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Team: Alabama Crimson Tide

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Sports Illustrated's Colin Becht believes that "the gap between [Alabama and Clemson] is likely to widen this year rather than shrink."
"This may sound like blindly giving Alabama the benefit of the doubt," Becht wrote, "but when a program has recruited as well as Nick Saban's has—two No. 1-ranked classes, a No. 2-ranked class and a No. 4-ranked class in the last four years, according to Scout.com—it’s earned it." The analyst still predictably loves Clemson's offense, but expressed concern in regards to their secondary after Mackenzie Alexander, Jayron Kearse and T.J. Green all absconded to the NFL. Four-star S Van Smith of this most recent recruiting class is the only four-star player at that position that Clemson has brought in over the last three recruiting cycles. May 20 - 3:03 PM

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Pro Football Focus ranks Alabama No. 1 in the nation heading into the summer.

The ranking was published Wednesday, after news of Cam Robinson's arrest. "Even though they’ve lost 5,079 defensive snaps to the NFL, they return eight players in their front-seven who played at least 180 snaps and graded positively, including two pass-rush forces in DT Jonathan Allen and the nation’s most efficient snap-for-snap pass rusher in OLB Tim Williams," Steve Palazzolo wrote. Offensively, QBs Cooper Bateman or former Elite 11 champion Blake Barnett will have an outstanding supporting cast to work with. "[The Tide] will be right in the mix for the National Championship once again," Palazzolo wrote.
May 18 - 7:03 PM

Athlon released its Top-25 ranking on Monday afternoon, with Alabama No. 1.

"The Crimson Tide suffered key losses on both sides of the ball, but this team reloads as well as any in the nation," Athlon noted. "Expect Nick Saban's team to lean on its defense and ground attack until the offense finds stability at quarterback." The Crimson Tide were No. 2 in Sports Illustrated's own top-25, behind Oklahoma.
May 16 - 4:52 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban resents the impression that his players enter the NFL with excessive wear and tear.

His argument is compelling: "When you talk to NFL teams, none of them ever say that to me. I don't know where that came from. Eddie Lacy comes out and is rookie of the year as a running back. Where's the wear and tear? We had 45 guys on NFL rosters last year, which is more than any other college team, so where's the wear and tear? I don't see it. Dr. (Lyle) Cain and Dr. (James) Andrews are our team doctors who deal with a lot of NFL players. They monitor what we do with our players. I don't think this is factual at all, and I resent the fact that anybody in the NFL, with the access we give them, the things we do to try to help them ... that anyone would make a statement like that and hurt our program, if it were true." The Tide had seven players chosen in the 2016 draft, beginning with C Ryan Kelly heading to the Colts in Rd. 1.
Source: NFL.com
May 13 - 4:41 PM

Sports Illustrated ranked Alabama No. 2 in its post-spring top-25 power rankings.

Oklahoma is No. 1. "You can be concerned that the Crimson Tide offense didn’t score a point in the first three quarters of its spring game, but I’m not," Colin Becht wrote. And that's because Alabama’s defense -- which returns Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, Eddie Jackson and Jonathan Allen -- isn't going to give up many points to any team this year. The analyst believes the return of Cam Robinson will erase some of the offensive line's issues and further trusts Lane Kiffin to groom an adequate replacement for Jake Coker.
May 9 - 10:55 PM

In a poll of six writers at CBS Sports, Alabama HC Nick Saban was a unanimous selection as the best overall coach in the country.

"Alabama has become the most dominant college football program in the country because of Nick Saban, and until he decides to hang it up," Tom Fornelli wrote, "it's going to be hard to pass him in these rankings." The Alabama kingpin topped last year's poll, too. You will hear no arguments from us. Saban might be a chalk pick, but that doesn't mean he is the wrong pick in this case.
Source: CBS Sports
May 9 - 3:14 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Philadelphia "has emerged as the leading candidate" to host the 2017 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles is still alive, but the NFL may view Philadelphia as more feasible while construction continues on the Rams' mega complex that will eventually house the NFL Network. That complex won't be complete until 2019.
Apr 27 - 5:02 PM

Denver will make a bid to host the NFL draft in 2019.

"We're very eager to pursue hosting the NFL draft," Broncos spokesperson Patrick Smyth said. "The next few drafts unfortunately don't align perfectly with the football calendar, but 2019 shapes up well." The Mile High City will compete with multiple interested cities to host that draft. "We are evaluating proposals for upcoming drafts but have made no decisions. We appreciate the interest and leadership of the Broncos and the city of Denver," said a league spokesperson. For the second straight year, this year's draft will take place in Chicago.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 15 - 6:33 PM

Per ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the NCAA banned the creation of new bowls until 2019.

The report states that Austin, Texas; Myrtle Beach, S.C; and Charleston S.C. were trying to secure bowl games. The NCAA elected to put a cap on things for now. Last season featured a record 41 bowl games. Sixty-four percent of the FBS -- 82 of 128 teams -- played in the postseason, including three 5-7 teams (Minnesota, Nebraska and San Jose State). The NCAA drew flack for that latter fact, likely leading to this legislation.
Source: ESPN
Apr 11 - 1:02 PM

The NFL canceled the annual rookie symposium.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe went on to report that the league will instead institute a rookie transition program that each team will run itself. "The new program allows teams to customize their orientation and opens it up to all rookies, not just drafted ones," Volin wrote. Teams will still, per Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post, be required to discuss "social responsibility, respect at work, mental health, character and values, and player engagement resources" with the rookies. Each team will run the new program on June 20-22.
Apr 5 - 5:09 PM

Alabama paid out $2.2 million in staff bonuses for the 2015 campaign.

As one might guess, HC Nick Saban led the bonus parade. He netted $125,000 for winning the SEC Championship and an additional $400,000 for securing the national title a month later. Even though DC Kirby Smart officially accepted the vacant Georgia coaching seat in December, he too profited mightily from the Tide's postseason success, earning bonuses totaling $310,000. OC Lane Kiffin brought home around $150,000. In a statement, AD Bill Battle said, "The success of our football program is the byproduct of the tremendous effort and commitment of our players, coaches and staff. We have a wide variety of people who are involved in making that success possible."
Source: rivals.com
Apr 2 - 12:48 PM

In an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Alabama HC Nick Saban indicated that he does not care about Michigan's spring practice trip to Florida.

Saban responded in the most Sabian way imaginable. Said the Alabama head coach (and Fortune's No. 11 world leader currently going), "I don't really know a whole lot about Michigan and their program. I think everybody's got to make decisions. If they felt that's best for what they need to do and their program — I don't think that when people designed the rules, they designed the rules to take your team someplace else and have spring practice during spring break." Saban and Harbaugh are about as black/white in terms of leadership style differences as you will find between any two coaches in professional sports. "I basically like focusing on the way we do it and I'm not too worried about what somebody else is trying to do," Saban said. Alabama and Michigan could well meet in the CFB Playoff at the close of the 2016 campaign, which would make for a nice odd-couple pairing in December.
Source: mlive.com
Mar 25 - 8:23 PM

On Fortune's list of the world's 50 greatest leaders, Alabama HC Nick Saban lands at No. 11.

Saban couldn't quite crack the Top-10, as Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina stood in his way. Saban was just the third sporting figure to make this year's list, joining the Warriors duo of Steph Curry and HC Steve Kerr, who collectively split spot No. 15. In case you were wondering, Amazon overlord Jeff Bezos earned pole position in the rundown, followed by German chancellor Angela Merkel and National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. We're not sure what placing Nick Saban on a list of world leaders means for the future of mankind, but it probably means something.
Source: Fortune
Mar 24 - 11:42 PM

ESPN's Travis Haney and Adam Rittenberg ranked Alabama as the No. 1 coaching locale in the country.

In Haney and Rittenberg's hypothetical, every FBS school would have a coaching vacancy. At which point, they assessed various factors to determine the most palatable situations, including "location and access to talent, facilities, financial backing, administrative stability, community/booster support, recent and historic performance, and ability to win the league." No surprise that Alabama finished out on top. Wrote the pair, "Nick Saban would be the toughest act to follow in the sport, but plenty of coaches would like their shot given the school's deep pockets and the level to which he has built the program."
Mar 5 - 1:25 PM

Alabama reported profits of $46.5 million for 2015.

They netted $95.1 million in revenue, which leveled out to $46.5 million in profit after expenses were subtracted. Media rights ended up netting Alabama more $20 million in revenue, alone, while ticket sales accounted for upwards of $37 million. This is all stellar, though it's also strange in its way. Profits actually dropped off 7% from 2014, this despite the fact that they won a national title in 2015.
Source: rivals.com
Feb 23 - 10:39 PM