With Avery Johnson officially out after four seasons as Alabama’s basketball coach, a few scattered thoughts... Defections are coming, but that would have happened either way:
Sometime close to the moment I snapped this picture a thought occurred to me. There will never be this many people at an Iron Bowl again. Next year’s game is in Auburn, where the stadium capacity is around 87,000. By the time it returns to Tuscaloosa, Bryant-Denny will be in the middle of a renovation that will add more bells and whistles and expensive hangouts for those with the cash and inclination to enjoy such.
When the sun rose Friday, it found Ole Miss facing the NCAA Committee on Infractions, and Phil Fulmer was headed back to Tennessee to run the football program.
As Sunday rolled along and the sports world tried to figure out whether Florida’s Jim McElwain had been fired or not (he had), the focus of the day suddenly turned to the SEC’s coaching carousel. And this is October...
If there was ever a doubt that Nick Saban had seen just about all he could stand of Lane Kiffin’s growing infatuation with finesse offensive schemes, hiring Brian Daboll from the New England Patriots as the Crimson Tide’s new offensive coordinator ought to erase those doubts.
For about the last 30 years, which is about the time college football went from being a major sport to a really major sport, the NCAA's governance has been spotty, capricious and devoid of logic. Student-athletes are still punished for things like washing their car with a hose attached to an athletic department-owned complex. Meanwhile, the NCAA's investigative staff mishandles more major cases and potential major cases than it gets right.
As it often seems to be the case, A-Day 2013 turned more into a discussion of what Alabama has left to do than what it has already accomplished. Several questions were left unanswered after a game that was, frankly, sloppy and a bit disorganized. Alabama turned the ball over eight times and two other fumbles were recovered by the offense, while quarterbacks appeared ready to throw into any coverage rather than take a two-hand-touch sack.
(On November 28, 1981 - thirty years ago this coming Monday - Paul William "Bear" Bryant surpassed Amos Alonzo Stagg to become the winningest coach in NCAA Division-I history. This post is a look back through the final phase of Bryant's pursuit of the record along with some thoughts from an adolescent of 30 years ago viewed through adult eyes). It hadn't seemed possible just a few years earlier. But the countdown began on October 4, 1980, when Paul "Bear" Bryant became just the third coach in NCAA Division I-A history to win his 300th game with a 45-0 pasting of Kentucky. The Tide was in the midst of its greatest ever run, a decade-long dynasty that netted the Tide three national championships (and losing a fourth on a disputed vote), five straight 11-1 seasons, nine SEC titles, and an overall record (1971-81) of 117-14-1 for an unheard of winning percentage of .886. The win against Kentucky put Bryant within striking distance of the all-time record of NCAA wins held by Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached for 65 years and won 314 games. Looking over the horizon, the Bama faithful began to count down the wins until Bryant would be the winningest coach in college football history.
If the SEC continues down this path, it needs to be mindful of the reality of current Division-IA football: Undefeated records still mean more than anything else.