Poll: Three-peat in the offing for Alabama?

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With its second consecutive BCS title, Alabama Monday night accomplished something that hasn’t been done in the 15-year history of the current system used to determine a national champion. Thanks to their 42-14 evisceration of Notre Dame, the Tide has the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done since Minnesota — yes, the Gophers — did it over 70 years ago: go back-to-back-to-back.

Looking over the depth chart and schedule, a crystal three-peat is certainly a possibility.

Based on the their most recent two-deep depth chart, and pending any early departures for the NFL, the Tide will return a total of 16 starters — eight on offense, eight on defense — as well as their main punter, punt returner and kickoff returner.  Included in that total is their starting quarterback, at least one of their two 1,000-yard rushers (Eddie Lacy will likely leave early for the draft), their top four receivers in receptions and yards, four of their five leading tacklers and their two leading sackers.

Additionally, 21 of the 22 players listed as backups on the two-deep as well.

That returning talent and experience will fit nicely with the 2013 slate. Alabama’s toughest non-conference game will be a neutral field contest — in the Georgia Dome — against the team formerly known as Virginia Tech. In the SEC, the Tide’s most rigorous road test will come early as they travel to Kyle Field to take on Texas A&M the third weekend of the season looking to avenge the only loss of their of their title-winning season. The Tide will draw LSU at home in Tuscaloosa, with the likes of Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee rounding out a rather pastry-like Bryant-Denny conference schedule.

Road-wise in the SEC, the Tide will travel to Kentucky, Mississippi State and Auburn in addition to what could be a titanic road tilt against A&M.

Add it all up, and provided Nick Saban doesn’t bolt for the NFL [/ducks], the Tide is poised to accomplish something unprecedented in the modern history of the game of college football by claiming three BCS titles in a row, and four in the past five years.

So, what do you think? With nearly eight months before the first kickoff of the 2013 season, will Alabama continue its dynastic arc and throw a three-peat on the board?

Vote below, and chime in below that.

 

Florida’s Cece Jefferson reportedly out four months after surgery

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One of the most heralded members of Florida’s 2015 recruiting class has hit a medical speedbump.

According to Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun, Cece Jefferson underwent surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week after injuring it during the Gators’ spring game.  As a result of that surgical procedure and the ensuing rehab, the defensive lineman is expected to be sidelined for the next four months.

Such a timeline would see Jefferson returning to on-field football action in mid-August, which would be right in the middle of summer camp.  Whether the lineman would be ready for the start of the 2018 regular season remains to be seen.

Jefferson was a consensus five-star prospect, rated as the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the Class of 2015; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 7 player overall on 247Sports.com’s composite board.

This past season, Jefferson led the Gators with 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.  After considering early entry into the 2018 NFL draft, the 6-1, 242-pound lineman opted to return to Gainesville for one more season.

Ohio State OL Matthew Burrell transferring from Buckeyes

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For the third time this offseason, Ohio State has lost an offensive lineman to transfer.

The latest to leave the trenches in Columbus is Matthew Burrell (pictured, right), with the rising redshirt junior taking to Instagram to announce that, “after prayer and thought, I will be transferring from OSU.” While no specific reason for the decision to transfer was given, the lineman’s placement on the depth chart likely played a significant role.

A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2015 recruiting class, Burrell was rated as the No. 7 guard in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Virginia.  The past two seasons, the lineman had seen action in a total of 25 games, including 12 this past season.

In addition to Burrell, OSU offensive linemen Jack Wohlabaugh (HERE) and Kevin Feder (HERE) have all left the program since the end of the 2017 regular season.

UCF police go all in on national championship campaign

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Look, I get it. I know exactly how this game is played. They do it so that people like me will write about it and people like you will read it. It’s all a ploy to make everyone on campus puff their chests out just a little bit further and to keep their name on our lips just a little bit longer.

But doggone if it isn’t working.

More than three months after claiming its 2017 national championship, UCF has found a way to keep itself relevant, this time by having the campus police department get in on the act.

AD Danny White already committed to pay national championship bonuses for coaches who are no longer in the school’s employ, but that’s not even the end of this. There’s still a ring ceremony that is (or at least should) be forthcoming, and the banner reveal at Spectrum Stadium that’s surely coming at the 2018 season opener.

If you’re going to go all in on a publicity campaign, it’s best to go all the way in. As UCF has done here.

NCAA tables proposal that would allow players to play in up to four games and retain redshirt

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The NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday tabled a proposal that would allow players to compete in up to four games and retain their redshirts. Championed by AFCA executive director Todd Berry, the rule was touted as a necessary change in an era where teams play 14- and 15-game seasons.

The rule would allow redshirting players to replace injured players without personal cost to their careers. Presently, a coach with dwindling numbers at a given position is put in between the rock and the hard place of burning an innocent player’s redshirt or putting players at risk of injury through overuse.

Here’s how the NCAA presented the news:

The Council tabled a proposal that would allow football student-athletes to participate in up to four games per year without using a season of competition. Proponents argue that late-season injuries and other factors often require student-athletes who hadn’t played all season to burn a year of eligibility for a small number of games. Others wonder whether the proposal could be applied to other sports, as well, whether the number of games in the proposal is appropriate, and whether the timing of the four games matters.

It is not clear what opposition exists to the rule, though Big 12 commissioner, Council member and noted fear-mongerer Bob Bowlsby posited in January that teams could, for some unexplained reason, hold their best players back until the final four games of the season.

“I think it’s got a lot of merit,” he said, “but there are some hooks in it. I don’t know how comfortable people are with, suddenly in the last three games and a bowl game, you go from being a guy who’s on the scout team to [a prominent role].”

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The proposal is not all dead, as Miracle Max would say. The Council will now turn the tabled proposal over to the Football Oversight and Student-Athlete Experience Committees for discussion and feedback solicitation.