Do they commit to a program or to a coach?

Posted by | May 8, 2010 | -

I have to believe in some situations, the coach is the trump card in the recruiting game. For example, let’s say a can’t miss, blue-chip running back or linebacker can go to any university in the country to play football. That’s any campus in any city in any state in the union. Why do so many of the top players choose Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the Crimson Tide over say more exotic destinations such as Los Angeles (USC) or any one of a host of places in Florida or Texas? My guess is, Nick Saban has a way of making the University of Alabama look pretty darn appealing. Not that the city or the campus can’t be attractive on their own merits. But ask a recruit at a big school like that, why they are there. I would be willing to guess most of the time it’s because of the head coach. Almost like the old chicken and the egg routine. What comes first in order of importance to a recruit? The coach or the program that the coach has helped create? [More]

Recruiting: Where will Spencer Region play football

Spencer Region, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound lineman from Cullman, who committed to Auburn in February, has re-opened his recruitment, his high school coach confirmed Friday. “I don’t know if de-committed is the right word,” Cullman coach Mark Britton said. “I do know he has opened back up his recruiting. … I think he committed so early, he and his family members want to make sure everything is best for him. He’s just wanting to step back and re-evaluate a little bit.” He also has offers from Florida State, Georgia, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas and others, but Britton said it’s still likely an in-state decision. [More]

After Mark Ingram, who are the dark horse Heisman candidates?

Last season, no one listed Alabama’s sophomore tailback Mark Ingram among the top contenders for the 2009 Heisman Trophy. That’s because Ingram was the definition of a dark horse, a young player who had shown flashes of talent in his freshman season, but hadn’t been so impressive as to elicit preseason praise. First, as a preliminary, in order to win the Heisman Trophy your team has to win nine games. That’s a prerequisite for the reward. The reality is that the award has become a lazy exercise where we pick the best player on the best team. Now, as we enter the long college football offseason, we’re bringing you a collection of 12 SEC Heisman contenders who may be this year’s Mark Ingram. 1. Greg McElroy, quarterback, Call it the reverse USC. College football fans will remember Reggie Bush won the Heisman the year after Matt Leinart won. USC went on to lose to Texas in the national title game, but Heisman fatigue led another stellar player on the same team to the award. The same could easily happen at Alabama, only in reverse — the quarterback supplants the running back this time. [More]

Spring football reins supreme in the South

Among the most attended spring games in the nation this year, eight of the top 15 were in the SEC, with 11 coming from the South overall, according to figures compiled by Sports Business Daily. Leading the way was Alabama, which has annually broken its spring-game attendance record under Nick Saban. Last month, the Tide drew 91,312 to Bryant-Denny Stadium for basically what amounts to a scrimmage. Alabama’s arch-rival, Auburn, drew a crowd of 63,217 for the Tigers’ spring game, the fourth-highest total in the nation. Florida was sixth in the nation, with 51,500 attending the Orange and Blue Debut on April 10. The other SEC schools in the top 15 were Georgia (38,472), Tennessee (35,000), Mississippi State (34,127), Ole Miss (30,229) and Arkansas (30,000). [More]

Alabama will play Ohio State for the BCS title

There is a reason why nobody has repeated as college football’s national champions since Nebraska in 1994-95. It’s safe to say that Alabama knows that it is—pardon the pun—swimming against the Tide as it tries to repeat as national champions in 2010. Coach Nick Saban has been in this position before. His 2003 LSU team won the national championship. But on Sept. 18 in 2004 his No. 5 Tigers lost 10-9 at Auburn, which went on to go undefeated and win the SEC championship. “We have stressed to our guys the importance of looking at this team and making it the very best it can be and that it is a daily process. That has to be your focus—not what you did last year,” said Saban. “They understand that it is more difficult to repeat something than to do it the first time. There is a reason for that.” But the consensus coming out of spring practice is that if anybody can repeat as national champions, Saban and this Alabama team can do it. [More]

Roll Tide!

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