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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Saban's itinerary part of random thoughts

by Wally Hall | April 27, 2021 at 2:12 a.m.

Random spring thoughts while wondering why more people aren't getting the potentially lifesaving -- and not just their life -- vaccination that is free.

What does Nick Saban do now that spring football is finished? Does he cut his workday to 16 hours? Does he golf? Go fishing? Smile? Even in private?

One thing he hasn't been doing is living in the transfer portal. He has said he will adjust to it, but he intends to keep building his program the old-fashioned way -- recruiting highly coveted high school players.

It wasn't that long ago when Saban said he was against a hurry-up, no-huddle offense, but when he saw the success of those schemes, he changed his mind.

Alabama football players who enter the portal may not be meeting with the taskmaster personally.

Which brings up another random thought. Dan Enos, who was Arkansas' offensive coordinator from 2015-17, has made another career move.

Enos left Arkansas for Michigan, but he ended up in Alabama as Saban's quarterbacks coach. For one season.

Enos left the Tide without telling anyone to accept the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Hurricanes. A year later, he was at Cincinnati as associate head coach. Now he's an OC again, this time at Maryland.

Saban goes through a lot of assistants.

Final random thought about Saban. His wife, Terry, does a lot of good work through their foundation and Saban at least goes along with it, but there's no telling how many hours a week he works on football coaching, teaching and preparation.

In his 14 seasons at Alabama, he's won six national championships and posted a 165-23 overall record and 95-15 in SEC play.

That's why he's the most popular man in the state.

Not one Crimson Tide fan is worried that only three starters are back on offense, mostly because there are seven on defense, and there's rarely a drop off when a player leaves.

Which bring us to Texas A&M. Are the Aggies ready to challenge for the SEC West title?

They were 9-1 last season and return 15 starters, including nine on defense.

LSU looks primed with 15 starters back, but the Tigers were 5-5 last season and have a three-man quarterback competition. They also will need youth to step up at receiver.

Arkansas would have had the most starters returning with 18, but Mike Woods' departure to Oklahoma leaves the Hogs tied with Ole Miss at 17.

The program with the fewest returning starters is Tennessee with just 10. Expectations for new Coach Josh Heupel should not be high, but they will be anyway.

Auburn replaced coach Gus Malzahn -- who spent a successful season at Arkansas State -- with Bryan Harsin, who succeeded Malzahn at ASU and also spent just one season there.

Malzahn left him plenty of players at ASU, and he's repeated history at Auburn with 16 starters back.

Harsin is a good coach, but it is a huge jump from the Mountain West to the SEC and living in the shadow of Alabama.

Final random thought for the day: Did anyone predict Kim Mulkey leaving Baylor for LSU?

Mulkey was 632-104 with the Bears with three national championships.

Mulkey is from Ticklaw, La., about 50 miles from Baton Rouge. She spent her collegiate career at Louisiana Tech, where the 5-4 point guard became an American sweetheart while leading the Lady Techsters to two national championships and helping America win the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.

She will be embraced immediately at LSU, but she is outspoken.

One has to wonder if the reaction to the Baylor men's championship might have influenced her decision to leave.


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