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Jumbo Package: Alabama Basketball draws a forgiving 2021-2022 SEC schedule

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Also: CFB is making everyone a bit angrier than usual...and it should.

Maryland v Alabama Photo by Joe Robbins/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Alabama’s SEC basketball schedule was released yesterday, and despite the preseason being exceptionally rough, the SEC slate is far more forgiving.

Defending SEC champion Alabama will host to Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M and will travel to play Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. It will play home-and-home series against Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri.

Fortunately, Arkansas and Tennessee are home for ‘Bama for the sole meeting — and I think we know that a game in Bud Walton would have just been a circled-loss on the Calendar. There is just one tough solo road trip to Florida. And the majority of the toughest teams are scheduled for home-and-home series, including Kentucky, LSU, the nightmare of CoMo, and Auburn.

While Alabama is slogging through a brutal OOC schedule that sees the Tide play at least two at-large teams, and three of last year’s Final Four squads, know that the back-end of the schedule should be easier to navigate.

You want to talk “realignment?” Fine. I don’t want to, but I know it’s newsworthy. So, I’ll dump some things on here and then shit all over the very notion:

This is going to be an absolute litigious disastery. And, you know what, the SEC’s cash grab has earned it some friendly fire.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby accused ESPN of encouraging other conferences to pick apart the league so Texas and Oklahoma can move to the Southeastern Conference more quickly and without paying a massive buyout.

“I have absolute certainty that they (ESPN) have been involved in manipulating other conferences to go after our members,” Bowlsby told The Associated Press on Wednesday after sending a cease-and-desist letter to the network.

The letter addressed to ESPN executive Burke Magnus, president of programming and content, said the Big 12 had become aware the network had taken actions “to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN.”

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say cash grab? Because, this doesn’t make any sense for existing members under its existing deals. And, in fact, schools won’t see a single extra red cent enter their coffers.

You know who does benefit? Oklahoma and Texas, who will see an expected $22m increase in their coffers.

Good to know that the SEC has now alienated and isolated every single damned entity in the country to make Oklahoma and Texas richer at the expense of its existing member institutions.

Nevertheless, SEC AD’s are meeting today, and are expected to okay the Longhorns and Sooners, and will effectively kill off the SEC as we know it.

And about Texas....yeah, more dead weight. Just another team with an outsized ego, an overpaid staff, and underwhelming results — for half a century.

The only good thing that can come of this is delaying CFP expansion, and, as many have noted, likely shrinking the field again.

#BringBackTheBCS

Speaking of the brave new world that morons wanted, be prepared for a lot more of this:

The top-ranked high school football player in the Class of 2022 is weighing a major decision that could chart the course for others like him in the future amid the changing landscape of college sports. Quinn Ewers, a five-star quarterback committed to Ohio State, told Yahoo Sports he is “leaning toward” forgoing his senior season to join the Buckeyes ahead of the 2021 campaign, which would allow him to benefit sooner off his name, image and likeness.

High school associational rules don’t permit pay-for-play, and despite how this is being framed by the NCAA, that is plainly where we are now. There is no line between the performative and the promotional. Appearances and photoshoots and commercials are work; jersey sales or passive income from another EA game are not. Guess how they’re being treated? If you said “the exact same” you’re correct. It is a point that Stanford’s Shaw made yesterday — a market value of $800,000 for a player who’s never started a game is surely not what was intended, was it?

Hell, Ed Oregeron is practically inviting fans to pay players. Why not?

Welcome to an NFL G-League, with far worse play.

Tonight is the NBA Draft, and last-second projections are in.

The general consensus it that reigning SEC POTY Herb Jones is likely to be mid- to late-second round selection. Josh Primo is a bit more difficult. He’s been projected as everything from borderline lottery, to early second.

Do you know who I feel bad for? John Petty. He should have gone pro before last season. He did not like the second round projection he received, but his game was never going to get him into the first round. Asking for four straight years of improvement was far, far too much. But, after the 2019-2020 season, he was a lock in the 2nd.

Now? He’s completely off the draft radar.

Sometimes, you only cost yourself money.

If Mac Jones really is as cerebral and polished as everyone claims he is, then the Patriots job is his for the grabbing with an impressive camp.

The Pats resigned Cam, of course, but he is disinterested, constantly injured, and skating on thin ice. Now, Mac’s other likely competitor, overrated Barner Jarrett Stidham, has an injured throwing shoulder, and may have to have surgery on it.

The Pats’ camp opened yesterday.

FINALLY,

Russia has a bit of a reputation as being a hella’ racist autocratic society, and, buddy, did the folks in Moscow not help themselves the other day when Kremlin officials went on an Olympic tirade that was so garishly, cartoonishly racist, that I found myself actually laughing at loud.

Hollywood wouldn’t okay this dialogue coming out of an antebellum period drama. It’s that bad. And this is only the start of a rant that would make David Duke blush:

“According to her passport, she is actually a woman. What this woman has been taking in order to look like this, God only knows,” Olga Skabeeva, host of the Kremlin-sponsored TV program 60 Minutes, said of Biles, who was the first to congratulate Russian gymnasts on their Olympic gold medals.

Skabeeva’s ugly tirade continued: “She supposedly has heart problems and therefore is gobbling up Meldonium and all kinds of other stuff… Now look at our gymnasts, they’re one-third her girth and actually look like girls! They also look like people, but Simone looks like devil knows what.”

You can be forgiven for laughing. It’s shockingly, hilariously bigoted.

Poll

CFB has changed significantly in just a year. Do expansion, NIL, and expanded playoffs make you more or less enthusiastic about the sport?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    I’m even more excited. It should be more like pro sports.
    (15 votes)
  • 20%
    I’m about ready to give up on this damned sport.
    (129 votes)
  • 24%
    About the same level of enthusiasm.
    (155 votes)
  • 48%
    Eh, I can go either way; let’s see how it goes.
    (303 votes)
  • 3%
    Is it basketball season yet?
    (25 votes)
627 votes total Vote Now