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The Jumbo Package │09.30.13

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Rogers column: Young Tide defender Eddie Jackson progressing fast - Dothan Eagle

Ole Miss challenged true freshman cornerback Eddie Jackson on Saturday night. He did not shut down the Rebels, but Jackson more than held his own. Good or bad, the 6-foot, 175-pound corner from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., kept playing the next play – which is a must if you’re going to play that position for Saban and Kirby Smart.

“I think the players did a phenomenal job – especially with the fact we’re playing a freshman corner who did really a good job out there today,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after the game. “Made an interception. Made a few mistakes. But the experience he’s getting is going to really be helpful to him.

Was Jackson perfect on Saturday? Certainly not but you have to be impressed with the young man and how he competed against what many believe to be one of the best wide receivers in college football. The next four games will be key to his growth as a player and I'm for one excited about his future.

NCAA re-rank: Our list from 1-125

The SEC has four teams among the top 10 in the USA TODAY Sports 1-125 re-ranking, including No. 1 Alabama, but the league has only two undefeated teams – the Crimson Tide and Missouri, which moved to 4-0 with a home win against Arkansas State.

The SEC may just cancel itself out of a national title this year.

If there is a sliver lining for LSU and UGA (who both have a loss) is that those losses came early in the season and against top 10 schools. If a one loss team is going to make the BCS title game it will probably be either of these two schools. (If Bama is to lose a game it will be against an unranked team or late in the season against LSU or UGA)

The Crimson White | Alabama football needs to raise the bar

On Saturday, the Georgia State Panthers will earn a hefty $700,000 for the likely shellacking we’ll be giving them. But this pales in comparison to the $1.5 million that we forked over to Colorado State earlier this year. Why has this ever been considered to be respectable football? We’re literally paying for three wins each season. All those crystal footballs start to look a little less impressive when you realize how much we pay every year to tweak the odds in our favor.

Last season saw top programs like Oklahoma State come under fire for paying to play pitiful FCS opponents, like Savannah State. That criticism is only going to continue in the years to come, and the idea that “if everyone else is doing it, then we might as well too” really shouldn’t fly here. This is Alabama, dad-gum-it! We’re better than that! We’re champions, remember?

Count me in as one of those people who believe that FBS schools shouldn't be allowed to schedule FCS'ers. The games are pointless and really are a slap in the face of fans. There are enough FBS bottom dwellers out there that FCS schools should be off limits.

And look at that payout for Colorado State...No wonder the 'Bama players were so frustrated after that win :/

Alabama football: Saban starting to be impressed with his team's improvements | The Montgomery Advertiser

Ole Miss has a really good team, a really good offensive team, so for us to shut them out was a great job by the defense,” Saban said. “So many players out there played a lot of plays, and they all did a good job. They had critical fourth-down stops and did well on third down.”

“This will be huge for the confidence in our players,” Saban said. “I’m pleased and proud of the way our players competed in this game. We knew this was going to be a dogfight. Our players did a really, really good job of being relentless out there with their effort, their toughness.”

The offense played sloppy at times but the effort was there from the entire team. Before the Ole Miss game it just felt like the team was playing tight and forgot that football is suppose to be fun. Hopefully now, after a few wins under their belt, they can get back to basics and focus on the task at hand.

Alabama Crimson Tide goes old school in blanking Ole Miss Rebels - ESPN

"At the end of the day, when you're playing fast-paced teams, all you have to do is get lined up and make plays," said Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, who outscored Ole Miss himself when he tackled quarterback Bo Wallace in the end zone for a fourth-quarter safety.

What an over-simplified yet compelling statement by the teams defensive leader. Trying to over complicate the defense when playing HUNH teams will likely lead to a player being out of position. Just get lined up correctly and make plays. It's as simple as that.

CECIL HURT: Alabama finally plays with passion |

Alabama looked workmanlike at best and, occasionally, bored at worst. Alabama was winning — but it wasn't burning. Something this week managed to light a spark. If Alabama wasn't a Towering Inferno, at least it was glowing in the dark.

Alabama favored by 56 1/2 over Georgia State, doesn't often cover in blow-out situations |

Odds maker Danny Sheridan set the line at 56 ½ points for the 11:21 a.m. homecoming kickoff in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The biggest spread in history is 70 ½ for Florida State over Savannah State last season. That figure was offered by offshore sports books, not Las Vegas casinos.

I hate this game for a multitude of reasons and the 56.5 spread is one of them. I hope our starters play one series and the back-ups play the rest of the way.

Alabama kicker Cade Foster reflects after setting two career bests in Ole Miss win (video) |

Foster's previous long was a 52-yard shot last season against Florida Atlantic. This one had more of an impact in what was a low-scoring game with the No. 21 Rebels. It slipped past the cross bar with a few feet to spare. "It felt pretty solid," Foster said. "The snap by Cole Mazza, the true freshman, did a great job for us. He's right on point. AJ (McCarron) had a perfect hold and the operation felt really smooth and I was pleased with it. It felt like it was right down the middle.