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Jumbo Package: Major Applewhite reportedly rejoining ‘Bama staff

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Nick Saban’s Second Chance Home for Wayward Coaches snags another.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start today with a big ole’ hell yeah! for the Swimming and Diving teams:

For the second night in a row the Alabama swimming and diving men broke a Southeastern Conference record on the way to an SEC relay title, while also adding an individual title at the SEC Championships, being held in Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., this week.

There’s a gallery of that natatorium action here: http://rolltide.com/galleries/?image=164092

#SwimSchool

I see in the ole’ editorial queue that CB969 has a piece in the works re: ‘Bama NFL players facing a critical year in free agency. One that is heating up quicker than we can type it, is the rapidly deteriorating New York Giants / Landon Collins situation. It looks the G-Men are contemplating a full-on tank: no solid QB behind Eli Manning, trades along the offensive line, OBJ trade discussions, and now this — after Collins begged to be a Giant for life, his contract was not renewed. It doesn’t seem (on his end, at least), that Collins will be leaving with smile on his face or a lot of regard for how he was treated through the process:

Just moments after it was reported that Landon Collins’ contract with the Giants wouldn’t be renewed, he seemed to confirm it with a tweet.

Earlier today, Josina Anderson reported that Collins was “cleaning out his locker” at the New York Giants’ headquarters, and she speculated that he wouldn’t be a Giant for much longer

LET’S TALK ‘CROOTIN:

Here’s the always-thoughful Andrew Bone with his crootin’ update (primarily recapping Tuscaloosa’s Junior Day).

And The Opening’s South Florida event is this Sunday. Up to 100 prospects will be on hand. Given the fertile area, quite a few Tide targets are there. Here’s an excerpt from the lengthy piece via Bud:

Miami (Fla.) Carol City WR Thaiu Jones-Bell is a current three-star recruit who has been lighting the showcase world on fire in the last 10 weeks, including Sunday and the Pylon Orlando 7v7 tournament. He has adequate size at 5’11, and his acceleration is excellent. His recent offers include FSU, Miami, Alabama, LSU, Oregon, and Tennessee. The buzz around camp was that he’ll end up at Alabama.

Bless BOL, who churned out a complete roster of who’s returning after transfers and dismissals, graduations and defections:

So, can we call this a Major change (don’t groan at my Dad Joke game)

Major Applewhite is reportedly returning to Alabama to become the latest addition to the Nick Saban Coaches Convention and Career Center. AL.com reports that Applewhite, who in December was fired as Houston’s coach after just two full seasons, will return to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and join the Crimson Tide staff as an analyst.

Applewhite has a previous connection to Alabama as Saban’s first offensive coordinator in 2007. Applewhite left after one season to take an assistant position with Texas, his alma mater. Officially, Alabama has not yet confirmed the hire.

Applewhite didn’t leave on such great terms his first tenure. But, hell, Lance Thompson has been hired and fired/quit three different times in a dozen years. Saban is nothing if not infinitely malleable in whether he will hold a grudge towards a talented coach/recruiter.

A look from the outside at ‘Bama’s new staff:

No one endures staff turnover as gracefully as Nick Saban, and the Alabama head coach will spend this offseason breaking in seven on-field assistants who weren’t part of his program last season as the Crimson Tide made their run to the national title game.

That’s not to say this process doesn’t provide an annual source of pressure on Saban

The general consensus is that the new staff has only reinforced respect for Saban’s ability to build a program.

/PARACHUTES IN TO TALK NFL DRAFT

Here’s a prospectus for ‘Bama players in these pre-combine days of the 2019 NFL Draft 2019. Also, Miller takes atTua Tagovailoa’s fortunes in 2020. Can he/will he be the No. 1 overall pick?

Where does Alabama hoops stand for an NCAA bid? I’d wager somewhere between “possum on the side of the road” and “Old Yeller in the barn.” But, I’m a pessimist. Ranier Sabin takes a closer look at ‘Bama Bracketology

At 15-11, the recent skid has the Crimson Tide now has a losing record (6-7) in the SEC.

What does this all mean?

Alabama now sits at No. 53 in the NET rankings used by the NCAA selection committee. Before losing three straight, it was No. 43. This is the first year of the NET, but in the past, power conference teams in the 40s were pretty much a lock to make the 68-team field.

There is less certainty in the 50s. There are outliers like USC last season who missed out at No. 33 in the RPI. The same Trojan program made it in at No. 67 in 2011.

Earlier yesterday, it was reported that Nick Saban lost a pair of his support staffers.

Brendan Farrell and August Mangin, who were special teams analysts for Alabama, are no longer with the program, AL.com has learned.

Then, later yesterday, the Tide lost a third analyst:

The Carolina Panthers have hired Crimson Tide offensive analyst Jake Peetz as their running backs coach, the team announced Wednesday.

Bill Bender has a great sit-down with Greg McElroy on the 2019 Alabama Football teams.

There’s some substantive stuff in here, even if G-Mac is just dead wrong: This team is not moving back to the clock control, 5-yard offense. I do expect the Tide staff to do a better job protecting the defense this year, but paleoball is dead in 2019 (with my apologies to LSU and Michigan).

Does that mean Saban will shift the Crimson Tide’s offensive philosophy?

”Not really,” McElroy said. “He just wants to bring in guys that are familiar with philosophy of the organization. Sark is a guy that he clearly thinks highly of, and a guy that can bring the best out of Tua.”

McElroy said it’s too early to tell what that will mean for the offense before spring practice. Still, he speculated on what that might mean for Tagovailoa, who finished with 3,966 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions last season.

”I would expect it to have some similar philosophies and wrinkles, but I would also expect more traditional dropback passing,” McElroy said. “They are still going to use the RPOs and the things that made Tua successful, but I would expect a little more of the traditional West Coast offense that they got away from last year.”

Methinks Greg misses the days when a sweet 11-yard hook to Colin Peek was a deep route.

But, for those keeping track, that’s now six offensive coordinators under the Nicktator.

Finally...enjoy this slice of WTF.

Everyone knows fantasy football is a bit more fun when the stakes are high. But sometimes, those stakes can go a bit too far.

Enter Steven Shrout. He had the misfortune of finishing last in his fantasy football league, in large part because he chose Le’Veon Bell with his first-round pick, and was given the choice of either paying $250 as punishment or covering himself in peanut butter and going to a dog park.

“Punishment” eh? Sounds like foreplay in Lee County.

There ya’ are folks. Plenty to talk about. Have a great day and roll tide.