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Jumbo Package: Monday, 27 June 2016

Crimson Tide news and notes...

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. News is a bit slow today, but we have some interesting reads for you. We'll start with some early betting lines for key games of 2016, posted by South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the same book that has Alabama favored by ten over USC in the opener:

The Tide is currently favored by 4.5 in Oxford, by 3 in Neyland, and by a whopping 16 over Auburn. LSU is favored by 3 over Alabama in Red Stick, an exceedingly rare occurrence over the past several seasons. Doesn't mean much at this point, but interesting nonetheless. If both teams are unbeaten on November 5, the hype will once again be out of control.

College Football Expert Phil Steele Releases Preseason Top 25 | College Spun

Steele appears to be higher on Florida State than others, as the Seminoles aren’t No. 1 in any of the other preseason polls. Alabama has the top spot in nearly everyone else’s preseason top 25.

Florida State at number one, eh? That's an interesting take.

Here's why college football recruitment comes at a price -

College coaches and their staffs still travel to places like Bob Jones and Jackson-Olin, but don't expect them to attend every high school football game of a player they are recruiting. Their multi-year recruiting boards, after all, are filled with hundreds of names. Maybe thousands.  Game film, once as rare as the Buffalo five-cent piece, is now as readily available online as spam email.  "There's so much film, there’s so many services, there so many places that are putting it out there. It is a different world for these guys," said Clark, who is leading UAB's return to college football in 2017. "They have a lot better chance of being seen than they used to."

What College Sports Recruiters Can Teach Your Child - The New York Times

I think sometimes you need to prepare your child to respond to adversity: If I want to play more, then I need to work harder. Everyone is not entitled to an opportunity to play. That’s not the way of the world. You have to earn your way. Think of [college] as a 40-year decision, not a four-year one. The life lessons learned at that institution will affect them forever.

Satellite camps bring college football recruiting close to home - LA Times

"I know it’s not for recruiting and that kind of stuff, whatever they’re saying, but at the end of the day it just elongated the evaluation period," said Demetrice Martin, the Bruins’ defensive backs coach, who attended camps in Los Angeles, Whittier and Norco. Martin considers his time well spent if he discovers one or two players he was not previously aware of. "When we have our camps here at UCLA, we find one or two … it’s a success," he said. "If I find one or two at each satellite camp, it’s a success, so I guess it’s about volume. The more you go to, the more one or twos you find."

Kudos to Coach Martin for shooting straight on the intent of the satellite camps. The first link is an outstanding long-form detailing the lengths that high school players go through, and the costs involved, in getting noticed. The internet has made it easy to be seen, but it's likely also made it tougher to stand out.

ALABAMA RANKINGS: Football ranked top athletic program by Tuscaloosa News |

The Tuscaloosa News' annual ranking once again finds football on top as determined by a vote of the sports department staff, which ranked Alabama's 19 athletic teams against each other to determine which had the best (and worst) seasons. The football team won not only the national title, but also the SEC championship, and was a unanimous top pick.

It was a mixed bag for the athletic department in 2015-16, with football as the easy choice for "Best Season." Look for big strides from a much more talented men's basketball team this season.

Kenyan Drake 'can't wait' for training camp despite minicamp injury |

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Drake would be "fine for football activities long before the start of training camp" after suffering a hamstring strain. Miami coach Adam Gase also said expectations are Drake will be ready for training camp.

We're rooting hard for you, Kenyan.

Past few days 'difficult' for former Tennessee coach Summitt

Pat Summitt's family said Sunday that the last few days have been difficult for the former Tennessee women's basketball coach as her Alzheimer's disease progresses. Amid reports of Summitt's failing health, her family issued a statement asking for prayers and saying that the 64-year-old Summitt is surrounded by the people who mean the most to her. It also asked for privacy. The statement was posted on the Pat Summitt Foundation's website and was issued by Erin Freeman, a spokeswoman for the Summitt family.

Rivalries aside, Pat Summitt is an icon in the college sports world, and reports this weekend were that her loved ones are "preparing for the worst." Godspeed, Pat.

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

Roll Tide.