4/13 News: Toughest Schedule of 2016; Recruiting vs. Nick Saban


Spring football hits its home stretch at several offseason camps around the country. The 2016 season still doesn’t kick off for nearly five months, but that doesn’t mean we can’t examine which may be the toughest schedule in the season to come.

That very topic leads off the CFB Huddle news roundup for Wednesday, April 13. I have some headlines more

The Toughest Schedule of 2016 Belongs to…

Athlon Sports

Assigning distinction to a toughest schedule in the spring requires a level of assumption. Every college football season has an uncanny way of proving Stuart Smalley correct: When you assume, you make an ass out of Uma Thurman.

Bearing in mind some surprises will emerge and preseason favorites will fade, the toughest schedule of the 2016 season seems quite clear. I ranked 1-to-25 for Athlon Sports. I won’t spoil anything, but there’s a hint:

Tread Lightly Recruiting Against Nick Saban

Ben Kercheval, Today’s U.

The only undefeated entity in sports is Father Time. He’ll eventually come for even the great Nick Saban, but Saban wants recruits to know he has plenty left to give the Crimson Tide.

Ben Kercheval breaks down the folly of Saban rivals using the coach’s advanced age as a negative recruiting tactic.

Saban remains the preeminent recruiter in the game, and the rest of the SEC is left grasping for whatever edge they might get.

Will Muschamp Goes on The Offensive

Matt Brown, Sports On Earth

Among the SEC coaches looking up at Nick Saban in the SEC chase: South Carolina first-year head coach Will Muschamp.

Muschamp inherits one of the more difficult jobs in the conference, following a legend in Steve Spurrier but with a sizable rebuild awaiting him.

Quarterback sets the foundation for Muschamp’s South Carolina rebuild, and as Matt Brown lays out at Sports On Earth, that position vexed the Gamecocks coach more than any other in his abbreviated tenured at Florida.

Muschamp’s fresh start could be tied to a freshman.

HBCU Hip-Hop Fashions Make A Comeback

Karen Roberts, The Journal News

Chris Latimer’s African American College Alliance clothing brand made a splash in the early 1990s, thanks to the hip-hop community.

Latimer tells The Journal News he aims for his line, which showcases the names and logos of HBCU university teams, to make a resurgence — and for it to bring positive attention to higher education.

Much of the national attention paid to HBCU in recent years, including football, has been in a negative light. The educational cuts still choking Louisiana’s colleges and universities fueled the boycott at Grambling in 2013.

Grambling experienced a remarkable resurgence in the past season, however, contending for the SWAC championship.

The 2015 season also marked the inauguration of the Celebration Bowl, which pit the Alcorn State from the SWAC against the MEAC’s North Carolina A&T. The convergence of HBCU conference champions provided one of the best games of the 2015 postseason, and perhaps the most impressive individual performance of the entire fall, courtesy North Carolina A&T’s Tarik Cohen.

For more on the past, present and future of HBCU football, I cannot recommend my friend Trenise Ferriera’s project “Student Body Left” enough. Truly an essential, multimedia experience for all fans of the game.

NCAA Quietly Makes A Pro-School Ruling With Bowl Ban

Bart Doan, The Student Section

While another ban the NCAA announced this week generated more discussion, The Student Section’s Bart Doan praises a moratorium placed on new bowl games for the next years.

Doan’s column lays out the absurdity of further expansion to an already saturated postseason, and presents a unique caveat: the quelling of bowl proliferation might actually emphasize the “student” in student-athlete ever-so-slightly.