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Jumbo Package: Are Fournette and McCaffrey trendsetters?

Two high-profile draft picks have decided to forgo their final bowl game focus on the NFL draft.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

"Judy, Judy, Judy..."

Jeudy signs financial aid papers

Days after shutting down his recruitment following an official visit to Miami, five-star receiver and Alabama commitment Jerry Jeudy has signed his financial aid papers with the Crimson Tide and will enroll next month.

When these commits move, they move fast. Jerry Jeudy, probably the most complete receiver of the 2017 class, sent his aid letter in yesterday.  Like Dylan Moses, once he committed, he acted with haste. Even better, Jeudy is an early enrollee and will be on campus in just two weeks.

Practices / Playoffs

Alabama practice report: Update to player injured in hunting accident, notes from indoor |

-- Defensive back Tony Brown was practicing for a second straight day after missing a few workouts with a muscle pull.

-- Reuben Foster's broken finger continues to heal as his cast size shrinks. "It's coming along great, it's coming along great," he said. "The finger's still popping out once in a while, but I'll be alright."

Dakota Ball is back at the facilities, but he is not practicing yet after suffering the most SEC of injuries -- hunting accident.

The 9 sometimes obscure connections between Alabama and Washington |

Alabama and Washington are more alike than you think.

Nice slideshow here for those of an historical bent (paging Kleph, paging Kleph.) The 1926 Rose Bowl versus Washington did, of course, start the Alabama football dynasty that 90 years later is stronger than it has ever been.

How Alabama's players reacted to Steve Sarkisian replacing Lane Kiffin |

Sarkisian's presence has been more noticeable at practice since the news dropped. On Sunday, he was watching the running backs intently. Then, he sidled up to the receivers and started chatting with ArDarius Stewart. "He's been around the offense as much as any coach," said running back Damien Harris. "He gets along with us pretty well. But we're not worried about that right now. That's next year and we've still got football left to play this year."

[Emphasis added] I love the talk coming out of the locker room. The players interviewed about the Sark hire have some complimentary things to say, but most of their attention is focused on this game and the job to be done in 10 days. Roll Damn Process.

The case For Alabama to win the playoff |

You don't want Bama. We know, you think you do. We've seen you there, waving your poster board claiming that you indeed want the Crimson Tide. But look deep into your soul. Are you sure you want to subject your favorite team to what's about to happen? Really? You wanted Bama back in 2014. That team had flaws that Ole Miss exposed in Oxford and that Ohio State gleefully took advantage of in the Sugar Bowl.

You wanted Bama last year. That team needed Nick Saban to call an onside kick in the national title game because Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson kept tossing touchdown passes. But you don't want Bama now.

What a great article by Staples. This could not have Gumped harder if Josh wrote it.

Jimbo Fisher still hates the spread

Jimbo Fisher: 'It ain't old school at all. It's real football'

Florida State plays Michigan in the Orange Bowl in less than two weeks. One FSU player described U-M’s style as “old school,” but Fisher had a different term. “Real football,” he said this weekend. “It’s ain’t old-school at all. It’s real ball. It’s what you see on Sundays. They’re good at it, physical, they can run it, throw it, mix formations, play-action. You see a lot more spread things now in college, but it’s real football. Good football.”

I love Jimbo Fisher's dedication to getting you the hell off his lawn. With his new contract in place 'til 2024, Jimbo gives none of the shits, and it is hilarious. He is definitely a vocal critic of the spread and always one of the most entertaining press conferences out there.

Skipping bowl games

Do Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette mark demise of bowls? |

The recent decisions by LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey to skip their teams’ bowls and begin prepping for the NFL draft have ignited a firestorm of debate. Whether you think they’re being smart or being selfish, the fact is, they did it. And in doing so, they set a precedent that could have sweeping consequences for college football’s bowl system. “One chunk of the iceberg,” a veteran college administrator said Monday, “has fallen into the ocean.”

Christian McCaffrey skips Sun Bowl for NFL draft—and that's OK |

it’s comically absurd to criticize Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, who probably has a very nice future as a millionaire football player ahead of him, for choosing not to risk any part of his body in the Sun Bowl this December.

I see both sides of the equation on this one. McCaffrey and Fournette suffered nagging injuries that hampered them off and on this year. Similarly, the shelf life of an NFL running back is so shirt, why take any extra reps or risk injury?This is their career and the rest of their life. They owe nothing to fans, so why put your future in harm's way for a game that some may consider meaningless?

On the other side of the coin, players cannot demand commitments from the schools, a la guaranteed four-year awards, and then fail to live up to the fundamental terms of that contract: namely, they receive these awards for participation in football-related activities. When a player bails on 8% of the season voluntarily, that is little different than bailing on the work after the check has cleared. LSU and Stanford's checks have cleared, but the shady vinyl siding contractor is long gone. And this doesn't even touch upon the complicated bowl payout formula, some of which require reaching certain games or winning them outright.

Other players may publicly say they support their teammates; that is what you do. But, at the end of the day, it is a team sport. All the coaches and 101 players, from the scout team on down, count on Superstar X to be there for the team, to help each and every one of them win a game. This isn't just about those playing for pride either, but also for others with NFL ambitions. The lack of one starter may impact the bottom line of others who counted on X's performance as part of their body of work -- think Ethan Pocic, LSU's center, for instance.

And, while I can see both sides economically, I don't think I'd want to share a foxhole with Leonard or Christian.

Jerk of the day:

Sorry, but Donnel Pumphrey didn't really break Ron Dayne's FBS rushing record | FOX Sports

Pumphrey is an awesome player and is deserving of the adoration he received, but only in the bizarre world of the NCAA could he be considered the all-time rushing leader. In fact, he’s third, because if you add Tony Dorsett’s bowl games to his official NCAA total, he has more yards than Pumphrey as well. So despite what everyone wants to tell you, in the real world, Pumphrey isn’t the real all-time record holder. Sorry. We should still hold a party for Pumphrey though — third place is pretty great.

Recordkeeping methods come and go, as they do, different people take the top spot as of the date of the recordkeeping change, and that's okay. It's called a "record" not "objective reality." It doesn't matter if bowl games are tallied. Derrick Thomas owns the record for sacks in a season -- everyone knows that, and it doesn't matter that Terrell Suggs' name is on there. Asterisks exist for a reason. And, for now, Donnell Pumphrey is the all-time leading rusher in FBS history. Stop being jerks, Fox, and let him have his day.