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Jumbo Package: Tide Officially on the Bubble

With a strong finish, Coach Johnson’s crew can go dancing a year early.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. The Alabama men’s basketball team is in a bit of a surge right now, and have bolstered their postseason chances in the processs:

On Sunday, Alabama’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) sat at No. 68 nationally, per ESPN. According to CBS Sports and Yahoo! Sports, the Tide’s RPI is 74. RPI is a tool the selection committee uses to evaluate teams for the NCAA Tournament.

Theoretically, an RPI of 68 would put a team right on the bubble for the 68-team tournament field. Noted guru Jerry Palm of CBSSports actually has the Tide in the tournament as an 11 seed as of this writing, one of the “last four in” along with TCU, Providence, and Rhode Island. Coach Johnson’s team has a very realistic chance at a bid that seemed impossible just a couple of weeks ago. #BuckleUp

Not much going on in the football world, but we have a few links:

If you have any doubts because Daboll has never been a college recruiter, you might need a hobby to relieve that unnecessary stress. Alabama is a recruiting machine, and as long as Saban's in charge, it'll remain so no matter how many assistants come and go.

And again, Daboll's five Super Bowl rings will look nice in a bowl on the coffee table next to Saban's five national championship rings.

-- For those interested in running the ball, Daboll had 1,000-yard rushers in three of the four seasons he served as an offensive coordinator. Jamaal Charles went for 1,509 in the Kansas City season for an average of 5.3 yards a carry.

-- Daboll has been part of five Patriots teams that won the Super Bowl. He was with the team from 2000-2006 as a defensive assistant and receivers coach before taking over the tight ends in the last three seasons.

-- Yes, that means he coached Rob Gronkowski. The cult-hero tight end had 1,000-yard seasons in 2014 and 2015 before ending the 2016 season prematurely because of injury. In eight games, Gronkowski was averaging 21.6 yards a catch -- 6.5 yards better than his career average.

Plenty of folks are questioning the hire, and it will likely continue until he has come success in Tuscaloosa. The one mistake many make is in assuming that Daboll can’t do something - like recruiting - simply because he hasn’t. As noted above, five Super Bowl rings will go a long way with high school football players.

In other news.... has a list of Alabama’s top OL targets for 2018, and another of the defensive line targets. They also have NFL Updates for Derrick Henry and Brian Vogler.

Marq Burnett of SEC Country notes that Mel Kiper has five Alabama players going in the first round.

Lastly, remember that high school coach in Louisiana who publicly stated that Alabama was banned from his campus for recruiting purposes? He was fired.

Sadly, that’s about all we have for you today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.