A-Day Inaccurate

Kelly Ward

I don’t like A-Day. Honestly.

It is a cheap substitute for a fall Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Every other in-season Alabama sport is out of town this weekend, whether because how the schedule worked out or by design, for a scrimmage.

The last time Alabama played in Bryant-Denny Stadium, it was a high-drama slugfest in the highest scoring Iron Bowl ever. Saturday won’t be that exciting. Exciting is too strong of a word. Saturday is a practice. It’s a chance to see Alabama play in the nine-month college football drought between seasons.

Admission is free Saturday. For free, you can watch Alabama football practice in April. You can watch the quarterback battle as it gets underway. Don’t put too much stock in it. 

Blake Sims went 13-for-30 with two interceptions in last year’s A-Day. He threw for 178 yards, but no one thought he would start. Jake Coker transferred and everyone thought he was the heir apparent.

Alec Morris punted during A-Day. Chris Black had more yards receiving than Amari Cooper. Things are weird on A-Day. Looking back, you’d never guess Cooper wasn’t the leading receiver. In the spring game, he didn’t even score, but in December, he was in New York as a Heisman finalist.

The spring game wasn’t a real indicator of his talent, let alone the explosive year he ended up having. 

It is, in essence, a scrimmage. Coaches are trying things out. The team you see on Saturday will change. A poor showing doesn’t mean Alabama won’t have a good team in the fall. A good showing doesn’t mean Alabama will win it all. It’s the spring. There’s still summer workouts and fall camp. Not to mention, the team still has the actual season to play.

Anything can happen between Saturday and Sept. 5 when Alabama opens the season in Dallas against Wisconsin. Most of this year’s signees aren’t on campus yet.

Until the season starts up in September, A-Day is the closest to a fall Saturday in Tuscaloosa. It’s a preview. Most of the people on the field will be there for the home opener. A few injured players will make their way back in time for the first game. It’s the chance to see players in pads and jerseys, to catch a glimpse of fall.

Saturday is a rough draft. The team people see in the fall will not be there Saturday afternoon. There’s a long way to go to the home opener, but A-Day is a start.