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Jumbo Package: Lane Kiffin speaks on Nick Saban at SEC Media Days, Alabama up today

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Days Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Nick Saban and company are up at SEC Media Days today, and as usual the other coaches were asked about him.

Kiffin smirked when his first question Monday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days asked him to recall Saban’s philosophy on trick plays.

“Well, Kirby Smart used to say sometimes you come up here and just talking about Alabama,” Kiffin said. “So our first question somehow is about Nick Saban, so … that’s pretty usual.”

Kiffin smiled before adding Saban liked trick plays – but only when they worked.

Speaking of Kiffin, the year is 2013. He has just been fired by USC on the airport tarmac, closing an odd chapter that included a deflated footballs scandal among being called a con man by a NFL owner and bugging out on Tennessee after just one short year. Someone tells you that in 2022, Lane will not only be back head coaching in the SEC, but acting as a voice of reason.

“If you got boosters out there deciding who they’re gonna pay to come play and the coach isn’t involved in it, how’s that work?” Kiffin said Monday at SEC media days. “Do they just go pick who they want? ... And then when they don’t play, how’s that gonna work out?

“So again, this was not thought out at all, in my opinion. And it’s created a massive set of issues.”

Kiffin has been unafraid to talk about the impact of NIL on recruiting.

On signing day in February, Kiffin joked that Texas A&M, which signed the top class, “was going to incur a luxury tax in how much they paid for their signing class.”

He’s absolutely right, and this is one reason why I believe that the insane bidding for talent will taper off at some point. Besides the very real possibility of a recession that could limit the dollars that boosters are willing to shell out, it won’t take many busts or transfers that were paid handsomely to come to a particular school before some boosters pump the brakes a bit.

Greg Sankey is rightfully cocky these days.

The commissioner insinuated there was outside interest from schools interested in the SEC.

“I’ve had a few of those calls in the past three or four weeks,” Sankey said the SEC Network before taking the podium, “but that doesn’t set us up for anything.”

Sankey said those phone calls are a show of respect but cited “grant-of-rights issues” that would seemingly reference ACC schools. That league has contracts with members that would make the financial gain from a jump to another conference negligible since any new TV revenue would instead go to the ACC. That grant of rights deal doesn’t expire until 2036.

“Again, we’re comfortable at 16,” Sankey said. “There’s no sense of urgency, no sense of panic. We’re not just shooting for a number of affiliations that make us better. Could they be out there? I would never say they’re not. I would never say that we will.”

By 2025, when Texas and Oklahoma join, the SEC we will feature the greatest collection of football brands ever assembled this side of the NFL. Following closely behind — or perhaps alongside the SEC — will be the Big Ten.

The 32 teams comprising those conferences will be darn close to being able to stage their own playoff. They will have cornered most of the revenue and eyeballs that matter.

No one will ever accuse Sankey of being buddies with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, but it will largely be up to them where college athletics heads.

You’d have to be an ostrich not to see where the sport is headed with those 32 teams. It’s only a matter of time before they only play one another, with perhaps one exception a year to account for in state rivalries.

Brian Kelly was asked about his little Elmer Fudd routine at the LSU basketball game.

Kelly, who went viral in January after seeming to have a Southern drawl when addressing an LSU basketball crowd, was also asked about his favorite food he’s tried since moving to Louisiana and referenced his viral moment.

“Understand now, I have a Boston, Midwestern, Louisiana accent now,” he said. “It’s three dialects into one. It’s no longer family, I got all kinds of stuff to throw at you. ... You know, it’s probably the crawfish étouffée. I don’t know how you top that.

No, he didn’t “seem to have” a Southern drawl. He was trying to fake one, and it was pathetic.

Kelly’s former school is still doing its best to maintain football independence, but they need a little help.

For NBC to feel comfortable raising Notre Dame’s valuation to such a level, it is seeking “shoulder programming” (in this case, games played before and/or after Notre Dame’s contests) from a Power Five conference to enhance its college football coverage.

When such a move had been speculated previously, the Big Ten was the conference mentioned most often as a target. However, the Big 12 has emerged as a strong option to fill NBC’s shoulder programming needs.

The Big Ten is expected to announce a new $1 billion media rights deal possibly as early as this month with Fox as its primary partner. It is believed to be seeking 2-3 other partners to air its programming with NBC reportedly among the bidders.

Tim Tebow likes this year’s crop of SEC QBs.

A little nugget in there that many picked up on was that Bryce Young was at “The Heisman House” which would indicate that he was probably filming ocommercials. If so, that young man is getting paid, and that is exactly what real NIL was all about.

Last, Justice Haynes’ father Verron, not only a former standout at Georgia but the man who scored the touchdown against Tennessee that inspired legendary announcer Larry Munson’s famous “hobnail boot” call, is happy for his son.

The younger Haynes was a target for the Bulldogs this cycle after rushing for 2,375 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior last season.

“Every man has their path 2 walk & I’m proud of U for choosin your own. I know the process may have been long & difficult but at the end I’m confident U made the best decision for U. Here’s to your future and all you’ll become,” Verron Haynes tweeted.

Kudos to Verron for not meddling in his son’s affairs. Some have been highly upset over some Alabama in-state recruits heading elsewhere, but I imagine those folks are just fine with this decision.

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

Roll Tide.