- In practice, Alabama continues rotation at right guard, and other notes from Marq Burnett.
- Lester Cotton has emerged from his freshman season a new man, writes Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News.
- You know how in cartoons a character would lose an arm and get it replaced with, like, a cannon? Well, Reuben Foster kind of looks like that right now.
- Much has been made of Alabama’s use of former players in practice. On Wednesday, the other SEC West coaches weighed in. My favorite is Dan Mullen, whose first reaction is, “Yeah, but how much is this going to cost me?”
- In related news, Charlie Potter of BamaOnline summarizes Saban’s stint on the weekly teleconference.
- Also from BamaOnline, Travis Reier analyzes the midweek practice.
- Gary Danielson, who said Alabama ‘should be alarmed’ after the LSU game, is wrong.
- Mississippi State may be missing Dak Prescott, but Nick Fitzgerald is no walk-on, from AL.com’s Matt Zenitz.
Nick Saban on elections
Saban said Wednesday that he didn’t know Tuesday was Election Day. He’s too focused on football, apparently, to vote. He also claimed to be unqualified to determine who the next president of the United States would be.
First, I don’t believe him. I believe Saban voted, and, based on things he’s said and done in the past, I think I know how he voted. But that’s not really important.
The notion that he is “unqualified” to pick the next leader of the free world is not only vapid but anti-democratic and a dangerous thing to say from his position as the highest-paid public employee of the state of Alabama. The central principle of the American experiment is that we are all, in fact, the only people qualified to determine who will govern us.
I understand not wanting to make political statements publicly, or even encourage speculation as to your political habits. But when you’re in a position of power and influence — which he is — it is irresponsible to make it seem like football is more important than voting. Poor workers with families to feed take off work and stand in line for hours at the polls. Saban can make the effort, too, and dismissing it as a waste of his time is not only a disservice and terrible example to his players but to the people of the state of Alabama who pay for his house and salary.
Then there’s the fact that this TV spot dominated Alabama airwaves for the last two years:
“Register to vote so you can join Terri and me as we work to make Alabama the best it can be.”
Roll Tide, indeed, coach.
Wednesday marked what could be a turning point in Alabama basketball history. The three members of the 2017 recruiting class already committed to Alabama signed their National Letters of Intent: 6-foot-7 shooting guard Herb Jones, 4-star forward Alex Reese and 6-foot-10 center Galin Smith.
Still to come Thursday are 4-star wing John Petty and the jewel of Avery Johnson’s crown, 5-star guard Collin Sexton. Both are predicted to choose Alabama and could become some of the best players Alabama’s seen in a decade, at least. All of this will precede Alabama’s season opener at home on Friday, when the Crimson Tide open an already much-hyped season against Coastal Carolina.
Around the Capstone
Wednesday marked the beginning of the early signing period for all winter/spring sports.
- Gymnastics landed an impressive four-person class, led by U.S. national team member Bailie Key and Spanish Fort, Ala., native and Belarus Olympian Kylie Dickson.
- Men’s golf signed a three-person class that includes two of the top-10 junior golfers in the world.
- Women’s golf successfully recruited the top-ranked junior golfer in Italy.
- In non-signing news, volleyball edged Auburn in five sets at home on Wednesday night.
Saban in full
Thursday night lights
There are actually some interesting games on tonight. Two ranked teams play games, beginning with No. 17 North Carolina at Duke in the “Hey that reminds me it’s almost basketball season” Bowl at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. It’s hard to believe Duke was playing for an ACC title just a few short years ago. Now, UNC is favored by 10.5 at Duke, and I’m inclined to take the favorite.
Later in the night, No. 15 Utah takes on Arizona State in Tempe on FS1 at 9:30 p.m. Utah is getting six points, and the over/under is 56.5. I’ll take Utah and the over.
In the NFL, the horrifically bad Cleveland Browns take on C.J. Mosely and Ozzie Newsome’s Baltimore Ravens.