Happy Tuesday, everyone. It’s a bit of a light news day, but SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made a media appearance yesterday and was grilled about scheduling. He had a few thoughts, but no timetables.
Texas and Oklahoma will join the SEC for the 2024 season, and a new scheduling format with 16 teams in the league is still being determined. Sankey has made clear that a single-division format is the focus, as opposed to the existing two-division format. The question is, will teams face eight SEC opponents or nine?
That was the main discussion point a year ago when SEC presidents, athletics directors and coaches met in Sandestin, Florida, for spring meetings. No decision was made, though.
Will this year’s spring meetings, scheduled for May 30, finally be the finish line?
“Could be,” Sankey said. “Could be. But I said that last year, too. So be nimble.”
“We’re not talking about a one-game or three-game schedule — that was never part of the conversation,” Sankey said regarding the rumors of teams having three permanent rival opponents. “Now, depending on whether we play eight games or nine games, some of the models have one rival that’s played on an annual basis or three, but there’s a whole other set of teams that fill out the schedule.
“What we have learned through our analysis is we can narrow the competitive bandwidth compared to our two-division format currently where, depending on the ebb and flow of divisional strength, some team’s schedule is much more challenging than others within the conference. That’s the type of information we’ve developed over time and will be used as we make a decision.”
While a single division format with nine SEC games has been the proposed model, seemingly nothing is set in stone at this stage.
Alabama may have a committee approach at running back this season, made up of some strong members.
It will all sing harmony only if the Crimson Tide offensive line plays with the different edge it’s been working toward. Promising sophomore guard Tyler Booker and veteran tackle J.C. Latham could be a fearsome and powerful right-side tandem.
Meanwhile, competition in the backfield is vibrant. A rotation is months from being set, but McClellan wields a significant edge in experience. He and Williams have another year to make their names as top SEC rushers; Miller and Haynes have more.
A backup tight end has announced plans to leave the building.
Brown was a four-star prospect in the 2022 signing class, ranked as the No. 13 tight end by the 247Sports Composite. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end joined the Crimson Tide from Dayton, Ohio.
Brown didn’t see any playing time in 2022.
Alabama has tight ends CJ Dippre, Robbie Ouzts, Amari Niblack, Danny Lewis Jr., Miles Kitselman and Ty Lockwood on the roster without Brown. Dippre is a transfer from Maryland who figures to play a significant role this season.
Last, it seems that Bryce Young is something of a lock to be Alabama’s first number one overall NFL Draft pick.
Young’s decision to cancel his remaining draft visits adds further fuel to the fire that it’s likely the Carolina Panthers will select him with the No. 1 overall pick. Young visited the Panthers on April 11. He also visited the Houston Texans, who hold the No. 2 overall pick, the following day.
We will find out for certain a week from Thursday.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.