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Jumbo Package: Friday, 12 February 2016

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All kinds of news and notes...

No, Coach. YOU'RE the man.
No, Coach. YOU'RE the man.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. We have plenty for you to discuss this morning:

Alabama's Avery Johnson making a case for SEC coach of the year | AL.com

The program that's put itself in position two weeks into February to make a late postseason push hasn't played in the NCAA Tournament in four years and hasn't won a game there in a decade. Is there any question Alabama's Avery Johnson deserves serious consideration for SEC coach of the year in his first year on the job? No, there isn't because no one in the league, to this point, has done more with less.

Coach Johnson inherited a team that finished 8-10 in the SEC and lost its three best players to graduation or transfer. Unsurprisingly, in the preseason the media had the Tide finishing at or near the bottom of the conference, with the over-under at around six conference wins... and that was before Dazon Ingram, the gem of Coach Johnson's first recruiting class, went down for the season. The fact that this team appears poised to finish with a better record than last year's unit in a much tougher conference speaks volumes about Avery's performance. He certainly has my vote. Paired with Saban, you have to think that Alabama has the best coaching in the country in the revenue sports.

Retin Obasohan earns Academic All-District honors

Alabama men's basketball player Retin Obasohan has been named to the 2015-16 Academic All-District 4 First Team, as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced on Thursday. With the nod, Obasohan becomes the third different Alabama player to earn first team academic all-district first team honors, joining Terrance Meade (2003) and Levi Randolph (2013, 2014, 2015). Obasohan is now eligible to become the second player in men’s basketball program history to earn Academic All-American accolades (Randolph achieved the feat in 2015). The Academic All-America team will be announced in late February.

Retin Obasohan has developed into a bona fide star under Coach Johnson's tutelage, and is obviously a great student as well. Hopefully the Tide will have its second Academic All-American in two seasons.

College football's likely adoption of NFL-style replay is great news | FOX Sports

"We requested the opportunity to use collaborative replay on an experimental basis, which we learned today the [rules committee] has approved," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "This is the necessary first step and we will now further engage our membership to determine if and how we will implement this experimental opportunity. We look forward to communicating with other conference offices to discuss the most appropriate and effective implementation of collaborative replay.

Collaborative replay means that there is an off-site conference official offering a second set of eyes on replay reviews and helping the game officials interpret what they see. Let the conspiracy theories begin.

Will you be outraged if Nick Saban is college football's first $8 Million Man? - CBSSports.com

What used to be a bidding war with the pros isn't so much anymore. Thank Saban for that one. Certain tightly-wound amateurism defenders had kittens over the fact Alabama paid Saban $4 million in 2007 when it pulled him from the Miami Dolphins.

Says here that Saban is paid more than all but three NFL head coaches. If he does reach $8 million, he will tie Sean Payton and Pete Carroll as the highest paid football coaches in the country, and he's worth every penny. Why would he want to jump to the NFL again?

Alabama football players offer 6 possible defining moments in 2015 national title run | AL.com

LB Tim Williams "The defining moment for us was winning the game at Georgia after all the press and everything and beating Georgia and showing we can beat any top-10 team still. That was a big moment for us winning that game."

The UGA game is a great choice as a statement to the college football world that Alabama wasn't going away. The players offered some other choices as well, though. What was your defining moment? Answer the poll and tell us in the comments.

Of nine combine invitees, there's one glaring omission for Alabama | FOX Sports

Alabama's starting signal-caller was not offered the opportunity to showcase his talents at the combine. 18 other quarterbacks were selected to participate, and curiously Coker's complete body of work didn't warrant his presence.  This past year, Coker threw for 26 touchdowns and 3,808 yards. As it currently stands, Coker will now prepare for Alabama's Pro Day -- where he'll surely hope to prove combine organizers wrong for his surprising omission.

Unfortunately, Jake's flaws seem to overshadow his physical tools. He will get the opportunity to prove himself at Alabama's pro day, and considering his size, athleticism, and arm strength will more than likely get invited to someone's camp if he isn't drafted. Many of Jake's issues come down to confidence in what he is seeing, not uncommon for a player with such limited game experience.

LSU Tigers Louisiana governor warns that budget crisis could mean no college football | FOX Sports

You see, according to Edwards, campuses would have to shut down because even LSU will run out of money by the end of April. That means no finishing spring semester, grades of incomplete for students and ineligible athletes. "You can say farewell to college football next fall," Edwards, a Democrat, said in a televised address. "Student-athletes across the state would be ineligible to play next semester," Edwards said (via NOLA.com). "I don't say this to scare you. But I am going to be honest with you."

What would American politics be without a little coercion, am I right? The odds that they actually shut down the state's flagship university are slim and none.

Valentine’s Day-Related Gifts Each State Googles More Frequently Than Other States | Estately Blog

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, which means millions of Americans are wondering  what they will receive on this most romantic of days. It could be flowers or chocolates, or it could be something completely unexpected. Curiosity got the best of Estately, so we set out to find what Valentine’s Day-related gifts people in each state Google more frequently than people in all other states. To do this we ran hundreds of possible gift-related search queries through Google Trends, which ranks how frequently people in each state search for each term online.

What do Valentine's Day gifts have to do with Alabama sports, you ask? Well, nothing really. I just thought it was funny that Tennesseeans are searching for cheap sex toys. I guess the men of that state are not only tightwads, but also as unskilled and impotent as their football team. Alabamians are more cultured, searching for Lord Byron poetry: Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.

Recruiting notes and other stuff:

Spanish Fort DE Justin Thomas is a rising star who is very excited to hold an Alabama offer...

The high schools in Alabama could be producing historic talent for the 2017 class...

Recruiting podcast discusses Alabama's chances of landing the nation's consensus top two recruits in 2017...

Michigan State players talk about what went wrong against Alabama...

For some reason, CBS Sports tells you that Nick Saban would be a Bassett Hound, if he was a dog...

The softball team opens its season today in Orlando.

That's about it for today. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Roll Tide.