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The Jumbo Package | 07.02.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Kevin C. Cox

Report: SEC Network, Comcast Close to a Deal - Team Speed Kills

It appears that Comcast and the SEC Network are on the verge of putting together what would be the channel's first major cable deal. Clay Travis -- yes, we know -- is reporting that Comcast expects to have an agreement in place by the time the network launches in mid-August. (HT: SDS)

Comcast spokesperson John Demming told Outkick that the two sides are "working out final details." He also told Outkick, "We expect to come to an agreement in the near future."

Nice to see the SECN is managing to throw its weight around before airing a single minute of programming.  Comcast is a major provider, so this is a huge step for the burgeoning network.

If you still aren't on the list of those set to receive the SECN (ATT Uverse, Dish, Google Fiber, and soon it seems... Comcast), then you need to be ringing up your provider or thinking about making a switch.  The network goes live August 14th, and will be the only way you can watch the first game of the season (South Carolina v. Texas A&M) on opening Thursday night.

Side note: anyone want to venture a guess what school has demanded the network the most?  Roll Tide.

Ex-Alabama football star gets help to pay $10,000 in student loans -

Former Alabama football star Tyrone Prothro, who testified at the Ed O'Bannon trial that he owes $10,000 in student loans, has help from an environmental cleanup company in Birmingham, Ala., to relieve the debt he says he accumulated in college.

Shannon Riley, CEO of One Stop Environmental, said she was moved by Prothro's story and her company plans to donate $5,000 into a fund to raise money for the former player. The company has created the Tyrone Prothro College Fund Account at Regions Bank in an attempt to raise at least $10,000 for Prothro.

Um, excuse me, miss?  If you have a minute, I'd like to tell you a very sad story about how I still have student debt...

Kirby Smart explains why Nick Saban and Bobby Bowden are 'polar opposites' |

Before joining Nick Saban's staff at LSU in 2004, he was a graduate assistant under Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Doing a rare radio interview with "The Front Row" on Atlanta's 680 The Fan, Smart was asked about the differences between the two championship coaches.

"That's interesting because I always said they are like polar opposites," Smart said Monday. "I mean, Bobby was so laid back, let so many of his coaches do so much more freedom [sic], hours were different. He ran the program in a different way than Nick did and they're both so good at what they do."

But they have a few things in common.

"If you had to say the similarities, I'd probably say game maintenance in terms of pre-game speeches, talking to the team, controlling the team," Smart said. "Bobby was very much 'What I say to the team affects them.' It's the same way Nick is."

If you can, I recommend listening to the 13 minute long interview here (autoplay alert).  It's not everyday we get to hear an interview like this.

The big 2014 West Virginia football guide: Can Holgorsen stop the slide? -

In theory, you can talk yourself into WVU improving a decent amount in 2014.

Since, again, the Mountaineers have only actually improved once since 2007, that's a good thing. Not as good: the schedule might not be conducive to much improvement in the win column.

An improved WVU team could finish 1-2 in non-conference play with a neutral-field battle against Alabama and a road trip against a healthy Maryland squad; then conference play begins with a visit from Oklahoma. And by the end of October, WVU will have visited Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and welcomed Baylor to Morgantown. If WVU improves from 76th in the F/+ rankings to 50th, the Mountaineers could still be 2-6 heading into November. And by that point, the Holgorsen-on-the-hot-seat buzz will have very much taken over the narrative.

If you only click one article today, let it be this one.  Bill Connelly once again does a fantastic job of breaking down every aspect of this team, so if you want to read something that will get your blood pumping for the season opener, this is it.

Former Alabama star Rolando McClain reinstated from 2nd NFL retirement, traded to Dallas Cowboys |

Former Alabama star Rolando McClain is apparently coming out of retirement for the second time.

The 24-year-old McClain was traded Tuesday from the Baltimore Ravens to the Dallas Cowboys for the Cowboys' 2015 sixth-round draft pick, according to the NFL's official transaction wire (the Cowboys also receive Baltimore's seventh-round pick). McClain has been reinstated from retirement after saying as recently as April that he was "done with football for good."

Marcell Dareus headed for trial during NFL season |

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is scheduled for trial two days after his team kicks off its 2014 NFL season.

The former Huffman High and Alabama standout appeared in town court in the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg, N.Y., on Tuesday, and Hamburg Town Justice Gerald P. Gorman set a non-jury trial for Sept. 9 on charges from what police called a street-racing incident.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix buys his mother a house after signing NFL contract |

On May 29, Alabama All-American safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signed an $8,338,501 contract with the Green Bay Packers.

On Monday, he posted a photograph on Instagram of him presenting the keys to a house to his mother, Nicole Dix. With the photo, Clinton-Dix wrote: "After 21 years I kept my promise and bought my mommy a house. Finally a place to call her own."