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The Jumbo Package | 05.30.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Lane Kiffin calls Alabama's offense 'half-and-half system' led by tailbacks |

Lane Kiffin, the former USC head coach and new Alabama offensive coordinator, said the offense the Crimson Tide ran this spring was "really kind of a half-and-half system," keeping many elements of Alabama's 2013 offense while changing others.

But one thing's the same, he said: "As you guys know extremely well, I think the offense is led by the tailbacks. ... There probably aren't three more talented tailbacks in the NFL on a roster than we're fortunate to be able to work with at Alabama."

I see Kiffin has not lost his knack for talking up his team.  In the clip below, Kiffin doesn't do any bragging, but rather highlights how big of a question mark quarterback is, and discusses how ready everyone is to get back to work.

Alabama Needs Another Opponent for 2015 - Team Speed Kills

Alabama AD Bill Battle is having a hard time finding a final opponent for 2015:

"Bill Battle has tried everything.

He's called dozens of teams.

He's deployed help from ESPN and SEC. He's inquired about teams switching dates to come to Tuscaloosa. After all that, he still has one vacancy on Alabama's 2015 schedule.

'Right now we'd take anybody,' Battle said."

How colleges handle draft prospects could redefine the sport -

The answer to slimy agents and their runners skulking around campus is sort of to allow the agent species more contact with players. Slive says a change is less about agents and more about kids getting the proper career guidance.

Either way, college football gets more professionalized. The NFL, draft analysts and agents will have more influence. Get used to it. It's a realization of the way college athletics will look at the highest level.

And it's not necessarily bad.

"I think we're holding the fort," said South Carolina president Harris Pastides. "If we allow this reform to fail, the obvious next step would be to give up amateurism."

Ah, yes.  That's delicious.  Nothing more refreshing on a hot (almost) June day than a nice, tall glass of slippery slope.

This may well be a fine reform that they have proposed, but we should always be wary of a proposal that is coupled with unnecessarily ominous warnings meant to convince us to acquiesce.

Rare Honesty From SEC Refs - Team Speed Kills

It's a well-worn cliché that there is holding on every play in college football, but you typically only hear that from TV or written commentators. Here it basically is from the conference's head of officiating.

It's hard to say with the current state of college football statistics who teaches the worst of the holders. I think we all know, however, who (Roll) teaches (Tide) the best of them.

/Files tweet away for use on September 20th

Speaking of September 20th...

Alabama Crimson Tide schedule preview: Florida Gators - ESPN

The rundown

2013 overall record: 4-8

2013 SEC record: 3-5, fifth in the Eastern Division

Record all time against Alabama: 14-23

Last meeting: Lost 38-10 in 2011

Starters returning Offense: 8; Defense: 9; Kicker/punter: 2

Top returners QB Jeff Driskel, CB Vernon Hargreaves III, WR Quinton Dunbar, RB Kelvin Taylor, DE Dante Fowler

Taylor looks like he may be a heck of a back, but Driskel being listed as a "top returner" can't make the Gator faithful feel inspired.

Alabama lands commitment from Florence linebacker Keaton Anderson |

The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder is a versatile prospect who racked up 191 tackles in 2013. He also stars at multiple offensive positions for Florence.

"They're getting a leader," Florence head coach Jason Wallace told "He's always been a leader and a student of the game. He's very intelligent and a competitor, and it's hard to find a player who has all those things going for him.

"I think he felt at home (in Tuscaloosa) with the defensive staff there. He knows exactly what his role will be and that's what he's looking for. They came after him early and had a plan for him."

Given his size, I wonder if that plan amounts to him being the next Vinnie Sunseri.  Watching his highlight video (which is flush with open field tackles), I can definitely see that being the intention here.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix officially becomes a Green Bay Packer |

The Packers selected Clinton-Dix with the 21st choice in the 2014 NFL Draft. Although terms of the contract were not released, Clinton-Dix's draft slot should bring a four-year contract worth about $8.3 million, including a signing bonus of around $4.4 million spread over the four years. The Packers will hold an option for a fifth year.

A mil a year for signing one piece of paper?


Former Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio signs rookie NFL contract |

Kouandjio was selected in the second round with the 44th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Kouandjio received a standard four-year rookie deal with a team option for a fifth year. Based on his slot in the draft, Kouandjio's contract should be worth about $4.8 million, including a signing bonus of around $1.8 million.

This is the part where all of the college football fans should come crashing back to earth.  There were many who felt that CyKo should have come back for another year, as it was becoming clear that he was dropping out of the first round.  We tend to think of early-exits as "first round or bust" propositions.  This is our friendly reminder that he was still able to pocket a cool two million, and it is really really hard to begrudge a guy for making a decision that results in such a windfall.

SEC tweaking tiebreaker rules for College Football Playoff era -

The SEC is leaning toward using cross-divisional schedule strength to break ties for teams to advance to the league's championship game, sources told

Such a method would be at the bottom of a lengthy list of tiebreakers. But this being the SEC and football in the South, such things matter -- a lot. A change has to be made with the end of the BCS and beginning of the College Football Playoff era.

The league previously used the BCS standings to break ties to decide a division. Going forward, if a divisional tie could not be broken through that lengthy tiebreaker list, then the schedule strength of each team's two opponents from the opposite division would be evaluated.