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The Jumbo Package | 8.29.11

Top 50 countdown: No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide - NCAA Football - Sporting News

When last we saw the Crimson Tide in action they were laying waste to Michigan State, the Big Ten tri-champion and Nick Saban’s former employer, by a stunning score of 49-7 in the Capital One Bowl. The win allowed Alabama to finish 10-3 and in the final top 10, the kind of follow-up to a national title the year before that would be enough to satisfy most people. Of course, Saban isn’t most people. "I think we have a lot to prove from what we did last year," said Saban during spring practice. "Hopefully everybody else feels the same way."

Alabama football team seems to be paying more attention to Nick Saban this year |

"I don't want to compare this team to last year, but we did learn a lot from last year," senior center William Vlachos said on the opening day of camp. "Coach Saban says it all the time: worrying about the end result and worrying about winning and losing instead of playing to a standard. The key to winning is doing the little things right. We got away from that a little bit. We're definitely aware of that today."

William Vlachos 2012 NFL Draft prospect notes - Mocking The Draft

While Vlachos has a future in the NFL, it will be tough for an NFL team to fall in love with his skills. He is not going to stand out on game film or impress anyone in workouts. Vlachos isn't the most explosive player and struggles to move defenders off the line. He is more of a zone blocking fit because he can velcro and seal. His lack of athletic ability makes it difficult for him to be effective in space. Vlachos struggles to remain balanced and reach defenders in the 2nd level.

For the Cash of the Game -

As long as a university can anticipate little more than a wrist slap — even one that stings, like titles forfeited, or athletic scholarships reduced — the rewards of bending the rules to get good athletes who can win games will greatly outweigh the risks of getting caught.

Winning the Big One in the SEC, Then the Bigger One -

SEC teams are 7-0 in B.C.S. title games, giving the league more championships in the system’s 13-year existence than the rest of college football combined.

Football fans face hotel room shortfall |

While University of Alabama football fans across the state are making plans for seven weekend visits here this fall, more than two dozen people displaced by the April 27 tornado and many more relief workers are looking for other options.

SEC Football by the Numbers: Preseason -- Western Division |

5 Consecutive seasons in which Alabama has scored more points than it did the previous year. After scoring 263 points in 2005, the Crimson Tide scored 298 in 2006, 352 in 2007, 422 in 2008, 449 in 2009 and 464 in 2010. No SEC team has increased its point total for six consecutive seasons, although four other SEC teams have increased their scoring for five consecutive seasons: Alabama from 1969 through 1973, Florida from 1980 through 1984, LSU from 1993 through 1997 and Ole Miss from 1997 through 2001.

and etc.

The Ultimate: Previewing the new season in America's top football state |

Alex Watkins talks about quick recovery from ACL surgery (video) |

Video: Tide snapper Carson Tinker talks about his comeback from the tornado tragedy |

Dee Hart's knee strong enough for a slow jog at Alabama (video) |

Alabama's linebackers sharpening their skills (video) |

Kent State's Jacquise Terry making another mission trip to home state of Alabama |