart was a big reason the Tide did so well just east of the state line. Back in 2012, Alabama signed eight from Georgia. Since Smart took over in Athens, Alabama hasn’t signed more than one per class from Georgia. The Tide’s lone commitment for this class, Quay Walker, is now classified as a “soft commit” with Tennessee and Georgia gaining ground in the fight to flip the four-star linebacker.
Smart is the X-factor in it all.
“It hurts. It definitely hurts,” said Farrell of Rivals. “They’ve done a good job at Georgia in recent years. When you look at Kirby Smart being able to win head-to-head battles for guys that Alabama covets. Being able to flip guys that Alabama had committed. It’s not often that happens to Alabama at all.”
Savor, but don’t gloat. After all, while it may be a long shot, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to wake up Thursday morning and find that Nick Saban had somehow convinced the top eight recruits out there to come to Tuscaloosa.
But definitely savor.
Allow me to submit the proposition that a man willing to subject himself to this on the recruiting trail (with apparently good humor, mind you)…
… isn’t the kind of man intent on hanging his spurs up any time soon. (h/t)
Nick Saban, I don’t know you anymore.
I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard him say it. I think my world has been rocked a little.
One thing I’ve found amusing in the comments lately is the idea floated by some that, with Georgia’s season culminating in a last second loss to the Tide in the national title game combined with Kirby Smart’s recruiting prowess, Nick Saban has stared into some sort of abyss and conceded there’s a new sheriff in SEC Town and his run is over.
The only problem with that is… well…
Alabama is adding Penn State receivers coach and passing game coordinator Josh Gattis as the Tide’s new WR coach and co-offensive coordinator, a source told SI.
In the past seven seasons, the 34-year-old Gattis has produced seven all-conference receivers and three All-Americans. Gattis will take over the Tide’s receivers from Mike Locksley, who is being promoted to offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll returned to the NFL.
In 2015 Gattis was named the Big Ten Recruiter of the Year, as he was instrumental in Penn State signing a Top 15 recruiting class in 2015.
Earlier this week, sources had reported that Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receiver coach, Mike Locksley, had been tabbed by Nick Saban to lead the offense…
We were high on the decision for several reasons: He was the player’s choice, he was instrumental in implementing the midline zone scheme to Brian Daboll’s pro spread, there is offensive continuity that now stretches from Lane Kiffin’s tenure until the present, and, perhaps most importantly, Coach Locksley has deep recruiting ties to the fertile DMV/NOVA region. [Emphasis added.]
Notice a common theme there? I’m not sensing the proverbial towel being thrown in.
None of which is to say gaps aren’t being closed or Georgia is doomed. Quite the contrary, as Kirby’s doing what he needs to do in that department. But the idea that Saban’s resigned to his fate is a real stretch.
Man, I can’t imagine being this joyless about a national title.
“We are in the memory business,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock crowed at one point during a speech commemorating the Crimson Tide’s achievement.
Saban decidedly is not.
He is constantly spinning it forward, bracing for the next challenge that lies ahead. Word is that roughly 30 hours after Alabama defeated Georgia and Saban declared he was as happy as he’s ever been, the Tide’s martinet of a head coach was haranguing his staff about its approach to the upcoming season.
“The 24-hour rule was still in effect,” said linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton. “He’s one of those guys who celebrates for the time being and the next day it’s over with…It’s definitely crazy.”
But there is a method to the madness.
And it’s called the “Process.”
I guess he’ll celebrate when he’s dead.
Let’s hope that’s one thing Kirby won’t import from Tuscaloosa.