Alabama football: There is no quarterback battle

For the last three seasons, the quarterback position has been the talk of spring football. Since AJ McCarron’s departure, it’s become a habit to attempt to parse every Nick Saban decision for word about the next Joe Namath. In some circles, that tradition will continue unabated as Jalen Hurts fights for his job against freshman phenom Tua Tagovailoa (and also Mac Jones).

Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News would like to disabuse you of that notion, writing in his TideSports preview that “the fact is Hurts is the starting quarterback.” Nobody knows the program better than Suttles, and it only makes sense. Tua would have to knock off the SEC Freshman of the Year, an Alabama record holder who led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated regular season in his freshman year. Unless Tua is more than raw talent, and is Marcus Mariota sprung fully formed from the shores of the mighty Pacific, it’s unreasonable to expect that.

ICYMI

Built by Bama

Eddie Lacy has something to prove in the NFL, and not just about his production. Lacy’s contract with the Seattle Seahawks takes into account the former Alabama man’s very public struggles with his weight and offers financial incentives to encourage him to drop several pounds and get in playing shape after an injury-riddled season in Green Bay.

Todd McShay likes Reuben Foster.

And in basketball, Alabama alumnus Steve Prohm led his Iowa State squad to a first-round victory against Nevada. The Cyclones take on Purdue this weekend.

Around the Capstone

The women’s basketball team came away from its first-round NIT matchup with Mercer with a signature postseason win, the first of coach Kristy Curry’s tenure. Alabama dominated the second half to crush the Bears and will move on to Arkansas-Little Rock next round. The win is the surest sign that the slow growth the team has experienced under Curry hasn’t stagnated, even though it has moved at a glacial pace at times.

The baseball team is preparing for its conference opener, hosting a mighty Mizzou team that has won 16 straight. It’s a high-pressure opener for a team and coaching staff eager to prove themselves at the start of a new era, and nobody wants it more than sophomore Cobie Vance, as Ben Jones of the Tuscaloosa News illustrates.

Softball will hit the road for its second SEC series, trotting down the road to Starkville to assert its dominion over the entire conference. Alabama is undefeated in conference play thus far and riding a 19-game winning streak, but Mississippi State is a dangerous squad with pitching to quiet Alabama’s inconsistent bats. Games are on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.

The men’s tennis team will host a pair of SEC matches this weekend, while the women’s team hits the road.

And the women’s swimming team earned its first All-American honors of the season with a sprint by junior Bailey Scott at the NCAA Championships. The meet continues all this weekend.

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