Auburn football loses out to Alabama for Ryan Williams, then AU hoops loses to Tide

Jan 24, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide guard Rylan Griffen (3) attempts a
Jan 24, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guard Rylan Griffen (3) attempts a / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

January 24 was not the best day to be an Auburn football and/or AU hoops fan.

Auburn football loses Ryan Williams sweepstakes to Alabama

The first blow to the orange and blue was Ryan Williams' re-commitment to the Crimson Tide. After de-committing following Nick Saban's retirement, Williams committed to what Kalen DeBoer is building in Tuscaloosa; after so much has already been taken away via the transfer portal.

Instead of forming the Freeze Five on the Plains with Cam Coleman, Perry Thompson, Bryce Cain, and Malcolm Simmons, the Saraland star went his own way. He now joins an offense that The Tuscaloosa News' Nick Kelly believes is a better fit for him than Hugh Freeze's.

"Alabama is one of many programs vying for his services, and Auburn is right up there too," Kelly prefaced before saying, "But if insight from Penix and other players is any indication, Williams might not find a better offense than the Crimson Tide's under new coach Kalen DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb. In back-to-back years, 2022 and 2023, Penix had two 1,000-yard receivers each season."

Auburn basketball goes down in final seconds to Alabama in IBOB

Things only got worse when Bruce Pearl's Tigers valiantly fought back from a 14-point first-half deficit to tie the game with under eight minutes to go, only to lose in the final seconds with some missed free throws contributing to it.

With a chance to tie the game at 75 with 13 seconds left, Chad Baker-Mazara missed a critical free-throw that'd lead to two at the other end for the Tide. Then, with a chance to cut the lead to 1 and 11 seconds left, Jaylin Williams would miss one.

79-75 was the final, and the lights -- like they were in the opening seconds after AU took a 3-0 lead -- were shut off on the Tigers at Coleman Coliseum.

Not the best day to be an Auburn Tiger, but still a damn good one. The days of Alabama dominating football are likely done, and Auburn is still in pole position to take the SEC regular season title.