Tag: #Alabama #CrimsonTide #RollTide #SEC

The Alabama doesn’t play nobody debate is over

Nobody better use the “Bama don’t play nobody” phrase ever again.

On Thursday, Alabama added another home-and-home series against Ohio State. The games, slated for 2027 and 2028, will first be played in Ohio Stadium and then in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

It will be the first time the teams have played during the regular season since 1986.

“This series with Ohio State adds another outstanding non-conference opponent to our future football schedules,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement. “We are thrilled at the progress we’ve made in securing such quality home-and-homes that will provide tremendous opportunities for our team and an exciting game-day atmosphere for our fans in the coming years.”

Since taking over as athletic director, Byrne has locked in 11 home-and-home series, including the upcoming neutral site game against USC, on September 5.

In the next 15 years Alabama has scheduled Texas in 2022 and 2023, Wisconsin in 2024 and 2025, Florida State in 2025 and 2026, West Virginia in 2026 and 2027, Ohio State in 2027 and 2028, Notre Dame in 2028 and 2029, Georgia Tech in 2030 and 2031, Oklahoma in 2032 and 2033, Arizona in 2032 and 2033 and Virginia Tech in 2034 and 2035.

Alabama also has games with South Florida for 2023, 2024 and 2026.

Nick Saban will likely coach a few of those games, but it will be interesting to see who the head coach is at the time of the Ohio State matchup. Nonetheless, this type of series is what’s so great about college football.

Byrne gets it, neutral site games are great, but home-and-home matchups between two storied programs is how it should be. The College Football Playoff committee has valued overall record over the strength of schedule, but with the possibility of expanding the playoffs to eight teams, the expectations could change. A larger playoff would allow teams to schedule tougher regular-season non-conference opponents and have more room to breathe with a loss.

Critics will continue to argue against Alabama, but its an argument that no longer is supported. The Crimson Tide has its toughest schedule in over a decade. They play USC to open the season, then Georgia two weeks later in Tuscaloosa. They travel to LSU and play Auburn at home. According to ESPN’s FPI, Alabama will face one of the toughest schedules in college football.

Alabama deserves a lot of credit for its efforts to schedule powerhouse opponents in the coming years.

The message Byrne is sending is that; Alabama will play anyone, anytime and anywhere. Just as long as the opposing team wants to do so.

Taulia Tagovailoa leaving Alabama was not a shocker

Taulia Tagovailoa has left Alabama and it came at no surprise. In the middle of a global pandemic, with no spring practice, no spring game and no telling when fall camp will start, it was time.

Alabama will forever cherish the Tagovailoa’s. Tua beat out Jalen Hurts. He won a national championship and set multiple school and national records. One may argue that no other Crimson Tide player has ever made the impact that he did on the program.

But for Taulia, he will be remembered for his high school career and for being the younger of the two. In Alabama, he threw for 71 touchdowns in two seasons at Thompson and was named 7A Quarterback of the Year in 2018 and 2019 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Taulia threw for 13,577 yards and 135 touchdowns in high school.

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But with his brother being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, he no longer wants to be at Alabama. Do you blame him?

Mac Jones was likely the starter, Bryce Young, the backup and a battle between Taulia and Paul Tyson–the great-grandson of the late Paul “Bear” Bryant– for the third spot. It is fair to think he did not want to waste another year of eligibility.

And that’s ok.

Alabama should be good without Taulia. Now, he can be a quarterback outside of his brother’s shadow.

He joins a Maryland team coached by Mike Locksley, the former Alabama offensive coordinator and the coach who initially recruited him. He will have Rakim Jarrett, the No. 4 wide receiver nationally, No. 1 wide receiver in Washington D.C. and the No. 27 overall player.

He has the talent. He has a coach that believes in him. Now, he needs to deliver.

Some have questioned whether or not he should have been at Alabama. Both Tagovailoa’s had dreams of playing at the highest level, but they often made decisions with the family. Staying at Alabama, he would have forever been compared to his brother, regardless of how well he performed.

It’s hard being a little brother. Being Tua’s brother is even harder.

But despite living in the shadows, during Alabama’s season opener verse Duke, Taulia, with 5:03 left in the game and the Crimson Tide leading 35-3, handed the ball off to Jerome Ford for a touchdown. He celebrated. He was flexing towards the sideline. In his first collegiate game, he led a scoring drive. His older brother was there—the first to congratulate him before he had to hold the PAT.

That’s something they’ll have together for the rest of their lives. Nothing will ever take that moment away—no amount of distance. No matter where their journey takes them. They played college ball together.

In Alabama, the Tagovailoa’s are royalty.

Tua is the Hawaiian prince.

Taulia was supposed to follow.

That’s how it always will be.

His family lives in Alabama.

But it was time to say goodbye.

Tagovailoa enters transfer portal but Miami might not be the best fit for him

It was the secret everyone knew about. Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, entered his name into the transfer portal.

That doesn’t mean he will leave Alabama, a player can remove his name from the database at any time, but now other programs are permitted to contact him and do not need permission. However, NCAA bylaws permit schools to pull the scholarship from the player at the end of the semester.

The younger of the Tagovailoa’s was a four-star recruit of Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class. He was the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Alabama. He had planned to redshirt his freshman season, but his brother’s season-ending injury forced him to burn that opportunity.

In five games, Tagovailoa completed nine of his 12 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama was not able to have spring practice and there is no telling when fall camp will start. With Mac Jones likely the starter, and Bryce Young, the No. 1 quarterback and No. 2 overall player in the country coming in as a freshman, there is no room for a quarterback battle. It may be that Tagovailoa doesn’t want to waste another year of eligibility waiting his turn if that ever comes.

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And even though many people think he will end up in Miami with his brother, that may not be the most realistic option. Miami is D’Eriq King’s program for now. And even though King only has one season with the Hurricanes, that system might not be the right fit for Tagovailoa. It would almost be catastrophic if he transfers to Miami and gets put into a situation like former Ohio State quarterback and five-star recruit Tate Martell.

Another obstacle is the number of scholarships available. Miami is currently looking at a pair of transfers from different positions, so Miami might not even have a spot for Tagovailoa.

If he wants to be near his brother, South Florida, Florida International or Florida Atlantic may be a better, more realistic landing spot. Given that FIU is a hotbed for quarterbacks, don’t be shocked if Tagovailoa ends up there or at least has conversations with the coaching staff.

According to FIU’s recruiting coordinator, Nick Stuhlmuller, the Panthers have had more quarterbacks drafted the past three years than any other school in the sunshine state including, Florida, Florida State, Miami, FAU and UCF.

Over the past five seasons, those five schools have had just one quarterback drafted—Miami’s Brad Kaaya, who was a seventh-round pick in 2017 to the Detriot Lions.

So, maybe, the Hurricanes wouldn’t be the best fit for him. In 2019 FIU upset Miami 30-24 with former Miami head coach Butch Davis.

Or, maybe, he could end up outside the state of Florida altogether. 

Alabama lands JUCO transfer Keon Ellis

Alabama basketball and head coach Nate Oats continues to impress on the recruiting trail.

JUCO transfer and four-star guard Keon Ellis announced on his Twitter page that he was committed to the Crimson Tide. He picked Alabama over Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Iowa State, Middle Tennessee State and Fresno State.

The 6-foot-6, 165-pound combo guard averaged 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game at Florida SouthWestern State College. He earned SunCoast Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors.

The Buccaneers finished the season 29-2.

247Sports has Ellis ranked as the third-best player overall and No. 1 combo guard on the JUCO market.

Still in consideration for the Crimson Tide is Yale transfer Jordan Bruner, three-star forward Darius Miles and JUCO transfer Saquan Singleton.

Trio of Alabama players will enter 2020 NBA Draft

A trio of Alabama basketball players will be “testing the NBA waters.”

Wednesday morning Kira Lewis Jr. announced on Twitter his decision to enter the 2020 NBA Draft while keeping his eligibility. The sophomore, who reclassified to join the 2018 class, played last season as an 18-year-old.

In 2019-20, Lewis Jr. averaged 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Over two years with the Crimson Tide, he had 1,031 total points, 260 assists and only 183 turnovers.

Hours later, John Petty Jr. took to Instagram announcing he will forgo his senior season to enter the draft.

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In 2019-20, Petty Jr. averaged 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He earned second-team all-conference honors after being one of the country’s best three-point shooters, ranking 9th nationally and first in the SEC shooting 44-percent from beyond the arc.

On Saturday, junior forward Herbert Jones announced on Instagram he will enter the draft while also keeping his eligibility.

Despite missing five games due to a fractured left wrist, he led the team in charges taken 22, deflections 84 and floor dives 31 while averaging 7.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Alabama basketball lands top Canadian recruit

Nate Oats and his staff landed top Canadian prospect Josh Primo when he committed to Alabama Friday morning.

The 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard, Primo, is a five-star recruit in 247Sports’ individual rankings and is ranked as the No. 7 combo guard and 27th-best overall player in the 2020 recruiting class.

He is the No. 17 pick in ESPN’s mock 2021 NBA Draft.

Along with the Crimson Tide, Creighton was his other finalist.

Despite whether or not guards Kira Lewis Jr. and John Petty Jr. keep their names in the NBA Draft or return to Alabama, the Crimson Tide’s roster is in good shape.

SEC cancels remaining sports for 2019-20

Amid the CoronaVirus and all the sports cancellations, the Southeastern Conference has become the latest to cancel all regular-season conference and nonconference competitions for the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year.

“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a prepared statement. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”

Pro days and all spring football games will also be canceled.

Team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings remain suspended through at least April 15.

Earlier Tuesday, the ACC announced it would cancel athletic activities through the end of the school year. The American Athletic Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have all made similar decisions.

Most schools have moved to online learning and several commencement ceremonies have been canceled. Despite the changes, the SEC will continue to provide their student-athletes with the appropriate support in academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing.

Fans who purchased tickets for the SEC softball and baseball tournaments will receive a full refund by March 31.

Brady no longer in New England, sets up the possibility for Tua Tagovailoa

Tom Brady’s 20-year run with the New England Patriots has come to an end, following a message he posted on Instagram Tuesday morning.

It is unclear what team Brady will sign with for the 2020 season, but it won’t be New England. On Wednesday, he will hit the league’s open market but could reach an agreement with another team Tuesday, when players and teams can negotiate deals.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the six-time Super Bowl champion has not made a decision. ESPN’s Dianna Russini, posted on Twitter that sources from both the Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have no idea what Brady is going to do. Both teams remain watching his every move, just like the rest of the public is.

But, Buccaneer’s general manager Jason Licht stated he has an interest in Brady and said that the two sides spoke Monday.

Brady leaves the Patriots as the most accomplished quarterback in the history of the game. He and Bill Belichick had one of the all-time great quarterback/coach tandems. And despite his final pass being a pick-six by former teammate Logan Ryan in the Patriots’ 20-13 playoff loss to the Titans, what he’s accomplished in New England cannot be ignored.

Three NFL Most Valuable Player awards (2007, 2010, 2017), tying him with Jim Brown, Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas for second-most all-time behind Peyton Manning. Fifteen Super Bowl records, four Super Bowl MVP awards, a record 13 conference title-game appearances and a record nine conference championships. He holds a record 17 division championships, has led the Patriots to at least 12 regular-season wins 13 times, the most all-time and became the first 42-year-old quarterback in history to start every game in a regular season.

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Replacing Brady isn’t easy, but the Patriots have a plan. Jarrett Stidham, a fourth-round draft pick in 2019 who appeared in three games last season, is next in line.

Before his season-ending hip injury on Nov. 16 against Mississippi State, Tua Tagovailoa was a potential first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But because of the injury, teams will pass up the opportunity to draft him. It’s not shocking nor a bad idea. Whether Tagovailoa can play football at the level he once did is still up in the air. Only time will tell and there’s no reason to risk it for some teams.

But, Brady leaving sets up the opportunity for Tagovailoa to somehow end up in New England.

The Patriots will have to trade up and Belichick will have to work his magic, but it’s not impossible. New England has the No. 23 pick in the NFL Draft, if somehow they can slide into the top-ten, they would have a chance at drafting Tagovailoa.

Belichick and Alabama head coach Nick Saban has a close relationship and it’s well known Belichick likes what he gets out of Alabama players.

Over three-years with the Crimson Tide, Tagovailoa had a career quarterback rating of 93.4, the best in the history of the metric (which was instituted in 2004). He set school record’s for passing touchdowns (87) and 300-yard games (10). He finished with 7,442 passing yards (3rd All-Time in Alabama history), set single-season records for 3,966 passing yards (2018), passing touchdowns (43) and holds a single-game record with six passing touchdowns against Ole Miss (2018).

The Patriots like what they see in Stidham, but he is untested. Tagovailoa, too, is unproven. But if healthy, he has the potential to be a special player and could be the perfect high risk-high reward move for the Patriots.

Alabama’s tournament hopes fall to Vanderbilt

When the city of Nashville needed someone to stand up and fight, the Vanderbilt basketball team was there to answer the call. On a night removed from the deadly tornados that killed at least 25 people, the Commodores came into Tuscaloosa and played some of its best basketball of the season.

Led by Saben Lee, scoring a career-high 38 points, with eight rebounds and five assists, with nothing to lose, they showed what it meant to play for something more than just basketball.

Alabama didn’t make it easy, though. Graduate-student guard James Bolden on his senior night hit seven three-pointers finishing with 24 points and three rebounds.

But even in the worst of circumstances, Vanderbilt gave Nashville something to cheer for. Even if only for a night.

With its postseason hopes hanging by a thread, the Crimson Tide (16-14, 8-9 SEC) couldn’t finish, losing its final home game of the season, 87-79. It is the Commodores’ (10-20, 2-15 SEC) first road SEC win since 2018 and just its second conference win of the season beating then ranked No. 3 LSU earlier in the year.

“Obviously a super disappointing loss,” head coach Nate Oats’ said in a press release. “That probably buries our tournament chances, which we kind of knew, barring us winning the SEC tournament, we probably aren’t going to be playing in it.”

Sophomore guard Kira Lewis Jr. led Alabama with 30 points and four rebounds. He became the second-fastest Crimson Tide player to reach 1,000 career points. Freshman guard Jaden Shackelford finished with 18 points.

Despite the impressive numbers Alabama is putting up, they continue to have trouble with turnovers and junior forward Alex Reece. In the last 10 games, he is just 15-of-63 from behind the arc and since LSU, he is 8-of-32. Reece struggles to play stout defense and hold on to loose balls.

With one game left on the Crimson Tide’s schedule, whatever hope there was to make the NCAA tournament is now gone.

Its win the SEC tournament or get invited to the NIT.

As Cecil Hurt, of The Tuscaloosa News, pointed out, over the last four seasons, the Crimson Tide holds a 15-25 record, including an 8-12 home record in February and March. Despite what injuries there are, what players are eligible, or not eligible, nothing changes, the NCAA tournament should not be the expectation. 

“We talk about max effort here and we didn’t give it tonight,” Oats said. “I am really disappointed. This is not the first time we’ve done this, though. We are good enough. We lost at Kentucky, but when you look at the other top teams in this league, we beat LSU, we beat Auburn, go to overtime at Auburn, up 21 at Florida and end up losing, Mississippi State is in front of us in the rankings and we beat them. To me, that’s inconsistency and effort. We have to get that changed.”

Alabama plays its final game of the regular season Saturday at Missouri. Tipoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. CT.

Alabama wins a crucial game against South Carolina

If you had any doubts, put them to rest until a later date.

After trailing 12-1 early in the first half, Alabama (16-13, 8-8 SEC) was able to fight back and beat South Carolina, 90-86, keeping its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

“I told our guys during the week and before the game that I thought this game was one that would reveal a lot about our character and I thought it did, especially with the way we started,” head coach Nate Oats said in a press release. “South Carolina got up 12 in the first five or six minutes of the game.”

With junior guard John Petty Jr. out due to injury, freshman forward Javian Davis stepped up. He was physical and got to the foul line, finishing 11-of-15 from the charity stripe. Davis earned a double-double with a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Junior forward Herbert Jones continued to do the dirty work, despite only playing with one hand. Having two steals and throwing his body on the hardwood, the “One-Handed Bandit,” as the commentators dubbed him, continued to show why he belongs in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year.

 

 

Sophomore guard Kira Lewis Jr. led the Crimson Tide with 25 points, finishing 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Jaden Shackelford added 18 points and seven rebounds. Jones had 10 points and eight rebounds, finishing 4-of-6 from the foul line.

Alabama outrebounded South Carolina 44-39 and only had 11 turnovers. The Crimson Tide attempted a season-high 47 free throws, capitalizing on 33.

Oats’ was called for his sixth technical of the season, making Alabama 6-0 in games he has been T’d up.

With two games remaining on the Crimson Tide’s schedule, there is an opportunity to reach 18 wins. That, and the chance to earn wins in the SEC tournament could be enough to get a bid into the NCAA tournament.

“This puts us in a great spot going into the last week of the regular season,” Oats said.

But it is crucial Alabama finishes strong and keeps its mishaps to a minimum.

Alabama hosts Vanderbilt (9-20, 1-15 SEC) in its final home game of the regular season Tuesday night. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT.