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Jumbo Package: Wednesday, 4 March 2015

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Your daily dose of heart-rending Alabama basketball losses and spider sex.

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Not the season we wanted, or a good ending to Sr. Night, but no one can fault Randolph.
Not the season we wanted, or a good ending to Sr. Night, but no one can fault Randolph.
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get this out of the way, shall we

Alabama baseball takes tough loss to Auburn in Classic | TuscaloosaNews.com

The Crimson Tide baseball team lost to Auburn, 5-3, on Tuesday at Riverwalk Stadium, its sixth loss to the Tigers in seven Capital City Classic meetings.

When I am Benevolent Leader of the SEC, divisional realignment is the first edict...and Auburn being shunted to the naturally inferior East is high on my agenda.

Ole Miss snaps losing streak with road win | WREG.com

Alabama pulled within 75-70 with under a minute left, but Mississippi made 7 of 8 free throws to seal it. Levi Randolph led Alabama (17-13, 7-10) with 32 points after going perfect from the line on a school-record 17 attempts.

There is a very real possibility / high probability this team finishes at 17-16 on the year. Hale and Tarrant are already sidelined with season-ending surgeries, Alabama faces a dangerous Aggies team on road in the season finale, and the Tide looks to draw Florida or Vandy in the SEC tourney (0-3 versus those guys this season.) Then, if by some cruelty, Alabama makes the NIT, it will certainly be a road game. I'm not entirely certain that a beleaguered fan base wants to see this season extended...no matter how much fun Levi Randolph has been.

Alabama notes

Alabama softball remains in top five | TuscaloosaNews.com

The University of Alabama remained ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 coaches poll and No. 5 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25, which were released Tuesday. The Crimson Tide (15-4) took two out of three games last weekend from Louisiana-Lafayette, which fell to No. 7 in both polls.

The softball team has had an incredibly tough early season slate, and enters conference play 4th in the nation. Not too shabby.

SEC West spring preview :: FOX Sports

This spring is Coker’s chance at claiming the job once again, but he will be pushed by David Cornwell, Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman. This is Coker’s job to lose.

Not sure why the national folks are pushing this narrative so damned hard. They did it last season before Coker even arrived, and haven't stopped beating the drum since January 2, 2015. The best player will win the starting job, and we may not (probably will not) know who that is until the 2nd or 3rd game of the season.

Miscellany

Alabama lawmakers pushing for reinstatement of UAB football | NCAA Football | Sporting News

Two state representatives are expected to introduce bills designed to return UAB to the field, according to Birmingham TV station WTVM.

Anyone want to fight over the viability of UAB football? Up for some renewed hot takes on the Alabama Board of Trustess or Paul Bryant, Jr.? Hey, guys, where are you all going?!

Survive and succeed: Texas Tech defensive coordinator David Gibbs discusses his coaching philosophies | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

You cannot dictate, in my mind, on defense anymore, unless you’re better than the offense. Which, nowadays, is Alabama, with all their NFL defensive players, are they better than Ohio State? Are they better? "So therefore you better learn how to survive and you better learn how to take the ball away. The old bend-but-don’t-break (philosophy), it’s more alive now in college football than ever

Absolutely fantastic interview with David Gibbs here. He makes, among other observations, an excellent point about 7-on-7's emphasizing wide receiver play, and how offensive playmakers (and schemes and rules) are just miles ahead of defenses at the moment. We've said this since 2012, and it is more true now than it has ever been: in the modern landscape, the days of shutdown secondaries are over. Sure, there will be rules and scheme adjustments, but the change has to start in the lower levels, at Jr. High and High School, at the 7-on-7s. God, I hate this garbage ball :(

'Crootin'

Theodore senior Dazon Ingram still 100 percent committed to Alabama basketball | AL.com

"I was just waiting to see how the season went," Ingram said. "I am 100 percent going to Alabama." He said he will sign his letter-of-intent with Alabama on the first day of the regular signing period for basketball recruits on April 16. Ingram is considered one of the state's top three contenders for the Alabama Sports Writers Association's 2015 Mr. Basketball honor this season.

Well, Archie Miller or Michael White will have the instate-player of the year going for them.

Georgia 4-star defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson recaps Alabama visit, looks ahead to Auburn | AL.com

"They are recruiting me hard," Jackson said." ... "They see me as a 3-technique, just rushing the passer. They need more speed at the (defensive) tackle position and that's why they really offered me."

South Carolina is also panting after Jackson. Time to unleash Kirby Smart's* Georgia Negative Recruiting powers (*allegedly.) The big takeaway is that the Alabama staff is recruiting every corner of the country for defensive linemen, and particularly edge rushers.

Finally

Zoologger: Spider has sex, then chews off own genitals - life - 16 January 2015 - New Scientist

First it must mate successfully with a female four times its size that would prefer to eat it than have its babies. Then, the male must do everything possible to keep eager rivals away from the impregnated female. In the macabre world of spider sex, this means self-emasculation.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you that someone always had it worse? Well, file this under "life lessons learned."