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Jumbo Package: Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Your daily dose of...oh, god! so much blood!

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Let's get this out of the way

Struggling rivals Alabama, Auburn in need of a win tonight | TuscaloosaNews.com

The rivalry is important to Alabama as well, but going into tonight's game, the Crimson Tide's first priority is to rebound from a jarring home loss to Vanderbilt last Saturday.

I'm not sure there is any rebounding from that. This team has been knocked down so very many times in late stretches of games, how do they regroup three days later on the road?

Tide's shaky resume getting shakier all the time

Alabama will once again be without point guard Ricky Tarrant (leg). This will be Tarrant's sixth straight game in street clothes and not a uniform. Grant still hasn't set a timetable for the junior's return to the lineup. "We're going to take it one day at a time and just see how he progresses," Grant said. "I wish I had a better answer for you, but I really don't know."

Doubly the case, without the Tide's second-leading scorer and the only one who can really create his own shot? This is the SIXTH straight game without Tarrant.

Bruce Pearl: Iron Bowl of the hardwood a 'must-win'

If we beat Alabama, we are at .500. You have to look at the rest of the games and say can we somehow win half of these games?"

Auburn, meanwhile, returns home coming off a big road win at Georgia. The body language between these two teams could not be more different.

'Crootin' and Combine

Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson's son earns Alabama offer | AL.com

Keyshawn Johnson Jr., son of the former NFL wide receiver with the same name, is a four-star recruit from Calabasas High School in Mission Viejo, Calif.

As the article notes, Lupoi and Kiffin's ties to the Left Coast are paying dividends. Even creepier, Keyshawn Junior looks exactly like his old man...down to the struggle face. Let's hope he has the same power and excellent, strong hands.

2015 Combine: Running back class deep and talented | NJ.com

He's a little overrated, because he's coming from Alabama, but he's not bad. He's strong, but he's not very fast. He would be a good second back if you already have a No. 1.

Here's my take on Yeldon: Alabama went so long with an unbroken string of superstar Doak Walker, Heisman-breathy mentioned types, that we, as fan base, forgot what a merely "very reliable, dependable, excellent college running back" looked like. What does a a guy with great hands, excellent blocking skills, and the ability to gut out 5 YPC look like? It looks like T.J. Yeldon. I suspect he will have a long career for those reasons, as he provides welcome depth and too many skills to not keep on a roster. Will he ever be a superstar? Doubtful. However, he will quietly make plays to win games.

Finally, want a little creepy recruiting excess? How about the Class of 2021?

"Middle school athletes are unique, so we want to provide several ways for them to be evaluated"

Alabama notes

Alabama athletics reports $33 million operating surplus in 2013-14 as football drives huge revenue | AL.com

According to the documents obtained by AL.com, Alabama's athletics department generated $33,050,145 more than it spent in 2012-13. That's up from the $27.2 million surplus in 2012-13 and continued the trend of surpluses in recent years. It hasn't operated at a loss in the last 10 years.

Auburn, meanwhile, lost $13 million dollars last year. That "school" reminds me of people in McMansions with nary a stick of furniture in them: They've spent so much to keep up with their betters in Tuscaloosa, that they have the facade of success with no sustainability behind it. When Jay Jacobs leaves, a State Auditor is going to have a field day with those books.

College Football Recruiting: 16 star JUCO transfers who could swing league title races | FOX Sports

In his only year in the junior college ranks, Kamara rushed for 1,211 yards and 18 scores.

Tennessee is relying heavily on Alvin Kamara to bolster its improving running game. No hard feelings towards Kamara, but if I were Butch, I'd be far more concerned about keeping his head right off the field.

Top 50 players: TCU's Trevone Boykin No. 1; Buckeyes close behind | NCAA Football | Sporting News

[No. 15 Derrick Henry] Still, to this very moment, I have no idea why Alabama refused to run Henry against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff when Ohio State had no answer.[No. 44] A'Shawn Robinson "The game’s best run stuffer, and a true nose guard that must be double-teamed."

Like all rankings, this one is just as capricious as it can be. And, in the what-have-you-done-lately sports press, Ohio State players are definitely at the top of the list. FWIW, no list of Top 50 players can be complete which fails to mention Kenyan Drake. It's as though he fell off the radar after being injured versus Ole Miss; yet, when healthy, Drake was the most devastating homerun threat in the SEC not named "Sammie Coates," "Todd Gurley," or "Amari Cooper."

National miscellany

Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell running less than four months after horrific injury | NCAA Football | Sporting News

Barring any major setbacks, Treadwell should be in line to play again in the 2015 season. He will enter as one of the SEC's top wide receivers and, according to early odds from Las Vegas, a possible Heisman contender.

That is the dirtiest team I've seen in a good long while, but it won't stop me from taking the high road here: best wishes to Laquon Treadwell on his (seemingly) speedy recovery.

The pop pass will survive NCAA football rule changes - SBNation.com

Since the play-option pass is all about combining a run-blocking scheme and pass patterns, the combinations that would no longer work are those that result in the OL getting too far downfield...

Really interesting read on formations and plays that will be affected by a proposed one-yard downfield rule. Also includes those formations and plays that should not be impacted. The Mothership has a clear preference in their brand of football, however, and they loathe this rule as it forces offenses to actually not cheat and restores a little more balance to the game.

Rutgers Football: Why new Scarlet Knights 'business mogul' should spur a new era | FOX Sports

Three years later, Moglia, who'd previously been a coach decades earlier, took over Coastal Carolina's program and has thus far led it to three straight FCS playoff berths in large part by operating the program like a CEO would.

I loved this article on integrating corporate models into college football programs. It's not sustainable, of course, and it wholly misses the point that this is a collegiate extracurricular exercise, but experimentation is always interesting.