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WATCH: Nick Saban launches quintessential Nick Saban rant

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The calendar may say March, but Nick Saban‘s testiness with the media screams mid-October.

Tuesday, Alabama kicked off spring practice as the Crimson Tide begins preparing for the 2017 season.  Afterward, and as is standard practice, the head coach met with the media to review the day’s proceedings and gave an overview of the current state of his squad.

One particular question, however, raised Saban’s dander, with the offending party having the gall to ask about the Tide returning to a “ball-control” mentality based on how the national championship game loss played out.  That was enough to set Saban off, with the coach initially teeing off on the questioner — “[D]o you do what everybody else in the media does,  just create some shit, put it on the wall and see what sticks?” — before veering off on a tangent about an NCAA rule regarding high school coaches; dipping his toes into the loud noise surrounding politics; and finally getting back to the original topic.

Below is the transcript of Saban’s rant, followed by video of his latest measured tongue-lashing of the media.

There, there, there, there was nothing, you know we didn’t block them, we didn’t execute very well. We didn’t throw the ball accurately when we had open people and a couple of times we dropped it, so I think it was more a lack of execution than something schematically that we were doing, and that’s on us as coaches. That’s not to blame anybody but us for not having players more well-prepared. You know, the defense also needs to get themselves off the field on third down so that they don’t have to play as many plays, so it’s a combination of things.

“I do think that we could have executed a lot better in that particular game and I think most players would probably tell you that on both sides of the ball — not to take anything away from Clemson — but it is what it is. But, as we always do, we’re going to self-assess what we did through quality control, what we did well, what we need to improve on, visit people [to] try to get better at the things we need to do better. I don’t, philosophically, we’re not, I don’t know where you came up with where we need to go to ball control. That’s not what we do. I mean, the New England Patriots threw the ball over 60-some-percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So where does that assumption come from? Or do you do what everybody else in the media does, just create some shit, put it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere. And people who scream the loudest, they kind of get the attention and we pass some rule that everybody has to live with, or some law, and the consequences mess up a lot of other things. Do it all the time. We’re doing it right now. The NC-double-A is doing it. We’re gonna change the way we have summer camps, we can’t have high school coaches working summer camps. I mean, it’s the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever seen. But it is what it is and whatever they do they do.

“So we say we don’t want third-parties dealing with players so we’re not going to let the high school coach bring a guy to camp but some third-party guy can bring him to camp now. Makes no sense at all. I mean, but all the people who have common sense, they won’t say anything about it. But the people who scream the loudest will get the thing changed and it’ll mess everything up. It’s the way it goes. The way it goes in the world, politics, just the way it goes. Same thing way with you: we’re going to be more conservative now and ball-control offense. Where did that come from? I never said that. Nobody in this building ever said that, so where’d you come up with that? Just, you know, had a dream about it or what? If we had caught some passes in the national championship game, we had guys open, we wouldn’t have had to control the ball. We would have scored more touchdowns.

Michigan, UCLA to do combined football camp this summer

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A pair of teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 have decided to combine forces for a little camping action this summer.

During an interview Thursday, UCLA head coach Jim Mora revealed that his coaching staff as well as Michigan’s will work a football camp together in a couple of months. The camp will take place in June on the UCLA campus.

Mora’s counterpart at U-M, in case you were wondering, is expected to take part as well.

“We’re going to have a camp,” Mora told the Rich Eisen Show by way of mlive.com. “Michigan is going to send some of their coaches out, (Jim) Harbaugh is coming out – we’re going to do a combined camp with Michigan. It’s going to be fun.”

Interestingly, there is a very recent coaching connection between the two programs to add to the summer marriage.

The past two seasons, Jedd Fisch had served as the quarterbacks coach/wide receivers coach/passing-game coordinator for the Wolverines. In early January, it was announced that Fisch would be the Bruins’ new offensive coordinator. He’ll also serve as quarterbacks coach.

Football meets futbol as Texas A&M’s Kyle Field trying to host Manchester Derby friendly

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Football could turn into futbol at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field this summer.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the venue is on the short list to host English Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City for a stateside derby on July 20th this summer.

“We firmly believe Texas A&M is a world-class university, so you’re bringing world-class Premier League soccer teams to the campus,” Aggies senior associate athletic director Kevin Hurley told the paper.

For college football fans not aware, the two teams are some of the biggest soccer clubs in the world and annually stage a Manchester derby (think home-and-home series) several times a year for supremacy in the large, industrial English city. The upcoming game between the two in the United States is set to be part of the International Champions Cup, which has hosted several other major clubs from across Europe in matches at college football stadiums ranging from the Big House at Michigan to Oregon’s Autzen Stadium.

Perhaps most interestingly, the DMN notes that Texas’ Memorial Stadium was originally in the running to host the game but organizers had to look elsewhere because of scheduling issues. The Longhorns and Aggies used to have one of the best rivalries in all of college athletics so it just makes sense for the two to have a bit and a back-and-forth when it comes to hosting a rivalry of a different kind.

Houston’s NRG Stadium (home of the Texans) is also reportedly in the mix but playing a soccer game at one of college football’s loudest venues seems like the no-brainer choice on novelty alone. It would be worth going to alone to see A&M fans explain ‘Gig’em’ and the ’12 Man’ to those from across the pond.

Bear Bryant’s great-grandson picks up offer from SEC school not named Alabama

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When you think of legendary head coach Bear Bryant, the Alabama Crimson Tide typically comes to mind. After all, that’s where he solidified his status on the Mount Rushmore of college football and had the most success of any coach not named Nick Saban.

Some outside the South may not realize it though, but Bryant really developed his reputation running a football team at another SEC and only some fans would be able to guess that came during his eight seasons at Kentucky. During his tenure in Lexington, Bryant guided the Wildcats to their first SEC football title (in 1950) and saw unprecedented success (before or since) on the gridiron at the school that included several top 10 finishes. Now it appears that connection to UK could play a role in landing a budding 2019 recruit.

Per AL.comPaul Tyson was the latest player to receive a scholarship offer from Mark Stoops and his staff and, while that name might not ring a bell, it turns out that Tyson is the great-grandson of one Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound signal-caller from Hewitt-Trussville High is not yet considered a blue-chip recruit but 247Sports is reporting that several power programs (including Alabama) are interested in him. Tyson didn’t even start for the varsity team last season but given his good size and good genes, it’s safe to say he could see his stock explode over the coming years.

The real question is though, if the Crimson Tide come along with an offer, would the quarterback be able to turn down a chance to play in Tuscaloosa? As with everything in recruiting, we’ll have to wait until pen meets paper on National Signing Day.

One Nebraska offensive lineman transferring to Kansas, another set for Texas Tech

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Spring practice has wrapped up at Nebraska and a pair of offensive lineman are on their way out of the program for greener pastures in the Cornhuskers old home of the Big 12.

 

First up on the moving van is offensive lineman Zach Hannon, who announced on Thursday he will transfer to Kansas. The Kansas City native is a graduate transfer so he should be able to play right away with the Jayhawks.

He’s not the only offensive lineman pursuing a graduate transfer from Lincoln however, as Dwayne Johnson also announced his intention to earn his diploma next month and move on to a Big 12 school — in this case Texas Tech.

The back-to-back departures is a bit of a blow to the Cornhuskers depth along the offensive line but neither was expected to start in 2017 for the team. Johnson appeared in only two games during his Nebraska career while Hannon played in only 15 contests with most of the snaps on special teams. Each faces a big learning curve at their new stops given that both of those Big 12 schools run some version of the Air Raid offense but the move does give them both a fresh start in 2017.