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WATCH: Nick Saban launches quintessential Nick Saban rant

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The calendar may say March, but Nick Saban‘s testiness with the media screams mid-October.

Tuesday, Alabama kicked off spring practice as the Crimson Tide begins preparing for the 2017 season.  Afterward, and as is standard practice, the head coach met with the media to review the day’s proceedings and gave an overview of the current state of his squad.

One particular question, however, raised Saban’s dander, with the offending party having the gall to ask about the Tide returning to a “ball-control” mentality based on how the national championship game loss played out.  That was enough to set Saban off, with the coach initially teeing off on the questioner — “[D]o you do what everybody else in the media does,  just create some shit, put it on the wall and see what sticks?” — before veering off on a tangent about an NCAA rule regarding high school coaches; dipping his toes into the loud noise surrounding politics; and finally getting back to the original topic.

Below is the transcript of Saban’s rant, followed by video of his latest measured tongue-lashing of the media.

There, there, there, there was nothing, you know we didn’t block them, we didn’t execute very well. We didn’t throw the ball accurately when we had open people and a couple of times we dropped it, so I think it was more a lack of execution than something schematically that we were doing, and that’s on us as coaches. That’s not to blame anybody but us for not having players more well-prepared. You know, the defense also needs to get themselves off the field on third down so that they don’t have to play as many plays, so it’s a combination of things.

“I do think that we could have executed a lot better in that particular game and I think most players would probably tell you that on both sides of the ball — not to take anything away from Clemson — but it is what it is. But, as we always do, we’re going to self-assess what we did through quality control, what we did well, what we need to improve on, visit people [to] try to get better at the things we need to do better. I don’t, philosophically, we’re not, I don’t know where you came up with where we need to go to ball control. That’s not what we do. I mean, the New England Patriots threw the ball over 60-some-percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So where does that assumption come from? Or do you do what everybody else in the media does, just create some shit, put it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere. And people who scream the loudest, they kind of get the attention and we pass some rule that everybody has to live with, or some law, and the consequences mess up a lot of other things. Do it all the time. We’re doing it right now. The NC-double-A is doing it. We’re gonna change the way we have summer camps, we can’t have high school coaches working summer camps. I mean, it’s the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever seen. But it is what it is and whatever they do they do.

“So we say we don’t want third-parties dealing with players so we’re not going to let the high school coach bring a guy to camp but some third-party guy can bring him to camp now. Makes no sense at all. I mean, but all the people who have common sense, they won’t say anything about it. But the people who scream the loudest will get the thing changed and it’ll mess everything up. It’s the way it goes. The way it goes in the world, politics, just the way it goes. Same thing way with you: we’re going to be more conservative now and ball-control offense. Where did that come from? I never said that. Nobody in this building ever said that, so where’d you come up with that? Just, you know, had a dream about it or what? If we had caught some passes in the national championship game, we had guys open, we wouldn’t have had to control the ball. We would have scored more touchdowns.

UNLV bringing all-you-can-eat ticket packages to college football

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It’s a tremendous challenge getting fans to come out to the stadium these days. When (nearly) every game is on TV, why go to the stadium when you have to miss out on the six other games on TV plus you have to deal with spotty in-stadium plus having to fight through traffic and parking and obnoxious fans to your left and right — and, oh yeah, you still have to pay for your tickets and concessions on top of all that.

UNLV has now eliminated one of those objections.

Borrowing a page from baseball, the Rebels have introduced an all-you-can-eat ticket package. For just $79, fans get tickets to UNLV’s games against UTEP (Sept. 8), Fresno State (Nov. 3) and Nevada (Nov. 24) while gaining access to all the hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and soft drinks they can stomach.

“It’s a great way for your family to enjoy first-class entertainment and create a memory for an affordable price,” UNLV athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois told the Las Vegas Sun.

Season ticket holders will also have the option of adding the all-you-can-eat option for $30 a ticket — which works out to $5 per ticket per game.

The move feels more like a promotion that will keep on-the-fence ticket buyers in the stadium rather than brining new people out, but Reed-Francois is determined to increase attendance as UNLV plays its penultimate season in the 47-year-old Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels drew 17,449 fans per game to the 35,000-seat stadium.

“I’m told all of the time that this isn’t a football town,” she said. “We’ll flip that (opinion). There’s an opportunity for football in this town.”

Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook wins Manning Passing Academy throwing competition

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It won’t affect the scoreboard one whit come September, but Wisconsin got a nice little victory on Saturday.

The annual Manning Passing Academy came to a close on Saturday with the Air It Out competition among the camp’s counselors, which was comprised of a who’s who of returning college quarterbacks. Among a group that included Penn State’s Trace McSorley, Missouri’s Drew Lock, UCF’s McKenzie Milton, Washington’s Jake Browning, Georgia’s Jake Fromm, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and others, Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook was the only player able to hit the golf cart streaking down the right sideline.

Hornibrook, a rising junior, completed 198-of-318 passes (62.3 percent) for 2,644 yards (8.3 per attempt) with 25 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, good for a 148.61 efficiency rating, which rated 24th nationally. He led the Badgers to a 13-1 record, a Big Ten West championship, an Orange Bowl victory over Miami and a No. 7 final ranking in the AP poll.

LSU graduate transfer CB Terrence Alexander set to join team Monday

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LSU graduate transfer cornerback Terrence Alexander is set to get his purple-and-yellow stripes on Monday, according to Nola.com.

Alexander announced his intention to graduate transfer from Stanford to LSU in the spring, but the thing about graduate transfers is that you have to graduate before you can play. Alexander earned his degree from Stanford last Sunday, clearing him to play for LSU this fall. (Stanford operates on the quarters system, pushing its graduation ceremonies a month later than schools that follow the semester system.)

A New Orlean native, Alexander played in only one game in 2017 after suffering a season-ending injury in the opener against Rice. He appeared in 13 games as a reserve in 2016.

He figures to compete for the open cornerback spot opposite All-America candidate Greedy Williams against sophomores Kary VincentJontre Kirklin and Mannie Netherly. Kristian Fulton would be included in that group, but he remains suspended by the NCAA.

Father of USC freshman WR dubbed the ‘Lavar Ball of college football’

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The basketball world got to know LaVar Ball quite well the last few years. If there is a college football of that on the horizon, the LA Times seems to think they found him.

John Brown, the father of USC Class of 2018 wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, has drawn comparisons to LaVar Ball for a variety of reasons that include the demand and vision for excellence in professional sports for his son. St. Brown was a five-star recruit for the Trojans in the most recent recruiting cycle, according to his Rivals profile. He was also ranked as the top recruit in the state of California and the top wide receiver in the nation. That alone brings reason to expect big results for St. Brown at USC.

The genes are certainly running in the family. John Brown is a former championship body builder. St. Brown’s oldest brother is former Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Osiris St. Brown, the middle son in the family, will be a redshirt freshman this fall at Stanford. With so much talent in the family, John Brown may be tapping into his inner Lavar Ball by suggesting Amon-ra could play in the NFL right now.

This is, of course, a ridiculous thought considering that even the most talented college freshman still have a long way to go to be ready to compete at the high level the NFL demands. But where Brown differs from Ball is he expects his sons to have to earn any accolades that may come their way.

“I’m going to request [USC head coach Clay Helton] put his butt at the bottom of the charts and see what he’s made of,” John said in a featured story published by the LA Times this week. “Make him fight. Sharpen the knife.”

John even goes so far to suggest Amon-ra has his eyes on making some unprecedented (and likely impossible) college football history.

“He’s serious about everything,” John says.

Ask Amon-ra what his goals are for his first year with the Trojans. With an unblinking, straight stare he will tell you, “I want to win the Heisman. All three years.”

All three years, eh? Putting aside the prediction that Brown is already predicting his son is jumping to the NFL after his junior season (an idea that is not at all far-fetched if St. Brown plays out the way recruiting experts and USC expect he will), we have to smile at the historic bar Brown is setting for his son.

Only one player has ever won the Heisman Trophy twice (Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975). It is also worth noting the last wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy was Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991. Tim Brown of Notre Dame (1987) and Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska (1972) are the only other receivers to win the award since the Heisman Trophy was first presented in 1935. This may not go down in the history books alongside Beano Cook predicting two Heisman Trophy awards for former Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus (which never came close to happening, of course), but that does set the bar high for Amon-ra’s personal goals.

Brown may lay the foundation for athletic success for his sons, but fortunately for the college football world, he seems to be far more tolerable than LaVar Ball.