Friday, April 11, 2008  
The day before the big one.
Ha. Well, as big as you can get for college football in April. Today at 11:30am, I'm DVRing the Mississippi State spring game on CSS. Then, tomorrow, my DVR is getting quite a workout. Since I'll be in Tuscaloosa, I'm recording College Gameday from 10-11am on ESPN2, then from 11-12 on ESPN. Then, I'll be recording both the Clemson spring game (CSS), and the Florida spring game (ESPN) from 12-2. Then there's the Bama game from 2-4, then the Ole Miss game comes on immediately after that from 4-6. Then there's college football final from, I believe, 10-11 on ESPN. Now that's what I'm talking about. Hopefully they'll do the same thing next Saturday as well.

For now, let's jump into a few things. We'll talk hoops first.

Bill Self - take the money and run, son. Don't be an idiot and stay at Kansas cause you like what you've built. You can build the same thing at home - and make a LOT more money doing it. Seriously. Pickens is offering a $6 MILLION DOLLAR SIGNING BONUS along with $3.5 MILLION PER YEAR for you to be their basketball coach. Are you insane? That's ridiculous. And every newspaper columnist in the country is going to feed you some bs story about how it's great to see somebody not run to the money, but the entire time they're making jokes about how much of an idiot this guy really is. Go home dude. And take straight cash, homey.

For all the Tide fans that have been begging for Travis Ford, he'll still be ripe for the picking at UMass next year. He turned down an offer to be the next head coach at Providence yesterday, and signed a new deal with UMass. That means he'll be a hot name again next year. I'm pretty sure that he won't be making what Gottfried made this year, so we'll have a shot. Anthony Grant isn't going anywhere yet either, so we'll just have to see how this plays out. We're at one year and counting until a new head coach is courtside at Coleman Coliseum.

Mykal Riley is still lighting it up, only this time in the invitation-only oldest amateur basketball tournament. He scored 15 points and grabbed 8 boards to help his team to victory. Hopefully some NBA scouts will take a look at this kid. Read more here.

I've gotta say, I'm not really sure what on Earth is goin on here, but when columnists start backing you up for running "a clean program" and talking about how everything's not as bad as you would think...that really signifies that they are. Things are not good in T-town, as far as the basketball program goes. Ray Melick and Kevin Scarbinsky will try and tell you that everything's ok, and that players transferring and other players leaving early, etc, doesn't mean anything is wrong. But when the team goes 17-16 with a 5-11 SEC record, that does mean something is wrong. Players aren't happy. Something's gotta be done. Period.

Well, nobody really gives a damn about basketball, and rightfully so. It's football season again. Tomorrow will be our first chance to see what this group has been doing at the closed practices so far.

Alabama officials are expecting another packed house, just like the 92,000 for last year. All 38 gates will be opened, and they won't be closing off any of the stadium like they started with last season (when the East upper deck was closed). All of the concession stands will be opened as well. Another showing of 90,000 strong and there's no debating who the best college football fans are. Kinda makes you wonder why ESPN would decide to go down to Gainesville instead of Tuscaloosa.

Make sure and keep an eye out for Earl Alexander. I remember my dad telling me during the Western Carolina game last year that EA would eventually be like Saban's wide receiving corps at LSU. Big, physical, will try and flatten you out of the gate - and will still be able to the catch the ball and beat you in a foot race to the endzone. Watch for him on Saturday during A-Day. I think he's gonna be a beast this year.

With the lack of depth that this team has at the moment, Coach Saban is going to do something he normally doesn't like doing - he'll be playing first team offense against first team defense for most of the day. That doesn't mean that some players won't switch out, etc, but for the most part we'll get to see the best against the best, which is rare for spring ball. Even the Sporting News is chipping in on it - read here.

If you're looking for a damn good article about why Coach Saban is the best coach for the Alabama gig, check out the new Sports Illustrated article by Andy Staples. He details it pretty damn well.

Oh yeah, and Tremayne Coger has left the football team. Was he on scholarship? I would assume so. That frees up one more spot, so the spring roster is down to 66, right?

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