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The Jumbo Package | 8.22.11

How many freshmen will play this season for the Crimson Tide? |

"I think after we look at this film and go through another week of practice, we'll probably decide somewhere Thursday or Friday of next week who these guys are," Saban said. "I've got some idea right now, but I don't really want to throw it out there and it changes." | Alabama football: Crimson Tide freshmen show promise, could play early in season

But will Kouandjio and a few freshman teammates need to step into the prime role Smith inherited as the starting left tackle in 2006? The same applies for linebacker Trey DePriest and the similarities drawn between him and Rolando McClain as a rookie in 2007. It’s possible, head coach Nick Saban said after Saturday’s scrimmage, that a few fresh faces will see serious game action early on. "I think after we look at this film and go through another week of practice, we’ll probably decide somewhere Thursday or Friday of next week who these guys are," Saban said. "I’ve got some idea right now, but I don’t really want to throw it out there and it changes."

No laughing matter: Ha'Sean 'Ha-Ha' Clinton-Dix impressing at Alabama |

What does Clinton-Dix have going for him other than football talent? Character and academics are a good start, according to Salapa. While Hart maintained a GPA above 4.0 in high school, Clinton-Dix was a solid 3.0 student. "The good news is you're getting great kids," Salapa said of Clinton-Dix and Hart. "If I've heard once I've heard it a thousand times, they don't cuss and they are diligent guys in the classroom. They are amazing competitors."

Marquis Maze gets kudos from Nick Saban on return duty at scrimmage |

"Cade (Foster) missed a couple of field goals today that he would normally make. Overall, I think the effort and energy we're getting on special teams on our team needs to improve. It's an area that we have a lot of experienced players back on, and it's something that we should expect to be good at. But we're going to have to put a little more into it if we're going to expect the kinds of results that we'd like to get."

Value of College Football Scholarship Exceeds $2 Million for College Football's Top 25 - Forbes

So when adding the short-term cost savings to the long-term earnings enhancement, the value of a college football scholarship at the Top 25 schools is potentially as high as $2.2 million for those student-athletes that complete their degrees. | Key games to determine SEC football championship contenders

2. Alabama at Mississippi State, Nov. 12 The Tide will be coming off either a big win or a crushing loss against LSU the week before. Plus, crazy things always take place in the Land of Cowbells.

Nick Saban shrugs off Tide's No. 2 ranking in preseason AP poll |

"It's nice to be recognized and respected in that regard, but at the same time, how this team does will be what happens on the field."

Sooners are No. 1, but SEC dominates the polls  |

The Sooners debuted Saturday at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll for the 10th time, more than any other team in history. Oklahoma also was No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll. However, the Sooners will have to hold off a herd of SEC teams, led by the No. 2 Crimson Tide of Alabama, one of a record eight SEC teams included. Georgia debuted at No. 19. The Bulldogs are No. 22 in the coaches poll. "We want to come out and win a national championship, to be undefeated," Alabama safety Mark Barron told the Associated Press. "Every time we step out on the field, one of our motivating factors is to be special."

The SEC's best 25 players: No. 7 - SEC Blog - ESPN

At 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, he's one of the best all-around athletes in the SEC. He has great size, speed and hitting ability and is a human wrecking ball in that Alabama secondary. He's the guy who makes things go back there, and with the talent and added experience the Tide will have in their defensive backfield this season, Barron is poised for a monster season. He and Robert Lester will form one of the top safety duos in the country.

NCAA Football Preview - Alabama Crimson Tide -

Many fans and analysts expect Alabama to win the SEC and challenge for the national title, but coach Saban says that lofty outside expectations mean nothing to him. "We're more concerned about the standard of excellence we can play to and the competitive spirit we have on our team to dominate the competition that we play, to work hard, to give the effort and play with the toughness and intensity that other teams can't match," says the coach. Alabama will undoubtedly be tough to beat, especially considering the wealth of talented returnees on both sides of the ball. The only thing that can hold the team back is the glaring lack of experience at the quarterback position.

Alabama must complete to-do list to live up to national title hype - The Washington Post

Some of the important pieces have changed and a few key questions remain unanswered, but blue-chip replacements keep the preseason conversation in Tuscaloosa consistent.

Marty Lyons Recalls Playing For Bryant | The Portland Press Herald

"My freshman year, Coach Bryant said there were four things he wanted us to accomplish at the university: No. 1, always be proud of your family; No. 2, always be proud of your religion; No. 3, get an education; No. 4, if we have time, let's try to win some football games."

Shapiro talked to Nutt about UM job in 2006 – Miami Hurricanes – Sun-Sentinel

The more we find out about former Hurricanes booster/convicted felon Nevin Shapiro, the more we realize he was way too close to the program and had was more involved than he should have been. An example of Shapiro being involved in a manner he had no business being: He spoke to then-Arkansas coach Houston Nutt on a couple of occasions in December 2006 about the UM coaching job after Larry Coker left.

Rookie WR Jones gives Falcons firepower - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

"Our expectations with Julio are for him to be a legitimate contributor from Day 1 and he has done nothing to make us feel that’s off base," said Dimitroff, who got Jones after moving up from No. 27 to No. 6 in the first-round draft board after giving up Atlanta’s first-, second- and fourth-round picks this year and its first and fourth next year.

LSU football: Four players meeting with police Monday postponed indefinitely |

A meeting with police and four LSU football players accused of being involved in a bar fight has been postponed indefinitely, the attorney for the players said Sunday. Nathan Fisher, who has represented LSU athletes in legal matters in the past, said senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, sophomore lineman Chris Davenport, sophomore linebacker Josh Johns and freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry will not meet with police Monday as previously planned. "We just got the case at 8 a.m. today (Sunday)," Fisher said. "I just met with the kids this morning."

By 2012, cream cheese may no longer be an NCAA violation - The Dagger - NCAAB Blog - Yahoo! Sports

Proposal No. 2011-78 would permit institutions to offer spreads such as "butter, peanut butter, jelly and cream cheese" with bagels they already may provide to student-athletes at any time. It's by far the most inane of the 91 potential rule changes the NCAA legislative council will have to consider next January.

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Watch Alabama's quarterback competition in Bryant-Denny Stadium (video) |

Video: Tide center William Vlachos talks about teammates Barrett Jones, Cyrus Kouandjio and Trent Richardson |