10 most compelling early season college football games

Fall camp brings the long-awaited return of college football season, but eyes are understandably wandering toward the weekends with meaningful games.

Conference standings and national rankings will undergo considerable movement, and these matchups will have large effects on one or both. Stanford alone has two important Pac-12 tilts in the opening four weeks.

Be sure to schedule your football viewing around this group of clashes when the season officially kicks off.

Washington vs. Auburn, Sep. 1

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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Alabama Football: The margin for a national championship is ever so slim

Finally, for Alabama football fans the long offseason is almost over. A new season renews national championship expectations with little thought to how slim are the margins to win it all. It is said we Alabama football fans are spoiled. Some of us admit it is true. Being spoiled by championship success in abundance is […]Alabama Football: The margin for a national championship is ever so slim - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Football: Landon Collins on a mission to become best NFL safety

Being a star for Alabama football can lead to the massive riches and fame of the National Football League. Former LSU star receiver acknowledges that the path indeed is paved in gold for Tide players. Drafted by the Giants with the first pick in the second round, Alabama football safety Landon Collins determination to make the […]Alabama Football: Landon Collins on a mission to become best NFL safety - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Washington high school standout Dalayah Daniels becomes a force on the basketball court

By Walter Villa | Aug 2, 2018Special to espnW

Courtesy Dalayah Daniels

Dalayah Daniels learned an important lesson from her big brother: Don't back down to anyone.

It happened at odd times and in odd places. Dalayah Daniels would get knocked down. A lot.

But this was no case of whodunit.

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D.J. Jeffries' dad says Kentucky unprofessional after decommitment

9:40 AM ETEmailprint

The father of five-star forward D.J. Jeffries said Kentucky was "unprofessional" in the way it handled his son's decommitment from the school Monday.

"We talked with Kentucky, and it kinda shocked me," Corey Jeffries told John Martin on ESPN Radio's Memphis affiliate Tuesday morning. "They were kinda unprofessional. They didn't handle the news the way I expected them to handle it, being professionals."

D.J. Jeffries, a five-star forward from Mississippi's Olive Branch High School, announced Monday that he was decommitting from Kentucky and reopening his recruitment.

New NCAA rules, Penny Hardaway's emergence and LeBron James were among the dominant storylines on the recruiting trail in July.

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Alabama Football Recruiting: The End of Summer

Nobody on the roadNobody on the beachI feel it in the airThe summer’s out of reach.

The Boys of Summer by Don Henley

The NCAA Recruiting Calendar is an odd thing. It seems senseless to have a Dead Period in the middle of summer, but there it was from June 25 through July 24. Another Dead Period runs the length of the month of August. The Crimson Tide celebrated this short respite with a second BBQ Cookout. While it was not as big as the first one, it was still received very well.

4-star OLB commit King Mwikuta was in attendance and told 247sports that he gets “homesick” whenever he LEAVES Tuscaloosa. He has moved from the No. 123 prospect to 115.

Oxford, Miss. DB Brandon Turnage made his third trip to the Capstone this summer. QBs Paul Tyson and Taulia Tagovailoa plus one of the newest commits DE Byron Young were also spotted.

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10 takeaways from recruiting trail during July evaluation period

Aug 1, 2018Emailprint

The month of July is all about recruiting. It's when coaches identify prospects to build their rosters for the coming seasons.

At the same time, a lot more than recruiting goes on. Trends begin to develop, both in recruiting and at the college level. Coaches at all levels interact with one another, opinions are shared, gossip spreads.

After spending three weeks on the recruiting trail, here are some of the major talking points:

1. Will the July period ever be the same?

The biggest talking point was the impact of reported NCAA proposals. Is this the last time coaches can attend events like Peach Jam and Las Vegas?

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Alabama Football: After the Cookout what is next in recruiting

Alabama football fans were hoping for new commits from the second Champions Cookout. What happened and what is next for Crimson Tide recruiting. The second Alabama football Champions Cookout came and went with no new verbal commits. While the Alabama football staff continued pursuit of a few top players, other schools stole the weekend headlines. […]Alabama Football: After the Cookout what is next in recruiting - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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10 CFB programs ready to knock Alabama off its throne

For years, the Alabama Crimson Tide have reigned supreme over the college football landscape. Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide has won five national championships in the last decade.

Alabama’s dominance culminated last season with their fifth title under Saban. Now as the 2018 college football season approaches, the Crimson Tide are poised for another dominant season.

It comes as no surprise to see Alabama as heavy favorites to win the national title. Of course, it will play with a major target on its back this coming season.

Realistically, there aren’t many teams with a chance at overcoming the tide. Here are the 10 programs with a chance to knock Alabama off its throne this season.

Georgia Bulldogs

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Alabama Football: John Parker Wilson, Rashad Johnson excellent choices

With just over a month left before Alabama football fans see action on the field, it’s what fans will hear that will be different on gameday. Former Alabama football players John Parker Wilson and Rashad Johnson will both join the Crimson Tide Sports Network on the radio broadcasts of Alabama’s football games. Wilson will serve as […]Alabama Football: John Parker Wilson, Rashad Johnson excellent choices - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Which prospects stood out as future stars in Las Vegas?

Jul 31, 2018

Las Vegas was the capital of the grassroots basketball world last week as more than 10 events were spread around the surrounding area for five days, attracting over 1,000 teams and hundreds of college coaches.

The ESPN recruiting team was out in full force to monitor the action, and although you can never see everything during a week like this, there were certainly some prospects who made a big impression and moved the needle on their recruitment.

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Forward D.J. Jeffries decommits from Kentucky Wildcats, reopens recruitment

Jul 31, 2018Emailprint

Five-star forward D.J. Jeffries announced Monday he was decommitting from Kentucky and reopening his recruitment.

Jeffries, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Olive Branch (Mississippi) High School, had committed to Kentucky in March, choosing the Wildcats over Alabama and Mississippi State.

He was coached on the AAU circuit by Penny Hardaway last spring and summer and played for the same AAU program this past grassroots season.

The new Memphis coach is going head-to-head with John Calipari over the No. 1 player, James Wiseman.

When Hardaway took over for Tubby Smith at Memphis, there were rumors that Jeffries could flip to the Tigers, but he stuck with his commitment at the time.

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Cornerback prospect Andrew Booth chooses Clemson

Jul 30, 2018Emailprint

The Clemson Tigers continue to win key recruiting battles for top prospects out of Georgia.

Andrew Booth, the No. 33-ranked prospect in the class of 2019, became the latest elite Peach State talent to pick Clemson.

The nation's No. 3-ranked cornerback picked the Tigers over Auburn, Georgia and many more of the nation's top programs, with the battle coming down to Clemson vs. Auburn.

The No. 5-ranked prospect in Georgia is joined by ESPN 300 safety Joseph Charleston and tight end Jaelyn Lay as four-star prospects out of the Peach State who are headed to Clemson. Recent Clemson recruits out of Georgia include quarterback Deshaun Watson, five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt and defensive end Austin Bryant

Booth becomes the highest-ranked prospect in the Tigers' 2019 class, and ninth ESPN 300 verbal, with wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr. joining Booth as top-50-ranked prospects overall in the 2019 cycle. Clemson continues to expand its national recruiting footprint with four-star commitments out of eight states.

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Georgia Bulldogs land RB John Emery

Jul 29, 2018Emailprint

Georgia continued its hot streak in recruiting on Sunday, landing three ESPN 300 commitments all in one day.

Running back John Emery got things started, giving the Dawgs its second highest ranked commit at No. 20 overall.

This commitment comes after the Georgia staff was able to reel in the No. 1 ranked running back in the 2018 class with Zamir White, as well as the No. 3 back in James Cook.

The staff also has D'Andre Swift on the roster, who was the No. 6 back in the 2017 class, so the stable is loaded with big names for the future.

The 5-foot-11, 202-pound Emery, out of Destrehan, Louisiana, chose Georgia over several other programs, including LSU. Emery is the No. 2 ranked prospect in Louisiana, and while the Tigers have done well so far with the top in-state prospects in the 2019 class, Emery is headed out of the state.

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Jeffery Carter, Class o 2019 cornerback, commits to Texas A&M Aggies

7:32 PM ETEmailprint

Jeffery Carter, the No. 45 ranked prospect in the Class of 2019, is staying home for college.

The 6-foot, 182-pound cornerback with blazing 4.36 speed committed to the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday over Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks and more than 25 other offers from Power 5 programs.

The nation's No. 4 ranked cornerback adds to what could be a record-setting class for the Aggies, who have never finished higher than No. 4 in the 14 years ESPN has ranked prospects and recruiting classes.

Carter becomes the 12th ESPN 300 commitment for Jimbo Fisher's first full class in College Station, which includes five-star offensive lineman Kenyon Green and No. 1 ranked safety Brian Williams.

The Fort Worth-area prospect also continues the Aggies' run of reeling in top prospects in the Lone Star State. Texas A&M now has four of the top-10 ranked prospects in the state on the commit list, and nine of the top 20. The Aggies inked just two of the top 20 prospects within the state lines in February.

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Alabama Football: Tide players named to national awards watch lists

Alabama football has 11 players named to 13 national player awards, watch lists. Check which Crimson Tide player was named to each watch list. In the Alabama football Saban era, fans have grown accustomed to players winning national awards. The Heisman Award gets the most attention but the other awards are noteworthy as well. In […]Alabama Football: Tide players named to national awards watch lists - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Football: What to expect from Champions Cookout 2

Alabama football is entertaining another group of top recruits for the second Champions Cookout of the summer. What should fans expect? Every media source covering Alabama football keeps up a steady refrain of all the 5-Star recruits expected to sign with the Crimson Tide. So far, among the Tide’s 20, 2019 commits, there is one […]Alabama Football: What to expect from Champions Cookout 2 - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Nick Saban inks monster contract extension

The SEC West’s all about oneupmanship, and that’s why we like it. Florida is looking like a National Championsip contender for arrests, and Alabama has oneupped the rest of the SEC West with another contract extension for Nick Saban.

The school announced that Saban’s extension will be through the 2025 season, and pay him a tidy $8.3m for 2018.

Saban’s base salary will rise to $7.5m per season – and $400,000 a season for every season after that. Although that might seem peanuts compared to the $11.1m contract extension he signed last year, but if you take out the $4m that he was given as a signing bonus, then it’s still a slick pay rise.

He said: “We are very excited about the future, and this agreement allows us to continue to build on the success we have enjoyed at Alabama — both on and off the football field.”

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Alabama announces contract extension for Nick Saban through 2025 season

When Nick Saban was at the podium for SEC media days last week, he was asked — as he is seemingly every year — about how long he will continue coaching at Alabama. The veteran coach replied with his usual answer of however long he feels healthy enough to and if the program would have him.

It seems quite a long time is the real answer.

The Crimson Tide announced on Friday afternoon that they had agreed to a contract extension with Saban though the 2025 season, including annual raises that will see him go from around $7.5 million in 2018 up to $10.3 million by the end of the deal.

“Our family is thrilled to agree to a contract extension with the University of Alabama that will keep us in Tuscaloosa for the rest of our coaching career,” Saban said in a statement. “For Terry and me, the Tuscaloosa community and the state of Alabama have become home, and a place with deep roots for our entire family. We are very excited about the future, and this agreement allows us to continue to build on the success we have enjoyed at Alabama — both on and off the football field. We want to thank the Board of Trustees, President Bell, Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, our athletics administration, the football staff and the entire University community for their support. I’ve said this before, but the most satisfying part of our job is seeing the young men that represent our program grow and develop, not only in football, but more importantly in what they have been able to accomplish in their lives because of their involvement in our program.”

Some of the details about the contract released by the school include annual increases of $400,000 on his base pay and retention bonuses of $800,000 if he’s still coach in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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Nick Saban Agrees to contract extension through 2025 season

The University has announced that Nick Saban’s contract has been extended through the 2025 season.

From the official release:

The new agreement will extend his current contract by one season to eight years, and keep him in charge of the Crimson Tide football program through February 28, 2026. The base salary and talent fee will rise to $7.5 million and increase $400,000 annually. There will also be a contract extension/championship signing incentive of $800,000 in 2018 and a contract completion benefit of $800,000 payable at the end of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons.

”Our family is thrilled to agree to a contract extension with The University of Alabama that will keep us in Tuscaloosa for the rest of our coaching career,” Saban said. “For Terry and me, the Tuscaloosa community and the state of Alabama have become home, and a place with deep roots for our entire family. We are very excited about the future, and this agreement allows us to continue to build on the success we have enjoyed at Alabama – both on and off the football field. We want to thank the Board of Trustees, President Bell, Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, our athletics administration, the football staff and the entire University community for their support. I’ve said this before, but the most satisfying part of our job is seeing the young men that represent our program grow and develop, not only in football, but more importantly in what they have been able to accomplish in their lives because of their involvement in our program.”

It appears that Saban will be scheduled to earn $9.5M in total compensation in the year 2021 and will be over $10M annually by the end of the deal. He’s obviously been worth every penny, and this is just more ammo to use on the recruiting trail. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon, folks.

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