Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Morning Six Pack: January 8, 2013

Nothing kicks a South Beach hangover like six cool, clear and crisp college football stories from around the country.

Alabama isn't going anywhere

Most impressive for Alabama was its offense, which for some reason continues to be overlooked coming into seemingly every marquee contest.

Florida commit flips to FSU in surprise move

In a surprising turn of events, DeMarcus Walker flipped to Florida State late Monday and will enroll early in Tallahassee Tuesday.

Tide aiming at another top-rated recruiting class

Recruiting analysts once calculated that a team's success on the field, particularly one winning a national championship, could be measured the following year in recruiting.

Kentucky player hit with weapons charge

Uh, oops? New Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has his first known off-field incident with which to deal, with offensive lineman T.J. Jones having been arrested following an incident in his hometown of Myrtle Beach.

Barrett Jones played through torn ligaments, will have surgery

Alabama center Barrett Jones was not sure how to describe the pain he was feeling in his injured left foot before the 42-14 win over Notre Dame, but he was ready to label it “up there” as one of the most painful injuries he’s played through.


But to be considered the best ever at Alabama, there’s a gravel-voiced mountain wearing a houndstooth fedora that one must climb. Its name is Mt. Bryant, and over a 25-year run in Tuscaloosa, it produced six national titles, dominated two full decades of football in the SEC and led to so much rewriting of the rulebook that the NCAA ought to call its annual football rules conference the “Paul Bryant Career Appreciation Week.”

But Bryant never won three titles over four years. Saban? Check.

Alabama never beat Texas under Bryant. Check.

Alabama never beat Notre Dame under Bryant. Check once more.

What Nick Saban has done is not only rival Bryant in terms of his effect on the political landscape of the sport – there’s a recruiting restriction now colloquially referred to as “the Saban Rule” – but in the process, he’s exorcised a couple of Bryant’s old demons, namely the Longhorns of Texas and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. In championship games, even.

What Bryant still has over Saban – and will have, lest Saban decide he wants to coach into his 80s – is longevity. It is expected that Saban will finish his coaching career in Tuscaloosa, either in a few years or in many years. Alabama’s rivals are praying for the former and not the latter.

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