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Jumbo Package: Five Alabama players named AP All-American, new CFB alliance to be announced as soon as today

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 11 CFP National Championship - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. ESPN put out a top 100 college football players list for 2021, and Alabama has ten on there, all in the top 66. This includes two of the top ten (#4 Evan Neal and #10 Will Anderson) and five of the top 25 (#21 Bryce Young, #22 John Metchie and #23 Christian Harris). That seems pretty good.

Five Alabama players were also named to the preseason AP All-America team.

Ekiyor is a surprising name, not because he isn’t worthy but simply that he’s overshadowed by other, more prominent names. Alabama has so many others who could end up on the list by season’s end: Jordan Battle, Henry To’o To’o, Bryce Young, and Josh Jobe to name a few.

The new alliance is supposed to be announced today, with the Big 12 officially voted off the island.

Alliance seeks to influence TV power, halt ESPN’s total control

How the playoff’s television rights would be put out for bid, how many networks would be allowed to carry the games and how the teams are selected could also be addressed. The Alliance is wary of ESPN, who has exclusive rights to all SEC games starting in 2024, also having full control of the playoff. ESPN has rights to the playoff through 2025 and an exclusive negotiating window. There has long been a strong feeling within the sport that multiple networks broadcasting the playoff would be better financially and for exposure.

Exactly how much of the above becomes the official position of the Alliance remains to be seen. With this many teams and this many opinions, any plan is likely to be altered.

However, just over a month after word broke in the Houston Chronicle of Oklahoma and Texas seeking to join the SEC, the three remaining major conferences are working together and thinking boldly about what they can do going forward.

Other sources said that antitrust issues could arise with a three-conference alliance. There is a fine line to be straddled in terms of potential collusion. An alliance between the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 would represent 60% of the current Power Five.

Sources reiterated that the 40 schools comprising the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 wouldn’t “boycott” the SEC and stand directly opposed to it, but their foremost goal would be to pursue “their own interests”.

ESPN and the SEC have started college football nuclear war. That Yahoo piece mentions that the “Alliance,” that they have hilariously chosen to capitalize for some reason, wants conference control over the early rounds of the playoff. It actually mentions playing a college football playoff game outdoors in Cleveland. No, I am not joking.

We will see how this all shakes out, but it’s clear that the rest of major college football has united against ESPN and the SEC.

Hey, dumb rule changes!

The biggest rules change revolves around expediting overtime by limiting the length of the game and reducing the number of plays from scrimmage. Teams will now be required to run a 2-point conversion play after a touchdown in the second overtime. Previously, 2-point conversions were only required after the third overtime.

After the first overtime touchdown, teams can still choose to either kick an extra point or go for a 2-point conversion. Only during the second overtime period will they be required to go for 2. Interestingly, the new rule also states that after the third overtime, teams won’t start from the 25-yard-line anymore. They will immediately start alternating 2-point conversion plays.

Everything about this is stupid. I guess every team will need to come up with several more two point conversion plays, since they are going to be an integral part of any game that goes to double overtime.

Seriously, y’all. Just bring back ties before you do this nonsense. Flip a coin, play a ten minute extra session, and if it’s still tied then so be it. When you get to the playoffs, you add a sudden death round after the ten minute period. This isn’t that hard.

Oh yeah, and they are also emphasizing taunting this year with unsportsmanlike penalties. I can’t wait to see how the SEC’s simpletons in stripes incorporate that one.

Saban spoke about this roster management rule change recently.

A compromise is finally emerging among a group of proposals. Under the plan, schools can sign 25 new players while gaining additional signee spots for every player who transfers out of their program—up to a certain limit. The extra spots would be based on the number of players who enter the transfer portal under their own volition and would be capped at a figure, such as seven.

For instance, a school that loses five players to the portal can sign 30 new players. A school that loses 10 players to the portal can sign 32 new signees, if the cap were seven. The replacement cap has not been finalized.

Nick wanted only grad transfers and NFL departures to be granted extra slots, and that makes sense. Unfortunately, I fear that some QB will leave a school and take the three or four best skill players with him at some point. This is probably a necessary change.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Jim Harbaugh is on the hot seat.

Even as Michigan floundered in 2020, unable to win any home games, I heard the same message out of Ann Arbor: Jim Harbaugh wouldn’t be fired. I still hear some of the same things, as Harbaugh’s status as a former star player and a successful coach elsewhere doesn’t make him an obvious hot-seat candidate. There’s nothing typical about Harbaugh, who had only one year left on his initial contract before reaching a new, team-friendly agreement in January. Michigan not only is paying Harbaugh much less annually but would only owe him $4 million if it makes a change in 2021. If the Wolverines can’t navigate a schedule that includes Wisconsin (road) and Northwestern (home) in the West Division and trips to Penn State and Michigan State — plus Ohio State at home — athletic director Warde Manuel might have no choice.

Interestingly, no SEC coaches are considered to be on the hot seat for this season.

Last, Lane Kiffin spoke about how his whistle helped Alabama beat LSU in 2014.

Good old Lane.

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

Roll Tide.