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In the first 2016 release of the Associated Press Top 25, Alabama landed at No. 1.
No surprise there. Alabama was also ranked at No. 1 in the first Amway Coaches Poll earlier this month. In the AP release, the defending national champs drew 33 of 61 first-place votes. Still the bridesmaid and not the bride, Clemson landed at No. 2 after receiving 16 first-place votes. Oklahoma, Florida State and LSU finish out the top-five, with Ohio State, Michigan, Stanford, Tennessee and Notre Dame also landing in the top-10. This is the eighth consecutive season in which Alabama has begun the season as one of the AP's five best teams in the country. Aug 21 - 12:08 PM

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In the first Amway Coaches Poll for the 2016 season, Alabama ranked No. 1.

No huge bombshell there. The Amway poll ranked the top-five programs in the country (in order) as Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State and Ohio State. The Crimson Tide drew 55 first-place votes, outdrawing Clemson's seven by a considerable margin. Only two other schools drew first-place ballots. Florida State was awarded one, while an industrious coach went so far as to toss a first-place vote to Tennessee (who rank No. 10 in the poll).
Source: USA Today
Aug 4 - 12:29 PM

The NCAA football oversight committee recommended that "live-contact" practice be limited to once a week.

As matters stood prior to Wednesday, the NCAA guideline recommended two live-contact practices a week. It is important to note that these are guidelines being put forward by the NCAA, rather than enforceable rules. The Ivy League has gone a step further even than that -- completely barring live-contact practices starting this season. This shouldn't be considered a sea change, just a minor tweak. By the NCAA's new guidelines, players who do not play in a game would be afforded an additional live-contact practice.
Jul 29 - 12:56 PM

Future CFB Playoff semifinals will either be played on a Saturday or on a holiday.

The semifinals this past season were both played on New Year's Eve and cratered in terms of ratings. Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement, "We tried to do something special with New Year’s Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better." Of note, several future semifinals will still be played on New Year's Eve -- those that happen to fall on Saturdays (2016, 2021, 2022). In total, four future semifinal dates (2018, 2019, 2024 and 2025) were shifted to accommodate the scheduling tweak.
Jul 28 - 1:41 PM

Multiple SEC coaches expressed the opinion that the SEC would have a perpetual spot in the CFB Playoff.

ESPN's Heather Dinich asked Tennessee HC Butch Jones if he could see a scenario in which the SEC champion would be left out in the Playoff cold. His response? "I don't. The SEC will always be in the conversation." Meanwhile, South Carolina HC Will Muschamp said that the consistent strength of the conference and the resultant gauntlet schedules are a "huge advantage," while Auburn HC Gus Malzahn added that we should expect the SEC to make the Playoff "every year."
Jul 25 - 3:06 PM

Alabama AD Bill Battle has completed a round of treatment for multiple myeloma.

Battle stepped away from his post in mid-June in order to pursue a stem cell transplant. He underwent that procedure on June 27 and was released from the hospital on July 8. According to the university, Battle hopes to return to work on a limited basis in the near future. He was initially diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014.
Jul 22 - 1:17 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban expressed concern over the recent arrests of Crimson Tide players.

"I don't like the fact in all honesty that we have off-field issues," Saban said. "That sends a signal to me that something's not right here." This offseason has seen the arrests of T Cameron Robinson, CB Hootie Jones and G Alphonse Taylor. Of that lot, Taylor is the most recent to run afoul with the law. He was indefinitely suspended following Sunday's arrest on suspicion of DUI. Robinson and Jones are past their legal troubles, now, as the Louisiana DA declined to prosecute them following their May arrest on charges of marijuana possession and (in Robinson's case) felony possession of a stolen weapon. Saban chose not to issue game suspensions for either player, a decision which caused the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum to launch into an on-air rebuke of the legendary coach during his visit to the network set.
Jul 19 - 3:32 PM

USC HC Clay Helton called Alabama HC Nick Saban "maybe the best in our generation."

Not only did Helton call Saban "one of the greatest head coaches in the history of the game" (no argument from us), he also referred to Bama OC Lane Kiffin as "one of the most brilliant men [Helton] has ever been associated with" (a quick Googling can argue that one well enough). The reason this is even a discussion at Pac-12 Media Days is because USC and Alabama will square off in a mouthwatering season-opener down in Jerry's World on September 3. Said Helton, "I wish sometimes I could just have a box of popcorn and watch it."
Jul 16 - 3:18 PM

The Monroe Police Department denied Alabama HC Nick Saban's insinuation that they arrested junior T Cameron Robinson and junior CB Laurence Jones due to an allegiance to LSU.

Saban and the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum went on a bender of a back-and-forth over Robinson on Wednesday, with Saban -- according to Finebaum -- claiming that the officers involved made the arrest because of their affinity to LSU. Monroe Police public information officer Chris Bates responded to this claim. "I can tell you for a fact that the first officer on the scene is not an LSU fan," Bates said. "He hates LSU. He doesn’t like the color yellow or purple and gold. In fact, he’s a Florida fan. If you mention LSU around him, he throws up in his mouth." In a more substantive backing of the officers involved, Bates insisted that "[o]ur officer was doing his job" and that "[w]e enforce the law based on the law." Neither Robinson nor Jones is expected to miss any game-action for their May arrest, as the district attorney has decided not to pursue the case. Saban, himself, has no plans to issue suspensions.
Jul 14 - 1:55 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban believes that SEC Media Days are a waste of time.

We cede the floor to you, Coach. "I’m gonna sit up here and very seriously talk about our team. And everything I’m gonna say about our team, you’ve already written a story about," Saban told the assembled media about six minutes into his prepared remarks. "Somebody in this room has already written a story about what I’m gonna talk about. But you’re gonna be serious, and I’m gonna be serious about talking about it again." For what it's worth, Saban did say that he believes his team had a "good offseason" despite off-field troubles with Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones (arrests for firearms, marijuana) and assistant Bo Davis (fired after a recruiting violation).
Source: SEC Country
Jul 13 - 12:42 PM

Alabama football self-reported five secondary NCAA violations for the 2015-16 season.

The great Matt Zenitz reported the news. Secondary violations are a bit humorous. One includes placing a trophy in an unpermitted area where recruits could see it. Others include coaches sending texts to prospects and one staff member having a second phone call with a recruit in one week. The horror. Alabama will continue to remain a powerhouse, and it is humorous how many pundits questioned their standing last season.
Jul 4 - 11:31 AM

The SEC hired Ben Oldham to serve as coordinator of football replay.

Oldham will report to coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw. While he has not served as an on-field official since 2000's Sugar Bowl showdown between Florida State and Virginia Tech, he has remained active behind the scenes as a replay official. In a statement, Shaw said, "Ben Oldham brings four decades worth of officiating experience in [both on-field and replay booth work] and I am excited to have him serve in this role as we embark on a new era of instant replay in the SEC."
Jun 22 - 3:04 PM

Alabama AD Bill Battle will undergo a stem cell transplant to treat his cancer.

Battle was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014. In a statement released on Tuesday, he said, "I am very comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan. I am looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing my active lifestyle, as well as continuing to lead our Athletics Department." Dr. Sagar Lonial, from Emory University Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Treatment Center, said that Battle's cancer is in "a good partial remission" Per the school press release, this is not considered a life-threatening ailment. Battle will be stepping away from the office for several weeks as he undergoes his treatment.
Jun 21 - 3:50 PM

The Alabama assistant coaching staff received raises on Tuesday.

As previously reported, OC Lane Kiffin is not among those receiving raises, as he continues to draw that sweet severance money from USC. As for the rest, co-DC Tosh Lupoi (raise of $125,000) and RB coach Burton Burns (raise of $130,000) drew the biggest reworked contracts. Details as to new DC Jeremy Pruitt's contract were also released. Pruitt will draw $1 million per year on a three-year deal.
Jun 21 - 2:49 PM

Alabama's assistant coaching staff will receive amended contracts.

The Compensation Committee for the Board of Trustees will go over the contracts of the assistant coaching staff on Tuesday. Save for one. OC Lane Kiffin's contract will not be adjusted. He is still receiving buyout money from USC after being fired in 2013, which has allowed Alabama to hold off on actual raises. To wit, last season, the Trojans paid Kiffin $3.4 million. With Alabama, he is entering the final year of the three-year contract he signed in 2014.
Jun 20 - 1:30 PM