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The Jumbo Package │10.22.13

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes.

Mike Ehrmann

Back at strong safety, Landon Collins 'comfortable' as Alabama secondary regroups once again |

"In high school, we just played right side and left side safety, so it really didn’t matter," Collins said Monday. "Coach (Nick) Saban asked me and I was like, 'I’ll just play strong – because I guess I like the feeling of coming in the box and playing the run more, and that’s what the strong safety does.'"

I completely understand that losing Vinnie is a big hit to our secondary but I have to say I'm really excited to see Landon on the field on every snap for the rest of the season. He loves contact, has the speed you want in a strong safety and seems to enjoy playing against the run, something that Vinnie also excelled at. I think between CJ and Ha Ha the correct calls will be relayed and players will be put in the right position. Call me crazy, or even insensitive, but it feels almost like Collins is an upgrade at strong safety.

On The Mark: SEC the biggest threat to its own BCS title hopes - ESPN

Over the past two weeks, five ranked SEC teams lost to lesser-ranked or unranked opponents. On Saturday alone, unranked Vanderbilt upset No. 15 Georgia 31-27, unranked Tennessee knocked off No. 11 South Carolina 23-21, No. 24 Auburn outlasted No. 7 Texas A&M 45-41 and unranked Ole Miss stunned No. 6 LSU 27-24. As a result, with seven weeks left in the regular season, the SEC suddenly looks a lot like the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12, The SEC is its own worst enemy.

Meh...I see his point but this isn't an SEC that is loaded from top to bottom and we are just all picking each other apart. I mentioned in yesterday's Around the SEC that the league has one elite team (Bama), some up and coming teams who are playing well at this moment (Mizzou and Auburn), those who are beaten and bruised (UGA, UF), those who may just be average (LSU, Ole Miss, A&M, USCe) and then a whole bunch crap...

Alabama golfers on record pace at Islesworth |

The top-ranked University of Alabama men’s golf team shot a season low 16-under 272 to take a 10-shot lead after two rounds at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational on Monday on the par-72, 7,387-yard Isleworth Country Club.

Ray Perkins says Nick Saban has brought 'tough, gritty football' to Alabama, and he likes it |

"As far as college is concerned, there's not that many Alabamas,'' he said. "When I say that, there's not that many teams that has the wherewithal to play the smashmouth, tough, gritty football -- offense and defense. Alabama does that. "The other day we went to Tuscaloosa and they were obviously running the clock out and they've got what's probably the sixth-string running back (in the game). He carries the ball to the left side and breaks it back and 70 yards later he's got a touchdown. That's not how they designed it, not what they wanted to do. They just wanted to run the clock out. ...

After, what 25 years, have we all forgiven Perkins or his name still mud?

RECRUITING: Recruits plan to take in Alabama's game with Tennessee |

The Tide staff is also set to host the top prospect in the country, with his decision coming in a few short weeks. Laurence "Hootie" Jones, a Rivals100 safety from Neville High School in Monroe, La., is scheduled to announce his college decision Nov. 15. He has trimmed his list to Alabama and LSU. He was in Tuscaloosa for the Arkansas game and plans to return to for the LSU game Nov. 9.

Butch Jones on Alabama: 'Their program is what we are building here at Tennessee'

"They have depth every where across the board, from special teams to offense to defense," Jones said. "They are very physical, they play with great effort, they are technically sound. They just don't rely on their abilities. They are fundamentally sound. You have a quarterback who can make all the throws, he is in control, big imposing offensive line. I think where they have really taken great strides offensively is they have great perimeter skill and speed. So yes, it is a great challenge. It is really hard to simulate it in practice.

This is not the same as Saban pumping a bad Kentucky or Arkansas team just to keep his players motivated....Butch is telling the truth. Alabama is certainly susceptible to a loss, but I don't believe it will be at the hands of this Tennessee team.

Nick Saban not surprised by 'changing of the guard' in SEC, stumps for 9-game conference schedule |

"Georgia and Florida, I know for sure, have had a lot of really good, key players that they've lost, whether it's an extended period of time or a short period of time," Saban said. "That affects your team, especially at some positions where you don't have the same quality of depth you might have some place else." He moved on to the league's depth, something that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and others used as a criticism of the SEC throughout the offseason. "It speaks to the very good coaching, very good programs, that we have from top to bottom in this league that everybody you play has the capabilities of beating you because of the quality of players as well as the quality of the coaching and programs that we have in this league," he said.

See my point above and how I disagree with Coach Saban. Sure, the 3rd tier teams in the SEC can pull an upset on any given Saturday, but that further shows the weakness of the 2nd tier and not how great the SEC is a whole.

Simply put, just because bad teams can beat OK, but not very good teams, doesn't show how great the SEC is..

Four Downs: Questions Alabama faces against Tennessee |

How will UA's defensive front hold up against Tennessee's offensive line?

The Vols have what is probably the best offensive line in the Southeastern Conference, and one of the best in the country. Every starter save one is a senior, and 6-foot-6, 327-pound left tackle Antonio "Tiny" Richardson is a fourth-year junior who may be the best of a big and burly bunch. Alabama's defensive front seven will face a stiff challenge in trying to stop Tennessee's running game and putting pressure on quarterback Justin Worley in the passing game.

This will be a great test for our defensive line and linebackers to see how they handle a big, physical offensive line like Tennessee's. LSU's OL showed it can struggle with a strong pass rush and also found it hard to open up running lanes for Jeremy Hill. If our front seven is able to get a push on UT and continues its brick wall mentality against the run, I'll be even that much more hopeful for success against LSU.

Cigar-smoking tradition after Tennessee win caught Alabama DB Landon Collins off guard |

"Actually, I didn't know about it. I didn't know we smoked cigars until after the game," Collins said. "We won I was like, Wow. I just thought it was a big rivalry between the two, that it's a big game towards us and towards our fans." And the cigar? "I was like, What is this?" Collins said Monday. "I'm like, what am I supposed to do with this? They said, you're supposed to smoke it. I was like, I'll just keep it as a souvenir as my first win. That's what I did."

I really like this guy...

Alabama football: Drake emerges as an all-around running back | The Montgomery Advertiser

He’s T.J. Yeldon’s backup, but coach Nick Saban feels that Drake is an all-around back who can play on every down as a receiver, blocker and ball carrier. And he does on certain drives. "He does all that stuff now," Saban said. "He’s a good third-down back, and a good receiver. He’s a hard guy to cover. He knows the protections. We have every confidence in him to play on third down if we need him to."

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