Alabama Football: Time to move beyond apology to pain

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Many Alabama football fans prefer Nick Saban had not apologized for his NIL comments, despite pointing them directly at Texas A&M, Jackson State and Miami. Speaking the truth should have been enough, but Greg Sankey needed an apology.

The issues with NIL are not going away, but it is time to move on. There is hard work to do for months with an achievable ultimate prize at the end. Well, two prizes really – we must not forget an SEC Championship game.

Quiet word from Alabama football insiders is the 2022 team has been very focused during the offseason. All coaches preach focus but not many teams embrace it sufficiently to win a championship. It is looking like this team will and according to some of those insiders, Nick Saban sees the 2022 group can be special.

There is plenty of talk of the ’22 defense being as good as the Alabama Crimson Tide defenses in 2015-2017. The bar is high to equal the 2016 defense but it is reachable.

In Will Anderson Jr., Jordan Battle and Henry To’o To’o, Pete Golding has three of the best defenders in college football. All three were recently named to the Ronnie Lott Impact Award Watch List. Alabama is the only school with three players on the list. Only one other SEC school has more than one, Georgia with two.

Add Dallas Turner, a half dozen high-quality defensive linemen, a loaded secondary around Battle, plus potentially sensational backups like Chris Braswell and comparisons to the 2016 defense make sense.

Alabama football fans want October to arrive quickly

It is still four-plus months away, but Crimson Tide fans have a sudden urgency for Oct. 8 to arrive. There are earlier tests for the Tide, maybe Texas in Austin in week two and at Arkansas on Oct. 1. But it is game six when Tide fans are expecting a reckoning in Tuscaloosa.

Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies come to T-Town and they will find none of the usual hospitality.

NFL great Ronnie Lott was known as an NFL guy you didn’t want to mess with on the field. Lott was known for bringing pain and for enduring whatever pain came to him as a consequence. Lott was so driven and so tough, he decided to have the end of an injured finger amputated rather than miss a game.

Minus any amputations, on Oct. 8 Alabama will have a swarm of Ronnie Lotts on the field. They will bring as much pain as the rules allow. It will not be pleasant for the Aggies.

The game will be double payback. First for last season’s loss in College Station and second to pay Jimbo Fisher back for attacking Nick Saban. There will be intentional pain. The only hope for the Aggies is maybe an October, Gulf hurricane might give them an excuse to cancel the game. And that will not help unless the game is never rescheduled.

Next. Fall chances for summer arrivals. dark

Any Aggie quarterback who will be available on Oct. 8 should consider opting out and running for the Transfer Portal. That advice is not given in jest.