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The Jumbo Package | 11.24.13

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

AJ McCarron ends his Alabama Crimson Tide career in fine style - ESPN

Oddly enough, it was Alabama coach Nick Saban who facilitated the McCarron-to-McCarron connection both brothers had long awaited. Saban found his coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, at halftime and told him to make it happen: draw up a play where AJ could give Corey his first career reception.

"That little boot pass was a pretty sure thing where you knew he was going to have a chance to be open," Saban said. "I think they were pretty excited about it." "It was awesome," AJ said after the game. In a stroke of directorial genius, he brought Corey on stage to speak with the media for the first time, the two standing side by side. "I keep telling people that's the reason why I stayed, for memories like this."

Easily one of the coolest things to come out of yesterday's blowout.  I don't think we've ever seen another player that has the relationship with Saban that AJ has.  That magic chest tattoo has seemingly melted the ice around Saban's heart and turned him into a big ol' softy.

NCAA College Football Recap - Chattanooga Mocs at Alabama Crimson Tide - Nov 23, 2013 -

The Tide defense produced its third shutout of the year, blocking a field goal against the FCS Mocs (8-4).

"For me, it was perfect," linebacker C.J. Mosley said of his final home game. "We came out with a shutout. It can't get any better than that for a defensive player. We talked about this being a momentum game, going into next week and the rest of the season."

Kenyan Drake ran for 77 yards and a 13-yard touchdown with starting tailback T.J. Yeldon sitting out to rest a sprained ankle. Freshman Derrick Henry ran six times for 66 yards and scored on a 5-yard touchdown set up by his own 27-yard scamper.

Nice win yesterday.  Not because of the score or the opponent, but because of the note we were able to send the seniors out on.

Alabama seniors take victory lap to thank fans who braved cold to end of Chattanooga win |

"It was a sad, but happy moment," receiver Kenny Bell said. "The fans, they always showed their love and AJ (McCarron) just thought that we should just go around and say just one more good last goodbye to them."

McCarron, who made memories earlier by completing a pass to brother Corey, gave credit to those who stuck it out. "It was awesome," McCarron said. "This was the best five years of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. That's why I came back — for memories like this. Not only to go out with a win on Senior Day, but for all the fans to stick around until the end, it really means a lot to us."

Big thanks to all of the fans that stuck around yesterday.  Thanks for giving those guys the exit they deserve.

One last time: AJ McCarron, Kevin Norwood connect for their final touchdown at Bryant-Denny Stadium |

The stress was minimal Saturday, but Norwood came up big once again on third down in a then-scoreless first quarter. McCarron rolled out of the pocket, found Norwood on a slant across the middle and let the senior from D'Iberville do the rest on a 50-yard gain. The Crimson Tide scored a couple of plays later and the rout was on.

Norwood led all receivers with four catches for 84 yards Saturday and leads the team with 493 yards and six touchdowns on the season. "Norwood and I always have a good connection," McCarron said. "I always know where he's going to be, and the timing of everything, so it always seems for him and me to work out. A lot of guys got into the end zone today, and that was good for us."

I was guilty of overlooking Norwood in this preseason.  I'm man enough to admit when I've been thoroughly proven wrong.

Report: Alabama fires staffer who provided Clinton-Dix benefits -

The Alabama strength-and-conditioning assistant responsible for providing improper benefits to Tide safety Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix has been fired. The Tuscaloosa News first reported Corey Harris's dismissal early Saturday, with an Alabama spokesman later confirming to that Harris was no longer employed by the school.

Alabama self-reported to the NCAA in October that Harris had loaned Clinton-Dix an amount of money under $500. The Tide compliance office also discovered that Harris was connected to a sports agent's representative, and was placed on administrative leave.

I'm shocked  - SHOCKED - by this turn of events.  Saban's message is clear - break the rules, I break your knees.

Unprecedented: Mother of all Iron Bowls could feature highest-ranked meeting between Alabama, Auburn |

The biggest game in the country could feature the highest pair of ranked teams to ever face off in the Iron Bowl. No. 6 Auburn (10-1, 6-1 SEC) is expected to jump into the top 5 of the BCS standings when the newest polls are released Sunday thanks to two upsets Saturday.

No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0) will again sit atop the polls when the rivals meet with an SEC Championship berth on the line Saturday (2:30 p.m., CBS) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Alabama and Auburn have met as top 5 teams only once before in the Iron Bowl in 1971, when No. 3 Alabama knocked off No. 5 Auburn 31-7 at Legion Field. No Iron Bowl, however, has occurred with both rivals ranked fourth or higher in the polls.

And so, the stakes have been raised.  Everyone been sleeping well lately?  Here's an anti-ambien:  if Auburn wins the Iron Bowl and Ohio State loses to Michigan State in the B1G championship game, then Auburn will be playing the SEC championship game with a national championship game berth on the line.  Can you imagine the rage?

Despite Auburn's ascension, we'll still be a double digit favorite on the road this Saturday, so maybe don't go too far with that nightmare scenario.

NCAA College Football Recap - Georgia Southern Eagles at Florida Gators - Nov 23, 2013 -

So this was a shocker, even though Florida (4-7) lost its sixth consecutive game and secured its first losing season since 1979.

"Very disappointed for our program, an embarrassment [to be] in this situation," Gators coach Will Muschamp said. "It's all disappointing. It's hard to measure it at this point."

I only include this because, MY GOD.  Injuries, triple option, whatever excuse you want to use, this can't happen.  I was feeling pretty confident that Muschamp would get a mulligan, but after this, he probably should start searching for a realtor (I hear Miss Saban has one...).

Winston prosecutor says decision in case unlikely before Thanksgiving -

"I very seriously doubt that we will be finished by Thanksgiving," Meggs said. "We still haven't gotten everything we need to get." Meggs said that "not everything has fallen into place" yet to make a decision on whether to charge

Winston, who stands accused by a former Florida State student of sexually assaulting her in December 2012. Meggs' office began its investigation into the accusations after the case was reopened earlier this month.

No real news, but I figured everyone would want to be kept abreast of the timeline we're working with.  Something to consider - if the decision isn't made before Thanksgiving, then it would seem that there's a strong possibility that it may not occur until after next Saturday.  If an arrest was made at that point, not only would Florida State automatically go to their third string QB, but they'd have to do that with his first game being the ACC championship game.  Yikes.


Nick Saban press conference

C.J. Mosley

Kevin Norwood

Chris Black