Found March 07, 2014 on Crystal Ball Run:
Will a transfer swoop in and win Alabama's starting QB job in 2014?; Photo: USA Today Sports March Madness is just about upon us! No, I'm not talking about basketball. I'm talking about spring practices starting up around the country. Now is one of the times where young players have a big chance to make an impression on the coaching staff. This year we are bringing back the "Filling the Void" series as we look at some of the more interesting position battles and who will be replacing some of the best players from around the country. First up? Alabama. Background Nick Saban has been fantastic since coming to Alabama. If you take away his first season, the Tide have gone 72-9. Oh yeah, they also have won three BCS National Championships. Not bad, but Bama is coming off of a "down" season. Or at least what Bama fans consider a "down" season in the Nick Saban era. I mean, they lost two games. That's pretty bad, right? One interesting thing about the Saban era in Tuscaloosa is how stable the QB position has been. In seven seasons, Saban has had just three QBs that he has depended on. John Parker Wilson was under center in 2007 and 2008. Greg McElroy took over in 2009 and 2010. AJ McCarron was the man in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Another interesting twist to throw into the QB battle is the new Offensive Coordinator. You've seen that guy before, right? This could be fun. Who's leaving? AJ McCarron (2012 stats): 226 of 336 (67.3%), 3,063 yards, 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He was also the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Who's filling the void? Blake Sims, Senior (2012 stats): 18 of 29 (62.1%) for 167 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Alec Morris, Redshirt Sophomore Cooper Bateman, Redshirt Freshman Parker McLeod, Redshirt Freshman David Cornwell, True Freshman (Early Enrollee) Jacob Coker, Redshirt Junior (Transfer from FSU; 2012 stats): 18 of 36 (61.9%), for 250 yards with 0 touchdowns and 1 interception What's happening this spring? Last year, Blake Sims was thought to be the heir apparent to AJ McCarron. Sims was the only QB not named AJ McCarron to throw a pass in 2013. But, if you go back to the fall, Saban was very careful not to commit to Sims as the starting QB for 2014. Sims will go into spring practice as the man to beat, but history has not favored Saban going with a player with only one year of eligibility as the starting QB. While Sims is the early favorite to win the job, it will still be an uphill battle for him. The trio of Bateman, Morris and McLeod sit firmly entrenched behind Sims as they enter spring practice. Bateman was one of the top QB recruits of the 2013 class but has yet to distinguish himself. Morris had a great spring game in 2013 but couldn't carry over the momentum to the fall. McLeod is said to throw one of the best balls of the group despite not having some of the physical tools of his competitors.  The wildcard is David Cornwell. He is an early enrollee but is coming off of an injury in his senior season of high school football. He has all the tools to be Alabama's next QB but it's more realistic to look at him as Alabama's QB after the next one. What to expect heading into the summer and fall? Alabama will not name a starting QB until late August. Why? Because they want to give FSU transfer Jacob Coker every chance to compete for the job this fall.  Originally a three-star prospect out of high school, Coker actually went to the same high school as AJ McCarron. Hmmmm.....Coker was beat out by Jameis Winston at FSU (who wouldn't have been?) but he brings a lot of tools to Alabama and he wouldn't have gotten a scholarship from Saban if he wasn't going to come in and be given every chance to win the starting job.  This fall it will be Sims and Coker battling it out for the right to be under center for Alabama. Sims has been in the program for the long-haul but I would be surprised if Coker isn't the man that is leading Alabama in 2014.

Nick Saban compares up-tempo offense to smoking cigarettes

The proposed rule to slow down college football offenses by putting in a 10-second substitution period between plays for the defense has drummed up a ton of rhetoric from both sides, with proponents of the rule citing player safety as a reason to keep the pace of the game down. One of the biggest proponents of the rule is Alabama coach Nick Saban, who provided this peculiar quote...

Photo: Auburn Church Puts Up Clever Zing Directed At Nick Saban On Marquee

The Iron Bowl rivalry has always been intense, and now it’s spilled over into church. Saint Michael The Archangel Catholic Church in Auburn is known having jokes and humorous phrases on its marquee, and yesterday, the church took a funny jab at Alabama coach Nick Saban.  The sign reads “Support the ban on slingshots – Goliath”, which may not have seemed like much, except...

Covering Dixie: Nick Saban, Hugh Freeze, Will Muschamp, and ...Nightmare Aggie returns.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew - The SEC. It's what your conference wants to be like to be when it grows up.Nightmare Aggie...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!One rule to rule them all. One rule to find them. One rule to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. Track 'Em Tigers ponders whether Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will get their way as the...

Saban Not Seeking Defensive Edge

Just when you thought it couldn’t be discussed any more, the 10-second rule was the top subject Wednesday as Alabama Coach Nick Saban had his annual spring gathering of Crimson Tide beat sportswriters. He reiterated that he did not have anything to do with the 10-second proposal and added information explaining his stance.

Alabama coach Nick Saban: Pace of play rule needs closer look

Alabama head coach Nick Saban says the rule about the pace of play in college football that is scheduled to be voted on Thursday needs to get a closer look. The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel has a proposal on the table that would penalize teams for hiking the ball with more than 30 seconds on the 40-second game clock.

The 10-second rule is mostly dead, which means it is slightly alive

Gus Malzahn and up-tempo coaches may have won for now, but Saban's war is just beginning. Photo: USA Today Sports Ding! Dong! The rule is dead! At least, that is what supporters of the up-tempo offense would like to have you believe. Miracle Max, the troll living in a tree in The Princess Bride, would classify the 10-second rule as mostly dead, meaning it is still very much...

Hammond happy with Saban’s style

Alabama hosted plenty of top prospects over the weekend for its second big junior day of the cycle, and Nick Saban spent time with as many as he could before he had to leave. Deven Hammond was one of the few that got one-on-one time with the coach, and most of what he said resonated with the Louisiana junior. Get inside for more, including return visit plans.

CBR Exclusive: Who will start at QB for Alabama?

March Madness is just about upon us! No, I'm not talking about basketball. I'm talking about spring practices starting up around the country. Now is one of the times where young players have a big chance to make an impression on the coaching staff. This year we are bringing back the "Filling the Void" series as we look at some of the more interesting position battles...

AP source: 10-second rule withdrawn by committee

NEW YORK -- Round one of the pace-of-play debate goes to the proponents of fast football. The NCAA football rules committee tabled a proposal Wednesday that would have penalized offenses for snapping the ball before 10 seconds had run off the 40-second play clock, The Associated Press has learned. After a conference call, the panel agreed not to send the so-called 10-second rule...

Photo: Clemson’s Countdown Clock For South Carolina Reads “0-5″

South Carolina fans, whose Gamecocks have won the past five matchups on the football field against the Clemson Tigers, have a tradition of throwing up a “five-bomb” in celebration of their program’s dominance of the rivalry over the past half-decade. It turns out they don’t even need to though – the Tigers are already reminding themselves of the unfortunate statistic on...

Florida State Football: 5 Biggest Questions Heading Into 2014

Repetition is not always a good thing. When it comes to winning national titles in college football, repetition is a VERY GOOD THING.Welcome to the 2014 NCAA college football season – a year where a national champion in Florida State will try to do the same thing Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide have done four of the last four seasons – win national titles in succession...

Tennessee pledge talks Tide

When a football prospect is deemed SEC caliber, scholarship offers could be considered the norm throughout the recruiting process, and they sometimes come in with little to no previous contact with a particular coaching staff. That’s what happened on Wednesday, when Tennessee commitment Dylan Jackson got in touch with Nick Saban and Alabama.

Art Briles: “What’s Safe About Two Tight Ends, Power Formation With A Fullback?”

While player safety became one of the main talking points about the now-tabled 10-second rule that had dominated college football discussions over the last few weeks, some believe that slower football is in fact more dangerous, since it usually emphasizes physicality and bigger players. Unsurprisingly, Baylor’s Art Briles, one of the premiere coaches of fast-paced offense in the...
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