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Jumbo Package: Recruiting, bad ideas, VFL, and Baylor -- which is to say more bad ideas.

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June 14th: our national offseason nightmare continues.

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New commit Markail Benton says 'Alabama has better coaching' than Auburn | AL.com

"Auburn's a great school, don't get me wrong," Benton said. "They have a great facility too, and it's like 30 minutes up the road so I would take a visit to Auburn every weekend. But I mean, Alabama's got better coaching." * * * "Alabama wins championships," he said. "They win games... The times that I go up there now, (Foster) told me to stay focused and if I want to win championships and games, come to Alabama."

From the mouth of babes:  Honestly, Auburn has not coached one linebacker to their potential since Tommy Tuberville's heyday. Why any defender would go to the Barn mystifies me to this day.

10 questions with new Alabama QB commit Mac Jones | AL.com

What made you decide to go ahead and commit to Alabama? "I just love the people there. The coaches are awesome. Coach (Nick) Saban and (offensive coordinator Lane) Kiffin and all the assistants. I really clicked with them. I felt I fit the offense really well with my high school team's offense. The people all around Tuscaloosa, Alabama made us feel really welcome. The staff and the people who showed us around, the girls who showed us around were just awesome people. I felt very at home at Alabama."

Really good piece here from Eye Ell Dawt Cawm re: Mac Jones. Jones is a Wing-T quarterback, and though the potential is there to be sure, he's a bit less polished of a prospect than Tua.

A year later, what was the actual impact of cost of attendance on SEC football recruiting? | AL.com

No SEC coach could cite a circumstance where a recruit was swayed by a difference in cost of attendance stipends between schools, which started paying out the stipends, in accordance with the Ed O'Bannon case, last August. Even during the barrage of recruiting announcements on National Signing Day, not one time did cost of attendance get mentioned. "When you get into something that's kind of the unknown like it was last year and how is it gonna work, everyone gets into comparisons and all of that, but I think it's been great for our student athletes," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "I know it's helped their families. But really there hasn't been much said about it or talked about it after the initial month of it"

I will fully admit I was wrong on this one (as was Saban.) One year later, cost of attendance has been almost a no -actor. Then again, take a look at places like Ole Miss, and you can sort of figure out why an extra $1700 may not have that great of an impact. That said, a little more transparency would still be nice.

Alabamas Tony Brown Earns All-America Honors in the 110-Meter Hurdles at NCAA Championships - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Alabama’s Tony Brown finished sixth Friday in the 110-meter hurdles to earn All-America honors on the final day of men’s competition at the 2016 NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. “For a guy who has seen pretty limited action on the track the last two years, Tony Brown really stepped up and showed what a competitor he is,” said head coach Dan Waters. “He’s an impressive talent and he did a great job this season making his way into the final here and earning All-America honors."

The Tide T&F team had a rough outing this past Friday, but Tony Brown becomes the first Tide All-American in the 110M hurdles since 1992. That is spectacular. Well done, Mr. Brown.

Alabama Softball Coaches Named NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Alabama softball’s coaching staff was named the 2016 South Region Coaching Staff of the Year, announced Monday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The 2016 Crimson Tide coaching staff includes Head Coach Patrick Murphy (18th season), Associate Head Coach Alyson Habetz (18th season), Assistant Coach Stephanie VanBrakle (4th season), Volunteer Assistant Coach Adam Arbour (4th season) and Director of Operations Kate Harris (6th season). This is the third time this specific staff has won the award and the 10th overall for Alabama.

Another outstanding job by the staff, although some fans are beginning to openly question a staff with this talent and these results that have had such a difficult time getting over the hump -- this season, particularly, as Alabama abandoned its small ball approach to swing away, and generated little offense at crucial stretches. Still, the Tide are among the best in the business, and I'm not going to criticize another 50-win campaign in an increasingly-difficult SEC.

Longtime Florida AD Jeremy Foley retiring after 25 years | NCAA College Football

"I want to do what's right for Florida," Foley said in a statement. "That's why I have spent a lot of time thinking it through. And I want to make sure everyone understands this is my decision. I'm not sick. I'm not dissatisfied. I'm not getting pushed. It happens to all of us. The time comes." The 63-year-old Foley will officially step down Oct. 1.

Not too bad for a guy who started off as a part-time grunt in the box office, eh? Foley was among the last of the truly powerful ADs who could pull strings and get things done. Noted for as many misses as hits, and his legendary cheapness, Foley has nevertheless been a positive force in the SEC, and he will be missed by the conference and by Florida.

Alabama deserves No. 1 until someone — anyone — dethrones Crimson Tide | Sporting News

Nick Saban’s Death Star continues to spin, and the Crimson Tide will seek a fifth national championship since he took over as head coach. The quarterback battle is the focus again, and this time Cooper Bateman, David Cornwell and Blake Barnett are fighting for the job. That’s the biggest question for a team that brings back big-time playmakers like wide receiver Calvin Ridley and defensive end Jonathan Allen. It’s the same-old challenge, but the Crimson Tide are equipped for a repeat.

Yet more positive press for the Tide in a season where many expect LSU, Tennessee, or a dark horse UGA to potentially unseat 'Bama. Honestly, before the Fall camps begin, I have no problem with Alabama, LSU, or Clemson as the No. 1. All three should be excellent and all three have questions that can be answered through depth and coaching or some combination of the above.

Monte Kiffin feared for his life the night Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for USC | FOX Sports

But where it gets interesting is when [Eric] Berry begins to talk about former Vols coordinator Monte Kiffin, Lane's father. "Monte was in the football complex and he was in a panic," Berry said. "He wasn't going to leave his office until the fires were out. And he didn't. I think he slept there all night. I finally had to tell him, 'Coach, they're not going to do anything to you. It's your son they're after.'"

Tennessee is that crazy alcoholic you once dated: "I love you, I hate you, leave me alone, please come back." The hayseeds make LSU fans look positively sane.

Boston College, Kansas lead Power 5 teams with soft schedules | FOX Sports

5. (tie) Miss. State - Index: 2.00: South Alabama, played two Power 5 opponents in 2015 and lost by a combined 89 points, is the Bulldogs opener. Later in September, MSU travels to play UMass, 3-9 last year and with only nine returning starters, in Foxborough. By far, the toughest of the four games is a trip to Utah to face BYU. The non-conference finale is against Samford, a 6-5 FCS program.

That's fairly despicable, Bulldogs. Dishonorable mention to Texas A&M for their usual fluffy slate as well. (Someone needs to tell those fellas that only Alabama and Florida can schedule nauseous home slates and generally get away with it.)

Powerful Baylor booster confirms 'we'd like to see' Art Briles come back | FOX Sports

Bob Simpson graduated from Baylor in 1970, got his MBA at the school in '71 and then went on to make a fortune in the Texas oil and gas business. He's a co-owner of the Texas Rangers. He's given so much money to the school that his name is on the building that houses the Baylor football locker room, weight room and other support facilities for Baylor student-athletes. So yeah, you can imagine the amount of weight his words carry around Waco, which makes his comments Monday saying "we would like" to bring Art Briles back as head coach of Baylor football interesting.

At play in Waco is the new University administration who wants the school to wag the football tail, not vice-versa, versus a divided board, and boosters/alumni/donors with a helluva' lot of Oil Money who like kicking the Longhorns' ass and are not eager to return to 3-9, damn the human costs. This is the most Texas of all tragicomic dramas I think I've ever seen unfold, and that includes the implosion of the SWC.

4 reasons the SEC should replace its divisions with this scheduling plan - SBNation.com

While talking about how dumb the Big 12's idea to have five-team divisions is, last week's Podcast Ain't Played Nobody proposed doing away with divisions entirely, for every conference. The more we've thought about it, the more we've realized it's pretty much a perfect idea. We should get rid of divisions, and we should replace them with small groups of annual rivals. Let's use the SEC as an example, since it has the most complicated issues at the moment. (We'll look at a couple other conferences later this week as well.)

At the risk of shouting "get off my lawn," the SEC is not just about retaining "permanent rivalries;" it's about a core group of schools with longstanding historical ties and nearly-annual meetings divided by geography. Any proposal which ignores that is a non-starter in my book. Likewise, these myopic proposals utterly ignore the fact that the SEC has been cyclical in its 25 years of division play: no division remains at the nadir, and even within the divisions, the power fluctuates. Taking the long view, and this is an overreaction (that also seems a much more calculated agenda that smacks of "please, anyone, beat Alabama/LSU/Auburn etc.") Florida is on the upswing, Tennessee is returning to power, the Dawgs never left, South Carolina should be more competitive, Mizzou can likely regain momentum with a new, younger regime -- give it time, the dynamics will shift again. I promise.

I'll bump this one to the front so that you fine people can spar with the Mothership commenters mano e mano.