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Jumbo Package: Did Men’s Basketball get new uniforms?!

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MBB drops jersey numbers, and perhaps a surprise

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Yesterday, Men’s Basketball released jersey numbers for the 2019-2020 team. You can see those below:

But, we’re burying the lede here a bit. Is Alabama getting new kit for the season? Several commented yesterday that the uniform looks cleaner, that the numbers pop, that the jerseys are overall more legible.

Is this a trick of graphic design or is ‘Bama updating the oft-criticized uniform of the past few years — and let’s face it, those post-2017 jerseys were some Big Lots Arkansas looking crap.

(C’mon, it’s the offseason. Gotta’ talk about something.)

NOM NOM NOM NOM.

MOAR RAT POISON.

USA Today thinks Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the best in the game. The publication recently released its list of the best passers in college football, and it’s hard to argue with the top spots.

Lawrence came in first, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was second, Oregon’s Justin Herbert was third, Sam Ehlinger of Texas was fourth and Georgia passer Jake Fromm was fifth.

Emphasis mine.

I want to keep reading stories this for another 60 days — you’re second-fiddle, Tua. Clemson is better than you, Alabama. The Tiger wideouts own you, PSII. I want to see a truly angry team on a fifteen-game mission. I want to see the foul pudding that the fruits of hubris baked.

I want pain.

NOM NOM NOM NOM.

This was not at all unexpected, if you’ve been following the crootin’ circuit over the past few weeks:

One of Alabama’s longtime commits has decommitted.

Four-star Hewitt-Trussville wide receiver Dazalin Worsham decommitted from the Crimson Tide on Tuesday.

In one respect, it kind of stinks. Worsham was Super Gump for so long and really wanted to be here. But, the Tide’s WR class and existing depth for 2020 and beyond is so loaded already, that he may have spent a few years playing second fiddle. Dazalin went to Miami on an OV last week, and there’s no doubt that he enjoyed what he was sold on his trip — particularly for a team that has almost no proven wideouts...and well, South Beach has a lot to offer an 18-year-old boy. He’ll almost certainly be a ‘Cane commit in a few weeks.

One thing that we hope happened was that this was just Worsham looking at the depth chart, and that this was not an acrimonious split. Hewitt-Trussville has sent quality players to Tuscaloosa the last few years; no need in torching that emergent pipeline.

Saban has become the Gold Star for coaching references, at least in the collegiate ranks. We’ve already had TTU’s Chris Beard dropping “The Process” references instead of name-checking Coach K, and now it’s Vandy players drawing the same comparison to their outstanding skipper, Tim Corbin:

Shortly after Vanderbilt won the College World Series on Wednesday by defeating Michigan, 8-2, freshman pitcher Kumar Rocker was asked what he wanted to say to his head coach, Tim Corbin.

In a postgame interview with the SEC Network, the son of Tennessee defensive line coach and Auburn alum Tracy Rocker compared his baseball coach to Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.

”I said it earlier in an interview, he’s the GOAT,” Rocker said. “He’s like Saban, he’s got it.”

BTW: I totes called this outcome on Twitter — Rocker would shutdown UM in Game 2, and Vandy would pound the thin Meat Chicken pitching staff in a Game 3.

BOL continues its breakdown of opposing players to watch. And, as with any CUSA/AAC team, when the Tide faces off against Southern Miss, then quarterback play will be determinative:

Here’s a look at five Southern Miss players to be familiar with by Saturday, Sept. 21.

Quarterbacks Jack Abraham, Tate Whatley

Abraham, a redshirt junior, returns after starting nine games and completing 73.1 percent of his passes, which led the nation, for 2,347 yards. In Southern Miss’ spring game, he was 18-of-27 for 191 yards. Whatley also had quality time as a true freshman, playing in six games and starting against Marshall, UAB and Louisiana Tech. He went 42-for-75 for 451 yards and four touchdowns but also showed dual-threat ability with 162 rushing yards and three scores. In the spring game, Whatley completed nine of his 15 passes for 203 yards and his team’s lone touchdown.

New offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner could use both quarterbacks this fall, though Abraham is the most likely to start. Still, Alabama fans should expect to see both players in Week 3.

If you’ve not seen USM play in the last couple of years, they have a very businesslike east-west control-passing game originally installed by Todd Monken — think “Clemson” or “Washington State.” And, all of those short routes will require discipline by the Tide DBs, particularly in making tackles after the reception.

Interesting story by Ben Kercheval at CBS Sports:

I asked around the coaching fraternity and some fellow beat writers -- a special thanks go to Football Scoop and Chris Vannini of The Athletic, among others -- to rattle off some names who could be the next “it” coach.

Lo and behold, whose name appears on here? None other than Alabama’s new defensive coordinator:

Alabama DC/ILB coach Pete Golding: This is a name who came up more than once among the people I spoke with. One person described Golding as having “Jimbo Fisher vibes.”

Full piece is here.

With all the talent Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has, 2018 didn’t finish the way he or any Alabama fan had hoped. With all the motivation he and his teammates take into the 2019 season, what, if anything, must Tagovailoa change about his game?

Tony Barnhart of the SEC Network joined The Game with Ryan Fowler and gave his thoughts on what Tua Tagovailoa must do to lead the Crimson Tide to the postseason.

This is an interesting proposal from the no-politics-but-politics department:

Under the current policy — which was passed by the Trump administration in 2017 — athletes at military academies have to serve two years of active duty before they can play professional sports.

Trump wants to alter that proposal because he feels athletes only have a short time to “take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible.”

I’ve not really given the issue much thought, considering that a marginal active duty requirement has been around basically my entire life. I can see both sides of it, I suppose. But, I imagine the feasibility will come down to how much the Brass push back. While it is true there is a short shelf life for professional athletes, the service academies have sunk a ton of resources into these grads, the armed services ain’t exactly a desk job. And the folks at the Pentagon probably don’t want to inherit a soldier or sailor or airman who has been chewed up by NFL OTAs or an 82-game NBA schedule.

Spitball prediction? In the end, institutional inertia proves too strong to overcome. It may be a decent idea, but some bean counter at the Army will drop a 13-point list of why it will cost the US too much money, and it goes nowhere.

And, lastly, in the “Say what?” department: Are you ready for Senator Tommy Tuberville?

Tubs is leading the GOP field for the 2020 Senate race...by a whole lot.

AL SEN GOP primary poll (Cygnal): Tommy Tuberville 29, Bradley Byrne 21, Roy Moore 13, John Merrill 12, Arnold Mooney 2

Usual caveats about “it’s too early in the race” aside, if TT wins the Republican bid it will raise a thorny issue for 64% of Alabama voters: Democrat or Barner?

...We call that the “Alabama Voter Sophie’s Choice.”

In any event, the stories that come out of this race have the potential to be amazingly nutty. Grab your popcorn. SI has the full story here.