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The Jumbo Package | 4.17.12

Getty Images - Slive confident expansion will be good for SEC

A&M's move to the SEC, in part, was motivated by it's distaste for rival Texas launching its own television network. Slive said the SEC's motives for expansion weren't in those categories. "Our folks liked Texas A&M for some of the (same) reasons. They're like institutions for us in terms of their academic status, they've got a broad-based athletic program, a commitment to a lot of sports," Slive said. "... Their students and alumni, they're committed like ours are. We were content to go with 13, we'd built schedules for 13, then Missouri called, and we took a hard look and thought they met some of the same criteria, so we took Missouri and now we're at 14. "It was unrelated to any external factors, unrelated to the BCS or anything else. It was an opportunity to take two schools that really have, when you look at where they are and who they are, it made a lot of sense for us."

Mike Slive doesn't like football playoff proposal to protect Rose Bowl |

One of the proposals discussed next week at the BCS meetings will be a model allowing the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions to play in the Rose Bowl while two national semifinals also would be held. After three games are played, two teams would somehow be chosen to play in the national title game. "It's not one of my favorites," Slive said Monday at a roundtable of conference commissioners during a Associated Press Sports Editors meeting at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. "I think what we're trying to do is simplify in many ways, and I don't think that adds to the simplification of the postseason."

Tickets still remain to see Alabama coach Nick Saban speak at Team Focus dinner in Mobile |

Proceeds from the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction, will benefit Team Focus, an organization founded by former Pitt football coach and ESPN announcer Mike Gottfried and his wife Mickey to provide mentors and positive male role models for fatherless boys. Saban got involved with the charity shortly after becoming head coach at Alabama in 2007, Gottfried said. "I got ahold of him right away and he came down the first year, before he even coached a game," Gottfried said of Saban. "He's been involved in so many things -- him and his wife -- in the state of Alabama. I think it's a tribute to him to take some time and do so many things." - UA crystal football shatters on A-Day

A university spokesperson confirmed that the trophy was accidentally knocked from its stand by the father of a current player, but declined to identify the culprit, who apparently tripped near the display.

Tide aims to remain unbeaten in non-conference play | The Crimson White

After a convincing sweep over South Carolina, the No. 2 Alabama softball team plays Georgia State tonight at 6 p.m. Alabama will face its first nonconference opponent since March 25, when it defeated Longwood. With a series against conference-foe Georgia in Athens this weekend, it could be easy for the Crimson Tide team to look ahead. Senior Amanda Locke said that’s one thing the Tide will make sure it doesn’t do. "It’s one game at a time," Locke said. "Every time we play, it’s one game. It’s never let’s look forward to Georgia, or Florida or Arkansas. It’s never any of that. "Every different game, every pitch. One inning at a time; one pitch at a time. We’re looking forward to Georgia State. They’re a great team. They’ve got great pitchers and great hitting. We’re just going to go out there and give them our best game."

Recruits buzzing following Tuscaloosa A-Day visits |

The Alabama Crimson Tide picked up two fresh commitments over the weekend from recruits visiting Tuscaloosa for A-Day festivities, but Nick Saban and his staff also made significant headway in the recruitment of a number of other elite prospects. Quarterback has been among the Tide's top priorities thus far in the 2013 recruiting cycle, and the Tide had two of the nation's best on campus over the weekend in North Carolina star Riley Ferguson and athletic Ohio-native Mitch Trubisky. Ferguson walked away from Tuscaloosa calling the Crimson Tide the leader for his services and told BamaOnline that he plans to return to Tuscaloosa in early June for one of the Tide's camps.

Spring Football 2012: Blake Bell, T.J. Yeldon And Saturday's Top Stars -

T.J. Yeldon, Alabama RB: Instead of sitting behind Michael Dyer as a freshman at Auburn, could Yeldon end up challenging Eddie Lacy for carries at Alabama? Just months after his pre-Signing Day flip, Yeldon was the A-Day Game star, totaling 179 yards on 21 touches. Nick Saban was impressed by Yeldon's outburst, and that's always saying something. Saban has been casting Yeldon's spring as a work for the sake of experience and not necessarily a push for major playing time, but Yeldon may have changed all that.

Tide's Barron could be a mixed bag as a playmaker - San Antonio Express-News

Alabama safety Mark Barron has his doubts about whether he can adhere to the NFL's stringent player safety rules. "Honestly, I don't like them, because the way I've been taught to play the game, I hit hard," Barron said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I guess I'll have to make some adjustments. Hopefully, I'll be able to make them. I'm not sure if I will, because that's the way I was taught to play the game."

After Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III go first in NFL draft, the rest gets interesting - Peter King -

Jeff Fisher loves Trent Richardson, and the impact of the Rams ending up with the Alabama running back would be huge. First, the Rams would presumably either trade or release Steve Jackson if this happens. I don't see them paying Jackson $7 million in 2012 to share the job with a player certain to eclipse him soon. And that big number takes some logical teams (Steelers, Giants) out of the running for Jackson. Now, I view this scenario as unlikely anyway, because the Rams simply have to get receiver help for Sam Bradford. But if Justin Blackmon is gone here and Richardson's still there, he's logical for the Rams. Of course, Cleveland likes Richardson a lot, and rookie Tampa coach Greg Schiano does too, so I don't see Richardson making it to six.

Brian Billick breaks down NFL draft's top linebackers - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN

In the mold of the Steelers, Packers and this season’s Texans, the 3-4 defense is becoming commonplace in the NFL. The key to getting pressure in that scheme comes from the outside backers, basically stand-up defensive ends on either side of the three down linemen. Players such as Clay Matthews, DeMarcus Ware and James Harrison have become the prototype for this position, and there are a couple of players in this year’s draft who offer that type of ability. Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw is the cream of the crop and has many believing he can play all over the defensive front. His obvious position is as a 3-4 edge rusher, but he could even move down to play the 5-technique position in nickel situations to provide the offensive line a different look as a speed rusher. Like Harrison, Upshaw doesn’t have the ideal length commonly found in an edge rusher, but he is a ball of explosion who shoots out of his stances, throws a violent punch and runs the loop with compact and flexible hips.

How Jessica Dorrell hurt women trying to work in college football - NCAA Football -

I was perusing a football fan site earlier this month when I saw the post "Bobby Petrino didn't mention the 25-year-old female with him when he crashed." I clicked on the link and read that the person who was riding with the Arkansas coach was his new Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. "Damn it!" I thought, "Jessica Dorrell just screwed me." How could the actions of a woman I've never met hurt me? Thanks to Dorrell's hiring, and the subsequent outing of an inappropriate relationship with Petrino, she has now unintentionally set all women who work in college football back. As if getting a job in college football wasn't hard enough.

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NFL Videos: Draft Journey: Upshaw returns to Alabama - Mitchell to enter NBA Draft

Bobby Petrino episode latest soap opera for Arkansas football - George Schroeder -