The Morning Briefing: January 31, 2019

Paul W. "Bear" Bryant was alone on the cover of the 1966 Crimson Tide media guide. At the end of this story is what's printed on the inside cover.

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Yesterday’s Crimson Tide results

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Did you notice?

• Running back Josh Jacobs told ProFootballTalkLive that the Crimson Tide lacked focus heading into the National Championship Game against Clemson. “Before the game, you could feel it was gonna be a rough one,” he said, adding that he could sense the lack of energy in the locker room before the contest began.

• The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame announced the creation of the Starr-Sullivan Achievement Award, which will go to "a former collegiate quarterback who exhibits exemplary character, integrity, and leadership, while making a significant contribution in the community." Named after Alabama’s Bart Starr and Auburn’s Pat Sullivan, recipients must have played at an Alabama college, have been born in the state or made a significant contribution to the state.

• Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told “The Front Row” on 680 The Fan that it’s difficult for him having to work with a different offensive coordinator. Steve Sarkisian is back at Alabama as offensive coordinator.

• According to Ralph Russo of The Associated Press, the football rules committee will discuss ways to limit extreme overtime games during meetings late next month in Indianapolis. "The overtime process is really not broken. It’s just when you go beyond two (overtime possessions), it’s too much," National Coordinator of Officials Steve Shaw said.

• The final numbers for the National Championship Game are in and Alabama-Clemson averaged nearly 27 million viewers. It was most watched of the three recent title games between them with out-of-home viewing and computer/mobile streaming ratings included. It was the seventh-most watched cable telecast ever.

• Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the Super Bowl that the NFL is leaving open the possibility of suspending Washington Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster under its personal conduct policy. Per the Washington Post, Foster had a domestic violence charge against him in Florida dropped by prosecutors earlier this month. But the conduct policy permits the NFL to discipline a player in the absence of criminal charges if the league determines after an investigation that such a measure is warranted. “We continue our investigation into that,” Goodell said. “Whether charges are dropped doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a violation of our personal conduct policy. Reuben and I have met before. We will talk again. But we’ll conclude that investigation and make a determination, and we’ll go from there.”

BamaInsider reported that, per sources, former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Major Applewhite is interviewing for an analyst job at Alabama this week. Applewhite spent the past two seasons as the head coach at Houston.

• Fans of the NFL Draft may want to check out the prospect report for tight end Irv Smith on the Raiders’ website.

• Alabama junior outfielder Elissa Brown was one of 50 players selected to the Top 50 Watch List for USA Softball Player of the Year. Brown led the Crimson Tide with a .341 batting average, while tallying 45 hits, 29 runs scored and 30 stolen bases last season.

• The men’s tennis team climbed two spots to No. 19 in the latest Oracle/ITA National Team Rankings. The Crimson Tide is also ranked No. 18 team by the United States Tennis Association. Either way, Alabama is in the top 20 foe the first time since 2009.

• The SEC Network announced that it will show nine Alabama baseball games this season:

Date, Opponent, Time (CT)

March 26 vs. Auburn (Montgomery), 6 p.m.

April 4 vs. South Carolina, 6 p.m.

April 5 vs. South Carolina, 6 p.m.

April 14 at Mississippi State, 3 p.m.

April 20 vs. Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.

May 4 at Auburn, 7 p.m.

May 5 at Auburn, 3 p.m.

May 12 vs. Texas A&M, 2 p.m.

May 17 at Georgia, 6 p.m.

On this date in Crimson Tide history:

January 31, 1970: Paul W. “Bear” Bryant announced a home-and-home series with Southern California, with the first game being September 12 at Legion Field. Alabama would return the following year, playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum on September 10. The NCAA approved adding an 11th game in a vote taken at the January 14 Convention. They turned out to be two of the most noteworthy and important games in Crimson Tide history.

Crimson Tide quote of the day:

“I wanted to be the Branch Rickey of football.” — Paul W. “Bear” Bryant to B.J. Phillips of Time Magazine in 1980.


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