Roll Tide Nation
Happy Monday, everyone. It was a successful weekend on the diamond, as the women swept five games and the men took two of three. Unfortunately the struggling Gym Tide dropped another meet, this time in Lexington. It seems likely that they miss the Super Six team finals for the second consecutive season after making it in 23 of the preceding 25.
Men’s basketball got an important win against a winless Vandy squad and now has a four game season to determine its postseason fate. The women’s team is likely headed nowhere with a 12-15 mark following a senior night loss to Georgia.
Cecil Hurt chimed in on Alabama football’s trend toward home and home scheduling.
Whether the trip to West Virginia has anything to do with the fact that Nick Saban will turn 75 during the 2026 season, and might like a sentimental trip to his home town (Monongah, where Saban grew up and played high school football, is about 25 miles southwest of Morgantown), isn’t certain. You can read between the lines but the distance from today until 2026 is so great that I couldn’t even read the lines, much less between them.
Alabama has three neutral site games left over the next three years, starting with this year’s opener against Duke in Atlanta. Whether the market for such games is saturated or not remains to be seen.
The Alabama baseball team improved to 5-2 on the season by taking two out of three games from Ball State over the weekend. The teams dodged bad weather to fit the three games in. The Tide won on Friday night 7-1 behind excellent pitching from Sam Finnerty and four runs driven in by Keith Holcombe. Saturday’s game made it to the bottom of the seventh before the rain hit and forced the game to be finished on Sunday morning. Ball State won that game 8-5, and then Bama bounced back to take the series with a 6-0 win on Sunday afternoon. Ball State fell 2-5 in the early stages of the season.
Game One: Won 7-1
In a game scheduled for 3 p.m., then moved to 1 p.m, first pitch eventually happened at 5 p.m. as the staff did their best to dodge the expected bad weather.
Sam Finnerty has established himself as a Friday night stalwart for the Tide over the last two seasons. The senior right hander pitched the best game of his Alabama career. Finnerty was in control from the beginning, retiring the Cardinals on four pitches in the top of the first. The Tide scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first. Jeaux Breaux led off by being hit by a pitch, followed by a single by Brett Auerebach. After two straight strikeouts, Keith Holcombe lined an RBI single to score Breaux. Freshman first baseman Drew Williamson then singled in two runs for an early 3-0 lead.
Finnerty gave up a seeing eye single in the second, but the runner was quickly erased on a slick double play started by shortstop Kolby Robinson. Finnerty allowed a bunt single in the third, but the runner couldn't advance. The Tide busted the game open in the fifth when Holcombe drilled a three run bomb into the visitors’ bullpen in right center field for his second long ball of the season.
After a pair of road tournaments in Troy and Tuscon, the Crimson Tide finally returned home to Rhoads Stadium for the opening weekend in the Annual Easton Bama Bash - and what a bash it was.SCORES
Alabama 11 Missouri State 1 (5 Inn.) - The Tide run-ruled the Bears behind the big bats of Bailey Hemphill, Caroline Hardy, and Merris Schroder each of whom went yard. KB Sides was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Sarah Cornell got her fourth win.
Alabama 1 Minnesota 0 - The Gophers came into the weekend newly ranked at #24 and will most likely drop out of the rankings this week after the Tide took two from them. However, the Minnies did win their other three games in Tuscaloosa. This one was a tight game with two aces going toe-to-toe and no score going into the bottom of the seventh. Claire Jenkins singled, was sacrificed to second, and scored on a two-out single by the number nine hitter Elissa Brown for the walk-off victory. Montana Fouts (5-0) pitched a two-hit shutout and (gasp!) yielded her first two walks of the season.
Alabama 7 Missouri State 5 - This was a wild one. There were rain delays, a bunch of hits, and one big stolen hit. Skylar Wallace hit a rare inside the park home run. Elissa Brown came to play as she took a 2-run home run away from the Bears and also went 3-for-3. Krystal Goodman (3-0) struggled, giving up four earned runs over 5.2 innings but got the win. Sarah Cornell got the save with a scoreless 3-up/3-down seventh.
Alabama 7 Minnesota 2 (5 Inn., weather shortened) - In Saturday’s nightcap, Alabama scored seven runs in the fifth on a two-run single by KB Sides, a three run homer by Bailey Hemphill, and a two RBI dinger from Reagan Dykes. The beginning of the game was delayed an hour and a half, and then hammered the two teams after the fifth inning concluded. Nobody needed the presence of James Spann to realize it wasn’t stopping any time soon. Fouts rang up win number six on seven Ks and one base-on-balls.
One of the NFL Draft’s top defensive back prospects will be sidelined for a while. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that Alabama safety Deionte Thompson had surgery on Friday to repair a torn ligament in his wrist.
Unsurprisingly, it’s unlikely that Thompson will be able to participate in the NFL Scouring Combine, which takes place next week. Fortunately, Rapoport says the safety isn’t facing any long-term issues stemming from the injury.
Along with Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram and Delaware’s Nasir Adderley, Thompson was considered to be one of the top safety prospects in the upcoming draft. The 22-year-old had a hot start to the 2018 campaign, with some pundits giving the safety a first-round projection. However, a rough second half of the season hurt his draft stock, and this most recent surgery could bump him back even further. While Thompson has the ability to be a starting-caliber NFL player, he may not be selected until the third day of the draft.
During his first full season as a starter, the six-foot-two, 196-pound senior finished with 79 tackles, six passes defended, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. He had primarily served as a backup during his sophomore and junior seasons at Alabama.Original link
The 2019 NFL offseason will be defined by some blockbuster trades, a few high-profile free agents changing teams and a draft that’s about as wide open as any we’ve seen in the past.
The backdrop here are those individuals who will define these events once the calendar turns to March.
Multiple general managers are in position to change the fortune of their teams. One specific owner has a ton of work to do in order to keep his proud franchise relevant. Meanwhile, multiple veterans could change the dynamic around the NFL for next season.
It’s in this that we look at 12 figures who will define the 2019 NFL offseason.
John Dorsey, general manager, Cleveland Browns
Nick Saban is on another level, folks. Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 by 247Sports, and it’s easy to see why.
In fact, the program’s latest list of signees is so impressive all you Crimson Tide haters might feel inclined to rush to your nearest waste basket or toilet to throw up.
The big picture: With an average rating of 0.9438, the Alabama 2019 recruiting class has only one 3-star player out of 15 enrollees.Saban landed two 5-star players at premium positions — offensive tackle and defensive end.Of the remaining 13 signees, just one is a 3-star player.That one player is placekicker Will Reichard, who is No. 1 at his position nationally.
But there’s more: The Crimson Tide also have 12 other players who have signed letters of intent. All 12 are 4-star players.
The bottom line: If you were hoping to see Saban’s empire finally crumble after watching Clemson route the Crimson Tide in the title game, think again.Tua Tagovailoa is back again for another season and should be better than ever.Last year’s recruiting class was ranked No. 5 nationally, and Alabama’s 2020 recruiting class is projected to be No. 1.Original link
The Miami Dolphins have a lot of work to do this offseason in order to become relevant following a disappointing 7-9 season in 2018.
While fans in South Beach are thinking short term, owner Stephen Ross apparently has his sights set on 2020.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Ross and Co. are already targeting Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the 2020 NFL Draft.
“We keep hearing that owner Stephen Ross really, really likes Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and that getting a high 2020 draft pick is the priority,” Jackson reported on Wednesday.
In order for this to come to fruition, the Dolphins are looking to potentially add another first-round pick for the 2020 NFL Draft. If that’s the case, moving down from the 13th spot in April’s draft could make a ton of sense.
Alabama star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is about to become a very rich young man as he prepares to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
Projected to be a top-five pick, his first NFL contract is going to be flush with guaranteed cash.
The young man already knows what he wants to spend his first paycheck on, too, and what his mind is set on is incredibly sweet.
“I think I’m going to buy my grandma a car,” he said in an interview with TMZ Sports. Williams also said he wants to buy her some jewelry because she doesn’t really wear any.
The ‘Bama star lineman said his grandmother has been very tight with cash, but his impending NFL paychecks are going to change all that.
Jalen Hurts is having himself quite a weekend.
The Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback is seeking a new college football program as a graduate transfer and has begun his process of evaluating teams. He visited with Maryland on Friday, Oklahoma on Saturday, and Sunday was his day in Miami.
According The Athletic’s Manny Navarro, Hurts met with Miami’s coaches and had dinner at Prime 112, a posh Miami steakhouse.
Navarro says Miami believes they have a 50-50 chance of landing Hurts.
Hurts spent three seasons at Alabama — starting two national championship games for the Tide. He has passed for 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his career.
Steve Sarkisian is headed back to a familiar place, according to a report.
Sarkisian was offered the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive coordinator position and reports on Friday indicated the sides were close to a hire. However, a day later reports said Sarkisian would not be Arizona’s offensive coordinator.
Instead, ESPN’s Dianna Russini says Sarkisian is headed back to Alabama to rejoin Nick Saban’s staff.
Sark was with Alabama as their offensive coordinator for the 2016 season before leaving to take the Falcons offensive coordinator job after Kyle Shanahan was hired by the 49ers. Sarkisian was fired after two seasons on the job and had another chance to continue as an NFL OC, but he apparently liked an offer from Saban more.
Saban needs to rebuild his offensive coaching staff after losing offensive coordinator Mike Locksley to Maryland, and the likely OC replacement, Dan Enos, to Miami.
Rivalries galore dominate the storylines in Week 13’s edition of the most compelling matchups across the college football landscape.
There are several games where the top teams in the College Football Playoff hierarchy are in danger of toppling. While some upsets are far likelier than others, the raw emotion and competitive fire associated with these guaranteed annual meetings create an intangible X-factor where, frankly, anything is possible.
All of this makes these forthcoming matchups all the more tantalizing to dive into.
No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
In about a month, bowl season will start in college football with the lower-profile games between less successful but still bowl-eligible squads. Every team has two games at most before the bowl slate is set, and some teams are playing so well right now that potential bowl rivals are kind of hoping that things work out so they can avoid that foe.
Which are the teams playing so well right now that nobody is going to want to face them in December and January? Some are obvious, and some are lesser-known. For some, they have a difficult style of play to game plan for, while others are simply going to have a huge chip on their shoulder. Here are 10 teams that are very much going to cause some trouble for someone in bowl season.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Wolverines are deserved favorites as they head to Columbus for the biggest game of their season, and as long as Jim Harbaugh beats Urban Meyer for the first time in the rivalry, they should see off Northwestern and make the Playoff. It’s far from a foregone conclusion — rivalry games are tough, especially on the road — but few teams are playing better than the Wolverines. They boast an exceptional defense and finally seem to have the offense capable of carrying them. Ask Penn State how their trip to Ann Arbor went — a 35-point loss. If they make the playoff, they’ll be a popular dark horse to win it.
Nick Saban has only lost 20 games during his 12-year coaching career at Alabama, and 20 percent of them have come to rival Auburn.
The Crimson Tide have gone 7-4 in the Iron Bowl under Saban. This year, the Tide are favored by more than three touchdowns against their rivals. Regardless of the point spread, anything can happen in the game, as Saban knows well from 'Kick Six' in 2013.
So what is it about the game that leads to the inconsistencies in play? Saban believes emotions overcome players, leading to mental mistakes:
The key for Bama is keeping their emotions in check so they don’t commit those mental errors. The Tide enter Saturday’s Iron Bowl 11-0 and on their way to a 15-0 season perhaps. This is looking like it may go down as Saban’s best team at Alabama ever, and one of the best college football teams ever.
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The one week a year with the power to stir the soul of even the most apathetic college football fan is here—at long last, we’ve reached Rivalry Week. It’s thrilling when the matchups come with postseason implications, but the stakes feel high regardless. For the players, it’s a chance to perform in a way that will resonate for years to come. We’re highlighting the athletes whose names could very well be synonymous with their respective rivalries when we look back on 2018.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
We’ll start with the obvious, cause heck, the Tide’s sophomore signal-caller seems to be defining the whole season. In a world where the Bama defense is typically the team’s calling card and the quarterback position is something of an afterthought (Jake Coker, anyone?), Tagovailoa has been busy rewriting the school record books and could become the first Alabama QB to win a Heisman trophy. Stranger things have happened in the Iron Bowl, but with an Auburn squad that’s essentially irrelevant this season, Tagovailoa appears poised to shine in his first rivalry game as starter.
TaQuon Marshall, QB, Georgia Tech
While we were all wondering what happened to Bryce Love and the Stanford ground game, the Yellow Jackets were quietly racking up enough rush yards per game to lead the nation. That’s largely thanks to the scrambling quarterback tandem of Marshall and fellow part-time starter Tobias Oliver, who are one and two, respectively, on the team in rushing. While Marshall is inconsistent as a passer, he should be able to take full advantage of Georgia’s rather porous run defense. After all, what’s a better motivator than spoiling Playoff dreams?
Cliched storyline of the week
Back in the early 1950s, the best college football coach in America was a man named Frank Leahy. Leahy, the head coach at Notre Dame, was an offensive savant and a rampant perfectionist, and his record over the course of a decade at Notre Dame (with a respite for World War II in between) was mind-blowing: 87 wins, 11 losses, nine ties and four national championships. But then, in 1953 at halftime of a game against Georgia Tech, Leahy collapsed in the locker room.
It turned out that he was struck with both pancreatitis and nervous tension. But it was so bad at the moment that a priest actually administered Leahy the last rites. He retired at the end of that 1953 season after going 9-0-1, and he never coached again.
And that brings me to this:
What we know is that Ohio State’s Urban Meyer has a cyst on his brain that leads to terrible headaches. What we know is that given Meyer’s suspension earlier this year for his handling of the firing of former assistant Zach Smith, this has been Meyer's most stressful season since he arrived at Ohio State. And what we know is that he quit his last job at Florida because of a pattern of self-destructive anxiety.