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Jumbo Package: SEC saddles Alabama with another morning kickoff; garbage teams televised instead

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When the University President is firing off open letters, you know it’s gotten out of hand.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">New Mexico State v Alabama

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Here’s the skinny: For the last year, I have been working on something extraordinary for you. The biggest giveaway/prize we’ve ever done. And, as of yesterday, it looks it’s a go. I am putting the finishing touches on it, and hope to have it ready for you by this afternoon (but, more probably, tomorrow after the Gump Day JP.)
So, I could spend two hours reading articles and pasting links and excerpts of Saban’s Monday press conference, a 9-minute presentation that has been chopped up into 4-5 articles #clicksonclicks...orrrrr I could just throw in the link to the practice notes, the transcript and video for the press conference, and save myself the two hours so that I can finish this up for you folks.
Guess what you’re getting? #NoRefunds.
Seriously though, you will love it. Think of it as my going-away present to you all.

But, fear not, it’s Tuesday, so you know what that means: Random Thoughts, and you may have noticed, Texas and Tennessee lost this weekend. You know that that means...Meltdown, baby!

See you later. Enjoy. Feel free to drop your own links in the comments.

Via Bama Insider.

Here’s the transcript for the above if you don’t have the time, inclination, bandwidth or a patient enough boss willing to indulge video streaming:

”I think overall after watching the game, there were certainly some areas where we made improvements as a team. But I think overall from start to finish, we didn’t play the way we would like to play from a consistency standpoint. We just weren’t clean and crisp in some of the things we tried to execute. And one of the things that you don’t want to create is, you know, people see your vulnerabilities regardless of what you’re doing, whether you’re playing offensive line, covering a guy on defense, reading the right things, running the right routes. It really doesn’t matter. And those things get exposed down the road if you don’t get them fixed. That’s certainly something that we can take away from this game in terms of our consistency in performance.”

Finally, here are the limited practice notes from Monday’s session, as the Crimson Tide gets ready to both open its SEC schedule and road play. You may recall, South Carolina os the Tide’s first conference game, and that particular program has a decade-long reckoning awaiting on Saturday.

Freshman defensive lineman Antonio Alfano, who didn’t dress for Saturday’s game against New Mexico State as part of punishment from Nick Saban, wasn’t practicing.

“He’s going through some discipline things with me,” Saban said Saturday. “If he does what he’s supposed to do ... I’m not going to tell you what, whether it’s academic — which that has something to do with it — and being responsible and accountable to do what he’s supposed to do, like every other player on the team. We want to get him right. We want to help him. We want to help him do the right things. But he’s got to make those choices and decisions, too.”

I could be mistaken, but I think Josh is working on something re: Alabama’s television scheduling, so I’m not going to steal his thunder here.

Yet again, the Tide is saddled with a morning kick (next week 11:00 CDT for Southern Miss), and the UA administration is incredibly pissed at the league office. This is Alabama’s 12th kick in the morning in the past 4+ seasons — a full season of the Jefferson Pilot witching hour. It affects attendance; it affects recruiting and official visits; it affects fan engagement and tailgating; and it affects continued attendance throughout the game — with actual or indexed heat routinely hitting triple digits in the first half of the season.

Completely removed from the game day environment is the detrimental effect it has on businesses. If you go and look at comments to any of the articles or posts you see a small segment of fans that do enjoy the early kick — and they are doing so because they can get in town, turn around, and then get back home. Sure, that may be great for homebodies, those with small kids etc. But pulling into town with an hour before the game and leaving at the end of the third-quarter to get back to Alabaster is not helping the economy. People just do not and will not spend money during these early kicks. Given the significant revenue stream that these eight games have on Alabama’s hospitality and tourist industry, an 11 o’clock kick is a killer — you’re simply not going to find a memorabilia merchant, hotelier, or restaurateur get excited about the a.m. launch time.

Bad for students, bad for fan retention after kickoff, bad for initial attendance, literal killing weather, bad television, bad for recruits and official visits, bad for business.

I simply do not know how much more forcefully I can state the case against this kickoff time.

And, the simple fact is that Alabama has disproportionately born the brunt of these sorry kick times, having more 11:00 OOC games than any other SEC team since 2014. The SEC needs to step up with some equitable scheduling, for real. UA has carried the conference for a dozen years in both visibility and revenue; time to throw that weight around.

We’ll be back later, but feel free to throw your own contributions in the comments below.