For a coach that tries to perpetuate values like hard work and accountability, Nick Saban sure sounds like a guy who is making excuses for the beating that his Crimson Tide took in last year’s Sugar Bowl to CFT’s National Champion Utah.In his Alabama Blog for the Birmingham News, Ian R. Rapoport talks specifically about Saban capitalizing on the opportunity to “send a message.” Yet Saban also takes the opportunity to pass the buck when discussing last year’s disappointing loss in the Sugar Bowl, sending along this message for players, coaches, and fans.“I want our fans to understand that when they don’t have positive passion and energy for what we’re trying to accomplish, then it affects everyone,” Saban said. “Last year’s team was a great example of that.”“There’s very little interest from our fans, our players or anybody else to play in the Sugar Bowl, which to me is a tremendous opportunity,” Saban said. “I tried to tell everyone, you’re only going to remember one thing about this game and that’s the outcome. So there’s no interest, there’s no passion and everybody is embarrassed because of how we played. Well, it’s because you didn’t have any passion for it, you didn’t have any interest in it, you didn’t have any enthusiasm to do it, and that’s across the board. And that’s not right. We go to a BCS bowl game, everybody ought to be positive and enthusiastic about what we’re doing.“Would it be too much to simply turn the page, or to give the stock “on any given Saturday” answer?While Saban’s tried to clarify that he isn’t just blaming the fans, he’s blaming everyone (including himself), what he’s really doing is further tarnishing a coaching legacy that most thought was immune to an embarrassment like last year’s BCS Bowl.If your team can’t get over a disappointing loss to Florida in a month, and get up for a BCS game against the lone undefeated team in the nation, Saban and the Crimson Tide need to look in the mirror if they’re searching for someone to blame.
Minnesota was busy on the scheduling front today with the announcement of future home-and-home series with Colorado and BYU.
Minnesota will host BYU on September 26, 2020 and travel to BYU five years later on September 20, 2025. In between, Minnesota will complete a home-and-home with Colorado from the Pac-12. Colorado will host the Gophers on September 18, 2021 and Minnesota will welcome the Buffs to their turf on September 17, 2022. (FBSchedules.com notes the Minnesota-Colorado series has been known since 2012, leaving it a mystery why it was announced today).
For Minnesota, all four game swill satisfy their nonconference scheduling obligation in the Big Ten. Big Ten teams must schedule one game per year against another power conference opponent, or one deemed to be equal in status. BYU meets that standard for the Big Ten. The Pac-12 has no such scheduling obligations for its members.
Colorado is 3-0 all-time against the Gophers, with the most recent meeting between the two coming in 1992. Minnesota and BYU have never met in football.
Alabama has clearly been the best team in the country this season, which is supported by being a near-unanimous No. 1 in both the AP and coaches polls. Either LSU cornerback Dwayne Thomas hasn’t been paying attention, watching or got the memo, but he is certainly not mincing words when he looks forward to next week’s SEC West clash with the Crimson Tide.
“I really see us dominating this offense. I really see us dominating this team,” Thomas said when discussing next week’s game with Alabama (LSU and Alabama are each off this week). “This is the year. We’ve been letting them off the hook for the last couple of years. This is my senior year. We’re going out with a bang. It’s time for us to bring that win back. We’re going to be at home. I feel like we have the edge to take it to them, and we’re going to take it to them. I feel like we’re going to dominate this game.”
Alabama has the nation’s 15th-ranked offense, averaging 498.0 yards per game. LSU has the 14th-ranked defense, allowing just 313.9 yards per game. If there is an area of concern for Alabama that LSU could exploit, it may be in the turnover game. The Crimson Tide have lost the football 12 times. Alabama has made up for it on defense though, with 16 takeaways and a ton of points scored by the defense.
Alabama has won five straight games in the series, starting with the 2012 BCS Championship Game. LSU has not scored more than 17 point sin a game against Alabama during that run. Alabama will be a solid favorite against the Tigers this season, but LSU has started to turn a corner since making a coaching change. Ed Orgeron is 3-0 since taking over for the fired Les Miles, and the impact of having a healthy Leonard Fournette was on full display last weekend against Ole Miss. LSU may be playing their best football at the best possible time. Will it be enough to give Alabama a challenge?
We’ll just have to wait to find out for sure, unless you want to just skip it and take Thomas at his word.
Corey Thompson is hoping this season isn’t his last at LSU.
The linebacker sustained an unspecified lower-leg injury during the first few days of summer camp in August. It was originally thought that Thompson would be back in 6-8 weeks, but interim head coach Ed Orgeron confirmed Tuesday that the fifth-year senior will likely be sidelined for all of 2016.
“I think he’s going to redshirt,” Orgeron said according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I think he’s going to redshirt and that decision has been made, just final the other day. I don’t think I’m talking out of hand, but I think that’s what’s going to happen.”
Thompson has what’s seemingly a slam-dunk case for a sixth season of eligibility that would allow him to play in 2017. In addition to all of 2016, Thompson sat out the entire 2014 season because of injury.
According to Orgeron, Thompson will seek a waiver from the NCAA.
In 2013 and 2015, Thompson started eight of the 19 games in which he played at safety. He moved to linebacker after the 2015 season, and was penciled in as a starter prior to the injury.
An odd and somewhat disturbing situation is ongoing in Memphis involving two Tiger football players.
According to a police report obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, several gunshots were fired at the vehicle of Tigers wide receiver Jae’Lon Oglesby, who wasn’t in the vehicle at te time but heard the shots from inside his apartment. The Commercial Appeal writes that Oglesby “noticed bullet holes in two windows and both of the passenger-side doors of his Nissan Altima, as well as bullet damage to the roof of the car.”
Oglesby told police he did not see who fired the shots, but did indicate that he had been involved in what was described as a physical altercation with a teammate, cornerback Kam Prewitt, earlier in the day.
Police are currently investigating the incident, and the university is aware of the situation.
“We are aware of the incident involving two student-athletes on the University of Memphis campus yesterday and are cooperating fully with the investigation,” athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement. “All student-athletes are subject to the University of Memphis Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, as well as University and athletic department policies.
“In addition, we are monitoring a second situation involving shots fired at a student-athlete’s parked vehicle at an off-campus location. We have offered our full support to the local authorities investigating that incident.”
Following Wednesday’s practice, head coach Mike Norvell stated that “[w]e’re in the evaluation stage of everything that has happened.” Neither Oglesby nor Prewitt were at that practice.
The past two seasons, Oglesby, a sophomore, has caught 25 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. Five of those catches and 46 of the yards have come in 2016. He also has carried the ball eight times for 64 yards.
A redshirt freshman, Prewitt has yet to play a down for the Tigers. According to the Commercial Appeal he was suspended during summer camp for undisclosed reasons.