“I’m jealous that Nick got him,” said Freeze in an appearance on McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on WJOX 94.5 FM. “I typically don’t go outside of my tree too much, but I had him highly recommend to me at Liberty. He was at Southern Utah, and he was wanting to break into the FBS level. And I interviewed him and was absolutely blown away by his knowledge, his demeanor for teaching. I think he’s a rising star. The guy was incredibly valuable, a great evaluator, and he’s a great human being. He and his wife are just super people.”
Honestly, I don’t really know much about Bala. And, to be frank, I’m glad that he’s not really a part of a Hugh Freeze clan. He joined Liberty for all of one season, so hopefully not too much rubbed off on him.
Speaking of coaches with baggage:
Four former Tennessee football staffers have been given show-cause penalties by the NCAA for violations that occurred under former head coach Jeremy Pruitt, it was announced Tuesday.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, those sanctioned include former inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer, outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton, director of player personnel Drew Hughes and student assistant Michael Magness, all of whom were either fired by Tennessee in January 2021 or left under an NCAA cloud in late 2020.
And that, friends, is why Jeremy Pruitt is not back in Tuscaloosa.
Instead, I think Kevin Steele will be just fine:
Over the last 15 seasons, he has embarked on a unique journey that has allowed him to work with some of the most dominant programs in modern college football. Since 2007, Steele has served as the defensive coordinator at Alabama, the defensive coordinator for Clemson, the linebackers coach for Alabama, the DC for LSU, and the DC at Auburn.
He spent the last two seasons at Tennessee and Miami before returning to Bama for the 2023 season.
From 2007 to 2020, the four schools that employed Steele won an incredible 11 out of 14 national championships. Remarkably, Steele was not a part of any of those championship-winning teams. Over and over again, he managed to narrowly avoid getting a national title, but he has always been in close proximity to that elusive ring.
It is not as though Kevin Steele is cursed. He did manage to win a national championship as the defensive coordinator for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 1994.
Steele has been doing this for a very long time, and he’s been doing it with the best in the business with great results for most of his career. You want old-school, hard-nosed Alabama defense back? We have the right guy.
More good news: Eli Gold is set to be back in the booth next season:
Received a lovely call today from my dear friend Eli Gold.
The voice of @AlabamaFTBL is healing from cancer and will return to the broadcast booth this fall. No one in the biz is better than Eli.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) February 28, 2023
Moving on to basketball, I will link to one article about the national circus that has become Brandon Miller coverage:
“That situation is on me,” Oats said. “We addressed it as a team. As soon as I brought it up to them, they immediately understood how it could be interpreted, and we all felt awful about it. They explained to me that it’s like when TSA checks you before you get on a plane, and now Brandon’s cleared for take-off. We as the adults in the room should have been more sensitive to how it could have been interpreted, and I dropped the ball. That’s it, I dropped the ball on it.
I saw many tweets today cutting just Oats’ line of “They explained to me that it’s like when TSA checks you before you get on a plane, and now Brandon’s cleared for take-off.” and then cutting the video, and Oats was crucified again for “making excuses” and “not taking responsibility” and whatever else.
Tuns out, his very next comment was the exact opposite.
People only want an excuse to break out the pitchforks.
Alabama (25-4, 15-1 SEC) can clinch the league’s regular-season title with a win over the rival Auburn Tigers on Wednesday, March 1 (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2). The Crimson Tide currently has at least a share of the league championship after Texas A&M lost to Mississippi State over the weekend and can win the regular season outright in its final home game of the season.
Having the opportunity to win a second SEC regular-season title in three years is special, but it would be even better, head coach Nate Oats said, to win in front of a full Coleman Coliseum.
But stopping the Tigers for a second time is the team’s top priority.
“It would be a lot sweeter than it was at Mississippi State,” Oats said Tuesday. “I mean, that was great two years ago, but the last home game of the season in front of a raucous crowd – it’s Auburn – it’d be much better to do it. Like I said, we’re not assuming that’s gonna happen. We’ve gotta take care of business. But yeah, we plan on having this place sold out. It’s been sold out for a long time, so it’ll be a lot better than on the road at Mississippi State.
The Tide has their work cut out for them, but only being one game away from clinching the SEC title is an amazing spot to be in. And 2 out of the last three SEC titles ain’t bad at all.