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Jumbo Package: Diggs, Lewis to sit for Citrus Bowl — and you can’t blame them

Shea Patterson catches a break.

Alabama v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

First thing’s first: who will not be playing in the Citrus Bowl. Trey Sanders is not being rushed back to action. So, he will be unavailable versus Michigan.

That’s probably not as much of a deal as the Tide being down three defensive starters, including: DJ Dale, its best pass rusher, and its most experienced DB. Two of those (Lewis and Diggs), have injury histories and are sitting out. Dale is list injured, however.

Miller Forristall, the Tide’s most consistent option in an underperforming tight end group is improving, and the oft-injured senior will probably play.

And, honestly, I don’t have any problem with any of these calls: Dale isn’t responding well to treatment; there’s no point in rushing Sanders on to the field; Lewis and Diggs have significant injury histories that have cost them entire seasons. This is the rest of their life and a (relatively) meaningless game. Having seen Tua Tagovailoa potentially forfeit tens of millions of dollars in a freak injury, and their own pasts, can you blame them?

Nick Saban is aware of the history with his teams pulling a no-show when they are not involved in the national title picture. He doesn’t think motivation will be an issue with this group, but it something that he and the staff are mindful of:

What have you seen from the focus of this team entering a game that’s not in the playoff?

“Well, I think what the players need to understand, and I can’t tell you because today’s the first day I’ve seen them for two weeks because I’ve been recruiting every day. But the attitude was good today, the energy was good today. But I can’t tell you. I can just tell you the last two times that we’ve been in this situation, whether it was to play Utah or to play Oklahoma, the other team sure had more to prove in the game than we did, and the results certainly showed it. So hopefully, we need to learn something from those experiences, as well.”

The full verbatim transcript is right heya’.

The Early Signing Period is fast approaching, and one ‘Bama target, five-star WR Rakim Jarrett, won’t be signing early. That gives Saban and Co. time to try and flip the LSU commit.

Rodney Orr has the Crystal Ball projection for Alabama’s ESP targets right here. Great stuff.

Is this the year that Kristy Curry finally turns the corner? Upending UNC at home was a big boost, and on sparked in no small measure by Brittany Davis. Davis is shooting 40% from downtown, and after having a career day against the Tarheels, she was the WBB national player of the week:

After dropping a career-high 23 points in Alabama’s 83-77 win over UNC on Sunday, sophomore guard Brittany Davis was named the National Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. Davis shot an impressive 10-of-12 from the floor, including a 3-of-5 clip from beyond the arc. She also added a career high five rebounds in the victory.

Roll Tide, Brittany

This is interesting too. Ranier Sabin, who spent 3 years on the beat for, now works the Detroit Free Press. In a Freep interview, he touches on a lot of the differences between the programs, whether Dad Pants is on the hot seat in Ann Arbor, and previews the Michigan Wolverines.

Rainer also joined The Game with Ryan Fowler to give a detailed preview of the Michigan Wolverines ahead of the Citrus Bowl.

SI’s complete High School All-American offensive team was released on Monday, and Alabama is well-represented with three players — including NPOY, Bryce Young.

Now, if only Saban could flip Arik Gilbert, a move that still frankly baffles me.

Alabama basketball debuted at No. 96 in the first NET ratings. And, frankly, the 4-5 Crimson Tide have disappointed against the top quadrants — zero wins against Q1; 1-2 record against Q2, and then the really bad Q3 loss to Penn.

This team needs to get healthy and then do some solid work in SEC play to make the postseason.

Good story here on the SEC’s expiring deal with CBS. It is not at all out of the realm of possibility that Alabama football has a new home on a new family of networks soon:

The most valuable property in sports television is undoubtedly the NFL. You’d be hard pressed to find a TV executive who bought NFL rights and lived to regret it, no matter the price.

But the best value in the sports television landscape is, without question, the SEC on CBS. For the pennies-on-the-dollar price of $55 million a year, CBS owns the right to broadcast the biggest SEC game each week to a national audience. This arrangement, in place since 2001, has worked wonders for both parties — CBS turned the SEC into a national conference, while the SEC delivered tens of millions of viewers at a bargain basement price.

Greg Sankey is going to make someone pay through the nose.

Are we one step closer to a full split between the Group of Five and the Power Five? The Knight Commission’s select report makes that case that it time to consider it:

The Knight Commission has called for a restructuring of college sports in response to the “highly commercialized environment” of major-college football and basketball. In a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert, the reform-minded commission emphasized the need to explore “alternative structures for Division I college sports.”

Last week, Knight Commission co-chair Arne Duncan suggested “big-revenue athletics programs” might be placed in a different division outside of NCAA oversight.

”Just let them play by a different set of rules -- and be up front about it and be honest,” said Duncan, a former U.S. Secretary of Education. Duncan went on to say the NCAA currently is “overwhelmed,” adding that the association had become “irrelevant” in the wake of the FBI basketball scandal.


Given the money and paraprofessional atmosphere, should the Power Five have a super-tier of NCAA play, subject to a different set of rules than the remainder of NCAA programs?

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