The University of Alabama football team has completed its first week of the 2012 spring practice period. The Tide has finished five of its allotted 15 practices, with the final one set to be A-Day on April 14.
Here's what you need to know:no comments
It was a banner day for Alabama football. All told, 26 guys signed (and we'll have more on them in the coming hours and days), and it's all but a done deal that Alabama has culled the number one recruiting class in nation.
There was a darker side to the day though, as Nick Saban once again becomes a villian in the "oversigning" debate. Darius Philon is a defensive tackle out of Mobile, Alabama's Vigor High School. He's been an Alabama commitment for some time. However, at some point in the last few weeks, Philon was informed he wasn't going to be welcome on campus in August. That's where the trouble starts.
The National Signing Day Live Blog will kick off tomorrow morning just before 7:00 am Central time. We'll go until some time in the mid-afternoon, when we expect Alabama will have collected all the signatures they're allowed.
If all goes according to commitments, Alabama will have assembled the best recruiting class in America, and by a long shot. We look forward to following it with you.no comments
You are probably at least marginally familiar with the saga of Landon Collins. He's the young man who committed to Alabama over his mother's objections (she's an LSU fan) at the Under Armor All Star Game.
This morning, Mr. SEC is reporting that Collins' mom has apparently said that Collins' girlfriend will have a job in Nick Saban's office.
Sorry, didn't happen. You'll never hear me definitively say that someone didn't get paid off, or that there hasn't been shady dealings with boosters or parents on a kid here or there - it's impossible to prove a negative, and there's too many "shady" folks surrounding college football to say definitively that stuff doesn't happen.
But here's what really doesn't happen. A school on NCAA probation does not, in any way, shape, or form, flaunt the rules to blantantly within the athletic department in a way that's so imminently proveable. It just didn't happen.
His mother clearly seeks attention - see the video above and/or the ESPN the Magazine article about the recruitment. Collins lives with his dad, who is comfortable with the decision. It appears that his mother will stop at nothing in her attempts to steer him from Alabama.no comments
This is not a post about sports. Sue me. After watching the basketball game yesterday, it's hard to get fired up about writing about that (except to say that Tony Mitchell's basketball IQ hovers somewhere near his shoe size). Today, I'm writing about something important: Tuscaloosa's continued recovery from the April tornadoes.
We're approaching the one year anniversary of the April 27 tornadoes that swept through the state and decimated a good portion of the city of Tuscaloosa. There are signs of recovery - the Krispy Kreme is about to start rebuilding, Hokkaido has broken ground, and Taco Casa is back in the business of making delicious tacos on 15th while also causing a glorious spike in greenhouses gasses.
Now comes the good folks at Well That's Cool, who are putting on a rock and roll show at the Bama Theater. The music is quite good (more on that in a second), but the Tuscaloosa Get Up is also benefiting tornado relief - specifically Habitat for Humanity.
That reffing was...not great. Anthony Grant ripped into the referees with 12 minutes to play, unleashing a Darren McGavin-esque stream of profanities while doing everything in his power to keep the veins in his neck from exploding. Part of the frustration came from how his players were reacting on the court - but a big part of his rage came from the refs themselves.
Vanderbilt seemed to receive most of the 50/50 calls early in the game, and most questionable whistles sided with the Commodores in a contest that saw the crowd use plenty of sarcastic applause whenever the 'Dores were called for a foul (Vandy only had 12 in the game). This early advantage seemed to have taken a toll on the Tide, and it helped the team dig themselves a hole that they couldn't climb out of. Vanderbilt is a team that excels at getting to the free throw line, but many off-the-ball fouls and charges that could have been blocks seemed to go Vandy's way in Tuscaloosa.
He goes on to note that this was not the decisive factor in the game (true), but it certainly didn't hurt. As always, SEC officiating is the pits.no comments
I've defended Alabama's signing practices in this space (and via Twitter), many times in the last few years. And, I've been repeatedly savaged for being a Nick Saban "apologist". I've always countered that there are things that trouble me about oversigning (most notably situations like what Les Miles did to Elliott Porter), but I felt that Nick Saban's "evilness" has been overstated, and he never has been the worst offender when it comes to the practice (coaches like Miles and Houston Nutt were undeniably worse).
All of this brings us to Justin Taylor. This is, at very least, an interesting kettle of fish.no comments
I have been going to Alabama football games since 1983. I have been fortunate enough to only miss a half a dozen or so games (home and road) since 1998. I have now been present for Alabama winning three national championships. I feel confident in this next statement being more truth than hyperbole:
I have never seen a good football team be beaten so thoroughly and completely as Alabama whipped LSU on Monday night.
The University of Alabama men's basketball team will host LSU on Wednesday night at Coleman Coliseum for its SEC home opener. While the Tigers will almost certainly outscore their football counterparts, Bama will look to continue an SEC home winning streak that saw the Tide go undefeated at home in conference last year. While Bama has fallen from the top 25 polls, the Tide is in good shape to make its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in six seasons.