Want to go to the Iron Bowl in November? You can win a flight to Tuscaloosa on a private jet and six tickets to the game -- while supporting a good cause in the process. Jeb Shell of Mobile, a candidate for the 2012 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year, is hosting an educational event for LLS on June 27 in Mobile. Those who purchase a $50 ticket for the event will be entered into a drawing for the Iron Bowl package -- six tickets to the Nov. 24 game, transportation via private jet and private shuttle service from the airport to Bryant-Denny Stadium and back.
The semifinals will be rotated among existing bowl sites. The championship game site will be determined through a bid process. Somewhere, television networks are digging for their platinum credit cards. The presidents will essentially concede this is what the customers want. As Tony Barnhart, one of the most respect writers on college football, wrote, "(A)ny product - from cars to laundry detergent - has to eventually go to the marketplace with something new. For college football, a four-team playoff with a selection committee is that new product."
We already have a selection committee. It's called the coaches poll and the Harris Interactive Poll. Understand that every tweak that has been made to the BCS standings during the past 14 years has been to accomplish one thing: To make sure the final BCS standings better reflected the human polls.
Traditionalists are not taking to their typewriters to pound out strongly worded letters to the editor in favor of the pending playoff in college football. But they can take solace in this much: If conference commissioners get their way, New Year's Day may rise again. Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas told reporters that the playoff format is going to "reclaim New Year's Eve and New Year's Day for college football," which may be interpreted both as a rebuke to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's claim that Jan. 1 now belongs to hockey – in America? – and a not-so-subtle hint that semifinal games will be staged in the traditional time slot for heavy-hitting bowl games. Commissioners have already agreed to sell university presidents on a format that shares the semifinals among the four BCS bowls (Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar) on a rotating basis and bids out the championship game to a neutral site less than two weeks later, a la the Final Four and Super Bowl. All as expected.
HB Brent Calloway (rFr.)
2011 season: Worked on the scout team at running back while redshirting.
2012 spring practice: Spent the early stages of spring drills at outside linebacker before moving to H-back, his third different position in less than a year. Worked with the second team offense in the A-Day game, catching two passes for 18 yards. One of five players to receive the Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award at the close of drills. What he brings to the table: With Brad Smelley moving on to the NFL, Calloway provides a play-making dimension to the H-back position. The former running back is big enough to handle the blocking aspect of the job and athletic enough to win match ups against linebackers.
Nathan Corder, a senior on the University of Alabama cross country and track and field teams, has been named a first team Capital One Academic All-American for the second consecutive season, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A three-time Academic All-American after earning third-team honors as a sophomore, Corder boasts a perfect 4.0 grade point average in mathematics. In addition to competing in all six of the cross country team’s meets in 2012 and scoring at the SEC and NCAA South Region Championships, he was also a Rhodes Scholarship finalist and recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Corder has also been honored for his work in the community as a finalist for the SEC Davis Community Service Award.
The honors continue to come for Justin Thomas. The Alabama freshman has been named the winner of the 2012 Haskins Award, which goes to the top collegiate golfer in the nation. The Goshen, Ky., native is the first Crimson Tide golfer to win the award. Thomas also has won the Jack Nicklaus Award, which the Golf Coaches Association of America awards to the national player of the year. Thomas has also won the Phil Mickelson Award, which goes to the nation's top freshman. He became the first freshman to be named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and also won the league's Freshman of the Year award.
Former Alabama safety Mark Barron, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first-round draft pick this year, reportedly got a rude welcome to the NFL last month. In a story first reported by walterfootball.com and since expounded upon by several other outlets, Barron was reportedly punched in the face in a Buccaneers meeting room by veteran defensive tackle Brian Price during organized team activities last month. According to walterfootball.com writer Charlie Campbell, it all started over Barron's choice of seats in the meeting room.
A -- As in Alabama, home of the past two top running back prospects, in Mark Ingram in 2011, and Trent Richardson in 2012. Ingram was like the youngest of nine siblings at the dinner table in New Orleans, just trying to get some scraps. But Richardson will be more like the only child, with as much to eat as he wants in Cleveland. The consensus is that the Browns rookie is a Top-15 running back.
Craig James, the former CBS and ESPN football analyst who placed fourth in the nine-man Republican Primary race for the U.S. Senate, will not return to ESPN this fall but said he has been contacted by other networks to gauge his interest in returning to TV. (ed. HOORAY and also boo at "other networks," you know, if that's actually true or not. Remember the 5.)