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Jumbo Package: Naming rights coming to SEC stadiums? Kentucky opens the floodgates

Look, I like Kroger too, but...

The Kroger Co. Corporate Headquarters Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

New contract coming for Nick Saban, Alabama assistants |

Saban's last contract refresh came in 2014 when total compensation moved to $6.9 million a year through the 2021 season. That would leave him with five seasons remaining on the deal.

Jim Harbaugh was the highest paid coach in the country last season, according to USA Today's salary database. The Michigan coach made $9 million in 2016.

Alabama's assistants ranked third in salaries last year, according to USA Today's separate database for tracking that pay. The nine on-field assistant coaches made $5.3 million combined. LSU was No. 1 with $5.8 million.

What are the odds, after modification of the contract, that Harbaugh is going to be the highest paid coach and that Alabama’s staff will remain 3rd? Is there a number smaller than “lol none?”

Who are Alabama's top 2018 draft prospects? |

Calvin Ridley: CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler: No. 3 prospect among draft-eligible wide receivers, Walter Football: No. 2 prospect among draft-eligible wide receivers, Walter Football projection: First round

An early look at next year’s draft-eligible prospects, including (surprisingly) potential first-rounder, Bo Scarbrough.

2017 NFL Draft picks: High school recruiting star rankings for first round selections -

Adoree Jackson, Marlon Humphrey and Solomon Thomas were all top-25 players in that same 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite, but No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky was just a four-star prospect coming out of Ohio, ranked No. 213 overall in the 2013 recruiting class.

All in all, the 2017 NFL Draft set the record for most five-star prospects selected in the first round.

While we’re on the subject of the draft, it looks like the correlation between top recruits and high draft picks may finally be growing stronger. This year set a record for star-ranking relative to NFL selection.

Ohio State Buckeyes replace Alabama Crimson Tide in post spring top 25

Meyer won't face quite as much turnover this offseason, and with quarterback J.T. Barrett and 14 others starters expected back, Ohio State has supplanted Alabama as the No. 1 team in the third edition of the 2017 Way-Too-Early Top 25. Florida State remains No. 2 and Alabama is No. 3, followed by USC, which gets the coveted fourth spot.

All last season we thought that 2017 was really the year that the Buckeyes should circle for a championship run; they return a ton of talent, especially on defense. For now, I’m comfortable letting the preseason expectations fall on their shoulders.

Where the SEC stands after spring practice - SEC Blog- ESPN

But at the top of the division, Alabama and LSU could have company in the form of Auburn. Gus Malzahn’s squad limped to a disappointing 8-5 finish last season, but the addition of former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham changes the equation. With a strong, accurate arm and good athleticism, he could make Malzahn’s offense roll in a way that we haven’t seen since Nick Marshall and Cam Newton. If Stidham can replicate his strong spring game performance and become a top 10 or top 20 passer nationally, then expect Auburn to become Alabama’s chief competition.

A capsule of where SEC teams stand after spring football. Stidham’s evisceration of a rebuilding Auburn defense has many convinced that the Barn is the other team to beat in the West. My dark horse money on 3rd place may be Mississippi State, however. Nick Fitzgerald is going to light it up this year.

Report: Tide hoops to join four-team Barclays Center Classic

Alabama’s 2017-18 non-conference basketball slate is slowly coming together, per reports.

The Crimson Tide will participate in the 2017 Barclays Center Classic, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein. Alabama will be joined by Minnesota, BYU and UMass, per Rothstein.

That’s a nice lineup for the Barclay (and the Tide’s RPI.) BYU is traditionally a borderline tournament team that has a good post game and Minnesota is rebounding quite nicely and should be in the tourney mix next Spring.

Bob Simon relieved of duties at Alabama

Alabama men’s basketball associate head coach Bob Simon has been relieved of his duties, BamaOnLine has learned.

Simon spent the last two seasons under now third-year head coach Avery Johnson.

Prior to his two-year stint in Tuscaloosa on Johnson’s first staff, Simon spent four seasons at Providence as both an associate head coach and an assistant. Before that, he worked for five seasons as an associate head coach at Fairfield University.

No word on why Simon was given the boot. But, if he was coaching free throw shooting, that would make a lot of sense.


The University of Kentucky has opened Commonwealth (and the SEC) open to naming rights. Theirs will be the Kroger Field at Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium. I think this will open the floodgates for some of the conference’s poorer teams to shill themselves out to illustrious alums with corporations or name cache -- think Grisham Family Field in Starkville for instance.

Given that speculation, tell us below the most logical field sponsors for SEC schools — Oral B Field at Neyland Stadium would have some cruel symmetry at least.