Recruiting: Alabama’s offense a liability?

Smears already underway for 2011 class

This evening I had a conversation with an Alabama fan. He had read some message boards over the last few days, and combined with a healthy dose of talk radio, the Crimson Tide fan was apoplectic.

“These guys are screwing us!” he exclaimed. “These guys” was a reference to rival programs like Tennessee, Auburn and insert whatever school wants an Alabama Crimson Tide commitment. It seems “these guys” are being very negative against Alabama. Of course there was more to the story.

“Even when they don’t want a recruit, they are trying to hurt Alabama by saying bad things,” he told me.

Really? I was shocked.

Do you mean stuff like that goes on in the SEC? This must be a first!

It isn’t a first?

Then why be worried? To borrow a phrase better used by Auburn—this isn’t Nick Saban’s first rodeo. He knows how to recruit in the SEC. He knows how brutal the recruiting wars can be.

He has a plan.

Always.

Lance Thompson combined with Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron when at the University of Tennessee generated complaints from uniformed and informed fans alike. The consensus in recruiting circles was that Tennessee would smear Alabama even if the Volunteers did not have a chance with the prospect.

There was nothing shocking in that. Everyone knew Kiffin and Orgeron were trash.

Reports on the recruiting trail indicated Auburn has pursued a similar course dating from the Tommy Tuberville administration. (Tuberville told everyone Alabama was cheating and would be on probation again. Today’s Auburn coaching staff has followed a similar spew, and it raises interesting questions about the coordinated efforts to smear Alabama that originated in Auburn over the last year. That is a column for another day.) But probation attacks seem passé. Recruits haven’t responded well to them over the last few years, so Auburn has invented a new method—lie. OK, so it is the not-so-new method.

What got my Alabama friend in a message board fueled tizzy was this quote from a Rivals.com recruiting story from 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide commit Marvin Shinn, “I love Alabama. I mean, that is where I want to go to school. If I saw their passing game get on track and guys like Julio touch the ball more, I would be completely on board,” said Shinn… After that game (BCS National Championship), it crossed my mind (decommitting). I have other schools like Florida State and Auburn telling me that they are going to throw the ball more than Alabama and make sure I touch the ball a lot.”

Some people might admire the audacity of trying to take an Alabama strength—playing for and winning the national championship—and using it against the Crimson Tide; however, it elicits chuckles since this is nothing new. It is more of the same that unfolds regularly in the SEC. Auburn is promising every recruiting they’ll get the ball 50 or 100 times a game, and that Alabama runs an antediluvian offensive scheme.

Yawn. So what?

How many top ranked recruiting classes has Nick Saban landed? Two in a row while at Alabama and once at LSU (not to mention all those top 5 and top 10 finishes at both schools.) He knows what he is doing.

So why should fans worry? Bask in the glow of that crystal.

8 Comments

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  1. 1
    wildman

    What a dinosaur! Of course they lie,cheat,or fabricate. Saban has THE PROCESS to being a CHAMPION! If some recruit chooses a loser, so be it. Truth is Saban won’t even look and some recruits who’d love to wear CRIMSOM, but can’t cut the grade either on the field or in the classroom. He’ll even kick former starters off the team for a bad attitude. Championships are made up of TEAM Oriented people not ball hogs who want self glory. Roll Tide. Saban gets the best class even if Rivals says it is #3 because Saban trusts his evaluation better than some spotters in the stands.

  2. 2
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    WE WILL BE FINE ON OFFENSE – JULIO HURT HALF THE SEASON – MAC CRACKED RIBS IN TITLE GAME – RAN OUT CLOCK RUSHING 4TH QTR VS FL – SABAN PLAYED THE QB POSITION HE WILL MAKE JIM OPEN IT UP – LSU SCORED IN 40S AND 50S MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE SABAN ERA AT LSU

  3. 4
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    ALSO RUNNING BACKS WILL LEARN TO UNDERSTAND THE SHELF LIFE OF A RB IS LIMITED = LOOK AT LT,,THE RBS WILL WANT LESS CARRIES AS LONG AS THEY R INTERGRAL IN OFFENSE WHEN GAME IS ON THE LINE…

  4. 5
    tsmonk

    Works both ways – there’s a reason Trent Richardson isn’t wearing day-glo orange and blue.

    Plus, if Bama’s recruiters haven’t figured out how to sell McCarron/Sims as the future of the offense, then Saban needs to find some new salesmen. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  5. 6
    almightytmc1

    Can you hear the sales pitch coming from other local recruiters?

    “Uh… yeah… so OK. Bama is the reigning National Champs, but have you seen that Offense? It sucks. Sure it was good enough to average OVER 30 poits as game. But hey….Wheres’ the RAZZLE DAZZLE!
    i MEAN COME ON!!!! Sheer luck that they have an RB who won the Natioal Championship!! Lucky Bastards!
    We have so much more with our quick-no huddle surefire, catch me if you can, trickeroo Dipsey Doo, Quadrulple spread power option passing game!!! Out numbers dont lie!!! look at the numbers we put up against the Palidins of Furman!!!
    You wont enjoy playing for Saban.
    I mean sure half the players he coaches go on to the Pro’s and alot of them wear championship rings. But there are more important things than that!
    etc…. etc… etc….

    ___________________________________

    How do you sell someone that playing for a National Championship team is a bad thing?

  6. 8
    julio

    Tuberville “smeared” Bama by telling recruits that Bama would soon be on probation?? Ummmm, aren’t you guys on probation right now?? Wow, that Tubs was real liar wasn’t he?

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