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Jumbo Package: SEC SIDs vote Alabama preseason favorites for the 10th straight season

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NCAA Football: Alabama Spring Game Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. The SEC SID offices have spoken, and Alabama is once again the favorite to win the league.

The Crimson Tide was the pick by 11 of the SEC’s 14 football information directors to win the league championship in 2022, in voting compiled by Birmingham News for the 76th straight year. Alabama — which, we must remember, beat Georgia for the SEC title last year before falling to the Bulldogs in the national championship game — is the preseason favorite in this poll for the 10th consecutive year.

Alabama has made good on that projection in six of the nine thus far.

Will Backus of 247sports is one of the few to put out a prediction for someone other than Alabama to win the national title this year, choosing Ohio State in this next piece. He is bullish on Will Anderson’s Heisman chances, though.

Anderson was a trendy pick to take home the hardware in 2021, so he should be seen as the favorite with another year of improvement under his belt. To think that a player of Anderson’s caliber could get any better is a terrifying thought. Anderson could very well pass the 20-sack mark after he came close last season with 17.5. He also had an absurd 102 tackles (playing off the edge), 34.5 which went for a loss. If he can improve on those numbers across the board, than his legitimacy as a Heisman winner is undeniable.

Add Bryce Young to the list of people touting Jahmyr Gibbs.

“He’s super explosive, super dynamic,” Young said, via 247Sports’ Chris Hummer at the Manning Passing Academy. “He’s lightning in a bottle every time he touches the ball. Just seeing him be able to improvise and do great things with it has been really fun for me to watch. I’m excited to watch him to see how electric he’ll be this year.”

Gibbs finished last season with 143 carries, 746 rushing yards, four touchdowns, 5.2 yards per carry, 35 catches, 465 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Najee is out in California just being Najee.

The NFL would be wise to make that man the face of the league.

Pierce Quick’s younger brother has committed to Alabama baseball.

“I was very close,” Quick told recently. “No one really knows that. “When I was committed to play baseball at Alabama, I was talking to Auburn and Mississippi State, and I was about to go to Auburn to play football.”

But …

“I talked to my brother (Georgia Tech offensive lineman and former Alabama player Pierce Quick) and my dad and a bunch of friends, and they all just kind of advised me that baseball was the right path for me,” he said. “I love both sports, but I don’t have any regrets.”

Speaking of baseball, Ole Miss won the “national title” after finishing 8th in the SEC and barely making the NCAA field.

It’s impossible to overstate the improbability of all this. Ole Miss wasn’t just bad two months ago. The Rebels were so bad they were making bad teams look good. Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi State took series from the Rebels in three consecutive weeks and then all missed the NCAA Tournament.

Then, after May 1, something clicked. The Rebels won 18 of their last 22 games, outscoring their opponents 160-74. Ole Miss went 10-1 in 11 NCAA Tournament games, pitching three shutouts and averaging 7.5 runs per game.

Anyone who sees this result and still tries to argue that a championship won “on the field” is more legitimate than one awarded based on full season performance is logically deficient. As disgusting as it is, that trashy Tennessee team should be recognized as the champion of the 2022 season after going 49-7 and winning the best conference in the land by a wide margin.

Tournaments are entertaining. Have them, and award a tournament champion. The idea that the team that wins the tournament was necessarily the best team in the sport for that year, however, is laughable.

Last, outstanding UAB coach Bill Clark retired due to back problems.

“After BYU, it starts hurting down the front of my leg,” Clark said. “I’ve dealt with back pain my whole life. I’d have shots and when they stopped touching, I really started thinking I have a serious problem. Spring was really tough and it was something I dealt with for years so I felt like I could get through it.”

“When I finally to the realization at the first of June, there was not much choice but the fusion,” he added. “Can I survive without doing that through the season? During camps, talking to players, I’m having to ride a golf cart or take a knee. That’s just to talk to the kids that came to my camp. I just can’t do my job, it’s not the way I do it and not the way my guys need.”

Hope he recovers well.

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

Roll Tide.