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Jumbo Package: Wednesday, 25 March 2015

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Call no man crazy, Gregg Marshall.

If Drake doesn't miss the second half of the season, Alabama wins the 2014 National Title. Going to my grave believing that.
If Drake doesn't miss the second half of the season, Alabama wins the 2014 National Title. Going to my grave believing that.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Today, Coach Saban has his State of the Spring presser, and there will be a lot of information gleaned from that which we shall provide to you. However, we are left with where we stood yesterday morning: Grant Hill's still out (and it doesn't look like he'll be back anytime soon;) Foster and Black are your WR1/2 groupings; Dominick Jackson (RT), Bozeman (RG,) and Alphonse Taylor (LG) are still manning the line; while Henry/Drake are your No. 1/2 backs with Drake catching with the WRs as well.

Gregg Marshall Watch

AUDIO: Gregg Marshall: I'll listen to 'crazy' Alabama offer after our season - CBSSports.com

I'm coaching my team, and that's what I'm going to do, hopefully, for another couple of weeks. And if Alabama is still interested in talking to us with some type of crazy offer at that time, then we will certainly entertain that, but it's going to take some type of crazy offer to get us to leave Wichita State.

It's not crazy: the offer is top-10 money in exchange for national relevance, and is twice as much as he's making now. If this is a bidding war, I'll take the third most profitable athletic department in the nation, thanks. Besides, for egomaniac coaches (and they're all egocentric,) the chance to kick Billy Donovan's teeth in, or beat Kentucky in Rupp, is a far greater draw than pasting Illinois State or Evansville for a fifth straight year.

Recruiting

4-star Mississippi receiver A.J. Brown says Alabama recruiting him hardest | AL.com

"They communicate with me almost every day," said Brown, a Starkville, Miss., native, on Sunday. "It's just a good feeling. I just talk to a coach every day."

Brown also has a Texas offer, with LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn beginning to sniff around.

Alabama, Georgia stand out for top rising junior QB Bailey Hockman, who could commit soon | AL.com

Hockman, a four-star recruit rated No. 77 nationally on the 247Sports composite, has Alabama and Georgia standing out among his favorites. He's visiting Georgia today (Tuesday) and Alabama on Sunday. He threw 42 touchdown passes as a sophomore. A commitment to either could come soon.

I like Bailey Hockman because he reminds me of a 16 year-old Wooderson, and that is awesome as hell. He would easily be my favorite player for that reason alone.

Sad trombone

Baseball Falls to South Alabama on Tuesday Evening, 3-0 - ROLLTIDE.COM

Alabama used five pitchers on the night and limited South Alabama to just three runs, but the Tide was unable to string together hits when they needed them, stranding 10 runners by night's end. The shutout was the first of the season for Alabama and the first time the Tide was blanked since March 1, 2014, when Louisiana-Lafayette combined for the shutout.

Amazing that Alabama hasn't been shutout in almost 13 months. More amazing that the Tide stranded ten baserunners. Roger's growing concern has been the Tide's anemic offense. This kind of loss, with solid pitching and defense in front of the bats, is hardly going to allay those fears.

Spring Miscellany

NCAA emails among documents released in USC coach lawsuit | College Football

"USC has responded to its problems by bringing in Lane Kiffin," committee member Rodney Uphoff wrote in an undated memo to other members of the committee. "They need a wake-up call that doing things the wrong way will have serious consequences."

Look, I get that USC needed the hammer dropped. But, at the time Lane Kiffin was hired by USC, he was merely under investigation for secondary infractions. He's never been implicated in major violations, and it was after his hire by USC that secondary penalties were even assessed against Tennessee. Hell, I commit two secondary infractions before breakfast every morning. What I'm saying is, I think the NCAA was more concerned about USC hiring someone from the rotten Carroll regime than actual, demonstrable dirtiness, because Kiffin wasn't that.

National champs on notice: Meyer not happy with Buckeyes | College Football

The coaching staff limited several key players as part of the team's strategy to manage wear and tear. "You just got to be smart, which I think we are being smart," Meyer said. "Though sometimes when you look out at practice and see how awful it is, but it's still the right thing to do." Meyer calls it the 2,000 club, which stands for 2,000 competitive repetitions or plays. Those can come in games or practice. Ohio State tracks those reps and Meyer is especially cautious about the players in the 2,000 club, like Decker and Elflein. "I think we're on the cutting edge of just being smart about the wear and tear the student athlete goes through," he said.

Ignore the headline, look at how Urban uses his players. In an uptempo world, with seemingly no relief in sight from the NCAA, this sort of "pitch-count" may be the way of the future. Now, I do have a problem in a team sport saying that Star LT gets to be babied and pampered, while Utility RG is tossed into the meatgrinder. Still, I wonder if we're going to see more snap-management as the game devolves at its present rate.

Related to that, is the below story regarding how OSU now tackles.

Meyer upbeat about football's safety, future | FOX Sports

Fickell and he presented it to the staff and said everything he's ever been taught in tackling they don't teach anymore. It's all about, it's a low game now.

Ohio State led the nation in fewest missed tackles. With player safety on everyone's mind, and with high hard shots now more likely than ever to draw a foul, Fickell and OSU scrapped everything you learned about tackling through the body and coaches tackling low, entangling defenders legs.

As with managed snaps, I wonder if wrapping up the legs and going low is also going to be something we see more of in the coming years? Whether it was for player safety, football plays, or to minimize hard shots in games with higher snap counts, it did benefit the Buckeyes.

Finally

If you can't get behind John Gruden breaking down the iconic Hulk Hogan-Andre the Giant Wrestlemania Battle Royale, then I'm not sure you believe in America. Everything about this is why the terrorists hate our freedoms and why the Berlin Wall Fell. "U-S-A."