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South Alabama trustees approve construction of new, on-campus stadium

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There may not be an FBS program in need of a new stadium more than South Alabama. The Jaguars currently play in Ladd-Peebles Stadium, which is both too large (40,000 seats), too old (built in 1948) and too far (a 20-30 minute drive from campus).

Thankfully for new head coach Steve Campbell, this problem is going to be fixed.

South Alabama’s Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved the construction of a new, on-campus stadium. The facility will hold 25,000 spectators and come at a cost of $73 million, which the school says will not draw from student tuition or fees.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” USA AD Joel Erdmann told AL.com. “There’s resources and funding that needs to be identified, but we’ve been given permission to proceed with ground work and the first step toward our goal.”

Erdmann said Friday that this week’s news has been anticipated since the program launched in 2009. He cited SMU’s Ford Stadium, Florida Atlantic’s FAU Stadium, UCF’s Spectrum Stadium, Tulane’s Yulman Stadium and Colorado State Stadium as inspirations.

“It’s literally been the persistent, never-ending question,” he said. “But on a sincere side, it’s been seriously considered and examined for over three years. Site visits, stadium visits, consultants, first renditions, second renditions, cost estimates, back-and-forth, back-and-forth and the very committed, hard work by a lot of people who now have an end product. And now we just need to get there.”

Financing will come, the school hopes, through a public-private partnership, and as such the school will open the stadium up to the city’s major football events — the Dollar General Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

Mobile mayor Sandy Stimpson addressed the news, and the school’s desire to dip into public coffers to fund the stadium, in a Twitter thread.

The school targets a 2020 open date for the new stadium, which means construction will have to begin next month.

TV networks announce kickoff times and TV channels for early CFB games and marquee matchups

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We’re less than 100 days from the start of the college football season and we finally have kickoff times and channel information for a good number of games this fall.

Here’s the releases and info from:

A few of the highlights:

  • Auburn vs. Washington in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game is set for September 1st at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC while Alabama against Louisville in Orlando will take the 8 p.m. ET slot on the same network.
  • A couple of big Group of Five games opening weekend are Boise State at Troy for 6 p.m. ET on ESPNews and UCF taking a trip to UConn at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
  • Michigan State at Arizona State is set in Week 2 at 7:45 p.m. ET on ESPN while an intriguing Arizona at Houston game will be at noon on ABC/ESPN2.
  • The Chip Kelly era at UCLA begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN against Cincinnati and is followed the next week by the Bruins game at Oklahoma kicking off at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.
  • Texas hosts USC at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox in Week 3.
  • The big clash at AT&T Stadium the same week between Ohio State and TCU will take place on September 15th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
  • A potential Big 12 title game preview will take place when Oklahoma travels to West Virginia on the final week of the regular season with an 8 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN.
  • The Big Ten title game will be on Saturday, December 1st at 8 p.m. ET on Fox while the Pac-12 title game will be the day prior at the same time and on the same network.

There are tons we’re leaving off so check with releases above for the full details of dates, kickoff times and TV network information. It certainly feels like college football is just a little bit closer with all this information to sort through.

Tulane adds South Alabama grad transfer Noah Fisher

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Transfers from one Group of Five program to another are relatively few and far between, but we do have one on which to report today.

Tulane announced on its Twitter account Wednesday that it has added Noah Fisher to the Green Wave’s football roster. Fisher had spent the past four seasons as a member of the Sun Belt Conference’s South Alabama Jaguars.

As the 6-5, 315-pound offensive lineman is coming to the AAC program as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2018. The upcoming season will be Fisher’s final season of eligibility.

Fisher started 27 games during his time with the Jaguars, and left the team with a streak of 25 straight starts. This past season, he served as USA’s starting left tackle after starting at right tackle the previous season.

This Memorial Day, take time to remember

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(Reprinted and reposted with permission for a ninth straight year from, well, me.)

You have to admit that, despite the ongoing partisan slap-fights and political in-fighting and every other really crappy thing going on, we have a pretty damn good life, living in these United States of America.  It’s a far-from-perfect country, but, dammit, it’s ours.  Ours because our own have and will continue to shed their blood in the ultimate sacrifice.  Gave and will continue to give their lives, their hopes, their dreams so that we — and our children and our children’s children and their children — may live and realize ours and theirs.

As you go about your day today, doing whatever it is that you do on Memorial Day, take a second or two or sixty — or more — to reflect on what exactly this day is all about.

Please.  Just take a moment.  Take a moment to God bless those who have given so much.

God bless those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy day-in and day-out.

God bless those hundreds of thousands of millions who’ve lost fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in the ultimate sacrifice paid forward to every single one of us, for our freedoms.

And thank you — thank you, thank you, thank you with every fiber of my being — to those who continue serving this country and keep this great nation safe.

And, again, God bless families torn apart and made lesser by the heartbreaking losses, hellish and unthinkable holes in the soul that allow us to do whatever the hell it is we want to on this day and every other day of the year…

Alabama (still) a massive favorite over Louisville, other Week 1 lines

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It’s been about four months since we checked in on the Week 1 betting lines in college football, highlighted by Alabama’s installation as a massive favorite for its date with Louisville in Orlando.

And in the four months since, the public has clearly lost faith in the Nick Saban Football Machine.

After starting as a 29.5-point favorite, Alabama has been downgraded… to a 28.5-point favorite, according to lines released by Bet Online.

Other lines of note:

  • UCF (-20.5) at Connecticut
  • Northwestern (+4.5) at Purdue
  • Colorado (-6) vs. Colorado State (at Denver)
  • San Diego State (+14.5) at Stanford
  • Florida Atlantic (+23) at Oklahoma
  • Oregon State (+38) at Ohio State
  • Texas (-10.5) at Maryland
  • Boise State (-10.5) at Troy
  • Arizona (-14) vs. BYU (at Phoenix)
  • Auburn (-3.5) vs. Washington (at Atlanta)
  • Ole Miss (-1.5) vs. Texas Tech (at Houston)
  • West Virginia (-7) vs. Tennessee (at Charlotte)
  • North Carolina (+6) at California
  • Michigan (+2) at Notre Dame
  • Alabama (-28.5) vs. Louisville (at Orlando)
  • Miami (-3) vs. LSU (at Dallas)
  • Virginia Tech (+6.5) at Florida State

Check out the entire list of lines here.