3 weeks ago

Who’s next in Bama’s line of succession?

The Alabama Crimson Tide start a new decade under head coach Nick Saban when they take the field to play Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on Wednesday. For the Tide, the previous 10 years amount to one of the greatest runs in the history of college football.

Saban will be gunning for his 157th overall win at the helm in Tuscaloosa. That is averaging more than 12 wins per season to go along with five national championships in the toughest version of the SEC in its storied existence.

The turn of the calendar to 2020 got us thinking: who will be leading the Tide at the conclusion of the next decade?

It is not out of the realm of possibility that Saban is coaching the Tide in 2029. His energy and will to succeed has never diminished at any point in his tenure. It is doubtful those traits will change.

If he were to retire in the 2020s, who’s next in the line of succession? Saban has built a kingdom so close to perfect that it is tantalizing to ponder who might eventually get handed the keys.

We look at some potential coaches-in-waiting using three criteria: record of success, availability and fit. “Availability” might be the toughest one for Tide fans to wrap their minds around. It goes something like this: Bill Belichick is not leaving the Patriots to coach at Alabama. Neither is a head coach at Ohio State, USC or Texas.

“Fit” considers culture or some previous connection to the university or Saban.

Let’s dive in.

DABO SWINNEY

Record of success: Swinney has won national championships two out of the last three years and has appeared in the final game four out of the last five years. Check.

Availability: Timing may be everything here. Swinney has two sons currently on the roster at Clemson with a third on the way. As someone who has emphasized family throughout his career, it would be difficult to see him leaving them behind. The further Saban coaches into the decade, the less availability becomes an issue for Swinney.

Fit: #NeverDabo has become a popular meme on social media in recent years among Tide faithful. This seems to be a reaction to a style which is markedly different than that which has brought Saban unprecedented success. Nevertheless, the connections to the program run deep. Swinney bled Crimson from an early age growing up in Pelham. He was a member of the 1992 national championship team, and he was a position coach under Gene Stallings and Mike Dubose.

Bottom line: Swinney has to be the first call. It seems more likely, though, that he is the guy who replaces the guy who replaced the legend.

MARIO CRISTOBAL

Record of success: Cristobal now has two years under his belt as head coach for the Oregon Ducks, and things continue to trend upward. His team went 11-2 this year while claiming the PAC-12 championship. He has recruited notable upgrades in talent during that time, as well.

Availability: With roots in the Southeast, it would be tough to see him remaining anchored in the Northwest should an opportunity in Tuscaloosa open up for him.

Fit: Cristobal spent four seasons as Saban’s offensive line coach at Alabama. He has also sought to emulate Saban’s style in the Oregon program with a more physical brand of football, particularly along the line of scrimmage. Cristobal has held tight to his Tide lineage to the point that he has testimonials from Saban and three former Alabama players on his Oregon Ducks biography page.

Bottom line: Should his success continue, Cristobal may very well edge his way to the front of the line of succession.

JOSH MCDANIELS

Record of success: McDaniels has spent 11 seasons as offensive coordinator in the midst of the New England Patriots’ run to six Super Bowl titles. He had a brief stint as head coach of the Denver Broncos in the middle. He is regarded as Tom Brady’s favorite position coach. The football credentials are there with McDaniels.

Availability: There has long been speculation that McDaniels is hanging around to succeed Belichick in New England. Another line of thinking has McDaniels accepting an NFL head coaching gig within the next few weeks. It’s tough to know what his availability and interest in the Alabama job would look like a few (or several) years from now.

Fit: McDaniels is a Belichick disciple. And after watching HBO’s “The Art of Coaching” documentary featuring Belichick and Saban, it is hard not to think McDaniels would pattern a program based on what he has learned as part of that coaching tree. McDaniels also served one year as a graduate assistant for Saban at Michigan State.

Bottom line: Saban has transformed the Crimson Tide program into one that has the look and feel of an NFL team. McDaniels could provide some continuity to that approach. Even though he would be an instantly credible choice and bring stature befitting the job, McDaniels has never shown outward interest in the college game.

BILLY NAPIER

Record of success: Trending up. In his second season as head coach of the Louisian Ragin’ Cajuns, Napier led the program to a 10-3 season and a runner-up finish in the Sun Belt. This after a 7-7 finish in his first season.

Availability: Look for Napier to quickly climb the coaching ladder. A Power 5 conference job should be in the mix for him in the first half of the decade. From there, who knows.

Fit: This would be a really good fit. Napier was an assistant coach on Alabama’s 2011 and 2015 national championship teams. In all, he spent five seasons on the staff in Tuscaloosa. Not only that, his demeanor, work ethic, organizational skills and recruiting prowess are all cut from the Saban mold.

Bottom line: Napier is not going from Louisiana to Alabama. However, with several more years likely left in the Saban administration, he should be in a position by then to be in the mix for a big job like this. If you are looking for the best longshot bet to become the next head coach at Alabama, put something down on Napier — and find a safe place to keep the ticket.

LANE KIFFIN

Record of success: Kiffin can coach some offense. The jury is still out on him as a head coach. For all the hype surrounding the Lane Train, he has only recorded one season with double-digit wins. His head coaching record is 66-49 (61-34 in college). Yet, it feels like his record does not come close to telling the whole story.

Availability: Something tells us Kiffin is always available.

Fit: Alabama fans undoubtedly look fondly upon the success of the 2015 offense and the resulting national championship. He is also a relentless recruiter. But there is a lot of other stuff. Whether it is a burner social media account under the name “Joey Freshwater” or constant needling of opponents and conference officials, his act does not come without risk.

Bottom line: Things would really have to hit the fan in Tuscaloosa for Lane Kiffin to get hired as head coach.

MATT RHULE

Record of success: Rhule is one of college football’s hottest commodities for good reason. He took over a Baylor program that was a disaster and led them to an 11-2 record and a date with Georgia in the Sugar Bowl in only his third season. Previous to Baylor, Rhule led Temple to back-to-back 10-win seasons.

Availability: His name is frequently placed on lists of potential NFL hires. Maybe he sees an NFL job in his future. It is also possible he continues to build at Baylor. A devout Christian, Rhule has spoken often about how he and his wife felt called to be part of Baylor University, one of the largest Baptist-affiliated colleges in the nation. As the next decade moves along, it will be interesting to watch how open Rhule is to new opportunities.

Fit: Rhule is a driven individual and top-shelf coach. He will thrive wherever he ultimately lands.

Bottom line: If he is gettable in whatever year the job comes open, Rhule would be worthy of an offer which will close the deal.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

4 hours ago

Alabama voting rights activist jailed on drug charges while on bond for capital murder charge

An Alabama activist is jailed on assault and other charges.

Records show 54-year-old Kenneth Glasgow was being held without bond at the Houston County Jail on Tuesday.

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He was arrested Saturday on charges including drug possession, assault and evidence tampering.

Police tell news outlets that Glasgow struggled with an officer who tried to arrest him after finding crack inside his pocket.

Glasgow has worked for years to register prisoners to vote inside Alabama jails and prisons.

He was charged with capital murder in 2018 after a fatal shooting but was out on bond.

He’s the half-brother of nationally known activist Al Sharpton.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

RELATED: Al Sharpton’s half-brother, already facing Alabama capital murder charges, arrested again

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5 hours ago

Hurts: Time back in Alabama going ‘really well’ — ‘Love’ for Bama will ‘never go away’

MOBILE — The Senior Bowl Week Media Day was held on Tuesday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, and former University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts had droves of reporters on hand hoping to capture yet another classic Hurts press conference. The humble Hurts did not disappoint.

To kick off his remarks, Hurts commented once again on being back in the Yellowhammer State. He, of course, played at Oklahoma this past season as a graduate transfer from Tuscaloosa. Hurts finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

“I think being here and being back in this state is [going] really well. I’m having this opportunity to play in this game and showcase my abilities and show what I’m made of. I’m thankful for it, I’m appreciative of it. And I’m ready to attack it,” Hurts said.

Asked on a follow-up question to compare the Alabama and Oklahoma fanbases, he responded, “I have a lot of respect for both universities. Both have rich tradition, history. I appreciate all the support.”

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The quarterback would later say both programs have “great coaches.”

RELATED: Hurts on Saban: ‘We always had a love for each other … our relationship will never die’

Of the universities, Hurts added, “The appreciation I have for them both, the love I have for them both, it’ll never go away. The way that they’ve accepted me, both schools, not many people can say that they’ve experienced that or they have that … so I’m thankful for it.”

Hurts said that during Senior Bowl Week and in the game on Saturday, he simply wants to “be the best version of” himself. He listed executing, learning and being a “student of the game” as priorities.

The former Tide star was also asked if he has had the opportunity to visit with the outgoing Bama players at the Senior Bowl, his former teammates Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

“Yes, sir,” Hurts answered. “It’s been well [sic]. Great seeing them. Good to be out there on the practice field with them again. I think they have the same approach I have in terms of maximizing this opportunity.”

RELATED: Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

Hurts later quipped that he plays with “a boulder” on his shoulder rather than merely “a chip.”

Asked about the reception he expected back in the state of Alabama and what it has been like so far, Hurts commented, “It’s been pretty hectic so far — in a good way. Just being back here, a lot of love. I’m appreciative of it all.”

“I get on the elevator, one of the workers at the hotel we’re staying at — she let me have it in terms of just screaming,” he continued with a smile. “‘Jalen Hurts is really on my elevator,’ just stuff like that. That’s special to me, and I know it won’t be like that forever. I’m just soaking it all in.”

You can watch Hurts’ full interview below:

Media Day followed the Senior Bowl Week introductory press conference that was held Monday evening.

RELATED: Senior Bowl Week kicks off in Mobile as director praises ‘beloved’ Jalen Hurts — ‘He’s come so far’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

Byrne: Impeachment is nothing to smile about

For three years now, the American people have been forced to endure the efforts by Democrats and the liberal mainstream media to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in the face of his clear electoral victory in 2016. They have tried everything, from a needless special prosecutor investigation, which resulted in nothing, to an Adam Schiff-coached whistleblower who admitted he had no firsthand information and relied on news articles by that same liberal media.

The farce produced just two articles of impeachment, neither of which alleges “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution. An unprecedented and totally partisan process in the House produced nothing that Democrats could even allege is impeachable.

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Then Nancy Pelosi, after insisting for weeks that impeachment couldn’t wait and had to be done by Christmas, held onto the articles, refusing to send them to the Senate as is required. This prolonged the spotlight on her, as the ever-worshipful liberal media gushed over her political brilliance, ignoring the inconvenient fact that her strategy of forcing the Senate to adopt her preferred process for the trial completely failed.

The Constitution is clear. While the House has “the sole Power of Impeachments,” the Senate has “the sole Power to try Impeachments.” And the Constitution clearly states that each house of Congress sets its own rules. Pelosi had no right or power to dictate trial rules to the Senate. Her behavior was unconstitutional and brought embarrassment and dishonor on the House. So, I filed a resolution censoring the speaker for her inappropriate behavior.

Finally, last week as Democrats began to abandon Pelosi’s position, she relented, and the House appointed seven “managers” to present the House’s articles and “case” to the Senate. Led by Schiff, who literally made-up words for the transcript of President Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine in his first day of impeachment “hearings,” and by the bumbling and incompetent Jerry Nadler, the House managers will finally have to behave according to the rules of a truly fair process, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the competent John Roberts, who will tolerate none of the misbehavior the Democrats repeatedly engaged in as this mess moved through the House.

Pelosi couldn’t stand to lose her spotlight, and, in one last shameful act, had a “signing ceremony” where she and other Democrats smiled and laughed as she pronounced President Trump “impeached forever” and handed out pens. Even some of her adoring fans in the liberal media said she went too far.

What now? The Senate will meet every day except for Sundays beginning at 1:00 p.m. Every senator must attend. They cannot talk or bring electronic devices. They will initially hear the House managers’ “case” for the articles of impeachment, and then the president’s lawyers will finally be allowed to present his case. Be prepared for the House managers to be longwinded and ineffective. Be prepared for the president’s team to be briefer and speak clearly to the essential points of weakness in the articles. Then senators will be allowed to ask questions through Chief Justice Roberts.

What happens next is unclear. Will the Senate dismiss the articles? Will they acquit the president? Will they unnecessarily delay things further by calling witnesses? We don’t know.

But, we do know that not a single Republican voted for these articles in the House and even a few Democrats voted against them. One Democrat changed parties over the vote. We also know there are not nearly enough senators to meet the two-thirds threshold to remove President Trump from office. And we know this will have all been a complete waste of time.

This fall, in the general election, the American people will finally have their say, as the framers of our Constitution intended. I predict Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler won’t be smiling.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.

6 hours ago

Watch: Jessica Taylor touts ‘humble roots’, takes aim at ‘The Squad’ in first TV ad

Jessica Taylor, an attorney in Prattville seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama’s second congressional district, released her first television advertisement on Tuesday.

The ad, which is titled “My Squad,” is mostly composed of footage and soundbites from Taylor’s viral announcement video that garnered national attention.

The video begins by touting Taylor’s “humble roots,” and the candidate goes on to say she wants “to protect life, the Second Amendment, our borders and President Trump from socialists in the swamp”

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Taylor’s competitors in the March 3 Republican Primary will be former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, former State Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman.

According to Taylor’s campaign, the spot “will air on broadcast and cable over the next two weeks in the Montgomery media market beginning this Wednesday.”

Predictably in an ad titled “My Squad,” the spot makes references to “The Squad” while displaying images of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

The Squad” is a group of four U.S. Representatives that are new to Congress, female and represent the furthest left wing of the Democratic Party. Cortez and Omar are two members of “The Squad” that have generated particular ire among Republican primary voters.

As a response to “The Squad,” Taylor led the effort to create the “Conservative squad,” which is composed of four female conservative Republicans currently seeking election to the House.

In a statement sent to reporters that accompanied the ad, Taylor said one of her goals in Congress would be to “fight back against radical socialists like AOC and Ilhan Omar.”

The spot also continues to use the language and iconography of basketball, which Taylor grew up playing.

“Alabama, put me in the game!” proclaims Taylor to conclude.

Watch:

8 hours ago

Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

MOBILE — Reunited and it feels so good. That was the sentiment expressed by one of Jalen Hurts’ former University of Alabama Crimson Tide teammates during the Senior Bowl Week Media Day on Tuesday.

Hurts, of course, played for the Oklahoma Sooners this past season as a graduate transfer from Alabama. He finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

He will play for the South Team during Saturday’s Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, as will the Tide’s Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

As captured by Yellowhammer News, Mayden spoke with reporters during Media Day about how it feels being on the same field — and the same team — as Hurts once again.

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“It means a lot,” Mayden stressed. “Especially since he’s on my team [as opposed to playing against him on the North Team]. I’m glad he’s on my team because Jalen’s a leader, a natural leader. He doesn’t have to try too hard. It just seems like it comes natural to him. I know he’ll probably have some things to say that’ll get everybody ready to play. He did it at Bama; I expect no less from him [now]. So I’m excited to get the opportunity to play with him again.”

If you missed Yellowhammer’s coverage of the start of Senior Bowl Week, read more here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn