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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

More offseason talk, a nice Bama Bump, and Cam Sims making waves in the pros

NCAA Football: Alabama A Day Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

2019 SEC championship odds, picks: Alabama is the favorite, but who is the best bet?

Talking season is in full swing, and oddsmakers are taking advantage of the chatter by releasing all kinds of odds and lines in advance of the 2019 season. FanDuel recently released its 2019 SEC championship odds, and familiar faces are littering the top of the board.

Defending conference champion Alabama tops the list with Georgia not too far behind the team that has broken the Bulldogs’ hearts in each of the last two seasons. LSU and Florida are right there as the projected second-place finishers in the respective divisions, which should not come as much of a surprise after the way the 2018 season played out.

With Florida’s payout being four times higher than Georgia, I’d be pretty keen on taking those odds. Not that I think the Gators would have much of a chance against the Tide in the SEC Championship game, but I think they’d be just as likely to win the East as Georgia.

But hey, what do I know?

Writer: ‘Unsustainable’ Clemson effort topped Alabama

Of course, none of this is going to make Alabama fans feel better. And it doesn’t change the fact that, on those third-and-longs, Clemson made the play it needed to make.

But it does speak to the process; Alabama doesn’t need to jump into Doctor Who’s TARDIS and reinvent the wheel, and the Crimson Tide aren’t necessarily falling behind Clemson, despite some narrative to the contrary.

Indeed, if Alabama does bounce back with a national title this year, the Crimson Tide will likely get there by trusting the process and trusting that results like January’s title game are aberrations rather than harbingers.

This piece links to some tweets from Bill Connelly, the advanced stats guy that we all love so much. Now, none of this is anything that we haven’t already beat to death 4 months ago on RBR, but it’s interesting seeing the thoughts of Connelly himself. Not that other fanbases wouldn’t love to jump on this kind of writing as just another example of Bama homers.

But, 247 here came to the same conclusion as I did: I don’t think this is like 2013-2014 when Nick Saban had to rebuild his defensive philosophy to combat offenses that were outpacing the team. The loss this year was, quite simply, just a really bad day. Alabama still has the inside track on sustainable success in college football, and an overhaul would not be the direction to go.

Alabama commit now ranked as five-star recruit

Outside linebacker Drew Sanders, a former Oklahoma commit who flipped his commitment to the Crimson Tide in late April, is now rated as a five-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

The Denton, Texas product has moved up seven spots in the rankings and is now listed as the No. 27 overall player in the Class of 2020.

That didn’t take long. Just a few weeks ago, Erik was telling us when Sanders committed that he would be a 5-star prospect before the season started. Well, that time is here, and Alabama now has two 5-stars in their 2020 class, helping the Tide jump ahead of LSU for second place in the national recruiting rankings.

Big changes made to Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation plan

The plan and price for renovating Bryant-Denny Stadium has changed significantly since being announced in August.

Out is the large student terrace and large scoreboard that was to cut into the south end zone upper deck, according to documents set to be presented Thursday at a Board of Trustees obtained by Instead, the proposal calls for replacing the four corner video scoreboards with new ones approximately 60 percent larger than the existing ones.

I like this idea of keeping the corner boards instead of one giant jumbotron. I’ve always been rather fond of the video boards in the corners, and the original plan last August felt to me like Alabama was just trying to outdo Auburn in the JUMBO department.

In the land of the pros, Alabama continues to flood the NFL

Patriots wrap up their draft class, signing Damien Harris

The Patriots have wrapped up their draft class, signing running back Damien Harris on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Harris gets a four-year, $3.6 million deal as the team’s third-round draft pick.

Less than a million per year for a three year starter at Alabama? Meanwhile, guys picked just a round and a half higher are getting paid bank. If you’re good at football, don’t play running back.

Cam Sims making sure he’s not the ‘forgotten guy’

“Everybody probably remembers he was a play-maker in training camp last year from Day 1 -- a really pleasant surprise,” O’Connell said. “We knew he had ball skills. We knew what maybe he potentially could be, but at Alabama there was so much talent there maybe the nation didn’t get to see some of those plays. And then he shows up here, he’s confident, he works extremely hard, he’s got a great skill set for that Z position, which we’re always looking for. And then the injury happens, and he’s kind of a forgotten guy for a year.

”We draft some young guys, we have some veterans coming back, but Cam’s in a great spot right now. I think he’s motivated to make sure he’s in the mix every single day, and when his number’s called -- you never can guarantee things in this system for guys, scripting plays and you’re trying to get this guy a choice route or you’re trying to get this guy a post or a go ball and then (Washington defensive coordinator Greg) Manusky decides to play a defense that makes the quarterback throw it here or there, so when his number’s called it could be few and far between -- but it was good to see him really execute and make that deep play in two-minute. He made a couple of others -- caught the dagger in seven-on-seven -- so it’s just good to see him showing up and finishing plays, for sure.”

Cam Sims was well on his way to becoming a preseason Hall-of-Famer last summer, making highlight catches all over the place. Unfortunately, he got hurt in the season opener and was on IR the rest of the year.

By all accounts, he’s doing yet again the same thing so far this summer. With all the success Robert Foster had in Buffalo last season and Sims looking like a quality NFL receiver, it’s a little disappointing that Alabama never found a way to use the two of them alongside Calvin Ridley.

That’s it for today. Roll Tide!