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Jumbo Package: SMU meets Boo Radley — the Ole Miss case takes a sleazy turn

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Auburn v Mississippi Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Red zone playcalling...Alabama was not great

First, it’s clear that the triple-option is king in the red zone. Navy, Georgia Tech, Army and New Mexico make up four of the top five, and Air Force is not far behind. That also makes Florida State and Jimbo Fisher even more impressive.

Insightful stuff here on red zone play-callers. As the CS article points out, the option rules the ground and ultimately the end zone. Navy’s two-year year record, for instance, hovers at nearly 80%, which is impressive even if you’re getting jobbed by a vicious, foul-mouthed 13-year old on XBox. Lane Kiffin, who has fielded teams in the top 20 in yards, scoring average, yards per game, yards per play, and the like the last three seasons didn’t even make the Top 20 when it came to cashing in on Alabama’s red zone opportunities. [When we say #RTDB, Lane, we don’t mean jet sweep on first and goal from the three. Seriously, I hope I never see that play again as long as I live.]

This is why you shouldn’t dump on student-athletes.

There’s a long-standing rule here at RBR about not taking a run at presently-enrolled kids trying to earn a degree or a path towards an athletics career. They are, at best, semi-professionals. And, for the vast majority they are what the name implies: Students who earn a degree with athletic prowess. When the kids leave the program and have become pros with the Ravens or Kinko’s, then it’s fine.

Tennessee’s Jonathan Crompton is Exhibit A why it’s a bad idea:

Speaking with the Chattanooga Times Free Press at a football camp, Crompton recalled the vicious treatment he and his family received while he was playing for the team. In short, it's left him with a "bad taste" that has been tough to shake -- try as he might.

"I've only been back to Tennessee twice for games since I left," Crompton said. "'Animosity' is probably the best word for how I felt for a long time. I know it wasn't the majority of the fans, but there were enough examples that it really left a bad taste in my mouth. And I don't want to have that bad taste toward my alma mater anymore. I really don't...I developed a genuine dislike for that place. I'm not sure how to fix that, but there are so many people still there that I love and respect and would love to see.

Ouch. This isn’t limited to Tennessee either, though Crompton has the least to lose. Every time an overly-invested adult acts like a jerk to these kids, word gets out and gets around. Besides being injurious to the players themselves, it damages the reputation and recruiting ability of the very programs meatheads purport to love.That story is brutal, by the way. It’s enough to almost make you feel bad for a Vawl. Just don’t do it.

SMU, but even dumber.

This damned NCAA case is going to tear the Magnolia State apart.

Lawyers representing Rebel Rags, a retail store in Oxford, Mississippi, filed a civil lawsuit in Lafayette County (Mississippi) Superior Court on Friday against Mississippi State freshmen Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones and Lindsey Miller, Tunsil's estranged stepfather.

The lawsuit accuses the trio and other unnamed defendants of making false statements to NCAA investigators "intentionally, maliciously and/or with reckless disregard for the consequences of their actions" and causing "economic and reputational damage to the plaintiff."

Remember: Ole Miss already outed one student athlete in their response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations. This lawsuit similarly names Leo Lewis, but to that also outs Kobe Jones (and Tunsil’s stepdad.) Rebel Rags, which has purported #network ties to the Rebels, of course is refuting its involvement. But, by naming the State players before the COI has even had a hearing much less a ruling, the pattern of intimidation is emerging; one plainly being waged by Ole Miss and its surrogates in a very small state with a very long memory. This lawsuit and the coy “slip” in the response were opportunities to out some now-Bulldogs and turn the heat up on them in anticipation of that hearing and any appeals. It’s as bush league against the kids as it is a hardball move by jilted lovers adults seeking some good ole CYA for a football program that allegedly cheated like SMU but has the smooth dance moves of Boo Radley.

Get your popcorn...then take a hot shower. The sleaze has only begun to fly.

Minkah calls it like it is.

Alabama players aren’t supposed to publicly talk about huge games on the calendar, or openly aspire to make the playoffs or win championships. It’s anathema to The Process. UT Chattanooga must publicly receive the same lip service and alleged attention to detail that some like LSU must be accorded. It’s a very buttoned-up, professional model of practice and preparation and presentations.

That’s why, when the huge No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the Noles and Tide came up, it was refreshing to hear Minkah Fitzpatrick openly air the season goals: FSU, championships, playoffs. To FSU’s credit, they’re not backing down on this one either.

It’s a huge game.

If Florida State-Alabama isn't one of the biggest season openers ever, it's in the red zone of the discussion.

"This is probably going to be -- if not the biggest -- one of the biggest games for us besides the playoffs and championships," said Alabama Crimson Tide All-American defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick .

"Of course it's different, man," FSU safety Derwin James said. "When you say, 'Alabama,' you know what kind of team you're going to play. They come with it."

Dodd breaks down the magnitude of the game, here.

Eatie Lacy made $55,000 yesterday for staying away from “the China food” and making his Seahawk weight limit of 250 pounds. It was his second weigh-in and he’s met both. Pete Carroll has reportedly wanted Lacy closer to a 245-250 playing weight (“big but not too big.”) Lacy has 5 more weigh-ins as the off-season progresses and what he hopes will be a redemption season begins.

Kudos

Tony Brown burned up the asphalt this past week, becoming a three-year, four-time All-American in T/F.

Alabama cornerback Tony Brown was one of 24 Crimson Tide track & field athletes to receive All-America honors at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon.

Brown earned second-team All-America honors in the 100 meters and 4x100-meter relay.

Brown earned first-team All-America honors in 2015 (4x100 relay) and 2016 (110-meter hurdles).

Alabama is predicted to finish first in the AL.com poll of the SEC West. Shocking, I know.

As badly as Auburn wants to get to the East, Mizzou is just as happy to avoid the division with LSU, A&M, Alabama, Auburn etc., saying, in essence, “nah, we’re good.”

That’s it for now. Row Tahd, Pawwwwl.

BUT, chime in below on why you think Alabama’s red zone offense suffered, even as the Tide’s overall offense improved exponentially in most categories.