The Tuberville-to-Arkansas talk is blowing up online today. FootballRumorMill.com is all over, with conflicting stories coming from the different sides. My personal guess is this - Tuberville wants more money (like Saban-type money) from Auburn, but Auburn doesn't want to do that. They'll bump him up considerably, but not to the range that Tubby wants. Arkansas has possibly mentioned that they'll jump him up into that pay-scale. Tubs probably does want out of Auburn to go back home to Arkansas, but if Auburn pays the ridiculous salary that he's asking for, then he's ok with that too. If they don't, he can ride off into the Arkansas sunset, coach for a few years, then retire and go duck hunting in his backyard.
We got a commitment yesterday from the one thing we were really missing last year on defense - the huge, looks-like-he's-gonna-eat-somebody defensive tackle to weigh down the 3-4 defense. Terrence Cody is a JUCO commit from Gulf Coast Community College, and you can bet your ass he'll be starting next year. He's still got two years of eligibility, so he'll be starting immediately next year. What sounds good to me is 2009 when we'll have Cody AND D.J. Fluker, another kid that's 6'5" 325lbs. Looks like we'll be set for yeeeears to come. 2009 could end up being a VERY good year, as long as we get the QB position figured out.
I suppose we can go ahead and move on over to the future of the defensive line now, which, in my opinion, is the most important position on the field, aside from QB. The defensive line can dictate the tempo and direction of a game, and we've got some studs coming in to help out. These recruits are from the last two seasons, and they're not in any kinda order, like usual. I won't bother you with any extra information other than their star count and their sizes. :-)
Luther Davis - 6'4" 275lbs 4-star DE from West Monroe, LA. Runs a 4.8.
Alfred McCullough - 6'2" 317lbs 4-star DT from Athens, AL. Runs a 4.9.
Jeremy Elder - 6'3" 270lbs 2-star DE from College Park, GA. Runs a 4.9.
Josh Chapman - 6'1" 300lbs 3-star DT from Hoover, AL. Runs a 4.9.
Alex Watkins - 6'3" 218lbs 4-star DE from Brownsville, TN. Runs a 4.65. He'll probably end up at the jack position.
Nick Gentry - 6'1" 265lbs 3-star DT from Prattville, AL. Runs a 4.78.
Kerry Murphy - 6'5" 315lbs 4-star DT from Hoover, AL. Runs a 5.1.
Undra Billingsley - 6'4" 260lbs 3-star DE from Birmingham, AL. Runs a 4.7.
Brandon Lewis - 6'3" 260lbs 4-star DE from Pleasant Grove, AL. Runs a 4.7.
Courtney Upshaw - 6'2" 220lbs 4-star DE from Eufaula, AL. Runs a 4.7. Will probably play the jack position, or linebacker. Seems too small to play anywhere else.
Michael Williams - 6'6" 240lbs 4-star DE from Reform, AL. Runs a 4.7.
Terrence Cody - 6'5" 395lbs 4-star DE from Perkinston, MS. Runs a 5.5.
Damion Square - 6'3" 270lbs 3-star DE from Houston, TX. Runs a 4.6. Will not play DT. Too much speed.
DJ Fluker - 6'7" 325lbs 4-star DT from Biloxi, MS. Runs a 4.9. Class of '09, so one more year before he gets here.
I want you guys to notice. Out of those 14 defensive linemen, only two of them, two 300+ pounders, everyone runs a sub 5 40. Not only are they big, but they're quick as well. This could be a scary group for the next few years. Just wait til Fluker gets here. :-)
¶ 8:56 AM4 commentslinks to this post
The weekend is looming. If we've got anybody on the site that just so happens to wanna take a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game, check out TickCo.com's SEC Championship Tickets. It is INCREDIBLY doubtful that Alabama will end up in the Cotton Bowl, but if you're a fan of a team other than Alabama that may make its way over to Dallas, check out TickCo.com's Cotton Bowl tickets. Once we find out which bowl we're going to on Sunday, we'll post links to theirs as well.
We'll make today's post relatively short. It appears as though the Liberty Bowl is going to be Alabama's best option. The University was already going to work with them regarding the 25th anniversary of Bear's last game, so it's an obvious choice. Not to mention, of course, that there would still be a bowl game open for Mississippi State or Kentucky, whichever was left out. Geographically it would fit perfectly - Kentucky in Nashville, Bama in Memphis, and State in Shreveport.
It took long enough, but Michigan has finally requested permission to speak with Les Miles. I have a feeling that he was down their list of candidates, and was one of the few that actually wanted the Michigan job. Of course, we all know why Lloyd Carr doesn't want Les Miles - because Miles is an idiot.
Apparently what's holding up contract talks between Auburn and Tuberville is the fact that Arkansas is trying to find a way to pay for his services, according to footballrumormill.com. Arkansas has Tubs high on their list.
Texas A&M downed the Tide in basketball last night in College Station, TX, 76-63. Sucks. We get SE Louisiana on Saturday, so hopefully that'll be another win before we get to play Georgetown next week.
Ok, now to the recruiting. We'll look at the kids that we have coming back and the ones coming in. Today we'll focus on the offensive line, and yes, I'm going to include some kids that Shula recruited as well as Saban. Now, these kids are not in any order right now. This is just showing you the kids and their size. I know a little bit about them, but not a ton...so maybe you'll learn some new names as well.
John Michael Boswell - Class of 2008. 6'6" 290lbs 4-star from Northport, AL, so he's a hometown boy. Big kid who plays bigger.
Barrett Jones - Class of '08. 6'5" 271lbs 4-star from Memphis, TN. The number one recruit in the state of Tennessee, and boy is he a good one. He'll be a hoss.
Tyler Love - Class of '08. 6'7" 285lbs 4-star from Mountain Brook, AL. He was our first 5-star commitment in this class. He'll be another helluva prospect.
Patrick Crump - Class of '07. 6'3" 285lbs 3-star from Hoover, AL. Lots of raw potential, but sometimes makes dumb mistakes.
William Vlachos - Class of '07. 6'2" 287lbs 3-star from Birmingham. I've heard nothing but great things about him, so I'm kinda surprised I didn't see him on the field this year. Probably red-shirted.
Taylor Pharr - Class of '06. 6'6" 270lbs 4-star from Irondale, AL. One of Shula's boys. He should be a gem - much like Vlachos.
David Ross - Class of '06. 6'4" 295lbs 4-star from Homewood, AL. Quick feet for a center. Should be able to hold his own in the conference. Has added weight since he arrived on campus, but it appears to be more muscle.
¶ 8:46 AM4 commentslinks to this post
Yeah, I'll tell ya what. Went to see HELLYEAH last night, and those guys put on a helluva show. Lots of beer, and a good time too. Don't really dig the singer's voice...but it is what it is. Stayed out waaaaay too late.
The basketball team is rockin and rollin tonight in College Station, TX for tonight's matchup against #9 Texas A&M. If you've got ESPNU, then you get to watch it. Everyone else, we've gotta tune in on the radio or online. Check out freefootballradio.com to find a list of online stations that might be carrying the game.
Latest rumors are that 2 players have been kicked off the team, and more will likely follow suit. As far as the bowl game goes, the Music City has said that they would prefer to have a 7-win team over a 6-win team, so I would have to believe Alabama will not be headed there. So it comes down to a trip to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl - for the 25th anniversary of Bear's last game, a victory over Illinois in Memphis - or a return trip from last season to Shreveport to play Colorado or Oklahoma State. Thanks to the drive, I probably won't be going back to Shreveport, but I will go to the Liberty Bowl. I can guarantee that.
Ok, so I guess we'll continue on with what we were talking about yesterday. Time to move forward to the future, so we'll look at Saban's recruiting class from this year and last year and see what we have to work with.
Kareem Jackson - 5'10" 184lbs 4-star recruit from Virginia. He runs a 4.5, but seems much quicker. Makes incredibly good reads, and plays in position perfectly. He wasn't under the previous regime, so he didn't have time to continue bad habits before the coaches fixed them.
Robby Green - 6'0" 175lbs 4-star from John T. Curtis in New Orleans. He's a helluva player, and even though he hasn't committed, he has said that he really likes Alabama. We need some corners pretty badly, so he would definitely be a good addition.
Robby Green - 6'1" 175lbs 4-star from Tallahassee, FL. Runs a 4.4. Same deal as Robby Green - hasn't committed, but we could sure use him.
Mark Barron - 6'2" 202lbs 4-star recruit from Mobile. He runs a 4.5, but seems faster in game situations. If he starts in Marcus Carter's spot next year, he'll be our best athlete on the defense at any given moment. Period.
Robert Lester - 6'2" 205lbs 3-star from Foley. Probably only really got looks because he's best friends with Julio Jones, but at the same time, the kid can flat out play. He's quick and makes good decisions. If you saw him against Daphne on the ESPN game earlier this year, you can see he's a playmaker. Hits hard and is aggressive.
Terrance Farmer - 6'1" 190lbs 4-star from Houston, TX. Runs a 4.4. Should be a helluva playmaker.
Rolando McClain - 6'4" 240lbs 4-star recruit from Decatur. If you watched him play at all this year then you understand exactly how good he really is. He'll be the next great linebacker at Alabama, along with Demeco, Cornelius, Derrick, etc.
Don'ta Hightower - 6'3" 248lbs 4-star from Lewisberg, TN. He's not only a helluva player, but he is just as worried about his academics as he is football. He runs a 4.7 40, and is a "seek-and-destroy" type player. He finds the football and attacks. Could be a 4-year starter.
Chavis Williams - 6'5" 220lbs 3-star from Dora, AL. Runs a 4.6. Was a DE in high school, but should be able to play that wonderful "Jack" position.
¶ 9:35 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Houston Nutt to Ole Miss. No idea who's going to be in at Arkansas. Jeff Bower's out at Southern Miss. They'll probably get Tyrone Nix. What on earth will Bower be doing next year? I heard Franchione's name associated with Duke. Would they really want that scum? Honestly?
For once, there's just a ton of jobs opening up - and Alabama's not one of them. We've got our coach. We have our recruiting base nailed down. We're killing em on the trails. We'll continue doing what we do while everyone else tries to figure out how to catch up.
So, let's take a look at the potential that we will have on the field next season with Saban's classes. Not saying these kids will be starters, of course, but it bodes well for the future. We'll go through the offense first.
Nick Fanuzzi - 6'3" 200lbs 3-star recruit from San Antonio, TX. He runs a 4.6, like Star Jackson, and seems to fit into Applewhite's schemes perfectly. He was redshirted this year after playing all of 3 snaps against Western Carolina.
Star Jackson - 6'3" 182lbs 4-star qb that runs a 4.6. He's a hoss and is a quick decision maker. He thinks pass first all the time, but he has the wheels to be able to make a play out of nothing.
Jeramie Griffin - 6'0" 230lbs 3-star fullback from South Panola in Batesville, MS. High school team never lost a game while he was on the team. He has breakaway 4.45 speed - which is odd for a fullback. He's a best though - so you could see him more at tailback.
Demetrius Goode - 4-star running back, 5'11" 200lbs and runs a 4.5 40. He's big, mean, and best of all, he's fast as who-knows-what. He tore his ACL this year, otherwise he might would have started for us this year.
Ivan Matchett - One of the two rbs we got from Mobile this season. 5'10" 206lbs and runs a 4.5. He's another one built just like Goode. This tandem will be tough to stop for years to come.
Jermaine Preyear - The 2nd of the two rbs we got from Mobile. 5'11" 205lbs and runs a 4.5, just like the other two. Like I said, this tandem will be tough to stop for years to come. You gotta like the fact that they're all big, strong - and fast on top of that.
Playmakers (slot, returners, etc)
Burton Scott - 5'11" 194lbs and runs a 4.4. He's a 5-star athlete with speed like you may not ever see again. He's lightning quick - and having him line up in the slot could allow you to do oh-so-many things with your offense.
Marquis Maze - 5'8" 160lbs and runs a 4.4. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the next coming of Tyrone Prothro. His hands aren't as good as Pro's, but I'll be damned if he's not just as quick, if not quicker. He's an amazing athlete - you'll see him returning kicks with Javier next year, and possibly lining up in the slot every now and then. Anything you can do to get the football in his hands, you should do it. Rumor is that every time this kid touches the football in practice, Coach Saban just grins and shakes his head. That's a good sign.
Mark Barron - 6'2" 202lbs and runs a 4.5. Sounds like a beast, right? With so many playmakers already, and the possibility of Julio Jones coming in, I would have to believe that he'll end up playing somewhere in the secondary. He's too big and too quick to not be an outstanding safety. I could be wrong though.
Julio Jones - No, he's not committed, but I'm assuming he will eventually. He's the best prospect to come out of the state since God-knows-when. He'll be all-world, as long as we have a qb that can get him the football. 6'4", 215lbs, and runs a 4.48. His vertical is stupid - 41 inches. He's like a damn superhero or something.
Brandon Gibson - Pretty important signee from the '07 class. He's 6'2" 190lbs and runs a 4.5. He's got great hands - as anybody that watched him at UMS-Wright will tell you - and he'll be a GREAT possession receiver. May not be a big play threat, but the kid can catch the football.
Destin Hood - 6'3" 190lbs and runs a 4.5. Another kid that can just flat out catch the football. Mobile is just filled with these kids - and it looks like they're all coming to the Capstone. Haha.
Melvin Ray - Another 4-star recruit, only this one's from Tallahassee. 6'2" 190lbs and another one that runs a 4.5 40. I haven't seen much on him, but my guess is that he's another one that just doesn't drop passes.
Chris Underwood - The diamond in the rough. 6'4" 202lbs, and has probably gotten bigger since he's been on campus. Forget Nick Walker and Travis McCall - this will be your pass-catching tight end next season. Bank on it. He was only a 2-star, but he's still a helluva athlete.
"Everything he preaches is the right thing. It's just sometimes we didn't go about it that way, and it showed," Hall said. "That's nobody's fault but ours. All we had to do was buy into what Coach was saying. We realize it now, but obviously, it's too late."
Truer words have never been spoken.
So, on this Monday after the yo-yo season has come to a halt, we won't look back at what happened to this season - because DJ Hall just told you in that quote up there. Instead, we'll look at what to expect from next season's squad.
First off, they announced today that Mike Sherman will be the new coach at Texas A&M, so Tubs will be staying to take his beating next year. It is also being reported that Chan Gailey has been fired at Georgia Tech. Just wanted to get that out of the way first.
The 2008 version of the Crimson Tide, aside from the remaining bowl game, wherever that may be, should look considerably different. No longer will we have discipline problems from our "star" receivers, DJ Hall and Keith Brown. They will both be gone. Wallace Gilberry, my favorite player this season, will be in the NFL doin his thing and terrorizing QBs. Simeon Castille won't be getting burned by white guys from Louisiana-Monroe next year. Marcus Carter won't miss any more tackles after getting into the backfield before everyone else. Keith Saunders won't hit the qb after the play anymore, giving Auburn a first down after holding them to a 3rd-and-12. Justin Britt and Chris Capps won't miss their blocks anymore.
Eric Gray, who gave up the deciding touchdown in the 2006 Iron Bowl, will be gone after not playing much this season. Darren Mustin, the heart and soul of this defense, along with Wallace Gilberry, will be gone. Johnathan Lowe, the 5'7" running back/returner/receiver/whatever-you-need will be gone.
And that's just the seniors that will be gone. Don't think that Saban's off-season program won't be enough to run off some members the junior class. Jimmy Johns will probably be gone. I'm not sure what to think about Lionel Mitchell. Cody Davis may not play football ever again.
Coming in will be a whole lot of young-young-young-young kids. Look for probably 70 to 75% of the team next season to be true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, or sophomores. Right now, on the 122 man roster on RollTide.com, there are 47 freshmen (upcoming sophomores), and 36 sophomores (upcoming juniors). That's 83/122. Or 68%. I look for it to possibly be more next season - with all of them being kids that believe in the process.
The process will continue on, probably with John Parker Wilson at QB to start the season, simply because he works his ass off, more-so than anybody else, to get better. If his problems continue (turnovers, misreads, etc), he'll be riding pine, playing behind Nick Fanuzzi or Star Jackson, who both seem to fit Major Applewhite's plan a little better. I expect Greg McElroy to transfer after this season.
I expect the senior class for next season to be better. I expect this team to gel more because of the senior leadership. I don't forsee any discipline issues like we had this season. I don't forsee stupidity from the "leaders" of the team. I think it took an ending to the season, like the one we just endured, to get these guys to pull together. The off-season conditioning program will be ridiculous. The players will be stronger and better because of it.
Don't think for a second that the incoming freshman class will fall away because of the recent losses. These kids know what's on the horizon. So do the younger players already on the roster. They understand, and that's the first step to becoming winners.
Hell yeah. We're dead serious. And I'm feelin good today. I haven't updated as much...but that shouldn't matter.
As I'm sure you all know, Coach O was fired by Ole Miss this morning after blowing the Mississippi State game yesterday. Going for it on 4th-and-1 at their own 49 yard line with 10 minutes left, up by 2 touchdowns, when State's offense hadn't done ANYTHING for the entire game. Instead, he gave them life. Ridiculous. And finally, Boone and Kayhat realized it. So, he's out. Coaching casualty number 1.
Next, after giving up 65 points to an average Colorado team, Nebraska fired Bill Callahan. That was the 6th game this year that the usually tough Nebraska defense had given up over 40 points in a game. Not good. He also recorded the only two losing seasons for Nebraska since 1962. It's a curious decision why they decided to give him a contract extension and a raise after last season, but we also see that the AD was fired in the middle of the year for being a complete idiot. Coaching casualty number 2.
Finally, everybody expected this one as well, but Dennis Franchione, after beating Texas for the 2nd straight year, resigned from Texas A&M last night immediately after the game. They are 7-5 and will be going bowling, but he never did take the program to the heights that they expected him to when they snuck him into town from Alabama 5 years ago. Coaching casualty number 3.
So who are the most likely candidates for these jobs? Well for Texas A&M, we're looking at Tommy Tuberville...and that's about the only name that I've really heard mentioned. At Ole Miss I've heard Franchione and Houston Nutt (who hasn't been fired from Arkansas yet). At Nebraska I keep hearing Turner Gill (coach at Buffalo) and Bo Pelini, but I wouldn't be surprised if Pelini's name drops off a lot of lists after giving up so much offense to Arkansas yesterday and dropping out of the national title race.
No, this post had nothing to do with the game tonight...but I don't wanna jinx a good feeling that I've got today. Let's just say ROLL TIDE!
¶ 3:52 PM0 commentslinks to this post
So long brotha. Can't win "the big one" at home with the whole world watching. With the most talent in the country, you once again lose 2 ballgames. It doesn't matter if you go 10-2 if you don't win any championships. That's just how it goes. Legends are made by people that win championships - not guys that go 10-2. Yes, 32-6 is a gaudy record...but where are your trophies? Where are the rings? Apparently the best talent in the country can only get you to 3 overtimes when you're being completely outcoached.
I mean, honestly, we saw how well your recruits can play when Beckwith was out of the game, when Hillis ran 60+ yards right up the gut when your linebacker overpursued on the play and ran himself out of position. We saw how undisciplined your team is when you had two straight big gains called back in the 4th quarter due to stupid penalties. Bottom line - we'll see ya in Ann Arbor.
And you, Coach O. Talk about a choke job of massive proportions. Leading 14-0 with under 8 minutes left, and you lose 17-14? I'm pretty sure that this performance sealed your fate. The only reason these guys won't fire you is because nobody on the PLANET wants that job. Congrats on going 0-fer in the SEC. That hasn't been done since Mississippi State in 2002 under Jackie Sherrill.
And to think. If Mike Shula hadn't been the coach, Derek Pegues would've gone to Alabama.
Well, in all honesty, I stayed up drinking waaaay too late last night with some friends of mine.
And now that I'm up, I don't feel like doing a whole lotta research. I might later in the day, but not right now.
I do know that Coach Saban's "Hey Coach" show ended on a great note last night with him mentioning that we need to pull together on this one, and a rousing Roll Tide that continued until he thought the crowd did it right. Haha. Constantly coaching.
Yes, I've been keeping up with the Siran Stacy incident. Our thoughts and prayers are definitely with him. He needs our support, so continue giving it, please. If you haven't heard what has happened, please read this article.
Even with the Iron Bowl this week, it kinda puts football in perspective.
But alas, we must fight on. We've got to keep the Aubs from getting #6.
Groves and Gilberry have kinda gone in different directions this season. Read about them flip-flopping roles here.
Brandon Cox, Auburn's QB, can become just the second Auburn qb with 3 wins over Alabama in his career. He's had an up-and-down career, but he's never lost to 'Bama, so we need to fix that this Saturday. Read more about his roller coaster.
John Parker Wilson has found a new way to study game film in the aftermath of the La-Monroe debacle. He's putting in even more homework, and he's doing what he can. Hopefully that will be enough this weekend.
You can bet your ass that there will be nobody on the field playing harder than Wallace Gilberry on Saturday night. He's wanted a win over Auburn for the last 4 seasons and hasn't gotten one yet. He wants to walk out Saturday, from his last Iron Bowl, with a win.