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The Jumbo Package | 03.05.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

"Yes, sir.  The complaint box is right down the hall on your left."
"Yes, sir. The complaint box is right down the hall on your left."
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Alabama hangs with sputtering Kentucky, can't complete comeback to finish winless road season |

Alabama led Kentucky at halftime and nipped a second-half run from the hosts. But the sputtering Wildcats' troubles weren't bad enough for this upset.  No, the Crimson Tide remained winless on the road with a 55-48 loss Tuesday in Rupp Arena.

After leading by five in the opening minute of the second half, Kentucky led by as many as nine before surviving a late Alabama push. The Wildcats had lost two straight entering the night.

RBR at halftime:


RBR by night's end:


Nick Saban of Alabama Crimson Tide says pace of play bears closer look - ESPN

"I don't care about getting blamed for this. That's part of it," Saban told "But I do think that somebody needs to look at this very closely.

"The fastball guys (up-tempo coaches) say there's no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic. What's the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there's no study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, 'Yeah, there probably is.'"

I get trying to play the logic game.  I don't understand trying to use cigarettes as a parallel since there are thousands of studies on cigarettes and none (that I know of) related to the injury-preventing/avoiding benefits of adding a 10-second buffer between plays.

What do you guys think?  Am I splitting hairs here?

Also, my background is not even close to public relations, but I really am starting to think I could help these coaches out.  In my opinion, these coaches have done a terrible job of defining the issue.  I thought they were attacking the "NS (No Substitutions)" part of the HUNHNS offenses.  "What if a kid gets hurt and can't get out of the game" kind of thing.  Now we're talking about the total number of plays?  That's an entirely new debate.  More importantly, it's a much less winnable debate.

Focus on the substitutions.  And for the love of God, somebody bring up the fact that this technique was born out of abuse of the 2008 play clock rule change.

SEC Network moves launch date up to Aug. 14 partly due to Dish Network's interests |

The SEC Network has moved up its launch date by one week to Aug. 14 in part due to the Dish Network, which this week became the channel's largest distributor, ESPN senior vice president of programming Justin Connolly said today. "I think we looked at it as an opportunity both in consultation with Dish and then generally speaking to provide a little bit longer window of time for consumers and fans who may be making a decision in terms of provider," said Connolly, who oversees the SEC Network.

One more week of preseason pump-up programming?  Yes, please.

Florida Gators picked to have biggest 2014 rebound - ESPN

A year removed from winning 11 games and going to a BCS bowl, the Gators succumbed to a rash of injuries and won just four games in 2013. Now, coach Will Muschamp finds himself on the hot seat, and the Gators are looking to vastly improve an offense that ranked last in the SEC in total offense last year.

The hope is that the injury bug won't sink its teeth into the Gators this fall like it did in 2013 and that new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's more spread attack will help open things up for quarterback Jeff Driskel, who is coming off of a season-ending leg injury. Adding a trip to Alabama won't make things any easier for Florida in 2014 but having LSU and South Carolina at home will be better.

Obvious pick here.  There's almost no chance that the Gators will be as injury-plagued as they were last year.  Look for immediate improvement.

SEC West spring football team preview capsules - ESPN

What to watch:

Succeeding McCarron: The Crimson Tide must find the person who will step into AJ McCarron’s shoes. There are several quarterbacks on campus: Blake Sims, Alec Morris, Parker McLeod and Cooper Bateman. The person most have pegged as the favorite, however, won’t be on campus until the summer: Jacob Coker. A transfer from Florida State, Coker is finishing his degree before enrolling at Alabama. But new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will get a chance for a long look at the others this spring.

What’s next for Henry?: Running back Derrick Henry has the fans excited after his Allstate Sugar Bowl performance (eight carries, 100 yards), and he brings great size to the position (6-foot-3, 238 pounds). T.J. Yeldon is a returning starter who is more experienced and battle-tested, and there are still other talented backs on the roster, such as Kenyan Drake. But plenty of eyes will be on the sophomore-to-be Henry.

Replacing Mosley: Linebacker C.J. Mosley was a decorated star and leader, so his presence will be missed. Alabama has plenty of talent in the pipeline; it’s just not tremendously experienced. Watch for Reuben Foster and Reggie Ragland.

Uh, looks like somebody forgot all abut Trey Depriest.

SB Nation - C.J. Mosley Scouting Report