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Jumbo Package: Shakeup coming for the SEC’s bowl tie-ins?

And if Alabama ever plays in them, you have our permission to be very, very sad.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Louisiana State vs Central Florida


Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Torres has been a Nate Oats stan from the get-go. The Fox Sports analyst joined Ryan Fowler yesterday to double-dip with Alabama football and Nate Oats — including Bama’s 5-star big pickup, Jahvon Quinerly. You did read CB’s coverage of that, right?

FOX Sports college football and basketball analyst Aaron Torres joined The Game with Ryan Fowler to discuss if Alabama will be challenged in the regular season, how frustrating is it for the other coaches in the SEC because they can’t overtake Nick Saban in the conference, and is there still Bama fatigue in college football

He also discussed Nate Oats getting former five star and Villanova transfer guard Jahvon Quinerly and if Oats a better fit for the Crimson Tide than Avery Johnson.

As an aside, I knew Aaron Torres a decade ago, when he still writing UConn fan posts in his bedroom. From there, he went to self-publishing a nice book about those selfsame Huskies, to bouncing between various sites and media outlets. The kid has really busted his butt for a long time to get a break. And, even if it Fox, it’s good to see hard work pay off — even if we don’t necessarily agree on most points.

It was the Tide’s “Leadership Day” yesterday, A/K/A very large men on jet skis giggling like children and devouring Miss Terry’s cooking at Nick Saban’s palatial digs on Lake Tuscaloosa:

Alabama’s leaders -- and Nick Saban -- had some fun in the middle of summer workouts.

The Crimson Tide’s leadership group spent time out on the lake with Saban over the weekend as a part of the team’s annual Leadership Team Lake Day, riding jet skis and inner tubes near Saban’s Tuscaloosa, Ala., residence. And Alabama’s video team captured some moments from out on the water, sharing them via Twitter on Monday afternoon.

Some of the players featured in the video were Tua Tagovailoa, Anfernee Jennings, Miller Forristall, Matt Womack, Thomas Fletcher, Henry Ruggs III, Xavier McKinney, Trevon Diggs, Raekwon Davis, Dylan Moses and Patrick Surtain II.

These are always fun videos.

Andy Staples has heard from #Sauces a potential rule change that may be coming down the pipe: making scholarship offers public.

Presently, the NCAA’s rules regarding offer and acceptance were made in the snail mail era — to minimize the impact that media coverage of the big boys would have to drown out smaller programs. While the rules have been somewhat relaxed with modern media, the system still imposes a gag order on programs until and only if the recruit receives a tendered offer in December. The player is free to publicly acknowledge the offer at any time.

I’m not sure that I buy any of the reasons he and others have suggested for changing it, nor that any speculative benefits necessarily outweigh the original reasoning all those years: The reasons given for the initial rule (namely, to promote some degree of parity for smaller programs) still exist.

Peruse any national CFB site and you’ll see story after story of a Texas or a USC or a Tennessee offering a player, and story after story of a given player committing to the same; rarely are these same outlets citing the three-star who commits to Temple over Maryland. In short, the major players are still getting a bump from the media and are still getting recruiting oxygen even under the present rules. I’m not at all sure that very publicly publicizing what are, in effect, preliminary contract negotiations gets us past the underlying rationale for the rule in the first place.

What do you think?

Today’s Main Thought

If Brett McMurphy is correct, and he’s had a good track record lately, we’re about to see a major-ish shakeup in the SEC’s bowl tie-ins:

The next college football bowl cycle is going to have some major changes.

Stadium’s Brett McMurphy revealed the new Power Five conference bowl tie-ins on Monday. Among the significant changes, which go into effect beginning with the 2020 season, are the SEC’s new affiliations with the Las Vegas Bowl and Gasparilla Bowl.

Elsewhere, the Big Ten will reportedly add the Las Vegas Bowl and Belk Bowl to its itinerary while the Pac-12 sends one lucky team across the country to Shreveport to play in the Independence Bowl, replacing an SEC team.

So, the SEC ditches Shreveport for Vegas, where it will face the Big 10. The Belk Bowl ditches a blah-but-local ACC team for a Big 10 team that will square off against the SEC...because the Outback, Taxslayer, Music City, Vegas, and Citrus Bowls weren’t enough. And, in the Gasparilla Bowl, an SEC bottom feeder now has the option to play someone from the AAC, the ACC, or the C-USA (alternate conference picks include the MAC and Sun Belt.)

While I do appreciate shaking up the schedule, and particularly applaud the Gasparilla Bowl, it seems a shame that Sankey would send an SEC team all the way to Nevada, yet still not have a dedicated tie-in versus the P12 (or another matchup vs. the B12). Meanwhile, we will see at least five SEC vs. Big 10 matchups...and that doesn’t even include the playoffs.

I get it: The Big 10 and SEC are college football. The two largest, richest, most successful, regional super powers often find themselves on different ends of many off-field proposals and on-field results. Culturally, there’s little love lost between the Ohios and Michigans of the World vs. the Mississippis and Texases of the World...some things have been a constant since at least the Louisiana Purchase. But, at the same time, I don’t think we need to turn the bowl season into the Big 10/SEC Shootout.

The biggest winner in all of this, even if we as fans may be fatigued? The Belk Bowl in particular: anytime the Big 10 versus SEC is on the menu, it will generate clicks, page views, air time, eyeballs, and a few extra butts in seats. And, in the end, that may be what this comes down to. Bowls are non-profit corporate entities. With attendance declining, those bowls that can guarantee the most viable matchups in a decent location have the best chance of survival. You can always talk someone from Milwaukee or Eden Prairie into coming to the beach in winter...even if we viewers don’t find the same ole’ Florida-versus-Michigan bowl pairing that compelling. Of course, that benefits the conferences too: Jimmy Vol Fan Here may not be impressed by the $500,000 Gasparilla Bowl payout, but as an equal-revenue-sharing conference, the Commish and ADs sure do have a vested interest in the success of those second and third tier bowls.

So, go forth ye Arkansases of the world, woo pig sooie thy way to six wins. Coleman Coliseum needs you.

While I’m not particularly high on the team, TSN has the Sooners ranked all the way at No. 4. And a large reason why is Jalen Hurts vs. the B12 — and, you gotta’ admit, it will be funny watching those chumps trying to tackle that big bastard.

I kind of like this idea: Curbing the most abusive behavior of awful Little League parents who verbally harass players, coaches and officials — most of whom are unpaid volunteers.

Louisiana’s solution? Threaten to throw ‘em in the pokey.

Not a single thing is learned about teamwork, camaraderie, sportsmanship, discipline, the arbitrariness of a bad bounce, or respect for your opponent quite like a meathead rolling up the sleeves of his Ed Hardy shirt long enough to drop a cornucopia of vulgarity at a high school official or to shout anatomically-improbable suggestions to opposing coaches.

Showing your ass is a bad look, no matter your age and no matter how big of a deal you think you are.

This is a no-brainer: Chris Samuels is up for inclusion on the College Hall of Fame Ballot. The two-time All-American left tackle and Outland winner was a dominant force in college, the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft, and a decade-long stud for the Redskins. This won’t be the only Hall of Fame for which he’s considered for the six time All-Pro from Mobile.

E.J. Junior is also being considered. Junior was a stalwart linebacker on the last Bryant teams of the late 70s and early 80s. He went on to have a very productive NFL career (2x Pro Bowl) that didn’t even end until the early 90s.

Alabama’s TF athletes are gearing up for Nationals, and it is a large and eclectic bunch we are sending to Austin:

Alabama has 22 student-athletes set to compete at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 5-8 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas on the University of Texas campus.

Of the Crimson Tide’s 22, 19 qualified in individual events, while three are part of the women’s relay pool. The 22 in Austin includes six making their debut at the NCAA Division I Championships. Overall, those in attendance at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships will have 64 NCAA D-I Championship appearances between them, including indoor, outdoor and cross country.

The Crimson Tide has 25 scoring opportunities at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The UA women’s 16 scoring opportunities (14 individual and two relays) ranks second among the teams in Austin, just one behind Arkansas. The Tide has a diverse lineup at the championships, with student-athletes competing in the sprints, jumps, throws, hurdles and relays over the four-day competition.

Much more at this link from the U of A...Best of luck to all of our Sprintin’, Tossin’, Leapin’, Hurdlin’, Vaultin’, Hammerin’ Bammers.

(I may be able to talk one of you into previewing and recapping Nationals...hint, hint.)

And, here’s your discussion question for the day:


What conference would you like to see more SEC matchups against:

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Independents (Army, Notre Dame, etc.)
    (22 votes)
  • 10%
    (42 votes)
  • 14%
    Big 10
    (62 votes)
  • 15%
    Big 12
    (65 votes)
  • 1%
    Group of 5 (AAC, Mountain West, etc.)
    (8 votes)
  • 39%
    Pac 12
    (167 votes)
  • 12%
    SEC secedes: 13 game round robin! Whoo!
    (51 votes)
  • 0%
    Other, below.
    (3 votes)
420 votes total Vote Now

We have another countdown for you folks up — you never knew a bug could be so interesting — and a softball season review and look-ahead for 2020. So, dig in.