Alabama fans who are out of their teenage years can remember the days when the annual visit from Southern Miss would often present a fair amount of heartburn.
Check the scoreboard in the moment before Tyrone Prothro's career-defining catch against the Golden Eagles in 2005. Look back to past contests against USM teams led by names such as Reggie Collier and Brett Favre.
Alabama's 18th national championship is in the books, and with it, the depletion of talent across the Tide's depth chart. While Alabama certainly brings in more elite talent than most other schools, it also loses more, primarily to the NFL Draft but also to the NCAA transfer portal.
For a program accustomed to leading the recruiting rankings and setting records year after year for average class strength, the 2020 class for Alabama was about as ho-hum as top-three/top-four classes can get (TideFans.com/NARCAS ranked Alabama's class in a tie for third with Ohio State, behind No. 2 Clemson and No. 1 Georgia).
The U.S. Supreme Court – not a federal district court, not a state circuit court, not a municipal judge hearing traffic ticket cases in Russellville – ruled, by a 9-0 count, that the NCAA basically cannot maintain its stranglehold on eligibility and tie it to money received for the use of name, image or likeness (NIL for short).