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A Few Things: Musings on Alabama Crimson Tide Sports

While wondering if Ole Miss has enough money left to build a decent stadium …

For Alabama Crimson Tide football fans, National Signing Day was a little bit like watching most of the Tide’s games; a lot of excitement early, but by halftime the lead is so huge that it’s almost boring.

Alabama broke the Rivals.com total point record with yesterday’s class. And yet, because most of the damage was done before the new year, many fans felt like they did after the Auburn game. They wanted 77 to zip. Instead, Bama fans will have to settle for the best class – on paper – since at least 2002. And I don’t mean best Alabama class; I mean best class, period.

There are always exceptions to the “stars matter” argument. Kansas State last season. Oklahoma State in 2012.  But please don’t mention Boise State, TCU or Utah, as ESPN did yesterday. These teams have historically had great winning percentages while finishing in the 40s or 50s in recruiting. Newsflash: they’ve been recruiting better than anyone else in their respective leagues.

Now that the Frogs and Utes are playing grown man football, we see the truth: stars do matter. The minute these two teams joined real conferences, they started losing. Same would happen to Boise. Upsets happen, but on a week to week basis in a BCS league, you can’t win big unless you recruit big. Bottom line: if you want your defense to force a lot of three-and-outs, go get a roster full of three and dones.

* * * *

The Alabama hoops team has many problems, but the most glaring is this: it gives basketball scholarships to athletes, not basketball players. They hustle. They play good defense. They dive for loose balls and jump really high and run up and down the court all night and they’re all probably really good dancers.

I applaud their effort and their hustle (notice the clever 1970s dancing joke).  But they can’t dribble.  They can’t penetrate.  They can’t create their own shots. And even if they could, only one or two of them can knock them down. And that’s just the perimeter players. Inside, all of them can walk and chew gum at the same time and usually do – while they have the ball. The Tide is a turnover waiting to happen, and the only solution is for Anthony Grant to go out and actually sign basketball players. If he can’t, he likely won’t be here 13 months from now.


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