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Team: Alabama Crimson Tide

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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

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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.
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."
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.
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.
Feb 23 - 10:39 PM

Of the 2,343 high school seniors to sign with FBS squads on National Signing Day, 1,192 hail from just eight states.

Those eight states would be Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. They accounted for the hometowns of a whopping 50.9% of all players to send in letters of intent on National Signing Day. A quick scan of the names there is all you need to know why the SEC has a built in advantage. They play in the backyards of these kids.
Feb 9 - 11:23 PM

Westgate SuperBook has Alabama (-7) drawing three times more money than Clemson for Monday's National Championship game.

Caveat being that, per ESPN's David Purdum, much of that Crimson Tide money came on a bet from a VIP. Still, the public (not surprisingly) seems to be riding Alabama hard. At William Hill's Nevada sportsbook, a whopping 82% of bets have come in on Bama. In a less lopsided case, Wynn executive director John Avello indicated that "it's basically a wash right now."
Jan 11 - 3:37 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban and Clemson HC Dabo Swinney indicated that they believe their respective teams are ready for Monday's National Championship showdown.

The two coaches took part in a joint Sunday morning press conference, with the title trophy literally sitting between them. Take it away, gentlemen. "I think we're in as good a shape as you can be," Swinney said. His counterpart was no less generically optimistic, as Saban said, "Our guys have done a really good job of sort of using the rest time that they have. When we are practicing and preparing, their focus has been good." The Crimson Tide are installed as a seven-point favorite with a little over 24 hours before college football Armageddon commences.
Jan 10 - 3:50 PM

Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard indicated that the team voted to keep potential draft grades sealed until after Monday's National Championship showdown with Clemson.

In a note that's interesting on the micro level of how teams prepare for national title opportunities, O.J. Howard tweeted that Alabama players won't be receiving their draft grades until after the title game. HC Nick Saban let on as to why this is the case, noting that prior to playing Ohio State in the semifinal last season, he revealed the draft grades to his players. Said Saban, "One guy finds out he's a first-round pick, another guy finds out he's a first-round pick, another guy thinks he's a first-round pick. And a couple of other guys who thought they were going out for the first round are third or fourth round picks. All the sudden I'm managing something that has nothing to do with playing Ohio State." Whether this knowledge would have a concrete effect on the outcome of Monday's showdown with Clemson, they're taking no chances this time around.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 9 - 7:40 PM

Of the five NFL executives who spoke with NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah about which college coach would fit best at the next level, three answered Nick Saban.

Jim Harbaugh didn't make the cut, solely because all five executives agree he's not leaving Michigan. Texas A&M head honcho Kevin Sumlin also earned a vote, as did Temple HC Matt Rhule. One executive said that Saban would have the advantage because he "knows the league. He learned from [his] Miami [experience]. If he found a job with a quarterback in place, he would win big," while another noted that Saban already runs NFL schemes. He held a 15-17 record in his two seasons with the Dolphins (2005-2006), but this doesn't seem to concern the executives who spoke with Jeremiah. NFL teams might come badgering at Saban's door, but he's said that he hopes to retire with the Crimson Tide. And why not. It's a perfect spot for him. Sumlin, on the other hand, has popped up in NFL coaching rumors in the past few days. That seems a much more real possibility.
Jan 4 - 7:36 PM

The two Playoff semifinal contests on New Year's Eve drew almost half as many viewers as those in 2014.

Much of the non-game discussion leading up to the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl centered around the fact that the games were being played on New Year's Eve. The ratings are in. They're not pretty. An estimated 18.55 million people tuned in to watch Alabama destroy Michigan State, while 15.64 million watched the earlier game between Clemson and Oklahoma. This, compared to last season, when the two semifinal tilts averaged 28.2 million viewers. Both of Thursday's contests ended in blowouts, which likely played a role in deadening the excitement. Still, the drop-off is startling, to say the least. The semifinals are set to be played on New Year's Eve in three of the next four years.
Jan 1 - 9:56 PM