Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Nick Saban will tour the ESPN campus Wednesday, while Friday promises an Alabama marathon on the SEC Network.

Alabama football: Nick Saban, Crimson Tide taking over your television sets

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at upcoming preseason programming for Alabama fans. 

Countdown to kickoff

Tuesday morning marked the 39th day until Alabama kicks off against Florida State on Sept. 2. To mark the occasion, AL.com named an end from one of the great Alabama defenses the best No. 39 in SEC history. BamaOnline continued its countdown by naming a breakout cornerback its seventh-most important player of the season. 

Elsewhere, Marq Burnett has the fast facts and prediction for Alabama’s week two opponent, Fresno State. 

Buckle up

Braxton Key’s dalliance with the NBA draft–and subsequent rejection by the Association establishment–has made him a new player, according to Avery Johnson. From Charlie Potter’s story at BamaOnline:

“Oh, he’s a different player,” Johnson said after Monday’s preseason practice. “He’s more mature, he’s more of a leader on the floor and that was the blessing behind that NBA experience. Not getting your name called for the Chicago pre-draft camp, not getting drafted, only having one workout or so. So, he came back a lot hungrier.

At the carwash

If you got to the Rammer Jammer early this Wednesday morning, you still have time to follow Nick Saban’s day at the ESPN “car wash”–the typical tour of shows that ESPN guests take on visiting their Bristol headquarters. Saban starts the morning on “Mike & Mike,” ends the day on “The Ryen Rusillo Show” and gets SportsCenter and the illustrious First Take in between.

Tide takeover

If you miss Saban’s trip to the Worldwide Leader, there’s still time to set your DVR to immerse yourself in Alabama content on the SEC Network. As usual, the SEC Network is devoting one entire day to replays and features from each team, and the Crimson Tide are due up on Friday. Alabama’s takeover begins with the most recent win over Tennessee and ends with the 2016 SEC Championship. In between, you can catch golf, gymnastics, basketball, softball and plenty of football. The full schedule is here. 

Around the classroom

Academic plaudits rolled in for Alabama teams on Tuesday. Every single gymnast on the spring roster was named an Academic All-American, while both the men’s and women’s tennis teams loaded their respective scholar-athlete teams. On a team level, the Alabama volleyball team was named the academic team of the year by the assembly of volleyball coaches.