The Jumbo Package | 7.1.12

Game manager. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Alabama QB AJ McCarron going through the progressions, continues to develop on and off the field | al.com

Fairly or not, he's been labeled a "game manager," a term that's been thrown at Alabama quarterbacks of recent and distant past. When the SEC releases its preseason all-conference teams at next month's Media Days, McCarron, despite winning MVP honors in last year's BCS national title game, leading the league in completion percentage and throwing the fewest interceptions among every-game starters, could easily finish fourth behind Georgia's Aaron Murray, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and Tennessee's Tyler Bray. Yet when McCarron calls it a career with the Crimson Tide -- whether it's at the end of this season or the next -- he very well could be the best NFL quarterback prospect Alabama has produced since Richard Todd in 1976. "There's a lot to like about his game," NFL.com and NFL Network scouting analyst Bucky Brooks said. "You look at the way he played at the end of the year, you have to be encouraged about his football intelligence, his decision-making, his ability to throw the ball accurately on time. "The big thing for me, the game was never too big for him."

TRips: Tinker, Love and Orr

SN Carson Tinker (Sr.)
2011 season: Appeared in all 13 games, posting a perfect season on punt snaps and field goal/extra point snaps. Represented UA in accepting the Disney Spirit Award. Recorded one solo tackle on punt coverage unit.
2012 spring practice: Cornerstone figure for punt and field goal/extra point units that return largely in intact. Derrick Thomas Community Service Award recipient at the close of spring dills.
What he brings to the table: More important than even his streak of 26 consecutive starts, Tinker is a model of perseverance and courage to everyone he comes in contact with.

Alabama-LSU becomes a 'circle game' | TuscaloosaNews.com

The Alabama-Michigan game to be played Sept. 1 in Arlington, Texas, as a matchup of highly ranked teams from different conferences, figures to be among the most anticipated games involving the Southeastern Conference this season. But is it THE game on the calendar? With Alabama-Arkansas looming two weeks later and Alabama-LSU circled in red for Nov. 3, it might not even be the biggest game on the Crimson Tide's own schedule. "LSU and Alabama, I think it's become the staple as the big game in the SEC. When you look at the last few years, the winner of this game gets set up pretty nicely," said Chris Low of ESPN.com. "I think it's become the biggest game in college football. It's the one everyone circles."

Some SEC schools missing out on sending quarterbacks to NFL | al.com

The SEC has produced some outstanding quarterbacks over the years, including five who have won Super Bowls - Alabama's Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler; Tennessee's Peyton Manning; and Ole Miss' Eli Manning. But Alabama is one of five schools in the conference that have not had a quarterback serve as a full-time starter since 1984, joining South Carolina, Mississippi State, Arkansas and new SEC member Texas A&M.

TideSports.com - HURT: We should learn from Sandusky case

For me, the most chilling of all the recent revelations have not come in the horrific details of the crime and the cover-up, but in the proposed solution, in which former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley proposes going soft on Sandusky with the caveat that he confine his activities to locations away from the Penn State campus. Nothing could make it more clear that Curley, and by extension Paterno, knew what was going on, but the impetus to relocate it was not moral. It was not the product of anguished inner reflection, or the fear of a thunderbolt from an angry God. The "morality," if it can be called that, was truly modern - the fear of civil liability and punitive damages. Ultimately, that failed, too. Lawyers will be trampling out the vintage from where those grapes were stored for years to come. But an institution's moral compass these days is often built on no more and no less than what it can be sued for.

Julio Jones Snubbed in NFL ‘Top 100': Was it fair? - SB Nation Atlanta

There's little doubt if you pulled Julio aside and asked him he wouldn't really care; the blue-collar guys rarely do, but still as a fan of the National Football league I can't help but think this was a mammoth slight. When the 2012 season closes I have little doubt we'll see Jones firmly cemented in next year's ‘Top 100', and he'll likely be a staple for years to come.

Colts' Chapman likes team's chemistry - News-Sentinel.com

Chapman said everyone has taken to the direction of Colts coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, whether they've been around the Colts for a while (Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, Antoine Bethea) or are new to Indianapolis. Pagano and Manusky are working to change the Colts defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Chapman played nose tackle in the 3-4 system in college. "Guys know how to adapt and adjust," Chapman said. "You can only deal with the hand you're dealt. I feel we're coming along the right way. The 3-4 defense is a fun defense. If everything is done right, it can be a great defense."

Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

What is holding up a contract agreement with Patriots first-round pick Dont’a Hightower? Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing sources, lays it out nicely. It’s all about the fourth year of the contract and how much is guaranteed. The Browns reportedly are having a holdup with 22nd overall pick Brandon Weeden, and Hightower, the 25th pick, might be waiting to see what happens with Weeden and the two others directly in front of him who remain unsigned.

Conference realignments for 2012: A handy guide - CBSSports.com

It's July 1 and although the 2012 college football season is still two months away, this is a rather important day for the season ahead. It's the day all the schools that changed conferences officially join their new conferences. Now, unlike in previous seasons when only one or two schools would move and it was easy to keep track of what's going on, there are a lot of schools moving this season. Try as you might, it's could be easy to forget who is going where, but lucky for you the Eye on College Football Blog has created this handy guide where we'll break it down conference by conference.

Boise State Broncos beat deadline to bolt Mountain West - ESPN

San Diego State was welcomed with open arms to the Big West since the conference desperately needed a major addition within California. The Big West has only one league member, newly joining Hawaii for 2012-13, that will require teams to fly for a game. Hawaii is giving the Big West financial help to offset the costs. The rest of the members in the Big West are in California. Hawaii football is playing in the MWC after leaving the WAC in all sports. And that's why adding Boise State was a problem for some of the Big West schools. A Big East source told ESPN.com that Boise State will receive financial help to pay the Big West for travel costs. San Diego State has been lobbying Big West schools to invite Boise State, as well, since the Aztecs need and want a Western partner for its football presence in the Big East.

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