Marco Rubio spoke to a packed house at Samford University's Wright Center on Saturday. An alumnus of the University of Florida, Rubio kicked off his speech by saying "Tuesday's an important day and thank you for greeting me despite the fact I am a Florida Gator." He then followed this statement saying "We all want to beat Auburn that's good, right?"
LOL. Today is Super Tuesday, and for many of us in primary states it's an exceptionally important one. However, in the #NoPolitics department, you have to admit taking a shot at Auburn is always a shrewd bet in Birmingham with undecided voters.
It's difficult to describe all the tiebreakers at work here, except to say that Tennessee locks in the 11-seed with a 2-0 week. Anything short of that and it gets messy. It's too messy for words, so here is a chart of all of the possibilities for the final spot.
The parity in the SEC is brutal this year with no fewer than 3 teams at 8-8 and the leap between the 8th and 11th seed being razor-thin. Oddly, Rick Barnes' woefully inconsistent Vols hold the key to clearing up a lot of the clutter when the SEC tourney kicks off in Nashville. Great read for the bracketology-inclined.
As it stands right now, the SEC East's teams rank 11.3 spots behind the West's in average 10-year S&P+ and 20.4 spots behind in all-time average FBS winning percentage. Moving Auburn might not be drastic enough: over the last 10 years, Auburn (No. 24) and Mizzou (No. 27) have been about equal overall. Moving Bama would bring the differences much closer, to 3.9 and 7.3 in the West's favor, respectively.
Admittedly tongue-in-cheek, Jason Kirk tries to solve the disparity between the SEC's Eastern and the Western divisions. But, let's be honest, two of Alabama's biggest rivals are in the west, and the Tide have meet two other Western opponents 90+ times. Auburn belongs in the East. It always has -- let's move 'em there already.
Former Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones was Alabama's lone representative on Monday, going through all the drills with other cornerbacks and safeties. It was a bit of an up and down day for Jones, but the good news for the former Tide star is he fared best in his most important drills. Whereas Jones didn't fare well among fellow cornerbacks in the bench press, vertical jump or broad jump, he did very well in both the 40-yard dash and 3-cone drill. Jones ran a 4.49 40-yard time -- a respectable number for a cornerback and punt returner.
Anyone that watched Cy struggle with tall receivers knows he never had the greatest ups for a corner. He made up for some physical deficits by being amazingly agile in the 3-cone drill, and pretty quick, arguably the most important indicators for his position. Lack of vertical height and raw strength probably didn't cost Jones too badly.
As the Baltimore Ravens are rumored to be on the verge of signing former Brown, Colt, and Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson, the big questions for him revolve around whether he can find his running style that made him so successful and popular back at Alabama and in his rookie year in Cleveland, as well as his attitude.
Baltimore may be the best fit that Trent could ever had: surrounded by a stable coaching staff (that wants to run the ball,) former Tide teammates, and a sympathetic Alabama alum at GM. This is Richardson's last, best shot you have to believe. I'm pulling for him.
In the 1890s, with only 30 teams playing at least five years at the equivalent of the FBS level, this is really a top four and everybody else. Harvard and Yale were on one plane, Princeton and Penn were on another (4-9 vs. Yale, 228-14-6 against everybody else), and nobody else cleared the 80 percent bar. (For perspective, the 80th percentile barely got got you into the top 25 in 2015.) This was a Northeastern sport, and in the 1890s, it was beginning to creep into the Midwest. The South would get involved soon enough.
Just a nice article (as usual) by Bill C over at the Mothership. He historically applies advanced stats to the the last 130 years of college football. It's worth your time.
Several schools hosted "junior days" over the weekend. What is a junior day? It's an invite-only day at the school for underclassmen, typically in late winter or early spring. Recruits get to tour the facility and the campus. They see the meeting rooms, the weight room, the training facilities, the indoor facility, the academic advising facilities, etc. The goal is for the recruit to see what every aspect of college football life would be like at the school.
Alabama was one of the programs hosting Junior Day this past weekend -- and it was a great one: the weather was beautiful; baseball, softball and gym all won convincingly; the ODK Foy trophy was awarded; and they got to see a packed Coleman Coliseum as Alabama hoops trumped Auburn. Did I mention that it's also "shorts weather" in the Right Field and on the Quad? That never hurts either.