Depth charts are generally just a tool used by coaches to provide a clear overview of the players' positions and roles within the team. Most of the time, they don’t generate much buzz nationally, unless you're a high-profile program with a high-profile coach that has a quarterback battle going on less than a week away from the season opener.
Alabama and head coach Nick Saban fit that description.
After deciding to break a 16-year-old tradition by not releasing a depth chart, Saban has created a different kind of buzz and even has Fox Sports commentator Tim Brando upset. Brando voiced his opinion on the social media platform “X,” the social media site formerly known as Twitter.
Nick Saban’s not delivering a Depth Chart is beneath him, despite likely giving the guys calling the game some semblance of lineups. He should be above that but clearly these days he’s not in the best of moods. I got in some trouble a few years ago condemning @CoachJim4UM, and…— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) August 28, 2023
“Nick Saban’s not delivering a depth chart is beneath him, despite likely giving the guys calling the game some semblance of lineups. He should be above that, but, clearly, these days he’s not in the best of moods," Brando lamented.
Saban provided an explanation on Monday that he felt that releasing a depth chart would create distractions and could potentially result in players feeling demoralized upon discovering their position.
Brando continued his rant, accusing Saban of bullying the local media by not providing a depth chart.
“Why bully his local media in such a manner?” Brando asked. “The …kissing he’s demanding here is a joke! When much is given, much is also expected, and the Goat needs to act like the greatest as opposed using your brand as a bully pulpit and that’s all this is! Using its 'etched in stone' is a bit much, when the truth really is my QB room ain’t what it used to be.”
Throughout the fall, Saban has vocalized that positional competition happens throughout the entire season. By releasing a depth chart, Saban claims that the media thinks that it is “etched in stone” and that it is final.
Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze doesn’t seem to be a depth chart guy either. Freeze released his depth chart Monday but claimed that he doesn’t have one and that he didn't know where it came from.
“I’m going to be totally candid with you: I don’t even have a depth chart, so I don’t know where that came from,” Freeze said. “I guess that’s from the SID world. I don’t do depth charts. It’s really nonsense. I mean, you’re going to play your 4-5 outside receivers and your 2-3 inside receivers in our system. I don’t care who runs out there with the first group or the second group. They freely rotate, so I don’t make much of those depth charts.”
According to reports, of the 14 SEC schools, two other schools will join Alabama in depriving the public of a depth chart. Those two schools are Texas A&M and Tim Brando’s LSU Tigers.
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