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Jumbo Package: Is the era of the form-tackle over?

It very well could be, as Pete Carroll has gone back to the future.

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Chattanooga v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


As of now, Alabama has no offensive linemen committed. The depth on this unit is solid, although I’m sure that the coaching staff would like to see some guys develop and others take the reins of some position battles that remain open or iffy. Drew Champlin looks at who the Tide are/will be targeting.

It's important to note that, barring attrition, Alabama will return 16 scholarship offensive linemen in 2018. Alabama won't sign a big class. They will be picky and get the best to tell them no first. Some, like Park Crossing's Tank Jenkins, need to earn a spot at camp.

Esss Eeee Ceee Speeed

Brown, a two-time All-American in track, qualified for the NCAA championships in the 100-meter dash on Friday by finishing ninth in the event with a time of 10.39.

He ran the 100-meter dash in 10.27 seconds during Day 1 of the NCAA East Regional on Thursday, a personal-best and a season-best for the Tide in the event.

The investment into Alabama’s track and field program continues to pay dividends; even as the team is improving, so too do dual sport contributors improve. Tony Brown qualified for yet another event this weekend. His 10.27 burns, though it still lags behind Usain Bolt’s 9.58. That’s he’s not exactly the realistic standard, though — Bolt’s time may not fall anytime soon (Although it is speculated that the fastest time a human can run is yet another third of a second faster -- 9.27 in the 100m. That’s a cool story on the mechanics of the 100, if you’re feeling extra nerdy today.)

Bowl tie-ins

These used to be so much easier to keep up with :(

The Football Bowl Association, which acts as the bowl schedule’s governing body, released a full list of conference tie-ins for the 2017 season. The bowl game slate is mostly unchanged from the 2016 season. The Miami Beach Bowl is moving to Frisco, Texas, after three years in South Florida. That game’s called the Frisco Bowl, even though it could’ve been taken in so many creative directions. Also, the Poinsettia Bowl is now defunct after a 12-year lifespan. It had been played in San Diego.

This explains Michigan’s terrible passing game.

Brandon Jacobs absolutely takes Jim Harbaugh to the mat, in not-exactly-a-ringing-endorsement of the Milkman’s offensive acumen

Going into somewhere where they don’t have a route conversion in certain coverages was just absurd. They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed.

I mean, size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won. Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man.

Pro-friendly programs

NFL scouts talk about the best and worst programs to visit. That Alabama makes the list is not surprising at all. Having a pro background, and wanting to get his players as much information as possible, Saban has always had a friendly relationship with NFL front offices. It’s not just Saban though, other top-flight coaches with NFL experience [David Shaw (9 years) and Kirk Gerentz (7 years)] also play nice. And the scouts make another important point: Playing nice with the scouts sells recruits too.

You look at Nick Saban at Alabama, David Shaw at Stanford, Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, three of the top,” Dimitroff said. “Fantastic, approachable, provide us, we provide them, it works out well, they’re top-notch programs, continue to win, and it’s beneficial for their players.

Next-wave defense?

Soon, the form tackle could be a relic of the past as it yields to the rugby tackle. While not a satisfying kill-shot, the defender maintains inside leverage resulting in surer tackling. After watching some of Alabama’s clips the past two seasons, and Ohio State’s 2014 run, especially in the secondary, you see more of what Diaz is talking about below.

This video may do more for this game’s future than anything else,” Diaz said. “With no incentive competitively, other than for the game he loves, they put out the video on how to teach tackling, the rugby, leverage shoulder-style of tackling.

“We sat there as a defensive staff. Man, some of this stuff goes against the way you were taught how to tackle from peewee football. But it takes the head out of the tackle. Furthermore, it’s more sound because of keeping leverage of the football, keeping the ball on your inside pad at all times.”

Degenerate gambler

Alabama finds itself favored in three of its biggest games of the 2017-18 season, according to odds released Monday, with 95 days until the first Saturday of college football season.

The South Point casino in Las Vegas has Alabama as a double-digit favorite against Texas A&M (10.5) and LSU (11) and a 3.5-point favorite against its in-state rival, the Auburn Tigers.

I love the LSU line. It’s gonna be a rebuilding year in Red Stick.

Alcohol sales, staff sizes, recruiting on the docket for SEC

There are some actually serious issues at stake in this year’s SEC meetings in Destin. You would expect to see the conference rally around the ability of programs to hire as many coordinators as they want to. Alcohol sales may actually finally gain traction too. The departure of Florida’s Jeremy Foley and Alabama’s Bill Battle removed two of the biggest impediments to this expanding revenue stream.