Saban salves loss; Franchione death watch

Nick Saban took the sting off the weekend loss with another big round of commitments. The recruiting media was busy Tuesday as the morning began with another top offensive line prospect picking the Tide. Tennessee’s #1 player Barret Jones verbally committed to the Tide; Jones is ranked as the #41 player in the nation by Rivals and the #9 offensive tackle; ranks Jones as the #15 offensive tackle in the nation.

Of course, Alabama continues ranked #3 by Rivals for its 2008 class and #12 by Scout. As always, recruiting rankings should come with the disclaimer: Your Mileage May Vary. However, you have to be impressed with the 2008 class and we haven’t even seen the biggest name make a decision yet.

One more thing to keep in mind about the 2008 class is that Alabama is getting a superb kicker in Corey Smith. The West Virginia kicker has set records with long kicks in high school. We should see continued improvement in special teams play as the Saban regime continues.

Saban also is working on the 2009 class. Recruiting services were abuzz as Bilouxi standout D.J. Fluker picked Alabama. Fluker is a Scout and Rival Top 100 Junior and has 4-stars by the services.

Saban knows how to distract fans following a tough loss—by showing results. So if any fans were wallowing in pitty following the LSU game, they now have something to look forward to—2008 National Signing Day.

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Franchione death watch
Dennis Franchione’s days in College Station are on the wane. The denouement could come any day, but probably following the Aggies annual loss to Texas. In case you are interested here’s a story on it. A few additional thoughts follow it.

The is no doubt the leading candidate to replace Franchione is Tommy Tuberville. Alabama fans should have mixed emotions. Tuberville is a good coach, but he is also a mediocre coach. Without probation and without Mike Shula, Tuberville’s recrod against Alabama isn’t impressive. In fact, it was so mediocre that Auburn boosters wanted Tuberville out. What saved Tuberville was Franchione’s courtship with A&M. So, Alabama fans are torn. If Auburn loses Tuberville they lose the best possible coach they could have. It is doubtful Auburn could land a prestigious coach this year due to the expected coaching vacancies (they are competing with A&M, Nebraska, possibly Michigan and even LSU if Miles were to bolt to the Maize & Blue, and there are always surprise openings too.)

But, Alabama fans would also want Tuberville to stay, because he is going to face a true Alabama team. One that isn’t hurt by poor coaching or sanctions. It will be nice to knock the smug smile off his face.

Regardless of what happens with Auburn, there is a reason to be happy: either Auburn has to search for a new coach, or Auburn is stuck with a coach they know is inferior. Not a bad situation if you ask me.

A couple of other links for you
Alabama plays Miss State this week and here is a preview.

The BCS could become an SEC vs. Pac-10 debate, according to Pat Forde of ESPN.