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Jumbo Package: Will the 8 game schedule hurt SEC teams come playoff time?

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: Alabama Spring Game Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama baseball had a hell of a run, but it came crashing to a halt in Winston-Salem. Still, the players have plenty to remember and be proud of.

Star shortstop Jim Jarvis touched on the aspects of the team and program that make Alabama home for him. The infielder and leadoff regular is a native of California, but has become one of the faces of the 2023 team.

“I got really lucky that the coaching staff here took a chance on me,” Jarvis said. “I can’t really put it into words. I’m just really thankful for the opportunity to get to play with my best friends. I became good friends with pretty much everyone that was around the program, and they’re the greatest people I ever met… I used to get asked if I’d get homesick, being 30 hours from home or whatever it is, but it’s impossible to [at Alabama]. Everyone here’s family. Everyone’s looking after you. This is a place I can for sure call home for the rest of my life.”

Whether interim coach Jason Jackson is seriously considered for the permanent job remains to be seen, but he certainly has the support of his players.

After the 22-5 loss to the Demon Deacons, veterans Drew Williamson and Jim Jarvis were asked what interim coach Jason Jackson meant to the Crimson Tide.

“He couldn’t have done any more perfect of a job, and I can say that honestly,” Williamson said.

“I would go to war for this guy. I’ve loved the time that I’ve got to spend playing for him. … He’s a great dude, great coach, just great all around.”

Chris Vannini at The Athletic sees some resemblance between SEC football and EPL “football.”

In 2019, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey tweeted that he’d read “The Club,” a book about the history of England’s Premier League. Reading the book, it’s not hard to see all the similarities, including frustration from the richest teams that they must abide by the same rules as smaller teams.

In the wake of Saturday’s Champions League final, won by Manchester City 1-0 over Inter Milan, The Athletic reached out to some of its most prominent European soccer writers about the state of that sport and the similarities one can see with college football. You’ll find many of the same dynamics and concerns, especially around the richest leagues.

Meanwhile, Chris’ colleague Nicole Auerbach thinks the SEC should be punished for staying at 8 games.

Hopefully, Kenny is right. I’ve long advocated for the committee to reward teams that play more challenging schedules, and it nearly never does. I’ve long advocated for the committee to ding teams that play weak nonconference schedules and fewer conference games, and that’s basically never mattered in the process.

That’s why the SEC isn’t moving to nine-game league schedules. Sure, there’s the money piece; the league would like to be paid more for additional inventory. But there’s also the CFP piece. It’s never hurt any SEC team that the conference plays eight games, and if it’s never kept anyone out, why make schedules tougher for everybody? Staying at eight allows SEC teams that want to schedule a cupcake in mid-November to rest up. It also allows middle-of-the-pack SEC teams to make bowl games. It’s a win-win.

UAB head coach Trent Dilfer, who recently lost safety Jaylin Key to Alabama, says he isn’t going to try and hold any players back from bettering themselves through NIL.

“Do you even try to retain that player?” Dilfer said, according to On3’s onsite coverage. “If you develop a player, and he’s good enough to make that type of money at a program that would be perceived up from us – economically, for sure – well, as a player-centric coach, isn’t it my job to encourage him to take that money, if he doesn’t hurt his chances of making generational wealth (in the NFL)?”

What a rare, refreshing perspective amid a coaching community whose thinking usually is clouded by so much paranoia, self-preservation and desire for omnipotence that little thought is spared for what’s best for athletes.

Last, Jahmyr Gibbs is the latest Tide standout to suggest that practices are harder at Alabama than in the pros.

“NFL practice is different from college,” Gibbs said on Thursday, “and how, like, they approach the day, what they do in their spare time and their free time. …

“(Alabama coach Nick) Saban, he’s probably hitting every day, full pads in the heat for two hours. Here, we get good work in, but they don’t try to kill us.”

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.