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Jumbo Package: Monday, 2 March 2015

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Your daily dose of OMG SPRING FOOTBALL IS ABOUT TO START!

Hold your head up, Nick, You're about to be rich.
Hold your head up, Nick, You're about to be rich.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama takes to the practice field on March 13th, while other programs began spring practice today. Our seven-week nightmare is almost over, you guys! In the meanwhile, we have the following for your consideration:

Bad news first

Alabama signee Brandon Austin worries about Anthony Grant's future | AL.com

Brandon Austin clearly wants to play for Alabama coach Anthony Grant. ... The 6-foot-5 guard said he hasn't talked to Grant about the sixth-year Alabama coach's job security, but he conceded that he worries about whether Grant will there next season. ... "Some days, I do - like, I be praying that they get wins on top of wins," Austin said. "That's my home."

With a coaching change, there is always roster (and recruit) attrition. Let's hope Austin can find a reason to play for the Tide, and that the Tide can find a head man that inspires recruits to do so.

Auburn No. 1 for defensive end David Marshall, Alabama close behind | AL.com

David Marshall now holds 10 total offers, but two programs have consistently stuck out for the 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from Thomaston, Ga. Marshall has Auburn at the top of his list with Alabama and Clemson a close second and third. He originally named Auburn his leader back in May 2014 before Alabama took the lead the following month. The three-star prospect has visited Auburn six times and Tuscaloosa twice.

The article seems to indicate (as do his embedded tweets) that Marshall is most comfortable with Auburn for the nonce. Given the rising defensive end's mercurial leanings, this could be an in-state battle that lingers through NSD '16.

How much is your school paying its head football coach in 2015 compared with 2006? | AL.com

With salaries more than doubling across the league over the last nine years, here is a look at what the SEC’s 12 teams in 2006 paid their head football coaches in guaranteed dollars, as compared to what they are paying for the same position this coming season.

Posted in bad news because, much like the baseball free agency boom of the early Millennium, this kind of spending is simply unsustainable. The gentry class will be fine; no one is shedding tears for Alabama, Georgia, Florida, etc. The smaller programs will lose this arms race, however. Kentucky cannot afford $4m a year on a supposed revenue program that hemorrhages cash like dynamite in the Hoover Dam.

Spring preview: 10 burning SEC questions - SEC Blog - ESPN

8. Are any teams in the SEC really pegged for a national championship run? The SEC has a handful of contenders, but none of them are polished to this point. Two favorites to watch? How about Auburn and Georgia?

5. Who will step up at wide receiver for Alabama? ... Junior Chris Black and redshirt sophomore Robert Foster will get every opportunity to showcase their skills, but keep an eye on sophomore Cam Sims, who could be a special player.

Bad news: People are still buying into the Auburn hype machine despite heavy losses on both lines, at WR, in the backfield, and adjusting to a new defensive scheme. Good news? It will be fun to watch them fail (and by that I mean an historic mean season of 8 wins +/- 1 win.) With respect to Alabama, the "problem" they pose is a real one: Who will be the go-to guy. But, the flip side of that is that so many names are in the mix, there may be two or three guys below "WR1" that they are more likely 1A, 1B etc.

The coach's guide to the most overrated and underrated buzzwords of the NFL Combine/Draft

1. “High-motor” – Flat out aggressiveness and “want-to” is something you simply can’t coach at any position. When players just want it more than their opponents, it shows on film as their “motor”.

'Tis the season to dust off your Grudenisms and Kiper Word Salad. Draft Bingo!

We need some good news now

Breaking Down SEC Tournament Seeding Possibilities - Team Speed Kills

As of today, Friday, February 27, this is how the seeding in the SEC Tournament would look.

Despite the swoon, Alabama looks to be anywhere from the 7th-9th seed for the SEC tourney. The complete implosion at Vanderbilt did the Tide no favors, however.

SEC pre-spring position rankings: Defensive line - SEC Blog - ESPN

1. Alabama: The knock on Nick Saban’s defense has long been that its linemen don't get to the quarterback enough, but last season that changed as they had 10 more sacks than the year before.

While I agree with the analysis generally, the WWL says there are no household names on the defensive line; of course, completely forgetting that A'Shawn Robinson is already a household name and will be a Top-5 pick next April.

Ranking the coaching paths to College Football Playoff - ESPN

9. Alabama The program oozes money and tradition, luring the best players in the country. It's ranked low because of a grueling SEC West schedule and conference title game to navigate through.

Yes, Alabama has a ton of built-in institutional and historical advantages many programs do not have. This omits the fact that those were earned over a century, and not graced by dint of geography (like Florida, Texas, or USC) and aslo overlooks the fact that when you are one of the marquee names in football, you get everyone's best shot, every week...on top of playing in the most grueling division in the history of the sport.

Ex-Alabama safety Nick Perry identifies three under-the-radar Tide players poised to break out | AL.com

Sophomore inside linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton

Perry’s take: "...I don’t think a lot of people know about him, but he’s going to be a baller, and I think he’s going to play a really big role, a lot bigger than people think."

Good insight here from Perry; Hamilton, for instance, epitomizes "under-the-radar."

Check out the prospects Alabama offered at Junior Day | AL.com

DT Briston Guidry (Metairie, La.) Guidry got his offer on his visit. The four-star recruit is 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds. He also has offers from Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M. (photo courtesy 247Sports)

Interesting names on the Offer List from Alabama's Junior Day this weekend. Some, like Guidry, however, will decidedly become more prominent over the next two years.

How the College Football Playoff gave BYU new power - SBNation.com

"Based on what we've seen from this year's selection committee, I think -- but I don't know, I think -- that if [BYU] goes undefeated, that schedule puts you in the conversation for the Playoff, but not in. Chances are if BYU ran the table in 2015, they'd be the Group of 5 rep and nothing more," an SEC AD said.

Not sure I necessarily agree with the overall thesis here, that the playoff helps BYU in the larger goal: make the playoffs, win a title (and, many of the ADs don't buy it either.) However, there are other reasons that the Cougars will be beneficiaries: increased courtship for conference membership, flexibility in scheduling, and all that cash.

My god, he's ineligible! Even Vince Dooley in favor of sitting freshmen - CBSSports.com

It'd have to make economic sense in football, which is the biggest question. You'd have to add a large number of scholarships.

The headline says one thing; Dooley seemingly says another. It sounds to me like the 800-lb elephant in the room that will derail this whole thing is cash. Nothing new there: The Big Ten is a fan of proposals that have been ill-considered and will wind up bankrupting many smaller conferences and programs. This is the latest in a laundry list. But, I've filed it as good news, because ultimately it will come down to a numbers game...and those numbers will be in the tens of millions of dollars if we're not looking at 85/25.

Finally

Man jumps in tub of Mentos and coke zero - UPI.com

YouTube user Hajime made a new video of himself taping Mentos to his body and jumping into a bathtub of Coke Zero.

A feather is kinky; a whole chicken is just perverted.