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The Jumbo Package | 06.25.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Kevin C. Cox

Fringe benefit of College Football Playoff? No more mythical titles -

Hopefully, the playoff era should put an end to the unclaimed titles era. Four teams, two semifinals, one champion. There won't be much championship carping about No. 5. At least there shouldn't be.

It's ironic that an article chiding schools for claiming national championships "they didn't earn" is trying to attribute a feat (crowning a true champ) to one system (the CFP) that was achieved by another (the BCS).

Take Two: Steve Spurrier sizes up NIck Saban - ESPN

No one is going to sit here and question Saban's resume, but Spurrier brings up an interesting point.

Last year, Alabama was the overwhelming favorite to win the final BCS national title.  It was supposed to be three straight titles for the Crimson Tide. No one else had a chance.

But when we got to the end of the season, Alabama was huffing and buffing down on Bourbon Street in a loss to Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. A month earlier, Auburn essentially dethroned Alabama thanks to a last-second miracle play that really never should have happened. It was basically like "Game of Thrones" because we thought we knew exactly what was going to happen, only to be sitting in shock.

Clint Trickett will start at quarterback for West Virginia Mountaineers - ESPN

Coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday that senior Clint Trickett will be his starting quarterback when West Virginia opens the season against Alabama.

"Clint is 100 percent healthy and is ready to play," Holgorsen said in a statement. "He worked hard last season and showed a lot of ability and leadership and deserves the chance to lead the team as a senior. He will be our starter."

Trickett is a transfer from Florida State.  I'm sure the fact that Bama and WVU are both starting FSU transfers isn't something that the media will pound into our heads leading up to and thru the game.

Inside Look at How Las Vegas Oddsmakers Come Up with College Football Spread | Bleacher Report

There are various ways and methods to create these (more on that in a bit), but they are critical for oddsmakers in the line-creation process. Once they [power rankings] are in place, from No. 1 to No. 126, the spreads pretty much fall into the place. You take the larger number (higher-ranked team), subtract the smaller number (the lower-ranked team), add in home-field advantage and you get your spread.

Once this is complete, the numbers are compared to create—you guessed it—more numbers. Only these are the numbers you’re accustomed to.

“I make a list of all the games with computer-only lines in a spreadsheet,” Kessler said. “Then, I'll go through and adjust lines based on my opinion. These adjustments from the raw numbers can be huge.”

While the ratings serve as a guide, Kessler’s opinion looms large in this particular process. Because the season is still off in the horizon, the Golden Nugget has the difficult task of handicapping teams with enormous questions.

Yes, yes, I know this is a Bleacher Report article, but this is a really cool article that gives a peek behind the process I'm sure none of us knew anything about beforehand.

College Football Playoff Selection Committee Must Be Seen as Credible - Team Speed Kills

The BCS was reviled in large part because no one trusted the selection process. Nearly annual formula tweaks in the early years made it seem like the organizers didn't know what they were doing, and even stabilizing the formula didn't help. The Coaches Poll was a natural (and rightful) target for accusations of bias. Few understood what the Harris Poll even was, and the details often weren't pretty. A certain class of fans was never going to trust the computer polls, but even experts in the field didn't like them.

If the College Football Playoff is to thrive and actually be liked, the selection process must have credibility. For that, perception is just as important if not more so than actual fact.

SEC schools securing commitments early - SEC Blog - ESPN

An early signing period can’t get here soon enough. In fact, a number of SEC teams are recruiting as if it already exists.

On Tuesday, Auburn played catch-up with its league brethren by gaining its 16th and 17th total commitments of the 2015 class in four-star offensive lineman Tyler Carr and three-star tight end Jalen Harris. Still, Gus Malzahn’s group trails Alabama (19), South Carolina (19), Mississippi State (18), Tennessee (18) and Texas A&M (18) in terms of its total verbal pledges. And to think, SEC rules permit only 25 signees per class, per year.

Lester Munson: All you need to know about the Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA trial - ESPN

We're three weeks into a trial that has the dramatic possibility of transforming the NCAA.

We've chronicled how the NCAA seems to be losing the case, how the federal judge deciding the case often seems unknowledgeable about college sports, and how the star attractions might have been headline-grabbing witnesses but that they matter little to how the case will be decided. The case is to wrap on Friday, with a decision from U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken coming in August. As we slog our way to the end -- with no star witnesses left to testify -- it's a good time to revisit some of the basics and basic terms that have been part of Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA:

A decent breakdown of a number of issues as this trial approaches a close.