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The Jumbo Package | 09.16.13

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

 [puts his hand on Manziel's shoulder] Do you *feel* in charge?
[puts his hand on Manziel's shoulder] Do you *feel* in charge?
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama-Texas A&M draws most CBS viewers in 23 years for afternoon regular-season game |

Alabama-Texas A&M drew a 9.0 overnight U.S. household rating on CBS, which says it's the network's highest-rated afternoon regular-season game in 23 years.

According to CBS, it's the highest in the daytime during the regular season since Miami-Notre Dame in 1990 (10.1). CBS said Alabama-Texas A&M also produced the most viewership in seven years on any network for a regular-season game in the afternoon.

In the immediate aftermath of the game, I joked about the possibility of a rematch in the national championship game, and emphasized that I don't want any part of that team for round two. Numbers like this don't help our cause, because the numbers scream out at advertisers. Fortunately, a bunch of things would have to break A&M's way (not to mention we still have to get past Ole Miss, LSU, SECCG) before that would become an option.

No hard feelings from Alabama safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, Nick Saban about targeting penalty |

"He's not a hitter," Sunseri said with a smile. "He's going for the ball and I knew he was going for the ball."

That's how the officials viewed the play after their on-field review. The 15-yard penalty stood, but Clinton-Dix remained in the game. According to the two rules that pertain to targeting, the review of the play can only overturn the ejection, not the penalty.

This play/penalty was one of the lowlights of Saturday's game, and hopefully will be the film that the rules committee watches in the upcoming offseason to modify the absurdly written rule. It's not a complicated fix - just give the replay official the latitude to make one of three choices: 1) penalty/ejection stand, 2) overturn ejection/penalty stands, or 3) both penalty and ejection are overturned.

NCAA probe looms as Alabama's path opens to another BCS title | CBS Sports

The football program now treads two paths. One on the field where Bama's toughest game remaining is at home on Nov. 9 against LSU. Off the field, lawyers and compliance staff are working just as hard to keep it all about football. Saban hates distractions. This is a huge one in the middle of a pursuit of that third consecutive championship.

Not sure about this as an ongoing distraction. I think Yahoo's timing was about as horrible as possible for us. And I think there is a very real possibility that the news breaking took caught the attention of some of our players. I don't see it being a problem for us moving forward, though. I think the rest of this ordeal should play out almost entirely behind the scenes, and we should be able to shelter the team from the noise.

What we learned: Week 3 |

The secondary has its issues, but Vinnie Sunseri can make plays: When I wrote "It wasn't all pretty," you didn't have to read ahead to figure out what I was referring to. Alabama's secondary was exposed by Texas A&M. Mike Evans abused every defensive back who tried to cover him -- Deion Belue, John Fulton and Cyrus Jones to name a few -- and he wasn't the only one hitting up the secondary for big plays. Manziel bought time with his feet and got the ball downfield time and time again. Take away his two turnovers and the outcome might have been wildly different. But take heart, Alabama fans, Sunseri was there to play hero. The often-embattled safety continued to make big plays, this time nabbing a tipped pass and returning it all the way to the end zone for a score -- his second pick-six of the season. What looked like a weak spot is suddenly a point of strength as Sunseri and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix form a formidable back end of the secondary. Now if only the cornerbacks can get sorted out.

Emphasis mine. Seriously, y'all. I'm prepared to eat crow about the cornerbacks. I wasn't as worried as I should have been. We have a very real deficit here, particularly if Belue is significantly hampered by his turf toe injury. True freshmen Maurice Smith and Jonathan Cook should both get time this week as we try to beef up a position that is suddenly very concerning.

Alabama opens as 38-point favorite over Colorado State |

Alabama opened as a 38-point favorite to beat Colorado State in the home-opener, according to

The Crimson Tide is the No. 1 team in the nation, while the Rams (1-2) are coming off a 34-17 win over Cal Poly. CSU, coached by former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, lost its season opener to Colorado (41-27), then on the road at Tulsa (30-27) in Week 2.

Hard to believe we had to wait until week four of the regular season before we get the chance to see Bama in a "tune up" game.