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Jumbo Package: Alabama — Gonzaga basketball to meet in the Battle for Seattle?

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Please let this happen

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-UCLA at Alabama Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports

Are we sure about that?

In this article, which assesses the hiring of new coaches, Chip Patterson pegs Mountain Time Malzahn as most likely to win big and win early. I just don’t see it; not with the defections and lack of talent and antiquated offensive scheme. It also throws some shade at Josh Heupel, who recruits like a carnival barker on a coal cart to hell and has managed to chase off their two best players (among many, many others).

I think the real Malzahn will dominate the AAC, and win very big. I think Great Value Malzahn is going to struggle — plenty of 7-5 seasons on the horizon for Brian Harsin.

We Want Gonzaga!

It simply does not get any bigger than this — national runner-up Gonzaga is set to host the Alabama Crimson Tide this year in Seattle (please note — Spokane is about 4-5 hours away from Seattle, on the other end of the state near the Idaho border).

CBS’s excellent insider, Jon Rothstein broke the story yesterday afternoon.

The Battle in Seattle will see a completely retooled Alabama team face the ‘Zags and the prohibitive favorite for preseason National POTY, Drew Timme. Yesterday, Timme announced that he will return for another year with the Bulldogs.

That’s a tall order for the Tide. But, with a healthy post presence and injection of vertically-blessed talent on the floor for Alabama this year, perhaps the 6’10” point-forward won’t quite give ‘Bama the fits like talented Bigs have done seemingly since JaMychal Greene left for the NBA. Still, Timme isn’t just any ole PF. He averaged 19 and 7, with over 2 dimes per game. He rightly won the Karl Malone award for his efforts and is expected to be first off the board in the 2023 NBA Draft.

There is some speculation that Alabama is angling for a return game in the 2022-2023 season, but if this news isn’t quite verified yet, that little bit is the height of speculation.

Still, are you excited? Just think, 2-3 years ago, Alabama would have been penciled in for a handy 20-point loss in a Bulldog tuneup. But now this is a scrap between Top 10 teams, legitimate national title contenders, and Alabama is not looking for moral victories — it’s a winnable game.

I would take a bullet for Nate Oats

NFL Link Dump

Pulitzer-Prize winning Al.com dumped a lot of pro news yesterday, and it ranges the gamut from Jerry Jeudy realizing he underperformed (yeesh, get that guy a quarterback already), to Bradley Bozeman swapping positions, to Tua Tagovailoa finally healthy and confident in his body for the first time in about half a decade.

Ready for some CBS 2:30 football?

Admit it, you love Gary Danielson prattling on, games approaching five hours, commercial breaks between scores and extra points, and lifeless SEC teams getting mauled by the best in the biz.

Like it or not, CBS’s preliminary schedule dropped yesterday.

While most are TBD, we do know that Alabama has a 2:30 game off the jump, when it travels to the Swamp to face Gata and Clownshoes Mullen on Sept. 18. And can we just appreciate how damned miserable that game will be? Played at the hottest part of the day, in late summer, in the swampass-inducing humid cry for help that is the state of Florida — all with their 80 passing attempts per contest?

Ugh. It’s going to be a long, long Saturday.

MORE MERCH!

Today at noon, FOCO is again dropping another ‘Bama Bobble. This time, it features the iconic Najee Harris. The bobble portrays Harris in an action pose wearing his gameday uniform on top of a National championship ring-themed base. This bobble is limited to 321 pieces and costs $50.00.

Here’s the link for that sweet swag.

Coaches need to clone themselves

Modern college football coaching may be the most difficult gig in all of athletics.

CBS spoke with several coaches about how the landscape has evolved, and how even more responsibilities are being placed on their shoulders: NIL, re-recruitment, the Portal, Xs and Os, real-world stuff that challenges a united locker room, recruitment, game preparation, practice...and then the expectations which have gotten exponentially more out of whack as more and more money is at stake.

It’s a great read.

“I don’t know if it has ever been harder to manage a roster, manage player development. You’re talking about things that are outside of our control as far as transfer portal and COVID. Nobody has ever had to deal with the social media phenomena with recruiting the way it is. But you know what? That’s what they pay us for. That’s the job. It’s still the greatest job on Earth.” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz

Kristy Curry better sign that extension ASAP...

...elsewise, this year is going to get her fired.

Having seen three of their top four scorers leave for the pros, the sheep skin, and the Portal, the Alabama Women’s hoops team has now lost their fourth top scorer. Jasmine Walker has torn her ACL and will miss all of this season.

Not exactly how you want to build off last season’s momentum, no? Good thing we still have our stuff down in the basement. The Tide will almost certainly be revisiting that familiar space in 2021-2022.

Super Cool

The HBCUs have organized their own Combine. And it makes a lot of sense, TBH.

Even in their divisions, the talent deficiencies between say Arkansas Pine Bluff and Southern Illinois are vast. Throw in the lack of televised games, and a few diamonds in the rough may be getting overlooked by scout.

All this does is give more guys a shot at a shot, so I’m on board.

The NCAA won’t punish players for their state laws

The NCAA recently announced that it would not be pulling baseball and softball regional and super regional sites from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama — all states that have recently passed trans sports participation legislation.

There is much hue and cry, but the body is not budging and will likely award spots to the No. 3 Softball team and the No. 1 and No. 5 baseball teams — and they’re certainly not pulling venues over controversial, highly-political legislation, where the science is mixed at best (and emergent at worst).

Opponents did correctly observe that this flies in the face of everything the NCAA has said and done the last five years, including pulling events from North Carolina in 2016 over their “bathroom bill”....and it even outright contradicts last month’s NCAA statement to the contrary.

What? The NCAA being feckless? Mercurial? Contradictory? Perhaps even hypocritical?

Why, I never

Admit it: It looks like fun

Finally, you know how I like to find weird things to share with you folks. Today’s selection is weird in an intriguing way — and just happens to be India’s fastest growing sport.

It’s called Kabaddi, a hybrid of rugby and Red Rover and tag. And honestly, it just works.

The best way to envision it is a throwback to the cooperative hunting strategies in which humans engaged for our 300,000 year sojourn on this earth. A wolf pack is a wolf pack, after all, and that applies whether it’s actually wolves doing it...or some hairless overly-precocious monkeys.

Check it out.

Poll

Who gets fired first?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Brian Harsin, Auburn
    (94 votes)
  • 1%
    Gus Malzahn, UCF
    (7 votes)
  • 57%
    Josh Heupel, Tennessee
    (292 votes)
  • 22%
    They’ll all be fired in under three years
    (115 votes)
508 votes total Vote Now