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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Nick Saban speaks on NCAA rule changes and SEC Scheduling

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Is Tennessee to Alabama what South Carolina is to Auburn. Not even close. Another thing to consider: Isn’t LSU and Alabama just a “rivalry game” because of Saban? Trading out LSU for Mississippi State would probably be fairer for Alabama, but some things are more important to the SEC than fairness for Alabama, and that’s the TV ratings when Alabama and LSU play every season.

Let’s not ignore the most important metric of all.


Saban’s water cooler complaint is legitimate, but don’t expect the SEC to change anything for Alabama. And if the league does, then all I’m asking is for Sankey to please drop that SEC bombshell any other time than the Friday afternoon before the Final Four.

For once,’s Goodman wrote an article that wasn’t entirely on a bad-faith premise and is a pretty good read. I’m sure everyone saw Saban’s comments about the SEC’s proposed 3-locked team schedule by now, so give it a read.

For my money, I want Alabama to play Mississippi State every year. They are the closest geographically to Tuscaloosa, they have the longest head-to-head history against the Tide, and it’s just an underrated great regional rivalry.

Past that, I don’t care. Give me Tennessee and LSU and kick Auburn to the curb. Or let LSU go deal with the new west teams.

Nick also had some comments on the proposed rule changes to shorten games:

“I’m kind of for the first down thing, but I’m an old NFL guy,” Saban said. “I’m not quite as in favor of the incomplete pass. You throw a pass 50 yards down the field, it takes people time to get back, and now the clock is running? If you talk to the fans, they think the game stoppages for [replay] review are too long. What the NFL has done, where the guy doesn’t go over and always has to look in the thing and that decision gets made by video review quickly, I think that would help it.

“I lived in the NFL where you had to throw the flag out there [to challenge]. You don’t have time. Unless it’s an obvious mistake, you really don’t have time between plays. And if the other team knows there’s a controversy, they are going to go fast so you have less time. I like the college system better. I think it needs to be implemented in a better way.”

I agree here. I’ve always thought stopping the clock on first downs was a weird way of doing things in college.

Regardless, it won’t matter. We all know what will happen. We’ll get 15 less plays of football to watch, and the games will still last 4 hours. Hmmmm, I wonder where that TV time goes? Can’t be more commercials, can it?

Alabama will hold its first spring football practice in less than two weeks.

The Crimson Tide released its 15-day spring practice schedule Tuesday, and the football team is set to return to the field Monday, March 20. This will be after the university’s spring break, so there will not be a lengthy break after the first practice like in past years. Alabama will practice 14 more times before the A-Day Game, which will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 22.

Head coach Nick Saban will hold seven press conferences throughout the spring, including one after the initial practice and another following the A-Day Game. The Tide will take part in a pair of closed scrimmages at Bryant-Denny Stadium prior to the spring game. The first is set for Friday, April 7, while the second will be held one week before A-Day on Saturday, April 15.

We have a schedule!

We’ll get the occasional odd rumor from spring practice to get us all excited, then one young wide receiver will make a great play in A-Day, a reporter will ask about him, and Nick Saban will get all fired up and angry about it. It’s a tale as old as time.

In any case, we’ll keep you updated here on RBR as I continue to work through bios on all of the new players and we also start previewing the position groups before A-Day.

With a two-sentence release on Monday afternoon, the NFL reinstated wide receiver Calvin Ridley from an indefinite suspension imposed one day short of one year ago.

The NFL indefinitely suspended Ridley on March 7, 2022, for betting on league games. The former Alabama standout applied to be reinstated on Feb. 15, the first day that he could do so.

“Calvin Ridley of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been fully reinstated,” the NFL announced via press release. “Ridley, who had been suspended indefinitely since March 2022 for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, is eligible to participate in all team activities, effective immediately.”

In a statement released by the Jaguars, Ridley took responsibility for his suspension.

“Today’s reinstatement by the NFL brings an end to a challenging chapter of my professional career, one that was self-inflicted and began with an isolated lapse in judgement,” read Ridley’s statement. “I have always owned my mistakes, and this is no different. I have great respect for the game and am excited for the opportunity to restart my career in Jacksonville. I look forward to showing my new coaches, teammates and the entire Jaguars organization exactly who I am and what I represent as a player and person.”

Congrats to Ridley for getting a shot to get his career back. I actually forgot he had been traded to the Jags. While I’m not sold on the organization still, they did show signs of life last season and, technically, are a team on the rise. He’ll be a great addition for them as a player who was looking like one of the best wide receivers in the league.

Roll Tide!