Football Alabama: Nick Saban, Crimson Tide program for SEC Media Days

Happy Monday everyone. With just under seven weeks to go until the season opener, SEC Media Days kicks off today in Atlanta. The Alabama session is tomorrow, with Nick Saban joined by an incredible trio of players in Will Anderson, Jordan Battle and reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young.

The Crimson Tide junior signalman won the Heisman Trophy last season despite playing behind a porous offensive line that failed to consistently protect him. Can he repeat the feat? How good can it be if the offensive line can take the slightest step forward?

Young is one of three Crimson Tide players joining coach Nick Saban on Tuesday, so we’ll get a chance to find out exactly what he expects of himself and what’s expected of him now that he is in his second season as the starting quarterback for Tide. Archie Griffin is the only player to win the Heisman Trophy twice. Young, however, is set up for an even better encore performance as long as he can get a little more help.

Most expect the Tide to be a near-unanimous pick to win the league.

Alabama brings back arguably the two best players in the nation in defending Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and passer Will Anderson Jr., the SEC’s active leader in career sacks and tackles for losses. Both are projected to the top 10 picks of the 2023 NFL Draft with Georgia Jalen Carter, a pass thrower whose reputation begins to grow exponentially like that of Travon Walker this spring before his selection at No. 1 overall. Three of the last five national college football champions have been ranked No. 1 in scoring defense, so that side of football is paramount to the success of these two leaders this season in the playoff race.

It’s an interesting note on defense. Although the best defenses award more points per game than before and are still susceptible to being shredded by a highly functional passing game, especially one with precision executed RPO concepts, the team that gets the most saves is always more likely to win it all.

Pete Fiutak has released a full preview of the Alabama 2022 team. He thinks there will be a loss somewhere along the way due to the tough schedule, but like most, he’s pretty optimistic on the tide.

Even so, Emil Ekiyor is an NFL tackle at guard, JC Lathan should be good at right tackle, and things should be fine if Steen does what he’s supposed to.

There are two big differences for this year’s line, however. Bryce Young should be an even faster decider thanks to his experience, and they have a different kind of back to block.

Brian Robinson was a terrific, tough runner, and Najee Harris was obviously special before his life as a Pittsburgh Steeler. However, Bama hasn’t had a home hitter at RB like Jahmyr Gibbs for a while.

Many hands have been twisted on the 2023 recruiting class at this stage of the game, but after attracting an elite over the weekend, things may only be heating up.

The biggest name to come is star tackle Olaus Alinen. The Finnish four-star is set to announce July 22 and has the Crimson Tide in its top five from Miami, Oregon, Ohio State and Georgia. The crystal balls are shared between Miami and Alabama. Whichever school adds the 6-foot-6, 315-pounder, there will be a play with an advantage in the 2023 class.

“It’s a pretty town. I’ve lived in big cities like Atlanta and used to live in a small town in Finland, so I’m kind of used to both types of cities. It’s a really professional styling program,” Alien told Rivals’ Adam Friedman.

One of Alabama’s 2023 commitments, 5-star safety Tony Mitchell, had the correct answer to a dumb question.

Fabulous.

Dennis Dodd wrote a bit more about the realignment.

Regarding the Pac-12, ESPN and / or Fox do not necessarily want to spend too much on a property they’ve already decided is far less valuable than the Big Ten and SEC. It’s also uncertain whether ESPN will get any of the Big Ten’s secondary rights. If they don’t have the Big Ten, maybe it opens their pockets for the college football playoff expansion, the next major college rights deal on the docket (after the Pac-12 and Big 12 ).

“I sort of refocused my thinking. I think we don’t really talk about college sports through the lens of the NCAA, the Power Five anymore,” Hacker said. “College sports are now fully controlled by ESPN and Fox.”

Dodd also makes an interesting point that a merger of the Pac 12 and Big 12 would reduce the Power Five by one, opening the door to further auto-bid negotiations in a 12-team playoff.

Blake Toppmeyer has decided he’ll be ranking SEC coaches for today’s offseason filler content, and you know who tops the list.

The greatest manager of all time has endured a tough time in recent months. He lost to a former understudy, Jimbo Fisher, last October, then fell to another, Smart, in the national championship. And Texas A&M beat Alabama for the No. 1-ranked recruiting class. Saban’s frustration erupted during a speaking engagement this spring. Some saw it as a sign that the Alabama dynasty was faltering. It’s absurd. Saban continues to recruit well. Now he’s adding high-end transfers to fill the holes, and he’s developing Heisman Trophy-level quarterbacks. Alabama was reloading last season after a string of starts after the 2020 National Team Championship. This year’s team is loaded.

Deion Sanders notes that while fans lament players’ perceived prioritization of NIL money over football opportunities, schools are choosing TV money over tradition and rivalries.

“What do we want to do? Sanders asked. “Do we want to sit down and adhere to tradition? Or do we want to put ourselves in a financial position where our school thrives? You really have to take this into account and weigh these options. There are huge options that some schools are going to face. We are already talking about it. »

All but three of the Division I HBCUs currently play in the MEAC or SWAC, which are comprised entirely of HBCUs. There are no HBCU schools at the FBS level.

Regardless of the level, realigning the conference is all about the money, Sanders said.

“You call it a realignment. You can really call it chasing the bag,” Sanders said. “That’s all they do, they chase the bag.”

Finally, Big Phil Mathis has become the latest former Alabama player to bring his mom to tears over his new home bought with NFL money.

These are always great. Congratulations to both of you on a dream come true.

That’s about all for today. Have a good week.

Rolling tide.

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