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Nick Saban does not like the new redshirt rule

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been one of the more progressive minds in the sport over the years, but he is not exactly on board with the new redshirt rule in college football this season.

I do think that this is not a good rule,” Saban said of the redshirt rule, according to Yahoo! Sports. “The timing of guys being able to say ‘I want to get redshirted’ is not good — the fourth or fifth or sixth game of the season after they’ve played three or four games.”

Saban went on to suggest a player choosing to transfer after four games is unfair to the teammates that player is then leaving behind.

“We gave them a scholarship. I don’t really think it’s fair to their teammates to have the option to not continue to play,” Saban explained. “I think that’s not a good thing. I think the intent of the rule was so you can play a young player, a freshman player, and enhance his development. This has turned into something that I think is less than what we all desired it to be.”

The new redshirt rule allows a player to appear in up to four games without sacrificing a year of eligibility, as long as that player has a redshirt year to use. The transfer rule was implemented with the idea of providing some more roster flexibility throughout the season to get younger players some playing time and provide a possible buffer to fill in depth concerns that arise due to injuries as the season goes along. But one of the other impacts the rule is having is becoming more visible in that players can now appear in four games and then decide whether or not they want to transfer to another program for a shot at a better position on the field.

Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant made his decision to transfer out of the program last week, shortly after Dabo Swinney had decided to give the starting job to freshman Trevor Lawrence. Bryant’s decision to leave Clemson in the middle of the season may become the new norm under the redshirt rule, which is what is what is concerning Saban and perhaps other coaches around the country.

The reason this is relevant at Alabama is that Jalen Hurts just played in his fifth game for Alabama, thus burning his year of eligibility this season despite Tua Tagovailoa being the team’s starter. Saban said he was not going to be concerned about the redshirt rule as he went through this season, and perhaps that was evidenced by the decision to play Hurts as often as he has in games that were lopsided matchups favoring Alabama.

Tua Tagovailoa to start Week 2 for Alabama

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Has the decision been officially made? whether or not Alabama head coach Nick Saban wants to confirm it or not, Saban has confirmed Tua Tagovailoa will get the start for the second straight week this weekend. While Tagovailoa will be the team’s starter, Saban did not rule out finding times to use Jalen Hurts.

Everyone knows that Tua is going to start and we’re going to use Jalen’s skill set in the future,” Saban said, per ESPN.com. “Now we know and you know.”

Saban caught some heat for the way he handled postgame questions about what he learned about the quarterback play in a 51-14 victory over Louisville in Orlando on Saturday. Saban has been rather rough with questions about the quarterback situation all offseason and still remains a bit stern about the topic.

Tagovailoa seemed to outplay Hurts in the season opener. Tagovailoa completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 26 yards and another touchdown, while Hurts completed five of nine passes for 70 yards and rushed for nine yards.

Saban said he is not taking into consideration the new redshirt rule as a way to manipulate Hurts’ eligibility (the new rule allows players to preserve a year of eligibility by appearing in no more than four games in a season).

Alabama hosts Arkansas State this Saturday.

Nick Saban’s wish for SEC scheduling has support from LSU Deputy AD

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban has long stumped for tougher scheduling for power conference teams, even if Alabama doesn’t fill its non-conference slate without a creampuff mixed into the schedule every November. But Saban is not necessarily fighting this battle alone in the SEC, as his stance is supported by an athletics official from a rival school.

LSU Deputy Director of Athletics Verge Ausberry said in a radio interview with Matt Moscona of Gridiron Now said he agreed with Saban’s overall thought about scheduling.

“I agree with him. If the rules change and everybody plays those types of schedules, we’ll play that type of schedule,” Ausberry said in the radio interview. “None of us like playing the ‘buy’ games, the ‘guarantee’ games,” Ausberry added, reflecting on games against overpowered opponents such as schools from the FCS.

Saban has suggested every power conference team should play a schedule that is full of nothing but other power conference opponents, thus eliminating all non-conference games against not just FCS programs, but also schools from the Group of Five — the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference. Saban has always been a bit of a visionary and outspoken about his ideas about improving the game as a whole.

Usually, it seems Saban is standing on his own island when it comes to his ideas and how it is received around the rest of the SEC. This time, however, there is at least one other person in the conference taking his side.

Alabama dismisses LB VanDarius Cowan following misdemeanor assault charge

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Alabama linebacker VanDarius Cowan has been dismissed from the football program a week after being charged for a misdemeanor assault charge was filed against him. Alabama announced the dismissal Monday morning with a brief statement.

“VanDarius has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our football program due to a violation of team rules,” a statement from Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Each of us has a responsibility to represent The University of Alabama in a first-class way, and failure to meet those standards can’t be tolerated. We wish VanDarius the very best in the future.”

According to Tuscaloosa News, Cowan was arrested following an incident at a Tuscaloosa bar last month. He was charged with a misdemeanor assault after being accused of punching a 26-year old man in the face. The alleged victim of the alleged assault claims he did nothing to provoke Cowan. He was later treated for seven stitches on his lip and he suffered a broken tooth and nerve damage.

Cowan was a four-star recruit of Alabama in the Class of 2017 out of the state of Florida. Rivals ranked Cowan as the 13th-best player in the state of Florida and the seventh outside linebacker in the nation.

As a freshman last season, Cowan appeared in seven games and recorded two total tackles (one solo, one assist). Cowan likely would have competed for some playing time this fall for the Crimson Tide, although the depth at linebacker is pretty stacked in Tuscaloosa.

Nick Saban takes jab at UCF’s “self-proclaimed” national title, but Gus Malzahn stays out of it

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban added another national title to his ever-growing list of achievements last January when the Crimson Tide rallied from behind to stun Georgia in overtime of the College Football Playoff national championship game. At the same time, UCF was busy celebrating their claim to a national title even if critics shrugged it aside. Although Saban offered some praise for what UCF accomplished last season, including beating an Auburn team that Saba’s Tide could not, Saban suggested that UCF’s claim to a national title carries little weight.

“I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything,” Saban said to USA Today, commenting on UCF’s claim to a national championship for the 2017 season. “But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it. And there’s probably a significant number of people who don’t respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves.”

Saban has a legitimate point, of course. Alabama may not have won their own division but they were selected by the College Football Playoff selection committee to participate in the four-team playoff to determine a true national champion. And to Alabama’s credit, they took advantage of that opportunity by dominating ACC champion Clemson in the national semifinal and then coming from behind to upset SEC champion Georgia. UCF may have gone undefeated last season, with wins against USF, Memphis and Auburn to close out their undefeated campaign, but years from now it will be widely accepted that Alabama was the national champion while UCF is still free to claim their national title as well. College football is loaded with claimed national titles, including some by Alabama of course, so what UCF is doing is nothing out of the ordinary for the history of the sport.

Of course, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn isn’t about to get caught up in the drama despite playing a key role into the Alabama-UCF national title debate.

“They played extremely well that day (in the Peach Bowl),” Malzahn said at a golf tournament, according to Al.com. “We didn’t play our best, but give those guys credit. They played extremely well and got after us.”

Realizing Malzahn didn’t exactly answer the question regarding the national championship claim by UCF, Malzahn stood his ground when asked again.

“They played real well that day,” Malzahn said, “and we didn’t play that well.”

It must be a tough spot for Malzahn seeing as Alabama is his top rival and the other team claiming a national title is using his Auburn team to help support the argument.

Former UCF head coach and current Nebraska head coach Scott Frost has no regrets over his comments about likely not standing behind UCF’s national title claim the way the school has gone about it.