Good morning. The Rammer Jammer is a daily rundown of everything you need to know about Alabama athletics, published every weekday morning
Alabama’s reckoning against Arkansas rapidly approaches (7 p.m. ET, Saturday, ESPN) but the most striking news out of the press conference on Wednesday is that Nick Saban is vehemently opposed to early signing periods, per AL.com’s Michael Casagrande. Saban joins Urban Meyer in dissent to the NCAA’s proposal. This is one of the few times I’ve seen Saban admit to being informed about something not related to his next game before a press conference, and then go out of his way to bring it up. The most important thing to remember about Saban’s press conferences is that he almost always has a message he wants to get out. In this case, the two most powerful coaches in the country have made it a priority to oppose an NCAA initiative. In the past, Saban has struggled against the NCAA’s shifting tides, with only Arkansas coach Bret Bielema for backup. With Meyer on his side, I wonder if this proposal is, at least temporarily, dead on arrival.
- Bleacher Report’s Chris Walsh goes long on Joshua Jacobs’ path to Alabama.
- Ben Jones at The Tuscaloosa News offers a glimpse at Saban’s extremely complicated defense.
- Bielema is aware of Alabama’s defensive scoring prowess, thank you very much.
- BamaOnline analyst Travis Reier offers analysis of practice on Wednesday.
- Speaking of practice, here’s SEC Country’s Marq Burnett’s practice report and rundown of Saban’s appearance on the SEC teleconference.
- Saban’s not worried about Hurts getting hurt, injury updates and more in Charlie Potter’s notebook at BamaOnline.
- Three of Sports Illustrated’s eight ‘experts’ pick Alabama to go undefeated.
- SEC Country’s Andrew Astleford writes Arkansas is the best candidate for a villain to Alabama’s dominance. I’ve always been told that Alabama is the Evil Empire, so perhaps our play is miscast.
- Alabama’s impending trip to Arkansas may be the biggest game in Razorback Stadium history.
- Jonathan Allen’s decision to return to Alabama was huge for Alabama. Roll Bama Roll breaks down some film of the anchor of Alabama’s defensive line.
- And finally, Wally Hall at Arkansas Online says the Hogs are on the right track to beat Alabama. He references J.B. “Ears” Whitworth, to make it two obscure former-Alabama-coach references in two days out of Arkansas.
Watch Saban’s full press conference
- Former Alabama tight end Cole Harvey is suing the NCAA and the SEC after suffering “10-15 concussions” while at Alabama, Casagrande reports.
- Roman Harper spent a day as a ‘substitute teacher‘ at Belle Chasse High School in Louisiana, compiled here by Mark Inabett for AL.com.
- Unsurprisingly, Julio Jones is the NFC Player of the Week after recording a 300-yard game on Sunday.
- Fox Sports asks where is Shaun Alexander now? I met him at the national championship game in Arizona and he was so big he blocked out the sun. Indoors. At night.
- In the wake of the Web.com tour finals cancellation because of Hurricane Matthew, former Alabama golfer Bobby Wyatt has been awarded his PGA tour card for the upcoming season.
Around the Capstone
- From Becky Hopf at The Tuscaloosa news, somebody named their baby after an Alabama hockey player. Alabama’s hockey program is a non-NCAA club.
- Alabama soccer hosts Ole Miss tonight at 8 p.m. ET. That match will be broadcast on SECNetwork+.
- The basketball teams are beginning preparations for the Tide Tipoff event Oct. 21. Admission is free for students and season ticket holders, and $5 for everyone else.
- Current men’s golf coach Jay Seawell and former coach of both golf teams Dick Spybey will be inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame.
A tasteful addition to any living room
— Daniel Moore Gallery (@DanielMooreNLA) October 5, 2016
Daniel Moore, well-known among Alabama fans for his prints depicting iconic moments in Crimson Tide history, released his latest painting, commemorating the 2015 national championship season. You can order it here for $189, or $289 with Jake Coker’s autograph. Moore’s captured dozens of moments in Alabama history, including producing a massive painting for the Million Dollar Band’s 100th anniversary, and is a household name to many Alabama fans. That didn’t stop the university from suing him to “protect its brand.” The university, with the Collegiate License Company, has been notoriously litigious in protecting the university’s script-A, even claiming the houndstooth pattern as a copyright. Federal courts have found that the university has no right to claim houndstooth, a fabric pattern, as a copyright, and that Moore’s works are protected under the First Amendment.
Picks for Thursday night
This slate is, uh … rough. Our options are Western Kentucky (-2.5) at Louisiana Tech on CBSSN and Temple at Memphis (-10.5) on ESPN. Both games kick off at 8 p.m. ET. Louisiana Tech has a quarterback who can sling the ball with the best of them and has already racked up 1,400 yards. With the game in Ruston and the Bulldogs as home dogs, they might be worth a pick. Temple is bad and its best result came in a seven-point loss to Penn State, which also is bad. Take the Tigers at home.
You know what? Just watch the American League Division Series (4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET on TBS).