Tony Barnhart is taking his annual schmoozing tour of the SEC. First stop, Alabama, where he asks what the hell happened against Ohio State.
“We had a good team but we also had a lot of new guys who had never been in that situation before and they relaxed,” said Kelly. “I felt a change when we got to New Orleans.”
Senior corner back Cyrus Jones was more blunt in his assessment.
“We lost our focus. We had a letdown,” said Jones, an All-SEC performer in 2014. “We underrated the capabilities of our opponent. That’s not who we are.”
Taking an opponent too lightly? I thought only Mark Richt-coached teams were guilty of that.
Another day full of buffet goodness:
- Art Briles says Baylor’s non-conference schedule had “zero impact” on his team not making the CFP last season. He’s right, in that had Baylor not lost to West Virginia, it would have been in. He’s wrong in that the non-conference schedule left Baylor with zero margin for error.
- What do you get when some economics professors rank the intensity of college football rivalries? This: “Within a conference, the most intense two-way rivalry was between Central Michigan and Western Michigan…” You might want to think about tweaking your measurements, fellas.
- If Natrez Patrick stays at inside linebacker, at ten or so pounds heavier than Alec Ogletree, he’d be the biggest player ever to suit up at the position under Richt.
- Nick Saban wants to be clear about satellite camps. He’s agin’ ’em. And you don’t want to offend Alabama on the recruiting front, people.
- So, there was an inside guy on the Winston crab legs heist? Steve Spurrier’s gonna have to come up with a new nickname for FSU, methinks.
- It’s only April and the 2015 watch lists for awards march has started. Wake me when it’s over.
- It looks like Georgia Tech has landed its B-back for this season.
- Year2 discusses the case for Nick Chubb’s Heisman possibilities.
Enjoy the comedic stylings of PAWWWLLL! and Nick, together again.
Blockbuster! Phyllis from Mauga goes nuts!
What say you, Coach?
“I know nothing about any such rumors. I don’t even know who you’re talking about but I don’t know about any of those things.”
Which makes Nick Saban the only person in America who follows college football closely and claims he’s never even heard of Braxton Miller. Uh hunh. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk…
They’ll be here all week, folks. Try the venison.
A few odds and ends to get your weekend going:
Pity the poor Alabama defense.
“My friends, they’ll be talking stuff, like, ‘Y’all don’t look like the other teams used to look in ’09 and ’11,'” Ragland told ESPN.com on Thursday. “And Coach tells us people from the outside don’t believe we’re the same Alabama. We don’t play with the same intensity and tenacity.
“They’re not scared to play us any more.
It’s the type of feedback that stings, especially for a first-team All-SEC linebacker such as Ragland.
If Corch and Malzahn have really managed the feat of getting inside the heads of Saban and Smart, dare we hope that Georgia might be able to move the ball a little come October 3? Or will they get their mojo back by then?
Well, according to Kim Stephens, Jonathan Taylor’s defense attorney, Nick Saban conducted an “extraordinary thorough” vetting process before admitting his client to Alabama.
How extraordinary? Extraordinary enough that if Stephens’ story is accurate, Ken Mauldin, who is the ACC DA, and Mark Richt stretched the truth about being contacted by Saban or his representatives about Taylor.
There’s no point in jumping to conclusions now – this situation has had more than its share of twists and turns, for sure – but even if Alabama’s made a final decision against Taylor’s continued enrollment there, it’s surprising that Saban didn’t respond publicly to challenge the claims of no contact by Mauldin and Richt if Alabama did in fact reach out to them. Or, if not call the two out in public, speak privately with Richt to point out that Alabama did try to speak with him in order to get Richt to correct the public record. But maybe Saban doesn’t have time for that shit.
Or maybe Stephens is just relaying what he thinks/hopes happened as opposed to what he knows. Beats me. Though a defense lawyer’s gotta do what a defense lawyer’s gotta do.
UPDATE: There’s a interesting note from this piece about Saban’s kinda, sorta mea culpa.
Saban was aware of Nawab recanting her accusations when he stepped to the lectern for his news conference Monday, the coach told ESPN.com.
So at least Saban and the UAPD are talking with each other again. I was worried about that.
The sound of a man washing his hands of a matter:
Alabama head coach Nick Saban declined to discuss specifics when asked Monday about the vetting process for Taylor.
“I’m not really going to answer all those questions,” Saban said. “I spoke to everybody that had an opportunity to give us some idea of what kind of young man that Jonathan Taylor was. And is. And you know, I still think he’s a good person, I think he has a problem and a circumstance that is not acceptable. And that is his problem. And he has been certainly dealt with relative to this problem.”
The thing is, Saban didn’t talk with Mark Richt about Taylor. He didn’t talk with the DA’s office prosecuting Taylor’s case. He didn’t talk to the UGA Police Department, either. But you know who did?
The University of Alabama Police Department obtained and reviewed photographs that detailed Jonathan Taylor’s 2014 alleged aggravated assault in Athens, Ga., before Taylor enrolled at UA in January…
…According to emails obtained via a public records request, in the weeks leading up to Taylor’s arrival at UA, Lt. Eric Dellinger, a UGA Police Department spokesman, sent an internal email on Dec. 18 regarding a phone call he received from UAPD Assistant Police Chief Lee Harris.
Dellinger wrote that Harris “indicated that Mr. Taylor was possibly about to be a student with them and wanted to speak with someone who was familiar with his history here at UGA.”
Later that day, Lt. Jeff Hammock of UGAPD’s Criminal Investigations Division emailed Harris photographs from the July 22 domestic violence incident involving Taylor. The incident report from July, which was emailed to UAPD soon after the photographs, cited the victim having “visible scratches and red marks to her neck and bruises on her arm and leg.” The report stated that photographs were taken of the victim’s injuries once police arrived on scene…
So Saban didn’t even bother to check to see that the local cops were doing a more thorough job of due diligence than the football program conducted. You know, for a guy who is famously known for being as detail-oriented as they come, that sure is an interesting oversight.