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Jumbo Package: Alabama takes over SEC Network tomorrow

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Kansas State at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. The annual takeover of SEC Network event kicks off at midnight, and Alabama gets the opening nod.

The Takeover starts Saturday, July 1, and starts with the Crimson Tide. While the full broadcast schedule wasn’t released, the 2022 Sugar Bowl win over Kansas State and the 2023 Super Regional win over Northwestern are on the schedule.

Here is the complete schedule:

Saturday, July 1


2022 Sugar Bowl win over Kansas State

2023 Super Regional win over Northwestern

Plan your weekend accordingly.

One opposing SEC coach thinks that Alabama’s talent level still isn’t back to what it was some years ago, despite the recent record recruiting classes.

“By Alabama standards right now, they’re not as talented compared to previous teams, but they’re Alabama, so they’re going to have a guy that you forgot about from recruiting who breaks out and then some other five-star who finally got to the top of the depth chart,” the coach said. “There will also be some dominant new name in the front seven by mid-season, just watch.”

“(Tommy) Reese is under more pressure than he realizes. It doesn’t matter that he came from Notre Dame, which is crazy to say, but that’s Alabama. I don’t think you can look at a lot of his Notre Dame stuff as a preview, though. He’s going to have way, way more depth at skill positions here. Different game entirely.”

Guess we’ll see.

Kennington Smith III had to put out some content in his new role on the Alabama beat for The Athletic, so he ranked the games that Alabama will play this year.

You can argue that the LSU game is more consequential because it could be a de-facto West Division title/College Football Playoff contention elimination game, but on a national level, there are few, if any, games that are more highly anticipated than this one. Its placement is at a perfect time for intrigue: the belief that Texas will take a step forward colliding with the notion that there’s more doubt about this Alabama team than normal. Then there’s the looming question about Alabama’s quarterback situation: What if the Middle Tennessee game doesn’t inspire much confidence? That would make this contest that much bigger.

Alabama was a huge favorite last year against the unranked Longhorns, and the result was a nail-biting contest that already set the stage for this year’s game. This year’s Texas team will be highly ranked, and whoever wins the game will make a national statement and have a marquee win for its Playoff resume early.

Herb Jones saw his option declined because the team wants to lock him up long term .

Per the NBA: “A team may re-sign its own free agent to a contract with a first-year salary of up to the greater of (a) 175 percent of the player’s salary in the last season of his prior contract, or (b) 105 percent of the average player salary for the prior season, if he played for the team for some or all of each of the prior two consecutive seasons (or, if he changed teams, he did so by trade or by assignment via the NBA’s waiver procedures). A contract signed using the Early Bird Exception must be for at least two seasons (not including any option year).”

According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the maximum contract the Pelicans could extend Jones is a four-year deal worth $53.3 million.

Evan Mathis is doing something that most would not.

Mathis has announced that as part of CardSeer’s launch promotion at the National Sports Collectors Convention on July 26-30 in Rosemont, Illinois, his new company will be giving away more than $500,000 in prizes. Listed along with card holders, sleeves and a Bryce Harper rookie card as prizes is Mathis’ family ring from Super Bowl 50.

The former Alabama standout was Denver’s left guard in the Broncos’ 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in the NFL championship game for the 2015 season.

The family ring is not the ring that Mathis received from the team. Family rings are slightly scaled-down versions of the Super Bowl ring.

Last, Herbie talked about why he loves some Nick Saban.

“I see him different,” Herbstreit said. “I see him as a friend. I see him as a guy I can talk to. If I’m having an issue in my life, he’s one of the first people I would probably call because of how much his words mean to me because he isn’t always going to tell you what you want to hear. He’s going to tell you what he really thinks.

“I’m just a big believer in wisdom and leaning on people like Nick Saban for advice and guidance because they’ve been through so much in their life.”

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

Roll Tide.