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Jumbo Package: A-Day set for April 16, Wilbur Jackson and John Mitchell to be honored

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Syndication: The Tennessean Frank Empson / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Monday, everyone. It was quite the weekend in Tuscaloosa.

Great job all around. In football news, a special A-Day is set.

Alabama said admission will again be free to the public and did not announce any capacity restrictions after the game was limited to 50,000 fans in 2021 and canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson broke the school’s color barrier for athletes in 1970 and Mitchell in 1971 became the first Black player to participate in a game. Both are members of the Alabama sports hall of fame.

Brad Crawford at 247sports decided to rank the best college football coaches, and we all know who is first.

The standard for excellence in college football, Nick Saban seems to get better with age. Many questioned if he was near the end of the line a few years ago after the Crimson Tide lost to Clemson in the national championship game, but Alabama has won a title and played for another since, showing this locomotive is not slowing down as college football’s behemoth in the SEC West. Some thought last season would be a “bridge” year for Alabama after losing so many players to the NFL Draft, but the Crimson Tide overcame a midseason loss at Texas A&M to win out as SEC champs and reach the title game before losing in the fourth quarter to Georgia. With the nation’s No. 2 signing class and the two best players in America back (Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr.), 2022’s preseason No. 1 is the team to beat again and Saban’s a big reason why.

Congrats to A’Shawn Robinson and Terrell Lewis, who both will get Super Bowl rings despite Lewis’ inactive status. Carson Tinker is a member of the Rams’ practice squad and will receive one as well, though the team is allowed to give practice squad members lower valued rings per the CBA. Aaron Donald understandably got the press following his two sack performance and game ending hit on Joe Burrow, but A’shawn also had himself a night.

It’s easy to forget that the man is only 26 years old. He still has some great football in front of him.

As Kirk McNair notes, the basketball team’s win over Arkansas was huge for the NCAA tournament seeding.

How did Alabama win a game with a total of 24 turnovers? By going 1-13 on three-point shots in the second half? With the Razorbacks taking 70 field goal attempts to Bama’s 56?

Nevertheless, the Crimson Tide got the victory and evened its conference record at 6-6 and improved its overall record to 16-9 against what all agree has been the nation’s most difficult schedule. That is going to sit well with the NCAA Tournament selection committee, which is far different in its deliberations than are the journalists and broadcast personalities who vote on the Associated Press rankings or even the coaches (or, more likely, their minions) who participate in the Coaches Poll.

Even if Alabama is – as many suspect – a “lock” for the NCAA Tournament, the Crimson Tide’s final six games of regular season play offer the opportunity to improve Bama’s bracket spot both in the Southeastern Conference Tournament (March 9-13 in Tampa) and the NCAA field of 68.

It wasn’t pretty, but they got it done. They would likely have to lose out from here to miss the tournament, but as Kirk says they should have their eyes set on maximizing the seed. If they can get to 20 wins, their murderous schedule will likely land them a better position than most would believe a (likely) double-digit loss team would get.

Last, Auburn formally announced that they aren’t firing their football coach, which is a hilarious sentence in and of itself.

“Over the past week, my administration conducted that review. It included meetings and interviews with current and former football coaching and administrative staff, numerous players, university administrators and other individuals who offered perspective on the issues that had been raised. To be clear, this process, which was never individual- or outcome-specific, did not yield information that should change the status of our coaching staff or football program.”

Translation:”We were hoping to find sufficient dirt to fire him for cause, but we can’t afford another buyout right now.” No wonder a bunch of people who just discovered basketball over there are crowing about it.

That’s about for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.