The Jumbo Package | 05.01.14

Kevin C. Cox

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Nick Saban: Alabama remains open to marquee non-conference games at neutral sites or home-and-home | AL.com

The Crimson Tide coach said he's open to playing a marquee non-conference opponent at a neutral site or in conjunction with a home-and-home series.

"I think that we'll do both to try to get the best quality opponents we can," Saban said on Wednesday's SEC post-spring teleconference. "However we can get the best quality opponents is the philosophy we'll use."

Vols coach Butch Jones on Alabama-Tennessee: 'I think it's the best rivalry in the (SEC)' | AL.com

With all the whining that LSU is doing about having to play mighty Florida every year, it should come as no surprise that Tennessee is also complaining, since they do have the burden of playing the team that has been the best program in the country over the last half a dozen years...

Coach Butch Jones was asked if he was fighting to keep the traditional rivalry a yearly contest.

"Absolutely, because it's a part of our football program and the great tradition we have here," Jones told the Times Free Press. "I think the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry is one of the best rivalries in the country, and I think it's the best rivalry in the Southeastern Conference. To be able to maintain that rivalry is something that we are very excited about."

Oh.  My mistake.  Looks like it's still just you guys, LSU.

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Alabama coach Nick Saban says Big Ten is a 'really good conference' in rare trip back to Ohio | AL.com

One of the questions Saban fielded centered on how and when the Big Ten would "get up to SEC standards."

He jokingly said, "I’m going to be politically correct on this one," before he launched into his assessment. "I think you have great high school football here in Ohio, but there’s a lot of really good players in the Southeast and I think there’s a lot of passion for those players, and as that league has accomplished a lot of success through the years, more and more people on a national basis want to come there," Saban said. "So it’s created a real competitive conference. But I think the Big Ten has great institutions and are certainly capable of all those things and I think you almost have to nationally recruit in this day and age."

No, really.  You guys... well... you know.  You try really hard, you know.  And, uh, well, remember that time you won the national championship in 2002?  That was good.  You guys did good.  So... uh, look.  I gotta go, but you guys just keep up the good work, a'ight?

Breaking down new College Football Playoff procedures: Panic or praise? - CBSSports.com

Voting protocol

Panic Level: 4.0 out of 10

This is pretty clear-cut, and similar to the NCAA Tournament process. The tiered system is sort of convoluted, which is why the panic level is a 4, but otherwise this should go smoothly. Basically, each committee member will create a list of 25 teams and the committee will whittle down to the best six based on which teams made the most lists. The committee will reseed those six, then the three teams with the fewest points during that process will become the top three seeds.

To find the fourth seed is where it gets complicated. The group takes the leftover three teams (the ones that didn't make the top three) from that original batch of six, then meld those with three new teams and seed them from 4 to 9.

Okay.  So this is simple.  You just take the square root, carry the one, then use that result to calculate the derivative of the inverse function and that should give you your top fuuuuuuuuu

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College Football Playoff recusal policy: If school pays you, you're out - CBSSports.com

As it stands, money is about the only thing that will force a committee member to leave a room and relinquish voting power.

A committee member must be recused if compensated by a school involved in the selection committee process, or if the member's immediate family gets money from the school, according to a Playoff release. Other recusal triggers include any paid consulting arrangements, deferred compensation or roles on a school's coaching or administrative staff.

The committee will have the option to add other recusals "if special circumstances arise," according to the release.

This policy is "virtually identical" to the NCAA Tournament committee, the Playoff release states, only that group rates 68 teams instead of four. Football's Four deals with a bigger beast -- and bigger angst.

Apparently Tom Osborne, a long-time Nebraska coach, can vote on the Cornhuskers unless he's still getting money from the school, which is possible since he was Nebraska's athletic director as early as 2013.

Well, off the top, I'm not sure that this recusal policy is extensive enough.  I'm just a layperson, but it would seem to me that if a guy coaches for 25 years at an institution (an later returns to the same institution for a six year stint as athletic director), that should probably be sufficient cause for recusal.  But I'm not paid the big bucks.

Insufficiency of the policy aside, I'm a bit unclear about the actual mechanics of how the recusal process works.  The committee member is only restricted from voting on that one institution, right?  So does that member leave a void in his/her top 25 where the restricted institution would fall?  Is the recused member required to instead submit a complete top 25, and thus vote another team higher (which would basically punish a team for having an associated individual as a member of the committee)?

Florida State QB Jameis Winston's shoplifting raises concerns - College Football - Andy Staples - SI.com

If this was Winston's first and only brush with the law, the story would end right there, and the jokes would crank up again. His mistake -- and his contrition when caught -- would have resonated with everyone who did something stupid in college. (And that's pretty much all of us who ever set foot on a campus.) When the NC State band followed the advice of Austin, Texas, radio host Sean Adams and struck up "Under The Sea" -- featured lyric: "We've got a hot crustacean band" -- during the Seminoles' away game at Raleigh on Sept. 27, it would have drawn a good laugh and that would be that.

But this wasn't Winston's only meeting with law enforcement since arriving in Tallahassee. His pattern of behavior has long since passed the "boys will be boys" verdict he's obviously hoping he'll receive in the court of public opinion based on this part of his statement: "I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation."

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