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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Alabama hard to beat, even in offseason

by Wally Hall | February 5, 2021 at 2:36 a.m.

As the final days of national signing day for college football wrap up, the news for just about every team in the SEC West was bad.

Alabama ended up with the No. 1 recruiting class of all time.

Since recruiting classes were ranked, this is the best, beating out the 2010 Florida class.

Alabama's latest haul includes seven 5-star and 16 4-star players, and they may add another top prospect today.

In the SEC, six teams from the West have to face Bama every year, as well as two from the East, and they are definitely not volunteers.

Anyone who knowingly and willingly agrees to play the greatest football program in the history of college football is either starved for money or they have illusions of grandeur.

Understand, that's why Sir Nick Saban, the crowned king of the football hill, doesn't run the score up.

If he beat teams like he was capable, there would be no nonconference games, and there might be a legal protest among SEC coaches.

Isn't there a law in this country against monopolies.

The Tide's latest class includes players from 10 states, including seven from Florida and Texas, the two richest states for recruiting in the country, and five from Alabama.

Alabama football has become Duke basketball, easy to not like.

Georgia was No. 3 in the national ratings, behind Ohio State. LSU was No. 4, Texas &M was No. 7.

That's great, but like everyone, else they can't beat the Crimson Tide.

* * *

The Arkansas Razorbacks didn't sign anyone in this final period and finished No. 24 in the country. That sounds great, unless you are in the SEC which had seven total teams rank better than the Hogs.

Sam Pittman appears to have been taking notes all last season, and he tweaked his staff in the offseason with a total of four new coaches.

Three of the changes were Pittman's idea. Those are Cole Kennedy coaching tight ends, Jermial Ashley the defensive line, and Michael Scherer takes over linebackers.

Kenny Guiton replaces wide receivers coach Justin Stepp who had a chance to return to his home state by taking a job at South Carolina.

Arkansas' recruiting class was solid and includes two transfers.

Pittman and Co. signed players from eight states, led by six from Oklahoma, five from Texas and four from Arkansas.

* * *

Covid-19 continues to dictate scheduling changes, and the Arkansas basketball team had its second game of the season affected when Texas A&M informed the Hogs on Thursday that they had too many players out for various virus reasons to bring a team to Fayetteville.

The postponement may have come at a good time for the Razorbacks.

They played Oklahoma State on Saturday and made a quick turnaround and played Mississippi State on Tuesday.

Arkansas started very slow in that game and trailed 18-5 before Eric Musselman stressed defense during a timeout, and the Hogs went on to win 61-45.

Kentucky is next up in what would have been another short turnaround for a Tuesday game in Lexington, Ky.

Granted, it seems odd to see the Wildcats in seventh place in the SEC with a 4-5 SEC record (5-11 overall), but they are still Kentucky and capable of going on a run at any time.

Arkansas and Kentucky have a history dating back to the Razorbacks' entry in the SEC, and like Alabama in football, every team in the SEC wants to beat the Wildcats.

This season, the Wildcats are 3-3 in famed Rupp Arena and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 77 (Arkansas is No. 30), meaning unless UK starts winning, it will have to win the SEC Tournament to make March Madness.


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