Hello and good morning. Excited for a new workweek? Excited to avoid a workweek for a little while, which is why you stumbled across this article that looks vaguely interesting, even though you’re not totally sure what it is?
Good. Let me explain.
This is a new daily feature from SEC Country that will, we hope, become your first (only?) stop for the latest on Alabama sports. That means all of the sports, “revenue-producing” or otherwise (hope you like gymnastics and soccer!). We’ll have all the stories you need to read, from SEC Country and otherwise, and me interjecting my wholly uncalled-for two cents along the way. So, make us part of your morning routine, and allow me to guide you through this football season and beyond — the Virgil to your Dante, if you will.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
What they’re saying nationally about Alabama
The dynasty is over! The game has passed Nick Saban by! Fire Saban! Fire Bill Battle! Make Kiffin the head coach! Run the ball! Make Dabo the co-head coach! Make Sark the offensive coordinator! Close the university.
Oh, I see.
Alabama, it turns out did NOT lose to Ole Miss for the third year in a row, turning the turnover tide (heh) and scoring three non-offensive touchdowns. But I’m sure nobody prematurely predicted Alabama’s demise. Certainly not after previously prematurely predicting Alabama’s demise and being proven so, so, so wrong.
Ole Miss just has Alabama’s number.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 17, 2016
- Andy Staples of SI has a look at the perils and benefits of starting Jalen Hurts
- BREAKING: Nick Saban smiled
- The able Tony Tsoukalas compares Hurts to other first-year starters under Saban
- Alabama is on top of ESPN’s SEC power rankings
- And the AP Poll
- And the USA Today Coaches Poll
- And the only poll that matters
- But Bleacher Report wants you to know that Actually, Alabama Is Bad
Tide in the NFL
Kenyan Drake finds the endzone!! pic.twitter.com/aibV6j44UR
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 18, 2016
Kenyan Drake: He opened his account in the NFL with this 7-yard scamper. He finished the day with 12 yards on 2 carries and 2 catches for 6 yards.
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2016
Julio Jones: Caught 5 of 5 passes thrown to him for 106 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ win over Oakland
Amari Cooper: The second-year receiver had 5 catches for 71 yards but had a 51-yard touchdown called back for illegal touching. Jack Del Rio explains why:
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) September 19, 2016
Mark Barron: He had 11 tackles and blocked a pass with his face.
So, about ArDarius Stewart’s ax …
If you missed it, ArDarius Stewart left the field for injury on Saturday and returned without his pads but with an ax. As in the implement one uses to chop wood.
Axe= assassins.. Had to lead my troops off the field and not let them see me down and out .. I just want the W !!!!! #3peat?????
— ArDarius Stewart (@neversleepon13) September 18, 2016
OK, but, like, what assassin uses an axe? That’s not stealthy at all. Unless they’re trying to make their contract murder look like a lumberjacking accident? Lizzie Borden isn’t really an assassin, you know? Just a crazy lady, really.
Speaking of Stewart
Our own Marq Burnett has your injury updates.
Play of the weekend: Eddie Jackson’s 85-yard punt return
— Athlon Sports (@AthlonSports) September 17, 2016
Burnett wrote an excellent story on this. Momentum doesn’t really exist in football, but cutting a 21-point deficit to seven just before halftime does help.
- Former Alabama soccer player Merel van Dongen started for the Netherlands in an international friendly against the United States women’s national team in the Georgia Dome. The Americans won 3-1.
- Former Alabama golfer and 2008 SEC men’s golfer of the year Michael Thompson won the Albertson’s Boise Open, earning his PGA Tour card.
The other football
For years, Alabama’s soccer program has been the overlooked stepchild of a staggeringly successful athletic department. The Crimson Tide didn’t defend particularly well, and they almost never scored. If they made the SEC tournament at all, they didn’t make it far. Then, last season, AD Bill Battle hired Wes Hart, former MLS defender and assistant coach of the national champion Florida State Seminoles. In Hart’s second year, Alabama is attacking with verve, ranking in the top 20 nationally and top 5 in the SEC in multiple offensive categories. Junior Chatham DeProspo was named national player of the week after scoring a hat trick against Tennessee. On Sunday, Alabama went to Kentucky and came away with a draw, only its third-ever positive result in Lexington.
Hart’s program has proven its attacking will, and if results continue to break the Crimson Tide’s way, it could be one to watch this season. Alabama will host Arkansas on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The match will be streamed on SECNetwork+.
Around the Capstone
- Alabama volleyball takes the Crimson-White tournament, has won seven straight (Ben Boynton, The Crimson White)
- Men’s golf finished 13th at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational
- Women’s golf won the Mason Rudolph Invitational in a showing so dominant that its dropped score was 2-under. The Crimson Tide’s 35-under aggregate score was a school and tournament record.
A note on our name
The Rammer Jammer, besides being the name of everybody’s favorite postgame chant, also is the name of a long-deceased student newspaper. It is currently resurrected here, although I don’t guarantee it will remain so. If you have name ideas, tweet them to me @landrysean. Or tweet me if you don’t. That’s fine, too. I do like puns, though.