Alabama Football: There are lots of yes, but going on

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

In predictable fashion, reactions to the Alabama Football 2023 Signing Class include considerable, ‘yes, but’ statements. As in, yes signing seven 5-Stars is great, but… And as, yes Nick Saban signed the Crimson Tide’s highest-rated class ever, but …

The reactions are often punctuated by brief, quiet ‘yeses’ and long, loud ‘buts.’

Some of the claims made in the ‘but’ responses are actually plausible. The gist of the counter responses is under Nick Saban, Alabama football has signed many 5-Star players who have never risen to their elite rating. The contention, often adds the high number of Crimson Tide players who have left the program in the last few seasons.

The main point being made by the detractors is Alabama signing a great class does not indicate the Crimson Tide is back to its championship standard. Alabama football fans know this is not true. We have good reason to be immensely satisfied by Nick Saban’s latest recruiting haul.

In our enthusiasm, there is nothing wrong with seeing some credence in the ‘but’ responses. Alabama has signed past  5-Stars that have been disappointments. Because of their limitations at the college level, limited playing opportunities sometimes led to disgruntled exits. In the Portal era, exits often mean nothing more than a player moving to a better fit and doing so with no ill will.

The reality of the situation is recruiting is not a science. Players get over and under-rated. In an environment where transfer choices are almost unlimited, of course, rosters will undergo a large annual turnover. It happens in many places and to many coaches.

Added to Nick Saban’s almost every season challenge is the need to rebuild his staff. Many of the exits are promotions. Often the need for change is mutually shared. And like any other high-pressure work environment, sometimes Alabama coaches don’t fully deliver.

More change is looming for the Crimson Tide staff. After the Sugar Bowl, Charles Kelly will move to Colorado. Tide Special Teams Coordinator, Drew Svoboda gained promotion as an associate head coach at North Texas. Bill O’Brien is expected to return to the NFL. Most Alabama football fans no longer worry about assistant coach turnover. The Alabama Crimson Tide has college football’s most fixed constant in Nick Saban.

As long as Alabama has Saban, elite players will gravitate to Tuscaloosa. Alabama has more to sell than quick NIL money, it has the best path to big money in the NFL.

Writing for The Ringer described what the Tide has been under Saban.

"Alabama has served a ruthless purpose since Nick Saban’s first national title 13 years ago: to tell other programs that they are not the team they think they are. They are not reaching the mountaintop. Go back to the message board and cope there. In most seasons, Alabama is the grim reaper for all of our delusions, proving that even in a sport where it feels like anything can happen on any given Saturday, there are very few actual miracles over the course of a season."

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Let the message board and national media detractors, yes, but all they want – Nick Saban is still the GOAT and the Crimson Tide is still what Alabama long has been.