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Jumbo Package: SEC Spring Meetings look to squeeze more money from ESPN

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Tuesday, everyone. SEC Spring Meetings are going down this week, and scheduling is at the forefront of the discussion. There is still nothing approaching a consensus on how many games and permanent opponents will be played each year. And this bit is hilarious.

Under consideration is a one-year, temporary eight-game conference schedule in 2024 that will, at least for one year, preserve both primary and secondary rivalries.

Why eight? Capilouto’s concerns are echoed by many in the league. What’s the impact of a ninth league game on an athlete’s health? And how will the selection process play out in an expanded CFP?

But a third question has lingered and gone mostly unanswered for a year now: the extra money from ESPN, which is not contractually required to provide more money for a ninth game.

So, the players’ health matters unless ESPN pays enough for it not to matter. Another quote from the article:

“That’s probably what will happen,” says one high-ranking SEC administrator. “I don’t see the desire to go to a ninth game and not have any increase from a revenue standpoint. That’s what I think comes out this week, unless something dramatic happens.”

As always, everything is about the money. Alabama preserving its rivalry with Tennessee is important as long as ESPN, a company that is going through yet another round of layoffs, decides to pay for it. Nothing else really matters, and that’s just a reality of the sport at this point.

Kirk McNair spit some fire this morning.

In many respects, sports journalism like many professions has changed (not always necessarily for the better) over the years. It is notable that the approach today is more negative than in the Bryant Era. And who better than the current GOAT to try to take down?

Remember a few years ago when the first of the Saban-Era-Is-Over analyses began? Anyone heard from Dabo lately?

There has been an exhibition of ecstasy regarding LSU Coach Brian Kelly telling an alumni group that it was a pleasure to beat Alabama. That’s a rare pleasure (in Kelly’s case the only one in three tries, the losses in 2012 and 2020 as Bama added national championships), but an acceptable one. He should take pleasure in that 2022 win over Alabama in Baton Rouge. No one at Alabama is going to its alumni base with “It’s a pleasure to beat LSU.” And there are many reasons to expect Kelly’s pleasure will be short-lived.

Keon Keeley is a confident young man.

He and Yhonzae Pierre are a couple of hellacious summer additions to the pass rush.

The Athletic lost its best college football writer not named Bruce Feldman.

Last, Al dot com is down to the final round for Alabama’s “best” team of all time, and this shouldn’t even be a contest.

After three rounds, has its two Alabama fan-voted teams for the championship round of the Best Alabama Team of All-Time. It will be Nick Saban’s 2020 team vs Gene Stallings’ 1992 team, a classic matchup of offense vs defense. The 1992 squad was led by the nation’s No. 1 defense, whereas 2020 was led by Alabama’s record-setting offense. once again received thousands of votes of the past few days and we’re excited to share the results from the Final Four. 1992 defeated 2009 with 60 percent of the votes and 2020 defeated 2015 with 81 percent of the votes.

I too love that 1992 team and have written about my personal memories of watching it, which I will forever cherish. But anyone who votes for it as the “best” over that 2020 juggernaut isn’t being serious.

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

Roll Tide.