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Jumbo Package: FALL CAMP STARTS THURSDAY!

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And the takes are flying off the shelf. Fortunately, the analysis is a little better entering August than it was in June and July.

May "The Rose Of Scotland" forever pipe in your ears.
May "The Rose Of Scotland" forever pipe in your ears.
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

What Saban Thinks About As Practice Begins - Alabama - Scout

No true newcomers are in the competition for the most important position on the field, and therefore the position of most interest. Five men received what Saban said was relatively equal work in the spring, did the same in the voluntary workouts in the summer, and will start out fall camp with that opportunity. They are in order of class seniority senior Jacob Coker, junior Alec Morris, sophomore Cooper Bateman, redshirt freshman David Cornwell, and true freshman Blake Barnett.

Blake Barnett has been invited for the evening drills on Thursday. Saban says don't read too much into that, but, I'm totally going to Gump all over that.

2015 Alabama Predictions — Best + Worst-Case for Alabama’s Season Record?

Best: 14-1. Despite a potential hiccup along the way, there is definitely enough talent for Alabama to claim another National Championship. Worst: 10-3. If the bumps in the road arrive early (Wisconsin or Georgia), and the Tide doesn’t handle it well, this could easily be a repeat of 2010.

I think that seems about right, maybe 10-2, which still may lead the league. The schedule is the toughest in the nation, with the trips to Aggieland, Athens  and Auburn seeming to loom the largest. Still, I think Alabama is more talented than any of them. Alabama needs to hold serve at home against a tough slate (OM, LSU, Arkansas & UT,) and take at least two out of three on the road. Provided that the QB and secondary can gel, a big season could happen.

The pop pass isn't going away, but referees are watching it more closely - SBNation.com

As the concept has become popular, Big 12 officials have noticed an increase in offensive linemen drifting. Mobile quarterbacks can hold the ball longer, so these plays are runs for a long time, then suddenly become passes.

It's not going away...yet. I will be very curious as to whether or not the buffer is enforced. With the clocks and spots and downs & distances already being screwed up by the pace, it's grossly disadvantageous to permit all of the illegal blocking that the "people" down on the Plains love so much.

It does make one wonder, though, why people like Malzahn and Briles bristle so much when asked to open up their style of football to a little scrutiny and proper officiating. I will let you draw your own obvious conclusions there.

SEC spares no expense in hiring 14 new coordinators

In a league packed with head coaches making $4 million or more — including all seven in the Western Division — it's no surprise that some assistants are raking in seven-figure salaries or close to it. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was already making $1.385 million annually. Now, that places him third among league defensive bosses not counting Mason, who's taking on the second role this season.

Time to give Kirby a raise. Steele and Chavis are drawing over $2m/per. Smart is still one of the best in the nation, and an invaluable recruiter in Georgia, where so much talent lies and his hardball recruiting tactics have clearly paid dividends.

LSU Tigers: No charges in case involving Anthony Jennings, two other players, DA says | FOX Sports

No formal charges will be filed against three LSU football players, including quarterback Anthony Jennings, for allegedly going into a house without permission in June. . . .The players have said they sought to retrieve items that had been stolen from Jennings. Thomas was also charged with simple burglary.

It's the annual rite of passage: LSU player commits felony, said felony is bandied about, case is summarily disposed/dismissed on the eve of Fall camp, and truly nasty people like Jeremy Hill continue to reoffend. It makes you wonder what in the blue hell Ryan Perilloux did to actually get dismissed from LSU, no?

Take that, SEC: Jim Delany's humble-brag about Big Ten schedule strength | AL.com

Just wait. Ohio State's and Michigan's schedules are going to be tougher than Alabama's and Auburn's. OK, that's not exactly what Jim Delany said Friday during his annual address at Big Ten Media Days, but that had to be what the Big Ten commissioner meant. Or at least what he wants the College Football Playoff selection committee to think. Delany pointed out that, starting with the 2016 season, Big Ten football schedules will move from eight to nine conference games and will mandate one Power 5 non-conference opponent. The other two non-conference opponents must be Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Nice try, Troll Lord. The fact remains that weakest-scheduled SEC West team still has a higher SOS than the "toughest" SOS. The upside is that with no Youngstown States etc., that very soft league is going to open itself up to a lot more OOC losses. MACtion will have its day, dammit,

Finally,

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper passes away at age 61 - SBNation.com

Piper was a Golden Gloves boxer and trained in judo under Gene LeBell before becoming a pro wrestler. Initially working as a skinny jobber in the midwest for the AWA in the mid-1970s, his career turned a corner when he went to California and found his calling as a loudmouthed heel. In between successful runs with the WWF (now WWE) in the 1980s and 1990s, Piper starred in John Carpenter's cult classic film They Live. He also performed in WCW and TNA and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Haven't cared for wrestling since the Undertaker's heyday in the early 90s, but this one sucked. Rowdy Rodder Piper was one helluva showman, a fantastic foil, and, lacking better words, just a seemingly cool regular guy, one you'd have a beer with. He was always a favorite.