20 jarringly specific and (perhaps not entirely serious) predictions about the 2018 college football season

1. After being asked, on a particularly intemperate mid-August day, about the state of the Alabama quarterback battle between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, Nick Saban brandishes a Coca-Cola bottle and declares it to be his starter in the season-opener against Louisville. The Coca-Cola bottle subsequently calls a press conference in which it states (through a translator) that it is transferring to Georgia Tech to be closer to its family. Saban starts Tagovailoa, who completes 18-of-24 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in Alabama’s 39-10 victory over Louisville.

2. With Michigan trailing Notre Dame 21-18 and facing a 4th-and-3 at the Notre Dame 32-yard line late in the fourth quarter, Jim Harbaugh calls for a play referred to as “Spongebob.” Quarterback Shea Patterson takes a shotgun snap, does a backflip, shouts some nonsense at a perplexed defensive end, scrambles until he hyperventilates, and then hurls a pass that angles off two defenders’ helmets and the belt buckle of a side judge before landing in the hands of wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones for the game-winning touchdown.

3. In Week 2, Michigan State beats Arizona State 45-9, prompting ASU coach Herm Edwards to deliver a fiery postgame lecture about the potential of Bitcoin technology.

4. After his Florida Atlantic team upsets Oklahoma, starts the season 3-0 and puts up an average of 46 points per game, Lane Kiffin denies rumors that he will become the head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.

5. A Tennessee man blames repeated viewings of the Imagine Dragons’ song “Natural” during college football broadcasts for brainwashing him into purchasing a nearby Chick-fil-A franchise.

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Alabama Football: What to look for leading up to fall camp

Alabama football fall camp is two weeks away. Check out three areas, worthy of close attention leading up to the start of camp. The symbolic kickoff to the new season, SEC Media Days is finished. Alabama football fans now have two more weeks of summer dog days before the pace quickens with the start of […]Alabama Football: What to look for leading up to fall camp - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Crimson Tide fans: Grab your sideline gear now

Alabama Crimson Tide fans can now nab the same gear their favorite players and coaches are rocking on the sideline. Check it out below. The college football season is quickly approaching, which means the Alabama Crimson Tide will be taking on the Louisville Cardinals in Orlando sooner rather than later. Do you have all the […]Alabama Crimson Tide fans: Grab your sideline gear now - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Football: Unlocking the key to the Tide QB situation

Alabama football does not have a QB controversy. It has a situation filled with opportunity and challenge. A QB expert explains what will happen and why. Amidst the clamor surrounding SEC Media Days, a familiar voice shared some clarity about what to expect from the Alabama football QB situation. Some fans are disenchanted with Gary Danielson […]Alabama Football: Unlocking the key to the Tide QB situation - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama state champion Maori Davenport set to represent USA at FIBA Americas U18 Championship

By Walter Villa | Jul 19, 2018Special to espnW

Courtesy USA Basketball

Maori Davenport will represent Team USA at the upcoming FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City.

Dyneshia Jones remembers pulling into her driveway one day a decade ago and greeting the family that had just moved into the house next door.

The couple, Mario and Tara, had three children, including a first-grade girl named Maori, who filled her days by taking piano and ballet lessons.

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The 2018 college football awards preview

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of the college football season comes the age-old query: which athletes will make the biggest impact at their respective positions? There’s still a lot of football to played before we know for sure, but there are already plenty of clues when it comes to predicting who might take home some hardware come December. 

(This article covers all non-Heisman awards for the 2018. You can check out our piece on the 2018 Heisman favorites here.)

☆            ☆           ☆           ☆

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

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USC Trojans rise recruiting five star brothers Evan Mobley Isaiah Mobley

Jul 17, 2018Emailprint

NEW YORK -- The 2019 college basketball recruiting class is just getting started, but so far the No. 1 class doesn't belong to Duke, Kentucky or any blue blood for that matter.

Andy Enfield and USC have scooped up four early commitments, all in the ESPN 100 and two with five-star status.

It has been quite a reversal of fortune for a program that was one of the first to be connected to last year's FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting. Former associate head coach Tony Bland was fired by USC in January after being arrested in September.

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

July is the most important month on the recruiting calendar. The foundations of the future for college basketball's elite will begin to be set, and the next wave of one-and-done NBA prospects will be identified.

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Penny Hardaway recruiting top 2019 player James Wiseman with Kentucky Wildcats

Jul 16, 2018Emailprint

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- When John Calipari or Mike Krzyzewski walks into a high school or grassroots game, people take notice.

Lately, it's the presence of Penny Hardaway that is turning heads. The new Memphis coach has the Tigers involved with a long list of heavy hitters.

The biggest target is James Wiseman, the No. 1 player in 2019. Despite Wiseman saying he plans to cut his list to eight schools, no one believes he's considering more than two. On Sunday, during the championship game of the Peach Jam event, Wiseman said Memphis and Kentucky were his top two.

"We've got a great relationship. Our relationship is still there. Since he [became] the coach at Memphis, we still got that same relationship we did." James Wiseman

The 7-foot center was long considered a lock for Kentucky, but Hardaway, who coached Wiseman on the AAU circuit and at East High School in Memphis, has put the Tigers in play.

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15 college football freshmen set to take over in 2018

At powerhouse college football programs, it usually takes a while for their top incoming recruits to hit the field. But there are always exceptions.

Some of this year’s blue-chip freshmen are positioned to make an immediate impact in 2018, whether it be as key role players or starters. Given the pedigree of some of these schools, there may be a few surprises.

Read on to find out which first-year football phenoms are bound to make a splash on Saturdays this year.

Note: Recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

Patrick Surtain Jr., cornerback, Alabama

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CLIP: Rashaan Evans on the Jim Rome Show talking about maturing under Nick Saban

Titans Linebacker Rashaan Evans was on the The Jim Rome Show, talking about what he learned from playing under Nick Saban at Alabama.

[You may want to adjust your volume before you see his shirt.☺]

https://vimeo.com/279908858

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Alliance Birmingham: New league to build on geographic college affiliations

When Alliance Birmingham takes the field next February, it is sure to have several former Alabama football players, along with players from other colleges in the area. The new football league, the Alliance of American Football, has what appears to be a sound structure. Alliance Birmingham and all the other teams are owned by a […]Alliance Birmingham: New league to build on geographic college affiliations - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Football: The known and the unknown in the Tide linebacker roster

A week ago Alabama football fans were concerned about inside linebacker depth but excited about the outside linebacker group. The situation quickly changed. Numbers at linebacker took a downturn for Alabama football this week. A thin group at inside linebacker became thinner with the disciplinary departure of VanDarius Cowan. The outside linebacker numbers were also […]Alabama Football: The known and the unknown in the Tide linebacker roster - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Basketball: Avery Johnson lands a top prospect in Juwan Gary

Alabama basketball gained its second commitment for the 2019 class with 4-Star, SF, Juwan Gary choosing to play for Avery Johnson. Most of the attention on the Alabama basketball, 2019 recruiting class has been on Trendon Watford and Kira Lewis. The two Alabama high school players are top targets for Avery Johnson. On Friday, Avery pulled in […]Alabama Basketball: Avery Johnson lands a top prospect in Juwan Gary - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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CFB analyst, Trevor Matich dicusses the QBs and the Alabama football offense

Recently, ESPN CFB analyst, Trevor Matich shared his informed insights on Alabama football in the upcoming season. Most football fans are familiar with Trevor Matich from his 12-season NFL career. For the Alabama football fans who do not fully know his credentials, there are extensive. He was an offensive lineman on the BYU, 1984 national championship […]CFB analyst, Trevor Matich dicusses the QBs and the Alabama football offense - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Alabama Football: Who will provide the leadership on 2018 team

Every new season Alabama football must establish new team leaders throughout the various position groups. Check out who will step up in 2018. No amount of talent can be enough to overcome a deficiency in player leadership. All through the Saban era, Alabama football has been blessed with strong player leadership. The leadership discovery and […]Alabama Football: Who will provide the leadership on 2018 team - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Time for NFL Training Camps with 61 former Alabama football players

NFL Training camps open this week as rookies report. Once every team adds its veterans, there will be 61 former Alabama football players competing for a 2018 NFL roster. Whatever the final number, Alabama football will again be well represented on NFL rosters in the 2018-19 season. Rookies began reporting this week. The veterans will soon […]Time for NFL Training Camps with 61 former Alabama football players - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Penn State backup QB seemingly takes shot at Alabama

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama is entering the 2018 season with two quarterbacks who are clearly worthy of being starters, and that puts them in a position that many teams cannot relate to. But do they have the best quarterback depth in the country? One QB from another program doesn’t seem to think so.

On Tuesday, Alabama Football’s official Twitter account shared some of last season’s highlights from Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa and said the duo headlines the “best QB room in the country.” Penn State backup quarterback Tommy Stevens had a very simple response.

Stevens, a redshirt junior, considered transferring from Penn State earlier this offseason but ultimately decided he will back up senior Trace McSorley for a third consecutive year.

“I did search around and look to see if there was a better place for me somewhere, and I talked to some schools,” he said previously, via Jordan James of 247Sports.com. “Ultimately, I know what I have here. I love Penn State. I love the relationships that I have here. And I love playing football with my best friends.

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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

The hype surrounding Terrell Lewis always seemed justified.

Just look at him.

At 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds, the Alabama junior has the lean, sinewy build of an elite pass rusher.

He also has a tantalizing blend of speed and power -- qualities that made him a defensive terror.

We already talked about it in a dedicated article yesterday, but I can’t express how upset I am at the news about Terrell Lewis. I pegged him as my favorite player from his recruiting class before they ever set foot on campus, and have expected big things from him every season since. And now another injury.

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Greatest Games in Saban-Era Crimson Tide History That Alabama Didn’t Play In

“...I get by with a little help from my friends.”

~ Sir Ringo Starr

Telling the history of Alabama Crimson Tide football would take years. To tell the tale of the Nick Saban era would take a substantial time in itself, and the story continues. Unless you just came out of a ten-year coma, you know that the Tide has won five National Championships in the last nine years. There are many stories that have been regaled regarding this epoch. The players, the coaches, and the big plays are held in such high regards to Tide fans, like it is almost as if they are a part of the family photo album. But Bama didn’t always pull off these championships without a little help from their friends.

November 18, 2011: FREAKY FRIDAY!Iowa State 37 Oklahoma State 31 (2 OT)

The 10-0 Cowboys sauntered their way into Ames, Iowa for a Friday night spotlight game and slinked away with crushed dreams. The Cyclones would lose the rest of their games and finish the season 6-7.

Key Play: Although they were a bit sloppy, the Cowpokes held a 24-7 lead in the 3rd quarter. Ahhh, time to relax and put it in cruise control... After the Cyclones scored a touchdown, OSU would turn the ball over two times and have two three-and-outs on their next five possessions. Meanwhile, ISU chipped away at the lead and tied it up. Late in the game, Iowa State would throw an interception in their own territory. With the addition of a 15 yard personal foul penalty, the Cowboys took the ball at the 29 yard line. After some sad attempts to gain yardage, OSU would miss a 37-yard field goal to send the game into OT where the Cyclones would prevail.

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Women's basketball prospect Diamond Johnson finds happiness, controversy after moving to Philadelphia

By Walter Villa | Jul 12, 2018Special to espnW

Courtesy the Johnson family

Diamond Johnson will enter her first full year at Neumann-Goretti in the fall.

James Johnson used to pick up his daughter after school whenever he could. If he got crunched for time, he would rush home so he could be there waiting for her to walk through the door.

"He was a great dad -- he provided for us and supported us," said Diamond Johnson, now a 16-year-old basketball standout at Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia). "He would make jokes, blast hip-hop music and take me to the store."

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