The Bulldogs probably signed the best recruiting class, top to bottom, in modern college football history, eclipsing the class Alabama brought together a year earlier.
Delany might as well have held a press conference to assert that he “is in control here” and would shepherd college football's latest attempt at a mock playoff system through various legal and ethical (read: what's best for the Big Ten) loopholes.
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).
Since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s already undisputed place atop the SEC landscape has only grown in altitude. Saban, who had won a national title at LSU prior to taking the Alabama job, has won four more national titles since 2007. Had Alabama knocked off Clemson in January, Saban would have tied Paul “Bear” Bryant for total number of titles, but would have done it at a substantially quicker pace. Many already believe Saban has supplanted Bryant as the best college coach that ever was; a win over Clemson would have galvanized those opinions.
Over the last two years, TideFans.com and NARCAS have taken a look back at old recruiting rankings, partially as a self-check, but also to see how players had progressed since arriving on campus.The 2007 team was Nick Saban's first at Alabama, but Mike Shula's fingerprints were still on the class. Several players committed first to Shula, but were retained by the incoming Saban regime.
While every team suffers losses from one year to the next, the hit to the roster Alabama took following the 2013 season – not just from graduation, but underclassmen opting for early entry into the NFL Draft – looks manageable for 2014. The real question will be replacing upcoming losses following the 2014 season. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Alabama could have eight senior starters on its 2014 offense, with another two players virtual locks to leave early for the NFL Draft in April 2015. Running back T.J. Yeldon and wideout Amari Cooper will be juniors in 2014, and if either returns for his senior season, it would be an upset somewhere on par with Louisiana-Monroe winning a rematch of its 2007 game against the Crimson Tide.
By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief Feb. 5, 2014 With Nick Saban at the helm of the University of Alabama's football program, National Signing Day has often...
By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief May 25, 2014 Over the last five years, TideFans.com and NARCAS have taken a look back at old recruiting rankings, partially...
Operating from the assumption that all successful businesses invest time in developing a succession plan, the hiring of Kirby Smart at Georgia made a royal foul-up of what was most likely Alabama’s end game regarding Nick Saban’s eventual retirement.
Among the questions that arose immediately following Alabama's win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff was one of longevity – both in regards to Alabama's already-extended position at the top of the sport, and also in regards to Nick Saban's remaining career. If early returns on the 2018-2019 recruiting trail are any indication, both paths have a lot of miles remaining on them.