OK. Independence Day is over. We all had a fantastic time enjoying freedom with backyard barbecue and low-grade incendiary devices. And now we're halfway through the summer and this hellish, seemingly never-ending off season. Now we can sort of see the end to it all; the SEC Media Days are just a few weeks away, fall practice is right after that and that means actual real-live Alabama football less than two months from now.
Yet, as giddy as these thoughts might make you, remember that this next stretch is the toughest part of all.The going will be rough and there is nothing to come to our aid. We will have to find a way to make it on the scraps of recruiting news and whatever gawdawful sporting substitute we can find on basic cable.
But if we stick together and help each other there's a good chance we will survive the ordeal. Now on to the info from over the past few days...
The Spirit of '66
Last week ESPN's Ivan Maisel penned a piece tallying the most famous ties in college football and the 1966 sister kissing contest between Notre Dame and Michigan State took the top slot. This, in turn, led to a bit of soul searching on the part of the Golden Domers about if maybe someone else might have a claim on that year's National Championship. Another ESPN writer then noticed that the Fighting Irish had a bit of a habit for "ending" games in this manner.
They'll Figure It Out When We Get There
Duke University has begun preparing for The Crimson Tide's arrival on Sept. 18, starting with figuring out how to handle the demand for seats. Wallace Wade Stadium holds 33,941 and is certain to sell out (Alabama has been allotted 6,000 tickets). School officials say they have a plan: "We're trying to sell as many [tickets] as we possibly can, and then we'll figure out where we can put bleachers." Just don't forget about the RVs.
Just So We All Know Where We Stand
The NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet says they want to limit FBS teams' support personnel at four. Coach Saban doesn't like it. The NCAA is also considering a proposal to prohibit scholarship offers for prep seniors until July 1 to counter the trend for early signing. Coach Saban says it's a great idea.
Pre-Season Magazine Roundup
The pre-season college football magazines have arrived! Gentry Estes has a nice look at the beast Nick Saban continues to build in Tuscaloosa for Althon. Phil Steele has Alabama at No. 3 on his pre-season list although he is noncommittal in his take on the Tide. Football Outsiders are offering a downloadable version their college football preview and have the SEC East portion available for free. And, most importantly, have you ordered your copy of Yea Alabama yet? Well, why the hell not?
Odds & Ends
Former Alabama cornerback and current Oregon State head coach Mike Riley recalls what it was like playing for Coach Bryant in the early 1970s... Let it not be said that Sherrie Hardy, uniforms and equipment clerk at the Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department, doesn't know how to decorate an office... Former Alabama offensive coordinator Charlie Stubbs is gearing up for his first season as the HC at Nichols State... Alabama football great Walter Merrill and Bobby Johnson -- the uncle of Tide linebacker Nico Johnson -- will be inducted into the Andalusia High School Football Hall of Fame next month.