Alabama football: Like a Lamb to the slaughter

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at the other side of the Alabama-Football Championship Subdivision matchups. 

Saturday Down South’s Al Blanton wrote an excellent feature on the mentality of an FCS team taking on Alabama. Leaving aside the competitive aspect of the top programs in the country taking on fledgling teams, the article sheds some light on all the other factors that go into games like these.

For upcoming opponent Mercer, led by head coach Bobby Lamb, the game in Bryant-Denny Stadium is one of the landmark moments in program history — not because the Bears will contend with Alabama, but because millions of college football fans will see the four-year-old program and what it can do. The Bears will get a chance to play in a stadium literally 10 times the size of their home field, which will do wonders for recruiting. And the appearance fee alone will fund a significant part of the athletic department budget. For all the horror and boredom these games cause, for the lower tiers of football, it’s about much more than the result.

ICYMI

Built by Bama

• The latest crop of Alabama alumni is already impressing in NFL camps. The Washington-based duo of Ryan Anderson and Jonathan Allen have caught the eye of the vice president for player personnel. Marlon Humphrey is thriving in Baltimore, otherwise known as North Tuscaloosa.

• In Major League Baseball, Wade LeBlanc tossed two shutout innings as his Pirates fell to Philadelphia, 4-0.

• Alabama softball legend Jaclyn Traina is going into coaching at Seacrest Country Day prep school in Naples, Fla. She’ll be co-head coach with Phillies legend John Kruk.

• And Alabama soccer star and Dutch international Merel van Dongen now is a Nike athlete.

Around the Capstone

Two Alabama swimmers finished in the top 20 of their respective events at the 2017 USA Swimming National Championships.

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