Alabama's head coach Saban instructs his players as they take on the LSU Tigers during their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge

Nick Saban photobombing Bama’s graduation? Sure


There are various points throughout the way-too-long offseason college football news cycle when we’re forced to deal with a malnourished hand.  This is one of those times.

The University of Alabama held its commencement ceremony Saturday in Coleman Coliseum.  Among those receiving their diplomas were 16 members of the Tide football program, with the proceedings witnessed by head coach Nick Saban.

And, how do we know it was witnessed by the four-time BCS-title-winning coach?  Because, well, there’s this photographic evidence:

Nick Saban Photobomb

Now, I have no idea if Saban intended to photobomb this graduate’s pic.  And I have found no empirical data that shows how many head coaches at the FBS level attend these commencement ceremonies.  What I do know is that it’s pretty damn cool that a head coach of the stature of Saban would take the time to be in attendance to watch his players lauded for succeeding off the field.

And I’m just as certain that the young man in the foreground on the receiving end of his sheepskin will have one helluva story to tell for years and years to come.

(Photo credit: the esteemed Clay Travis, Esquire)

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”

Illini’s leading rusher, Josh Ferguson, officially ruled out vs. Iowa

Josh Ferguson, Jordan Italiano
Associated Press
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If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.

On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa.  The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.

Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.

Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team.  He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.

With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn.  Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.