Part 2. “Freshman Class Reviews” … Coach Ray Perkins 1983-1986
Coach Ray Perkins accepted the job of head coach at BAMA in late December 1982. He arrived at his alma mater with the very difficult task of following a coaching legend and the standards of winning set at anything less than playing for the National Championship, an average season. Coach Bryant’s last three recruiting classes were average incoming, but all 3 classes fell into the poor category outgoing. This meant Coach Perkins first two teams at BAMA, 1983 and 1984, had very few impact players. On top of that, Perkins first two recruiting classes were two of the lowest rated incoming groups since I started rating in 1980. The result of these consecutive poor incoming and outgoing classes was a 5-6 team in 1984. This was a difficult time for Coach Perkins and BAMA faithful. At this same time, rival Auburn had put together tremendous recruiting classes and was flirting with National prominence.
Coach Perkins made several controversial changes with the football program, but the primary problem was a lack of talented players. Coach Perkins last two recruiting classes in 1985 and 1986 turned the tide as both classes produced a significant number of major contributors and impact players. The 1985 class produced two legendary players and the largest number of all-star selections from any back to back classes came from the 1985 and 1986 groups.
Unlike the talent level left by Coach Bryant, Coach Perkins left after the 1986 season with a team full of outstanding freshman and sophomore players on it. When Coach Curry came in 1987, he inherited this group and as upperclassmen they put BAMA back on the map as a national power. Led by the freshmen classes of 1985 and 1986, the 1988 team posted a solid 9-3 season and the10-2 1989 team won the SEC Championship and made a run at the National Championship, 10 years after their last one in 1979. Several costly mistakes in the Auburn game on the “plains” cost BAMA an undefeated regular season. They played Miami a very tough game in the Sugar Bowl before losing 33-25.
Ratings for 1983 – 1986 Recruiting Classes
.………………INCOMING……….OUTGOING 1983 …………3.7*Average…..…… 2.7 * Poor 1984 …………3.9 *Average ……… 2.4 * Poor 1985 …………4.0 *Good …………. 3.0* Average 1986 …………4.0 *Good ….……… 3.5* Excellent
When I created my outgoing rating system in 1984, I often wondered if I had set the excellent rating too high, was it a realistic number to achieve. I wanted a class that achieved that number to really earn it. The 1986 class was outstanding individually and as an overall group. They won a SEC Championship, had several players earn all-star status, had several make it to the NFL, and good overall class contribution. After that year, I felt confident that my rating system was as fair and accurate as I possibly could make it.
*** I rated these classes each year as they completed their eligibility. I vowed to never change the individual ratings in later years because it would be too easy to keep going back and change them. Since my post in August, I changed a couple of player’s ratings after some facts about them were pointed out to me. After researching those facts, I decided to update a couple of player’s ratings. Those of you with the August post will know the changes.
*** The factors and criteria I used for my ratings and rating systems are at the end of this document. Opinions and comments are welcomed.
Part 3. Coach Curry Classes 1987 - 1989 - Will E-Mail …. Tuesday 11-16-99 (Maybe- G). My E-Mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org