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Jumbo Package: Tide’s top target is back on the board: Keon Keeley decommits from Notre Dame

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

The College Football Playoff Committee is going to turn me into a Libertarian.

Before we delve into ‘Bama’s practice yesterday, this story has been shamefully buried the last day — the CFP Board have begun “talks” to move the structure of the Playoffs out of the NCAA rubric.

The deconstruction of college football to enrich the already-obscenely rich (cough, including Alabama) is not solely about the money; it’s also about expropriating the collegiate football experience and wielding sole control of it.

The 11 college presidents and chancellors who make up the College Football Playoff’s board of managers met via Zoom on Monday and began a discussion that could reshape the future of college sports, sources told ESPN.

Multiple sources told ESPN that the board of managers briefly discussed the possibility of restructuring how college football is governed, with the idea presented of major college football potentially being governed outside of the NCAA. The most logical place for the sport to be run outside of the NCAA would be under the auspices of the CFP, which was discussed on the call. The CFP currently oversees the sport’s postseason playoff and has contractual ties to other marquee postseason bowl games.

Did you catch that?

The de facto governing apparatus for D1 CFB would be the College Football Playoff itself. As if it were not patently obvious by now, we’ve been howling here for the last 8-9 years that the entire CFP is not only a transparent money grab, but also one of ministerial power.

Without going all Crypto Bro / unpaid tax liens / reeking-of-weed-and-gun-oil / it’s-technically-hebephilia on you or anything, administrative bodies rarely diminish in size, willingly relinquish power, are content to stand pat on the limited powers conferred upon them, or effectively police their own behavior. To the contrary, they grow, they seek more power, they increase staffing and reach and infiltration into other organizations, and they oft become corrupted from their original purpose (if not outright corrupt) — and all posed under the guise of “it makes the most sense.”

I’m not saying that it’s necessarily malevolent; many agencies do have good missions and plenty of good people. I’m saying that it is inevitable, and that inevitability is the evil here.

Because while administrative agencies may often be seen as a necessary evil in nation-states with separation of powers and complex economies, that need not be the case for college football. Yet, here we are, with the same ole’ human motivations arising in the bureaucratic impulse of college football: money and power (As with other social structures, presumably sex is a third motivator, but I don’t even want to contemplate Greg Byrne or Jack Swarbrick rutting with a side chick in the secretarial pool).

You’ve been warned. This is happening. When is the only question.

Keon Keeley SZN

Some of the new commitments to Alabama’s 2022-2023 NSD class have been very active targeting players leaning elsewhere; they’ve even done a stellar job of hauling in other players — 5-star RB Richard Young, himself a switch to ‘Bama, in particular has done some stellar promotion. However, the one player they’ve worked the hardest at recruiting is also the one that seems to be the highest remaining ‘Bama target, and was thought to be a Notre Dame mortal lock just weeks ago: the nation’s No. 1 edge rusher, 5-star DE/OLB Keon Keeley.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder from Berkeley Prep in Tampa holds offerss from essentially every school in the nation, and has been a major target of Holmon Wiggins and Coleman Hutzler (there’s that name again — Hutzler hit the ground running at UA).

It seems that enough schools and players have done enough work to make Keeley rethink that commitment. Last night, he decommited from the Irish:

It remains to be seen if Young, Wiggins, and Hutzler have done enough? I guess we’ll just to find out if Pete Golding tweets out his now-trademark elephant emoji. That usually indicates a major defensive pickup is inbound...and if it’s Keeley, ‘Bama Twitter will lose their shit.

If you’ve not seen his tape, you should. He’s a monster.

If it weren’t for bad luck...

If Alabama could have one preseason where everyone is healthy and able to start the season, that would be great. First, there was scuttlebutt going around that Battle had to be carted off the field yesterday. But that rumor aside, there is confirmation that CB Eli Ricks missed practice with a back injury; and he has missed every practice since the Scrimmage, as well as the Scrimmage itself.

Saban said that it did not seem significant (“little back injury”), but those are just the kind of musculoskeletal injuries that linger, and the Tide can scarce afford to lose anyone at corner, which is by far Alabama’s thinnest posiition group...and among its most important.

Rejoice! For it is the season!

No, it’s not Christmas, but for many Gumps it will feel like it: the University of Alabama is getting alcohol sales this fall! The City and University have finally ironed out their differences, and the Council approved UA’s liquor license for Bryant Denny.

Sales will be limited to just beer and wine — likely priced at an extortionate rate. So, for those of you incapable of smuggling in your own whiskey, find the nearest frat boy and ask him to whip that flask of Wild Turkey 101 out of his khakis and then continue apace. Remember to buy a shaker: They’re God’s right and proper cocktail stirrer

And for the rest of you, please enjoy spending $19 on a hot, flat, 22-ounce domestic light beer that will be 94 degrees before you get back to your seat!


Will you be buying a beer at BDS?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Nope. You couldn’t pay me to drink a beer outside at 1:00 in the afternoon in late August in Alabama.
    (142 votes)
  • 25%
    Hell yeah, brother!
    (203 votes)
  • 2%
    I’ll make a purchase, but I’m more of a wine drinker myself. Pinkies out, bitches.
    (17 votes)
  • 19%
    Nope. I pregame hard and/or know how to smuggle minis in.
    (151 votes)
  • 9%
    Nope. I don’t drink beer or wine.
    (72 votes)
  • 25%
    Nope. I don’t drink and/or don’t drink at games.
    (200 votes)
785 votes total Vote Now

Now this is what we want to read

This team has its head on right, and it led from within — as the best ‘Bama squads have always been.

Leadership has been a common thread of conversations with Crimson Tide football players this year, and Saban was asked about that, which led to his explanation of the two parts of leadership

“I do think that we have some really positive leadership on this team,” he said. “We have some really good leaders, but there are two parts of leadership.

“There’re players who lead, and we have some really good players doing that, but there also are players that have to learn how to respond to leadership. That means they take ownership for doing what the leaders ask them to do. That’s something that everybody’s got to make a decision and a commitment that they’re willing to do to take ownership for doing that. There’s one thing to command things but there’s another thing to take ownership for yourself so that you can buy into what people are asking you to do.”

Dennis Dodd: right again

I may need to get my brain checked or something. Dennis Dodd is right again. This time, it’s in naming Will Anderson CBS’s Preseason Player of the Year.

The best comparison for Anderson might be Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.

“It’s like the 15th question I’ve had on that,” Anderson said last month at SEC Media Days when asked about comparisons to Thomas. “I watched clips. [He’s] a freakish athlete.”

Thomas was more than that. In 1988, he finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting after posting a school-record 27 sacks. That was 12 years before the NCAA even started keeping track of the statistic. His legend grew in the NFL. At the time of Thomas’ death in 2000, he had the ninth-most sacks in NFL history. His record of seven in one game against Seattle in 1990 has never been broken.

If Thomas hadn’t left us, there could have been a formal passing of the torch from one freakish athlete to another at Alabama. There are already flashes of Thomas in his play. “He’s got a burst like you won’t believe,” Rogers pointed out, “and he accelerates through tackles. Most people just kind of tackle them and drag.”

“His ability to get off the ball is amazing,” said Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, who played against Anderson in the 2020 Army All-American Bowl. “He’s smarter than others.”

Anderson deserved the Heisman last season; that he was not even a finalist was a disgrace. And it will be equally disgraceful this year if he again posts generational numbers and is a one-man gamechanger and does not get that recognition.

He’ll just have to settle with being a likely top-3 draft pick and earning half a billion dollars o over the next dozen years. Poor guy.

We sort of overlook how damned good Will actually is, how eerily reminiscent he is of legendary Derrick Thomas.

Let me refresh your memory.

Anyway, that’s a great read above and just the kind Gump red meat we need.

Yesterday was the Tide’s 12th practice of the preseason, and as usual Potter has the verbatim transcript of Saban’s major presser.

But, I did want to highlight these remarks on Vandy transfer Tyler Steen, all-but-certainly Alabama’s starting left tackle.

On Tyler Steen...

“I think Tyler’s got a lot of ability. I think that all the new players that come in, it’s a little different culture here. They all have to sorta buy into the culture of how we do things, what we do, not easily satisfied with what we do and how we do it and to challenge yourself to be the best that you can be on every play. I think that’s the question that I would have for a lot of different players, but Tyler is certainly showing a lot of ability. He’s made really good progress.

He’s a bright guy, but consistency in performance is something that we’re really focused on. And that will create tremendous value for him. We want what’s best for all the players. I don’t see how any player could ever think that anything we do is not in their best interest to try and help them be the best version of themselves. They may not like it. Just like sometimes when I was a kid, I didn’t like what my parents made me do. I didn’t like it when my dad made me wash the car over because I didn’t do it correctly. I didn’t like that, but it made me better. So, we all got to go through that to some degree.”

Catch that last part? Yes, that was in response to Najee Harris’s remarks on Tuesday. Tough love, tough dudes.

Please, sir, may I have more?

Alabama is hiring for some gameday staff. Sure, the pay kind of sucks, but you get to see a game for free and pick up some side cash.

Basketball season is also rapidly approaching, and tonight marks the season premiere of Hey, Coach with Nate Oats (a man that I would take a bullet for).

Finally, everything is awful.

I’m not sure if anyone has seen the Manti Te’o documentary yet. But we raked that kid over the coals mercilessly a decade ago. After viewing it on Netflix, I feel bad in retrospect. The facts were far, far worse than we had any indication of, as was the impact that it had on his life — he was an exploited kid and an actual victim.

Te’o comes off as the decent, earnest and likable guy he is known for being, but also as a very hurt one. And he has every reason to be. This will follow him for the rest of his life. The transfishing he endured was some of the most sociopathic behavior you’ll ever encounter — and that little MFer, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, needs to be in prison.

I won’t apologize for something that was a generalized source of amusement at the time, but I know I wouldn’t do it now if I had the chance to go back and repeat my actions.

Besides...that’s low-hanging fruit. Make fun of his ass getting trucked repeatedly by Eddie Lacy: That game is truly what cost him millions.


Now that more facts have emerged, and the impact is fully known. do you feel bad for Manti Te’o in retrospect?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Yes, and I wouldn’t do it again.
    (112 votes)
  • 16%
    Yes, but I can’t make up for the past
    (70 votes)
  • 4%
    No, but I wouldn’t do it again.
    (21 votes)
  • 23%
    Not the least bit sorry. F Notre Dame and every player in a gold and navy uniform. REMEMBER 1973!
    (103 votes)
  • 29%
    I’ve not seen it and/or my general feelings have not changed since 2012.
    (127 votes)
433 votes total Vote Now