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Jumbo Package: Alabama opens #3 in coaches’ poll

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Alabama Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Not a lot going on today, but we did find out that Alabama ranks #3 in the preseason coaches’ poll.

The top 25 was released Thursday and is led by Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama. The Tigers, who beat the Buckeyes in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl before losing to LSU in the national title game, return QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne and Ohio State brings back QB Justin Fields.

Alabama, which missed the College Football Playoff for the first time in 2019, is at No. 3 followed by SEC mates Georgia and LSU. The Tigers are in the top five despite losing a bunch of talent to the NFL in the likes of Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, Grant Delpit, Kristian Fulton, K’Lavon Chaisson and Patrick Queen.

That sounds like a fine spot for the Tide at this stage. Let them feel like underdogs.

The SEC announced its protocols for the season, which will include testing players twice a week, and listed the following reasons that games may be canceled.

*Inability to isolate new positive cases, or quarantine high risk contacts of cases of university students.

*Unavailability or inability to perform symptomatic, surveillance or pre-competition testing when warranted.

*Campus-wide or local community positivity test rates that are considered unsafe by local public health officials.

*Inability to perform adequate contact tracing consistent with local, state or federal requirements or recommendations.

*Local public health officials indicate an inability for the hospital infrastructure to accommodate a surge in COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

Hope for the best.

More people are starting to realize, it seems, that players are probably less likely to get the virus playing football as elsewhere.

The greatest COVID-19 threat to college football players this fall might not be on the field, but rather on the rest of campus, a newly published study shows.

In an article posted on the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open site last Friday, researchers from Yale, Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital wrote that the safe reopening of college campuses may require testing of all students every two days and “uncompromising vigilance and continuous attention to good prevention practices.”

Testing every student every two days, eh? Yeah, good luck with that.

Last, Mike Locksley formed a coalition for minority coaches, and Nick Saban sits on the board.

The nonprofit organization will seek to not only identify and groom coaches of color (male and female) for upward mobility, but also create a candidates list that will be vetted by a board of directors that includes some of the most respected and powerful names in sport.

“When I took the Maryland job last year and looked at the landscape of college football, I thought to myself, There’s something missing. I’m on the back nine of my career and the pathway to becoming a head coach is still as difficult as when I got into the business in 1992,” the 50-year-old Locksley said by phone Wednesday evening. “I wanted to create an organization that would be able to help prepare, promote and produce the next group of coaches coming up through the ranks at every level.”

Nick is the only Power Five coach on the board. He understands the weight that his name carries in the sport and consistently uses it for good.

That’s about it for today, sadly. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.