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Jumbo Package: Thursday 26 February 2015

Crimson Tide news and other links.

One day this will be a good bye wave.
One day this will be a good bye wave.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking the SEC football coaching jobs - ESPN

2. Alabama: If not for UF's location, Alabama would be No. 1. There's tremendous history with, like, 100 football national championships claimed by the fans. This is a job anyone would want. The facilities are some of the best, and coaches are able to recruit all over the Southeast and beyond with an extraordinary national brand. While expectations are gaudy, there's tremendous support inside and outside of the program, and there's no shortage of money for any coach out there.

Florida and Alabama are pretty clearly the two premier jobs in the conference. No one who loves Alabama football looks forward to the day that Saban retires, but there is some comfort in the fact that he has changed the culture to the point that great candidates should be in abundant supply when he does.

The NFL Combine's most persuasive prospects -

Landon Collins, Alabama, S (6'0, 228 pounds) - "He's an old-school safety, big and explosive," an NFL scout said. "He ran faster than anyone expected. He's smart. (Coach) Nick Saban coaches the secondary at Alabama, so you know he's smart and prepared. He is a very intriguing player. The passion is there."

Landon has had a great Combine and cemented himself as the number one safety. He should hear his name called in the top half of the first round.

SEC pre-spring position rankings: WR/TE - ESPN

9. Alabama: The Crimson Tide’s top three pass-catchers from 2014 are gone, including record-setting Heisman Trophy finalist Amari Cooper, who carried Alabama at times. With Cooper no longer around, look for tight end O.J. Howard to become a much more consistent threat in the passing game. Junior Chris Black will get his chance to shine. The same goes for third-year sophomore Robert Foster. The up-and-comer to watch is 6-4, 208-pound Cam Sims, who played some last season as a true freshman.

Alabama doesn't return much in the way of proven talent here, but I fully expect the unit to be better than ninth on sheer talent alone. So far the Tide is ranked in the bottom half of the league at QB and WR. Where, oh where will the points come from?

The South keeps 91 percent of its top football recruits home, more than any other region -

It's no secret the best high school football players are in the South. And even though there's a surplus of talent, most of it stays right at home. A whopping 91 percent of Southern stars stay within their region for college, with 66 percent going to SEC schools.

This is only going to get worse as population continues to shift south. The SEC simply draws from a better pool of talent on a consistent basis, and that won't be changing any time soon.

Former Alabama quarterback Phillip Sims 'fighting to keep a dream alive' |

"It's been a long road," Sims said. "Started off at Bama for two and a half years and made a lot of friends, played with some great players and had a great experience. Then, I transferred to Virginia, and things didn't work out academically after a year, and I was forced to leave there, and I ended up at Winston-Salem State and got a chance to finish my career out at the collegiate level not exactly the way I wanted to, but it was a road that I think prepared me for the next level."

Phillip came to Alabama with a ton of hype and was supposed to be the better Sims of the 2010 class. He has had some bumps in the road but is still chasing his dream. Good luck to him.

Anything Anthony Grant gets done at Alabama, Mark Gottfried is doing better at NC State |

NC State is 5-22 against ranked teams. Alabama is 0-17. The Crimson Tide's last win against a ranked team came on Jan. 18, 2011 against No. 12 Kentucky. The Wolfpack's last win over a ranked team came last night. NC State has played in three straight NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2012 and the second round in 2014. Alabama has been to a single NCAA Tournament, going one-and-done in 2012.

Classic troll job here, but that 0-17 record against ranked teams is just an eyesore. The Wolfpack has beaten three top 20 teams this season, including #4 Duke. Watching Trevor Lacey lead them with 16.3 PPG while shooting 41% from three-point range stings as well.

Marlon Humphrey among 4 Alabama defensive backs shining for Crimson Tide track & field |

"Usually when you get football players who run track, you just hear, 'I'm just out here to do it to work out.'" Alabama star sprinter Cameron Hudson said. "Those guys actually want to be good in track. They don't want to just work out for football, they want to be competitive. They want to really be good for the team."

One thing the 2015 secondary won't be lacking is pure speed.

Crimson Tide Welcomes Gators for Final Home Game of the Season on Thursday - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Thursday's game will air on the SEC Network with Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and Gail Goestenkors (analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Roger Hoover announcing the action. There will be live updates throughout the game available on Twitter @AlabamaWBB.

Women's hoops closes out their home schedule tonight.