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Jumbo Package: Greg Byrne says TCU rumors are #FakeNews

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: The Citadel at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, everyone. Greg Byrne held a Facebook Q&A yesterday and addressed a few things, including rumors that Alabama has TCU has a fallback option for USC.

“It’s like, I heard we’re, we’re playing TCU, instead of USC to start the football season, and that was how I received it,” Byrne said. “And I said, ‘Really? That’s news to me. I guess, I’m not sure what I missed that contract come across my desk.”

Byrne said he’s been in contact with USC’s Bohn throughout this period. Byrne also noted that Los Angeles County clarified the 3-month extension of its stay-at-home order doesn’t mean the city would be on a strict lockdown until August. Bottom line, they weren’t in a rush to make decisions just yet.

We shall see. Auburn’s president made perhaps the most aggressive proclamation yet that there will be SEC football, among many other things.

“I’m Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University, and I just wanted to chat with you for a few minutes,” he said. “We’re going to open classes this fall. We’re going to have fraternity and sorority activities. We’re going to have more than 500 club activities that will be underway with student participation and leadership. We’re going to have convocation. We’re going to have popsicles and pizza with the president. We’re going to have football this fall. We’re going to have all the activities that we have every fall.”

When Alabama does open the season, it’s tough to envision anyone other than Mac Jones taking the first snap.

Among those catching passes from Jones has been tight end Kalif Jackson, who spent three seasons (2015-17) at Florida before transferring to Grambling State for his final two years of eligibility.

“I had some really good quarterbacks when I was at UF — Feleipe Franks, Will Grier, Kyle Trask,” said Jackson, also a Jacksonville native who has known Jones since high school. “I’ve been around some guys and he can throw it just like him.

“He’s not gonna walk in a room and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, he’s 6-6, 240,’ but he’s gonna out-throw the guy that’s 6-6, 240 and that’s what matters.”

The talent around the Alabama QB would help anyone, but the fact remains that Mac played at an elite level in his four starts last season. He should have plenty of confidence headed into the season.

Chris Fowler had the flu when he called 2nd and 26.

“That’s about as good a finish as you can ever hope to get as a broadcaster,” Fowler said. “A championship is decided on one play, and it looks like disaster one moment and triumph the next. You don’t get a better script than that. But it’s the one game that I don’t have a real crystal-clear memory of it play-by-play because I was so out of it. I went into a full-body shutdown — full-body aches — as soon as that game ended.”

It’s a big responsibility to provide the soundtrack to a moment that millions of people will remember for the rest of their lives. Fowler came through in that moment.

You know what’s coming next.

Said it before, will never pass up an excuse to post that.

Taulia is going to be a hot prospect on the transfer market.

There’s another thing to consider: Tua Tagovailoa was just drafted by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, and it’s believed his family could move to South Florida the way they followed him from Hawaii to Alabama. If Taulia also opts to head down there, it’s expected that Miami, Florida International and Florida Atlantic will all be players for his services. Meanwhile, a school with a less geographic connection to the Tagovailoa family is Maryland, after head coach Mike Locksley’s days as the Tide’s offensive coordinator under Nick Saban.

He’s going to be a ‘Cane, and he’s going to start against Alabama in the 2021 opener. You know it, I know it. We all know it.

Bud Elliott is now at 247sports, and he’s spreading the blue chip gospel.

Elliott sets the blue-chip ratio benchmark for national championship contenders at about 50%. This has generally held up in the star system era of recruiting rankings. However, keep in mind that these are more guidelines than actual rules, and a high blue-chip ratio doesn’t automatically mean rings are on the way. Conversely, programs with a blue-chip ratio under 50% can still win a championship with great coaching and development, a few difference-makers and a little bit of luck.

Not to harp on Tennessee again, but this is what I’ve been talking about. They have certainly had a whale of a recruiting month, but as of now their ballyhooed class has all of nine blue chips among 21 commitments, for a 43% ratio. They would need to close with four more blue chips just to get to that 50% threshold, and that puts you on the bottom rung. In reality, the vast majority of the national championships are won with much higher ratios. Clemson 2016 was the most notable recent exception, but they had Deshaun Watson and great injury luck, both on their sideline and in the guys that Alabama lost. In any event, the Vols lead the SEC and are #2 in the nation right now on sheer volume. Once the many uncommitted top 300 players decide their destinations, that class ranking will fall significantly.

Last, John Petty is still optimistic that he will hear what he wants to hear from scouts.

“I’ve done 12 Zoom interviews already,” Petty said. “I don’t want to say any specific teams but I’ve gotten some great feedback. They have been impressed. We’ve talked about my elbow (a hyperextending which knocked him out of two games late late season.) It has perfectly healed, no problem.

“My process now is to keep working out, be patient, talk to scouts and hopefully get a great answer from them (about a potential draft position.) “If that happens, I’m probably going to stay in. ... I will have a decision but I’m going to be patient.”

He previously said that he would probably be back. Guess we wait and see.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.