TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tuesday was a day of transition for the University of Alabama football program. After the team flew back from Tampa, Florida, where it came up short in the national championship game, there was a lot of packing and unpacking going on.
Staff workers were moving on, some beginning new jobs. Others were doing evaluations of the 35-31 loss to Clemson and trying to make up for lost time in recruiting.
Among the players, some were beginning the process of becoming professionals and preparing for the NFL draft. Early enrollees were getting settled in and meeting with their new coaches while the weight room was open for anyone wanting to work off their frustrations and get a jump on next season.
Most will take a well-deserved break after enduring a 15-game season, but it won’t be long before Alabama’s brutal “Fourth Quarter” conditioning program gets underway, followed by the start of spring practice in March. That’s when the various competitions for starting jobs will really begin and the Crimson Tide build toward making another title run.
Just because the 2016 season came up short, and Alabama will have to replace a lot of talent, the internal expectations won’t change—nor should they.
The cupboard is anything but bare for head coach Nick Saban’s program, the only one to make the College Football Playoff all three years: