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Jumbo Package: The Big 10 is mad about being Snow White and the 13 Dwarves

The solution is for the Big 10 to have more than one good team, but don’t tell Barry Alvarez and Jim Delaney that.

Outback Bowl Wisconsin v Auburn
The only things the Big 10 agree on are whining and getting the ‘beetus
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images
  1. This is extremely cool.
  2. It is only a matter of time until Cole Price, the aggressive trademark licensing lackey Bill Battle brought over from the CLC, sends out the cease and desist letters :(

Gump deliciously while you can: The University has a history of hating fun things.

Last week, 247 took their stab at a two-deep following Spring. Today, AL gives it a go.

This group is almost completely intact from last season. Only reserve Derek Kief graduated from 2018 and everyone is a year more experienced. There’s no questioning the receivers will be the strength of Alabama’s roster when paired with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. True freshman John Metchie had a strong spring so it’ll be interesting to see how much time he’d see with four all-conference level players returning at receiver.

Keep an eye on this guy.

Alabama is in the top five for one of its top defensive line targets in the 2020 class.

Four-star defensive end Zykeivous Walker of Ellaville (Ga.) Schley County released his finalists on Wednesday.

Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee all made the cut in no particular order.

I really like Walker’s game. Georgia’s 4A defensive player of the year, his sacks get the attention, but I’m honestly more impressed by his discipline. He has enough strength to defeat double teams, stands up defenders one-on-one and then blows up running plays, and he’s very aware on the line — he gets lateral across the LOS and then makes the play. Jonathan Allen is a very good recent comparison. He will need some polish and to work on his explosion, but there’s a lot of potential here.


Reichard, a three-star prospect from Hoover, was ranked the No. 1 kicker in the 2019 class, and there is some optimism that he could be the antidote to Alabama’s kicking woes.

“I think the guy’s a really talented guy,” Saban said last December. “I mean, he’s a really good person, hard worker, really good specialist in all regards. He can punt. He’s a really good kicker.”

But until last Saturday, the viewing public had yet to get a glimpse of Reichard, whose work behind closed doors drew praise from Saban on March 30, when the head coach noted he performed well in the first scrimmage of the spring.

Glowing profile of Reichard from Sabin at AL, with a headline that could not be more calculated to hex the kicking game if it tried: “One Alabama freshman offers hope for one of Tide’s biggest problems.”

Welp, the hope was nice while it lasted. This is worse than talking to a pitcher in the 8th inning of a no-hitter, or the Madden Cover curse, or touching the Stanley Cup before you’ve won it: failure is sure to follow now.

We’re about to fight, John Brannen. I had you on my second-tier of coaching candidates, along with the man you are trying to steal from the very university that gave you your big coaching break.

Sources have told that John Brannen is trying to hire Antoine Pettway, and making it as difficult as possible for the former Crimson Tide player to say no. The offered incentives are thought to include both more money and better job title.

Pettway was given a raise from $210,000 to $275,000 in 2017, and was bumped up to $281,875.08 last year, with his contract running through the 2019-20 season.

I know that Coach Oats brought his own recruiting specialist over from Buffalo. But Pettway is one of ours. It doesn’t get much more Alabama than Antoine Pettway.

The 2019 National Recruiter of the Year from Alberta, Pettway is a ‘Bama alum who came to campus with an academic scholarship, walked-on to Mark Gottfried’s squad, started at the point for three seasons. And he is partially responsible for some of the best moments in Alabama Basketball history, leading the Tide to an Elite 8 appearance. He even marriedfellow Alabama alum, Kim Minor — from nearby Starkvegas.

If this is a matter of money, the Tide can afford it. If it’s a matter of a job title, slap Senior Assistant Head Coach on there. If it’s about Pettway’s future promotion, then it’s hard to argue that a great showing on Oats’ staff in a loaded SEC will attract far more attention than a 20-win season at Cincy in a weak AAC.

Whatever it takes, Alabama needs to retain Pettway — no one knows the region better, and few close the deal as well. His loss would be nothing short of a serious setback for a ‘Bama hoops program that is starting to trend upwards in every possible way. Let’s hope the Tide’s deep pockets and all of his Crimson and White connections make the difference. Pettway will get his shot one day very soon. But in the meantime, let’s make sure that launching pad is in Coleman Coliseum.

BOL is recapping the Tide’s Spring performance. Up today: running backs.

Overall, Saban was satisfied with his top-two options out of the backfield. The 13th-year head coach sang Harris and Robinson’s praises all spring long, and that was expected given Harris’ usage last year and the promise Robinson showed in his opportunities as a reserve. He was also complimentary of Ford and Townsend. But Saban left to door open for one of the Tide’s two summer enrollees to come and compete for the No. 3 spot in the rotation during the preseason. is partnering with Deionte Thompson for its “Road to the Pros” series. Yesterday, Episode One dropped.

The full story is here.

We’ve fumed about the Big 10’s true playoff motives before: in a perfect world, in their envisioned Pax Ranchicana, they’d prefer the CFP to be a participation trophy affair where teams from every geographic region get on to the stage. And they are joined in this pursuit by the Meth Belt’s Bob Bowlsby.

Among the cheerleaders, former Wisconsin coach/AD Barry Alvarez has been particularly obnoxious, saying the quiet part out loud often.

“When our league is left out of the Playoff three years in a row, I’m not happy about that. I don’t think we have followed the criteria set by the commissioners in naming those four teams.”

He got even worse yesterday, explicitly stating the reason the Big 10 favors expansion is because the league was omitted the last three seasons — he wants to modify the existing contract to get there.

“There’s a way you could go to eight teams very easily, starting a week early with a bye with the top 4 seeds. Any team would have a chance to win. I think it will expand, I just don’t know when.”

Alvarez said the current CFP contract isn’t an excuse to look at expansion.

It ultimately comes down to this: The Big 10 is one dominant and incredibly flawed team that everyone chases. I know transitives aren’t the best way to compare this, but your league champion suffering 30-point losses to unranked teams in back-to-back seasons isn’t favorable. Nor is the team that handed you a 35 point-loss in turn getting blown out by a pedestrian SEC team that could have literally hit 100 points. The chasm is vast, and until the rest of the league catches up and earns some clout on the field, the margin of error for the B1G representative is razor-thin. Better play, not expansion, is the solution here.

The link to our editorial above has plenty more on the playoff creep propounded by the perpetual bridesmaid conferences with just one dominant program. The rest of the ACC had to catch up with Florida State — they did. The rest of the country had to catch up with Alabama — and, to some extent, the game evolved to beat the Tide. So too must the B1G and B12 catch up to Oklahoma and Ohio State.