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Jumbo Package: Rejoice, for it is Gump Day


gump dog

We alluded to this yesterday when details were still fuzzy, but now it is known that Nigel Knott has been medically cleared, and he has been officially contacted by the Michigan State Spartans. I’m certain that a solid recommendation from Saban will help him find a soft landing spot with Dantonio’s squad. Best of luck.

Alabama Basketball’s SEC resume got a bit stronger yesterday. Auburn avoided a bad-loss to 10-10 Ole Miss and Mizzou picked up a conference win to also reach .500 on the year and Mississippi State won! Granted, the Bulldogs’ victory came at the expense of the Gators, but you have to figure that UF won’t do a bunch more losing, while ‘Bama could stand for Moo to pick up a few more Ws — they are a bubble team in their own right, with a NET and SOS similar to the Tide.

In out-of-conference play, the URI Rams continued winning, so at least that helps Alabama — not one wants to get throttled by a scrub. However, their margin of error is very thin in a tight A10.

But, just as the bubble giveth, the bubble also taketh away. Richmond had a chance to make some noise in the A10, but instead got shelled by VCU on Tuesday. That is one of the Tide’s best wins, and for now, the Spiders are on the outside-looking-in.

What does it all mean after a busy Tuesday night? The Tide’s present NET (42) and SOS (39) appears to be good enough to make the Last Four In with most bracketologists, provided Alabama has no bad losses and picks up at least two wins in its remaining five toughest contests (at LSU, vs. LSU, at Auburn, vs. Tennessee, vs. Arkansas). ESPN still has Alabama with a 3% chance of winning the SEC outright, so anything is possible as long as the mathematics say they are!

The best news for teams like Alabama...and Oklahoma...and Mississippi State...and Tennessee...and Florida...and...

The best news is that the low-majors are dropping like flies. There are very few teams remaining that can leap up and grab an at-large berth. At present, there just two of note. That only helps the major conference teams and midmajors.

Another story we reported on yesterday has been given a lot more credence: UNC tight end Carl Tucker now sounds like a lock for the Tide:

“The visit was awesome,” Tucker’s father, Carl Tucker Sr., said according to “Obviously the stature of Alabama football is so huge that we really didn’t know what to expect, but we knew it would be something that we hadn’t seen before. … But it was really good. They really wanted to figure out what questions and concerns we had for Alabama. And they did a really good of explaining why they wanted Carl, what they saw in Carl and where they felt he would be able to help Bama. …

“He could see himself playing at Alabama.”

Young Bull, rise up!

Dumb Moments in the Lawyerin’

Look at this stupid nonsense Part 1:

Buried in some national legislation regarding sexual assault in collegiate transfers is this little pernicious stalking horse:

Most of the national attention for the proposed bill has centered around increased oversight of sexual assault by the NCAA regarding athletes. However, the bill contains a provision that would examine “the amount of funds expended on coaching salaries …””I would say this would be discussed. That’s really the only way we can stop [spiraling salaries],” Ohio University professor David Ridpath told CBS Sports. “As a public institution, you shouldn’t be building a lazy river or paying a strength coach a million dollars.”

We’ve covered this a billion times, but the schools paying a strength coach six figures are the very same schools with self-sustaining programs that not only don’t take from university resources, but in fact give back to the general fund. To say nothing of the fact that such a facile, shallow analysis — durr, you’re paying Coach X — borders on the criminally stupid; and it is particularly so when being shat forth from the mouth of someone with a EdD.

We have concrete, demonstrable, empirical evidence that successful athletics programs reap rewards many times over any investments made by schools — and they do so in a variety of ways: more students, more out of state students, increased revenues spent to attract better faculty and staff, justification for increased tuition, boosts in fundraising and capital spending, a tremendous boon to local economies...and all of which in turn grow the community into a palatable, desirable one and contribute to a school’s improved academic standing and/or reputation.

And, you know, these big dollar sports in turn provide funding for smaller sports, which in turn offers more educational opportunities and cumulatively permits hundreds of thousands of students annually the chance to earn an education; students who may otherwise unable to attend.

But, you know what? F ‘em, am I right, Dr. Ridpath?

Look at this stupid nonsense Part II:

An idea so dumb that it could only come from Georgia, is the Peach State’s proposed P4P legislation — something that purports to rewards student-athletes, but which in fact takes money from schools, holds it in escrow, and then is only released upon graduation.

As bad as California’s NLI rights legislation, this one is far worse.

I forgot all about this headcase, but tonight when the SEC’s two-longest winning streaks collide, Trendon Watford will be suited up in purple and gold. How one could forget a player who scores 13.2 ppg is beyond me, but I did.

Give ‘em hell, Herb.

I am stupidly excited to see Bryce Young come to town. This kid is special.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has been crowned the No. 1 player in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports. The final edition of the Top247 for 2020 was released on Tuesday afternoon and the former Mater Dei standout rose two spots to supplant five-star defensive lineman and Clemson enrollee Bryan Bresee atop the standings.

Young had one of the more memorable high school careers of all time, capping it off this past fall passing for 4,528 yards and 58 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Young also carried the ball 73 times for 357 yards and an additional 10 scores. All this while facing arguably the nation’s toughest high school schedule that saw meetings against St. Frances Academy, St. John’s College, and St. John Bosco, among others.

And, with the ‘Bama bump in effect for several players, the Crimson Tide has retaken the lead for the top class over the perennially underachieving Georgia Bulldogs. But, even if the Dawgs reclaim the top spot in a week, you can expect to see half of those signees coming to a Portal near you!

Hoops tonight, and it’s a big one. Have a great day, and Gump so hard.