Head football coach Nick Saban has done the near-impossible at the University of Alabama: orchestrated a seismic shift in the meaning of "Roll Tide." The longtime motto used by the locals to exhort its college football team to victory has spread across the school's campus to the registrar's office, to new buildings for science, engineering and nursing students, and on to the wallets of increasingly generous alumni.
The assertion here is that Saban is not only worth his sizable paycheck, but is arguably underpaid. Enrollment is through the roof, the number of faculty employed is up by nearly a third, and donations are pouring in at an unprecedented rate. A rising tide does indeed, it seems, raise all ships.
The terms of the deal are expected to remain intact ($55 million per year until 2023-24), with CBS lifting the exclusive 3:30 p.m. broadcast window so the SEC can air football games on its ESPN-operated channel on Saturdays.
No surprises here. CBS will still have first choice on all games starting in week 3, but will no longer have the 2:30 window all to themselves. Everyone has mentioned that the SEC network will be able to now play SEC games during that time slot, but I imagine that the elimination of the exclusivity clause will actually open the doors for ESPN (and ESPN 2) to play SEC games during that time slot as well.
The front office knew what baggage they were getting with McClain before they signed him, but now that he has been arrested for the second time in 3 months, Ozzie Newsome must ask himself: is this guy Raven worthy?
Couple things: one, "Raven worthy"? You guys worshiped at the feet of a dude wearing blood-spattered crocodile loafers. And two, Ro absolutely doesn't deserve another chance at this point. I hope he gets one, and I hope he can somehow get his flipping head screwed on right and stay out of trouble. But he doesn't deserve another shot, and nobody would fault the Ravens if they cut bait before long.
1. Shaun Dion Hamilton, Montgomery (Ala.) Carver
Even though Hamilton didn't enter the RCS Birmingham with the highest ranking of the linebacker group, he made the biggest impression. Hamilton reminded one analyst of Reuben Foster, just a couple of inches shorter and minus the verbal commitment flip-flopping. He has a rocked-out frame and closes well in the short area, in addition to being able to cover downfield in man coverage on wheel routes.
Hamilton committed to the Tide about a month ago. Rivals has him as a four star, but if he keeps tearing up these camps, that will change soon enough. On a less positive note, #3 on that list was Tre Williams, the 4-star linebacker out of Mobile that committed to Auburn last week. Hate to see a kid of his quality be snatched up out of the Mobile area by Auburn, but you can bet that Saban has not conceded on that particular battle, and likely won't until pen hits paper.