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Jumbo Package: Monday, 22 February 2016

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Crimson Tide news and other notes...

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. It's a bit of a slow news day overall, but we still have some links for you. We'll start with the Tide basketball program which still has the potential to dance:

Where Alabama's NCAA tournament hopes stand after loss to Mississippi State | AL.com

The Tide had won six of its previous seven games entering Saturday, including five straight, to improve to 16-9 overall and 7-6 in conference play. Alabama was up to No. 29 in ESPN's RPI rankings after winning at LSU on Wednesday. It's down to No. 42 following the loss on Saturday. "Welcome back to the bubble, Alabama!" Palm wrote. "The Tide ended a nice run of play by taking their worst loss of the year at home to Mississippi State. Now they get an angry Kentucky team on the road. Uh oh."

Alabama basketball: Mississippi State puts end to Tide's 5-game win streak - The Anniston Star: Sports

"I didn’t like the energy in the locker room before the game," Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. "We had a different type of energy before (road wins over) LSU and Florida. … More than anything, we’re not some high-powered team that can just walk out there on and play one pass, score, just think we’re going to lock someone up defensively without help. We’re not that kind of team. On every possession, we have to have six or seven things go right to score."

Alabama finds itself back on the bubble after a bad loss to Mississippi State. At this point they likely need at least three more wins and possibly four to get into the tournament. Assuming Kentucky takes care of business in Lexington, this means that the Tide will have zero margin for error against Auburn and Arkansas. Prediction time: How do you think this team finishes up? Answer the poll and discuss.

Creating expectations for '16 - Page 2 of 2 - Gridiron Now

In the West, how can you take anyone but Alabama? Even though the Tide doesn’t have a proven quarterback, hasn’t offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin proven his mettle with the production he produced from Blake Sims in 2014 and Jake Coker in 2015? Auburn looks to be more than just a quarterback away, considering Gus Malzahn lost his top running back and the defense didn’t play nearly up to expectations. LSU is the most dangerous threat to Alabama, but quarterback Brandon Harris must be more productive and consistent. The Tigers have everything else in place. Ole Miss has the best quarterback in the SEC, but losing a top-quality receiver, left tackle and defensive tackle will make it difficult to stay with Alabama. Quarterback concerns will keep Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Arkansas from contending in the West.

Hard to argue with any of that.

Kenyan Drake featured in Daniel Moore's latest Alabama football print, titled 'Finish' | AL.com

Renowned sports artist Daniel Moore will spotlight Kenyan Drake's goal line dive in the College Football Playoff Championship Game in his latest Alabama football painting. The painting, entitled "Finish," is currently available for pre-sale on Moore's website, NewLifeArt.com.

Drake's touchdown was the feel-good moment of the season. Good choice, Daniel.

Eicholtz, Bullpen Shine as Baseball Claims 5-1 Series-Clinching Win over Maryland - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

A strong effort from junior starting pitcher Nick Eicholtz paired with a solid outing from the bullpen helped propel Alabama baseball to the 5-1 victory over Maryland on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win improves the Tide to 2-1 and earns the team its first series victory of 2016. "You just kind of tip your hat today to the pitching," said Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. "In particular, the way Nick (Eicholtz) came out and gave us a great start. I think that's the key to our team. If we can get the good start that takes us deep, I think our bullpen sets up really well for those last couple innings."

Strong opening weekend for Tide baseball as they took a series from a strong opponent. Hopefully this portends well for the season.

ASU to receive school-record $1.7M to play Alabama in 2018

Home / Sports / ASU to receive school-record $1.7M to play Alabama in 2018 0 By Troy Schulte This article was published February 17, 2016 at 2:38 p.m. The Arkansas State Red Wolves take on Southern California Trojans during an NCAA college football game Saturday, September 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. Comments (7)aAFont Size The going rate for scheduling Arkansas State in a non-conference football game keeps getting bigger and bigger. ASU will receive a school-record $1.7 million for a Sept. 8, 2018, game at Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., according to a game contract obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Wednesday. The payout surpasses the $1.65 million ASU is getting from Nebraska for a game in 2017, which was announced last summer. At the time, ASU said that game was believed to be the largest payout for a single game not tied to another negotiation.

That's one expensive cupcake.

Other stuff:

Tide softball sits at 10-1 on the season after sweeping the weekend...

Jim Harbaugh continues to push the envelope, hiring the father of a high profile recruit as a defensive analyst...

They are currently playing college football in Finland. You can watch here....

After starting in the Super Bowl, Evan Mathis is mulling whether to hit the free agent market or retire.

That's about it for today. Have a great week!

Roll Tide.