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Monday Morning Required Reading

So you think you are prepared for Contemporary American History?

Well kids, looks like classes at the Capstone get started this week. It's an exciting time when the campus is all abustle with activity and tons of exciting new things to do and people to meet. Enjoy it to the fullest, your spirit will be crushed by the monotony of real life soon enough. For us poor bastards on the outside, it's just one more glorious stepping stone to the start of football season.

Your familiarity with this material will be assumed: Gentry Estes gives a very handy breakdown of the NCAA's rule changes going into the season.

They need to offer more houndstooth: Collegiate Licensing reports that Alabama is ranked No. 5 in terms of all collegiate merchandise sold. Also, CLC's very first client back in 1981 was none other Coach Paul Bryant.

Ain't nuthin but a winner: Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Birmingham performances of the play about the life of Coach Bryant, Bear Country, have been extended through Aug. 23.

I'd like to select "all of the above": The Huntsville Times wants to know which Crimson Tide team do you think is the best evah!

They finally saw that picture of Julio: Vegas has dropped the odds on Alabama to win the MNC from 20-1 to 8-1.

If the Bear said it, then it must be true: The Gadsen Times Sports Editor Emeritus Jimmy Smothers has an interesting column collecting a number of Coach Bryant's aphorisms concerning football (Roy Exum did something similar last week as well). One that seems particularly applicable going into the 2009 season:

If you are winning, you’d better keep on planning. The coaches that get lazy with success and think that they are out-coaching folk usually get a rude awakening. Everything you say and do must be done to help you in the future; to make the team better; to make an individual better. Plan what your attitude will be in every situation that may arise — use your best pitch. Don’t try what someone else does well — do what suits your personality.