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Jumbo Package: Alabama players march for social justice, Big 12 comes up with rules for game cancellation

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: Fresno State at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. As you undoubtedly heard, the Alabama football team decided to march for social justice on yesterday’s off day.

Saban’s leadership through the 2020 chaos has been remarkable. By all indications, the team has stayed together and focused on multiple common goals. Plenty to be proud of as Alabama fans.

As Cecil notes, the pandemic is going to cost Bryce Young any chance he had to beat out Mac Jones.

There are two remaining points. First, the coronavirus could make starters of us all — or at least all those on the Alabama roster — at some point. Experience may not matter in the face of urgency.

Second, the perennial obsession with the “other” quarterback isn’t going away easily. When Saban made a passing reference to passing numbers following the scrimmage (as rare as a dancing unicorn by itself) and said that Jones went “21 for 35,” the electron microscopes came out, looking for clues as to whether that was “good,” “bad” or “frightening.” It was much-discussed in some circles.

It’s good to know that some traditions never die.

I do expect Bryce to get into games relatively early, but with a SEC-only slate, it won’t be easy.

After ranking Jaylen Waddle as the most exciting player in the country, ESPN decided that only one of Alabama’s players is in the “ten best” category.

10. Patrick Surtain II

CB, Alabama


Last year’s ranking: NR

Status: Playing

A former SEC All-Freshman selection and possible future first-round draft pick, Surtain is well on his way to following in footsteps of his father, Patrick Sr., a three-time Pro Bowl selection with the Miami Dolphins. Surtain is working on 25 straight starts and is featured on the watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik, Jim Thorpe and Bronko Nagurski awards.

There are multiple players on the team capable of getting into the conversation.

Get ready for some more Greg McElroy in your life.

ESPN has announced its full college football announcer lineup for 2020, with Joe Tessitore returning to the booth on Saturdays.

Tessitore, who spent the last two years calling NFL games on Monday Night Football is back on college games for ABC and ESPN this fall. He will be joined by former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, with reporter Holly Rowe on the sideline.

Saban is chasing Bear’s national championships mark, but he has no chance at this one.

14 conference championships by Paul “Bear” Bryant

Surely, Alabama’s Nick Saban is going to break this record for coaching conference champs, right? After all, Saban has guided the Crimson Tide to six SEC crowns in the previous 11 seasons. With his two SEC championships from LSU, if Saban keeps up that pace he’d be tied with Bryant in 11 seasons. He’ll also be 79 years old by that time. Saban also is chasing Bryant’s record for most victories as an SEC coach. Saban has 200 officially (and 205 when five that were vacated are considered). Bryant won 292 games as an SEC coach. Over the past 12 seasons, Alabama has averaged 12.5 victories per season. At that rate, Saban would catch Bryant in the 2027 season. Bryant’s SEC championships came in 1950 at Kentucky and 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1981 at Alabama.

Yeah that one ain’t happening. Derrick Thomas’s sack record and Javier Arenas’ punt return record are mentioned as well.

Elsewhere, the Big 12 has its COVID rules in place.

The Big 12 has policies, (and) we’re using the 53 man roster policy,” Pollard told reporters on a call on Monday. “So a 53 man roster is built on a set number of positions. So I think it’s one quarterback, six offensive linemen and you come up with 53 [players]. So the antigen test the Big 12 uses on Friday will be the certification test.

“And as long as you have at least 53 players certified to play and you have the minimum number at every one of those positions comprising the 53 [man roster], then you have to play. If you’re less than that 53, then you can have a no-contest. And the first step would be to try and reschedule during one of the bye dates. But if not, it doesn’t technically count against the team that ends up with the no contest. But it was a uniform policy that we wanted to adopt to, in essence, take some gamesmanship out of what could happen potentially later in the year.”

This sounds like something that was likely adopted from the NFL. With 85 scholarship players and most teams carrying more than that, it would take a hell of an outbreak to knock a team out. If it happens, it will be due to a specific position group.

Good news so far from the first college football game of the year, as Central Arkansas reported zero positive tests for coronavirus. Granted, the testing was done Monday morning following a Saturday night game so it’s early, but the fact that the team has no positives should mean that there was no opponent-to-opponent spread in at least one direction.

LSU is going to be extraordinarily young and thin this season.

Shelvin was expected to start at defensive tackle in new defensive coordinator Bo Pelini’s 4-3 scheme, and the 6-foot-3, 346-pound junior is expected to be one of the top defensive linemen taken in the 2021 NFL draft.

The Lafayette native appeared to confirm his departure on Twitter later Monday afternoon, writing only a subtle message: “All for the best!”

Yeah, I need to revise my prediction. This team is likely battling Ole Miss for 4th in the West.

Last, Nebraska parents sued the Big Ten, and the Big Ten is trying to make it go away.

The Nebraska players filed suit against the Big Ten in Lancaster County District Court, seeking an injunctive order that would nullify the league’s decision to cancel the fall football season. In their affidavit, they asked for information regarding whether or not there was a formal vote by the league’s presidents and chancellors and, if there was, what the final tally was. The two sworn affidavits, both of which confirm the 11-3 vote, were signed by Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and Northwestern president Morton Schapiro, the chairman of the league’s council of presidents and chancellors.

Ok, so there was a vote and we have a sworn affidavit saying there was a vote. Right?

Minnesota president Joan Gabel said, “We didn’t vote per se. It’s a deliberative process where we came to a decision together, but I absolutely support the decision that we came to. Safety first. Absolutely, safety first.”


What a mess.

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

Roll Tide.