Nick Saban got off easy.
David Pollack caused quite a stir during ESPN’s halftime national championship when he aptly observed that Georgia had ruled college football for the past two seasons. An innocuous comment unless you take into account that Saban, the coach who previously dominated the sport, was a guest of ESPN, sitting next to Pollack and looking directly at him.
Pollack boldly did what few of the world leader would even consider: he plucked his lips from Saban’s ring and told the truth to the man who had long sat on the college football throne.
“Georgia, obviously, we’ve seen the last few seasons, really, they’ve put a spell on college football. They did an incredible job,” Pollack said.
Pollack stopped before driving on.
Here’s what else he could have said without leaving the land of sanity: …And Georgia isn’t the only team Alabama is chasing. Check out what Brian Kelly is building at LSU. The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide in 2022 and put together a better team for Kelly’s second season.
That’s right, Saban’s troubles don’t begin and end with Kirby Smart.
Pollack’s comments could become motivational if they get stuck in the minds of Alabama players this offseason, like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
But don’t stop at Georgia.
Saban was also scheduled to loop the end of LSU’s overtime win over Alabama on screens around the team facility, because as the past few weeks have passed, the Kelly’s Tigers appear to be here to stay.
In December, Alabama signed a loaded recruiting class, tops in the country. To those who say Saban’s dynasty is dead, take this!
And yet, while Alabama stocks some of the most talented guys in the country, Kelly collects men. talented men.
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LSU FOOTBALL:Ranking of Brian Kelly’s 11 Transferportal signings so far for the 2023 season
Coaching college football in 2023 means keeping your head on a swivel. High school recruitment is just a bite in the apple. Transfers are another.
Lo and behold, here comes the LSU.
Eleven transfers have so far been promised to the Tigers, a group that 247Sports ranks as the top-tier in the country.
How good is this group of bayou newcomers?
the Koki Riley of the advertisermy colleague on the USA TODAY Network, recently published a ranking of LSU transfer fees.
Tenth on his list was FCS All-America cornerback Zy Alexander, who had nine interceptions at Southeastern.
If nine LSU transfers are better than an FCS All-American, Alabama should get ready for the fight on Nov. 4 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
LSU’s transfer performance includes four cornerbacks, a quartet that includes Denver Harris, a former five-star Texas A&M recruit, and Darian Chestnut, a former freshman All-American at Syracuse.
Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson or whoever is starting for Alabama against LSU can tell the Tigers are armed with a no-fly zone.
Former Alabama wide receiver Aaron Anderson is the only offensive player in LSU’s transfer class. Why is Kelly so focused on his defense? Well, LSU’s offense returns nine starters. Nine. What a luxury.
Alabama can, of course, counter with signings of their own, but it’s been quiet on that front. Alabama added two transfers: Maryland tight end CJ Dippre and one of Georgia’s reserve linebackers Trezmen Marshall.
Meanwhile, a number of Alabama players (mostly reserves) transferred to other Power Five programs.
Certainly the tide has not finished filling the cracks.
The transfer portal is closed to new entries until May, but teams can continue to add portal remnants before another spate of activity begins after spring training.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Alabama matching LSU’s haul.
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Saban once considered whether the NCAA rule development granting immediate eligibility to all first-time transfers would allow the rich to get richer.
Well, if that’s the case, Alabama looks like a loser right now, and LSU lives on Billionaires’ Row because the Tigers are reaping the portal’s dividends.
Meanwhile, LSU was one point better than Alabama on the scoreboard in 2022.
LSU won the SEC West.
So everything Pollack said about Georgia that night in Los Angeles was correct, although it might have been awkward to say with Saban at his side.
But Saban’s troubles don’t start with Georgia. The Bulldogs are not on Alabama’s schedule.
Alabama must begin to contend with a division rival who is not content to let Alabama rule the block.
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