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Jumbo Package: Alabama Football fall camp opens today -- do your happy dance

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines: Another season has begun.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Days
Best overall player in the country? I think so.
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Before we start, just a quick note on something I’m doing different this year. I created a Story Stream, much like the ones we made for recruiting and Spring camp, to be used for the 2017 football season.

If you want to go back and make sure you’ve read everything for a given week, or look back through game threads, Q&A’s, etc. everything will be there and catalogued on the front page.

As usual, we begin our Fall coverage with a general overview, and then we start our unit reviews, previews and depth chart breakdowns. Friday, in a pleasant change, we’ll start with the unit that lately has come last -- the Quarterbacks.

That said, here’s what others are saying:

#BuckleUp: Tomorrow men’s basketball leaves for Canada and a three-game trip in two cities in the Frozen North. We covered the wildly successful open practice, update injuries, and hit you with the schedule and how to watch the games live. Go read that if you’ve not.

The fine beat writers at AL take their stab at a depth chart. Note, we’re not using those two words around Saban.

More under-the radar players for 2017. We have our own opinions, of course. But this isn’t a bad start, even if there’s no such thing as an “under the radar player” at Alabama.

Last night, we were on SBNation/Yahoo Sports Radio when we got hit with the question about whether that one second is going to be a driving force behind this season. I said that obviously it’s in their minds, but that it was other breakdowns, in ways large and small, things that cost that game even if “one second” is a mantra of sorts. Today, takes a look at that mentality and how the Tide is approaching this season.

Here’s our appearance:

Chris Vannini is folding Coaching Search.As with so many other writers that have been laid off or poached, he is joining the exclusive paywall service at The All-American. If there’s a better collection of talent under one roof for collegiate sports, I’ve not seen it yet.

A look at how the College Football Playoff has changed the entire landscape. FWIW, I think the changes in-season have been minimal. Yes, we get somewhat improved regular season scheduling and there is a bit more midseason hype and weekly overreaction. The negatives that I do see, aside from the ever-present playoff creep, has been shutting out the little guys from quality bowls. Boise State or Bowling Green had a shot to knock off a Top-4 team in the past: that will never happen under a four-team scheme -- we’ve just consolidated the big payoffs with the “haves” of the world. In the end, it was always about a cash grab: We get to the same place with a plus-one using the BCS formula instead of the Grand Poobah and His Council of Sagacious Elders. Is that a better thing? In the end it’s probably an immaterial thing: 2008 Utahs don’t come around very often.

Speaking of changes, participation in youth and high school football is down. And, no wonder, with more and more data suggesting the very act of playing the sport can wrought permanent neurological damage. Van Pelt focuses on that end. Me, being a doomsayer, would like to point out the related but ignored corrollary issue here: Without development at the youth and high school level, we’re going to see increasingly poor fundamentals and, very possibly, other injuries increase. You cannot practice at half-speed and expect those two factors to not be impacted.

The WWL breaks down Heisman Odds for 11 contenders in 2017.

The Chiz and SEC-Network look at Bama’s depth issues for the coming season.

Sporting News looks at the Top QBs for 2017., and they pose 17 questions in ‘17 (which is a pity, since I’m working on piece with that exact title. Damn you, Big Footbaw!)

Finally, CB has the Preseason Coaches Poll up.


Whew. That was a lot. Go forth to evil. Roll Tide