So it's safe to say that there will be a lot of eyes on Alabama when it holds its spring game on Saturday afternoon. To get you ready, we came up with our top five things to watch.
We've given you some of our things to watch, with more to come. Here's what ESPN thinks you should heed.
Watch the full press conference above, see photos below and read more about it in the press conference rewind.
Alabama's 14th and final practice was yesterday. CNS seems as excited for an A-Day as he has in a long time. Being an adherent of "play like you practice," I sometimes suspect he enjoys not having settled starters.
"We don't really have a first-team quarterback," Saban said. "We had to put some guys on both teams. And I think when it comes to that position, we're putting the guys on the teams so that we feel like they can get the most -- how can we them the best reps and how can we play them where they get reps."
We're in straight up tinkering mode at this point. Relatedly, I will defend myself against Josh Chatham's calumnies. If Jacob Coker looks like 2014 Coker, Cornwell is your starter when the Tide tee it up against the Badgers...or will be after Alabama loses that game. #AntiGumpIsMyDrug
Nine players will sit out with another listed as questionable. Defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson will be out less than two weeks after a minor knee/ankle injury.
Don't look for A'Shawn to be making life miserable, among other players injured or held out.
Other football notes
...all that optimism would fade in a hurry if starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs gets hurt. Nathan Peterman's transfer to Pittsburgh leaves Dobbs as Tennessee's only returning scholarship quarterback from last season.
Good starters along the line for the Vols. The issue, particularly at WR and QB, is depth. Given Dobbs injury history, I suspect we see a lot of Hurd/Kamara come the Third Saturday.
He [Larry Scott] said the only way the Power 5 conferences would even consider expanding the playoff is if they were guaranteed spots in it, which would detract from the drama and anticipation of the season.
FTR: In the piece above, Scott is critical of expansion AND autobids. If we're going to do this, not having autobids seems the best way to do so. An 11-2 ACC champ is not equal to a 12-1 PAC 12 or SEC runner-up. We know this, and so does the commission, apparently.
Over the past few years, college coaches in certain conferences have been able to work a loophole that allows them to work at satellite camps hosted by other programs, which is an idea that we’ve profiled pretty extensively.
This is infuriating. WTF is Michigan doing with a satellite camp in Prattville? This is a loophole that benefits flyover schools to set up shop in talent-rich sunbelt areas.
The anticipated lawsuit over a 2012 sexual assault allegation, for which Winston wasn't charged by law enforcement, has arrived. The news comes two weeks before he's expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
Hey, glad we don't have to hear about this anymore, right? Odds are, this isn't the last lawsuit either. Statute of limitations in Florida is three years, tolled for minority status. There is allegedly another victim/complainant out there. She could, feasibly, wait around until that rookie deal is nearly up before filing suit. Machiavellian? Cynical? Sure. But, since TPD won't do it, leave it the civil side. These will never see a court room, BTW: Quick, quiet settlements that don't tarnish The Shield and its marquee product...with oppressive non-disclosure clauses. We'll never know the full extent of what did or did not happen in Tallahassee.
But at the end of the day, there is free will. You can't change people. You can set the table and try to help them, make sure there is a spiritual component in their life, make sure there is a family atmosphere.
Urban said the right things: Some of these kids are troubled. You do the best you can, but at the end of the day, it's on them to make the smart decisions. That said, his laissez faire attitude with very serious crimes and allegations of course did nothing to "set the table," it excused those guys from sitting down to dinner and getting an ass-chewing from daddy.
Finally, it is upon us