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Jumbo Package: Friday, 3 April 2015

Your daily dose of watching every other school hire good basketball coaches.

But can 'Bama beat 'Bama, Pawwwwl?
But can 'Bama beat 'Bama, Pawwwwl?
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Spring football

Alabama prepping for first chance to 'see exactly where we're at' |

"I think the first scrimmage is just kind of to see exactly where we're at," junior wide receiver Chris Black said. "It's our first time getting out there without the coaches actually being on the field. Just to kind of see how we handle things."

Nick Saban is notoriously cranky after the first scrimmage, so we'll see how this one goes. That said, in the linked article above he singles out Coker for praise. That is encouraging.

Alabama receiver compares versatile teammate to Reggie Bush |

Receiver Chris Black had high praise and a bold comparison for Kenyan Drake's USC counterpart. "He's versatile," Black said. "Coach Kiffin, I can tell you, loves him. He kind of reminds me of Reggie Bush a little bit."

We need a new name for the "Bush Back" position that USC brought to the national conscious. Whatever it is, I think we all know Drake is that kind of guy: an electric homerun threat with exceptionally soft hands and good route running.


Jonathan Taylor no longer a University of Alabama student, school says |

Jonathan Taylor is no longer a student at the University of Alabama, a UA spokesperson said Thursday, and he is not eligible for future readmission.

Glad we'll never hear about this every again, eh? #SarcasmFont

Status quo: Playoff committee keeps weekly rankings | College Football

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The College Football Playoff selection committee liked the way the first season went so much, it will recommend the status quo for year two. The committee plans to release its first weekly rankings of the 2015 season on Nov. 3.

The fact the CFB Committee has decided to keep up the weekly televised rankings tells me what we already knew: It's about the money. These folks are ADs, ex-coaches, administrators and the like: They know their bread is buttered by making the playoff as relevant and big a deal as possible, and not just for those two weekends in January.

'Gurley Bill' close to becoming Georgia law - SEC Blog - ESPN

The Georgia Senate this week approved a bill -- known locally as the "Gurley Bill" -- that would punish sports memorabilia dealers who tempt college athletes to risk their eligibility.

Good job, Georgia: Let's ignore that players' behaviors have anything at all to do with themselves losing eligibility, and instead focus on one miniscule portion of the equation. Why not misdemeanors for memorabilia purchasers? This is, in some respects, similar to the bill Alabama passed regarding agents. In either case, it's a terrible waste of state resources.

Baseball Falls, 8-5, to No. 3 LSU in the Longest Game in Crimson Tide History - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Alabama baseball fell, 8-5, to third-ranked LSU in a 5:25 game, the longest recorded time for a contest in Crimson Tide baseball history. The two teams went to extras and matched innings twice before a three-run 16th inning proved to be the difference.

Fourteen pitchers were used in this game: we're likely to see some very dead arms tomorrow and Saturday, which you figure only benefits LSU -- because, yes, they needed another advantage.


Shaka Smart leaves VCU for Texas -

Texas was far more appealing than any other opportunity Smart passed on during his time at VCU. Since 2011, the Wisconsin native turned down the opportunity to be the head coach at UCLA, Southern California, North Carolina State, Maryland, Marquette, Illinois and Wake Forest.

Shaka was never a likely candidate for Alabama if he's turning down ACC schools. But, it is depressing that seemingly everyone has gotten better while Bill Battle is prepping his Richard Pitino press conference. And, no where is this more true than in the SEC...

SEC Has Decided to Invest In College Basketball - Barking Carnival

This trio (along with whomever Alabama hires) joins the two coaches with hardware - Callipari ($5.5 million a year) and Florida's Billy Donovan ($4 million), to give the SEC six coaches in the Top 20 highest paid category. The league is finally approaching college basketball with the same tactic that they have used in football. "You Need to Spend Money in Order to Make Money."

Exactly. It's about the money. Alabama is only now committed to throwing open the till to make some substantial improvements. Irrespective of Coach Grant's $1.8m salary, the University has always been cheap on this. How cheap?

Division I Teams - By Men's Basketball Expenses (2013) - Basketball State

Above is an exceptional database where you can see for yourself. Alabama ranked 39th in overall spending, but just 8th in the SEC. Unsurprisingly, the Tide finished 8th in the SEC. But, you know, probably no correlation there.