T he Atlanta Journal Constitution is obsessed with Alabama and Nick Saban. If you read the AJC’s recruiting blog then you know that recruiting in Georgia this year is crazy. The AJC is doing its best to undermine Saban and Alabama’s recruiting efforts in Georgia. It is the same playbook used in the past by Auburn and its media lackeys.
Even when the ACJ covers Saban with some positive comments, the editorial agenda of the paper shines through. For instance, the AJC’s Michael Carvell asked former SEC coach and rival recruiter Lane Kiffin for his analysis of Nick Saban’s recruiting at Alabama. The March 8 story provides some interesting insights from the coach and a dose of what is behind the panic in Georgia.
The panic? It comes from this little gem: “On last month’s signing day, while many of his SEC contemporaries were sweating bullets sitting next to fax machines, Saban was telling reporters how the day was drama-free. He also chatted a bit about that No. 1-ranked class, which was comprised of eight of Georgia’s top prospects.” (LINK: AJC)
But that is the past. The next recruiting class is the real genesis of fear mongering from the AJC. The worry is that Saban will raid the state of its best prospects and leave the feckless Mark Richt with the leftovers. (This spin does not do justice to either Saban or Richt, who are both solid coaches with a record of success.)
But back to that fear. Here is root of the fear: “Nick Saban is off to another fast start with his 2013 recruiting, with nine early commitments. Could there be another No. 1 class in the making? It’s looking that way. All nine are ranked 4-stars or higher, including one of the Georgia’s top running backs (Walton’s Tyren Jones) and 5-star LB Reuben Foster of Troup County. The Crimson Tide are also the frontrunner for Grayson’s Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top-ranked prospect.”
Then yesterday (March 11), another AJC story is posted that found a remote link to Saban and thus Saban’s name in the headline and a few important talking points from the Georgia recruiting playbook—mention over-signing (something big, bad Nick Saban did.) This is the same theme used in the March 8 piece that included a paragraph of attack that mentioned a “last-minute grayshirt trick” and accusations that Saban cuts players. (LINK)
Wow. I doubt Phillip Marshall or Jeffrey Lee could recruit better for the school they cover.
It is sad that the ACJ feels the need to help Georgia. The fact is that Richt will do just fine without the “help.” However, it exposes that even newspapers are biased in the world of college sports reporting. We knew some websites on the Rivals and Scout networks recruited for the teams they covered, now we know a major daily newspaper pretty much does the same thing with its editorial agenda.