Alabama Night

Tide-LSU may be moving to primetime


The epicenter of college football will shift to Tuscaloosa Nov. 5 for the showdown between top-ranked LSU and No. 2 Alabama, provided both teams take care of business this weekend of course.

A game that would be dripping with SEC and national title implications deserves a slot in primetime, with little distraction from less meaningful games (too much?).

Unfortunately, the game is currently scheduled for a 3:30 ET kickoff.  Fortunately for any fan of college football, that could change.

Chatter we’ve received in recent days has indicated that the game could be shifted from the afternoon to the evening.  WAFB-TV, the Baton Rouge CBS affiliate, takes the speculation a step further, reporting Friday afternoon that their network will likely move the game and turn it into a primetime kickoff.

The station writes that “the possible move is contingent on both LSU and Alabama winning their games this Saturday” against Auburn and Tennessee, respectively.

An LSU official told the Baton Rouge Advocate that they have been in contact with the SEC about the possibility of switching to a nighttime kickoff.  The issue, though, is between a pair of networks.

CBS is permitted by contract to show just one night game per season, and the network opted to show the Oct. 1 Alabama-Florida game in primetime.  In order to move the Alabama-LSU, CBS would need to work out some type of deal with ESPN, another of the conference’s broadcast partners.  Such a deal could consist of ESPN allowing CBS to move the game to primetime in exchange for “considerations” on next year’s slate of SEC games.

It’s unclear when a decision will be made; both schools have a bye next weekend, giving the two broadcast entities plenty of time to work something out that’s satisfactory to both parties.  And is good for the fans of college football.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.