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Jumbo Package: ACC has spoken, ball is now in SEC’s court

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Oklahoma vs Louisiana State Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, everyone. Yesterday the ACC approved an 11 game scheduling model with 10 conference games and one additional game to be held in the home state of the ACC school, seemingly designed to preserve the in-state rivalry games. Alas, the SEC is reportedly leaning toward a conference-only slate. With a virtual SEC meeting on today’s agenda, Nicole Auerbach notes how this puts the SEC in something of a precarious position.

I hadn’t considered the state legislators angle. There are laws in some states requiring two schools to play, and there is no logic in the idea that South Carolina could play in Gainesville and Baton Rouge but not in Clemson, particularly in the last game of the season. Andy Staples agreed, and Cecil made an interesting point.

This is kind of funny since other conference mates have complained about a different foursome, namely Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee, holding the conference schedule hostage by insisting on playing longstanding cross-division rivalries on an annual basis. What a mess.

So, what about a playoff?

Indeed, the conference commissioners and Jack Swarbrick set the playoff protocol and will more than likely determine the number of games that need to be played to qualify for the four-team playoff once all leagues come up with scheduling models. But even then, we might not have an answer to this question until we are in season — What if the teams in the hunt for the playoff have played a different number of games because of cancellations due to the virus?

As for the games themselves, they remain on as scheduled, including the national championship game in Miami on Jan.11. But as Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan said, “We’re adaptable as well. If we need to push back and I think Bill has said this, if they need to push back the championship game, they and Florida have had those conversations, and they remain flexible to do that as well.”

Imagine a scenario where the committee is choosing between a 10-1 team and one that finished 8-0. We only think we’ve seen arguments.

Auerbach has another interesting nugget.

Saban just smiles with his stack of former head coaches ready to do their thing.

About that Rutgers outbreak:

An on-campus party at Rutgers that several athletes attended may have led to the coronavirus outbreak that forced the entire team into a two-week quarantine, NJ.com reported on Wednesday.

Fifteen Rutgers football players have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Judith Persichilli, New Jersey’s state health commissioner.

Persichilli said during a news briefing in Trenton on Wednesday that there have been “several circumstances where indoor and outdoor gatherings in our state have led to community clusters of COVID-19.” She included the party at Rutgers as one of a number of gatherings that led to coronavirus outbreaks.

Once again, pretending that football is going to spread this virus more than college life in general, in class or otherwise, is just silly.

“I tell my guys, big picture, this is a bump in the road,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said on “Marty & McGee” two weeks ago when I asked him how he was approaching the pandemic with his players, the defending national champs. He tells them to avoid the daily roller coaster of news-cycle speculation and be ready for anything. He also tells that to himself. “I don’t know if we’ll play Sept. 5 or later, in-conference or out-of-conference ... that doesn’t bother me. I do know this: I think we’ll play, and we’ll play whatever and whenever they let us play.

That last sentence, man.

Alex Scarbrough has some #sources telling him that quite a few college football players are considering skipping the season and moving on to the draft.

Multiple sources said that a number of pro prospects are already considering the possibility of leaving college in order to prepare for the NFL draft. A delayed season could send them packing. And a spring season? Forget about it. One longtime agent said players are already nervous and there’s “no chance” that the bulk of first-round prospects would play under those conditions as long as the draft calendar remains in place, and that many second- and third-round prospects would likely follow suit.

“If you’re a bona fide first-round pick and you’re that close to the finish line, are you really putting yourself in harm’s way?” the agent said, adding that if you’re in the position of a Trevor Lawrence, Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle, you have “absolutely nothing to gain.”

Can’t begrudge anyone for making this choice, I just think it should be theirs to make. That said, agent, kindly keep Waddle’s name out of your mouth.

Jeff Allen has the most recent installment of the new sports science center tour.

Very nice, as is the man who runs it.

Seriously, it’s like somebody built a human being specifically designed to train college athletes. Dr. Rhea has found his calling.

247sports notes that WR recruiting has become a new measuring stick in the high flying era of offense.

LSU currently has commitments from three of 247Sports’ top 10 wideouts in Chris Hilton, Deion Smith and JoJo Earle. Alabama has pledges from three of the top 15 with commitments from Jacorey Brooks, Agiye Hall and Christian Leary — who happen to be the three highest-rated pass-catchers in the state of Florida. The Tigers and Tide are duking it out Brian Thomas Jr., the No. 2 rated receiver (LSU has all three Crystal Ball picks) and Alabama registered a recent Crystal Ball pick for the No. 16 receiver, Malcolm Johnson Jr., who might be the fastest prospect in the cycle.

Johnson posted a 10.38 in the 100M. Can you imagine having him and Leary on the same field? Oh yeah, we just had Ruggs and Waddle. I guess we can.

Last, NFL network put out a couple of nice features on Josh Jacobs and Marlon Humphrey.

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

Roll Tide.