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The Jumbo Package | 11.11.14

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban updates injury status of Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon, TE Brian Vogler | AL.com

Tight end Brian Vogler, who was limited against LSU after missing a significant chunk of practice with a knee injury, is anticipated to be a bigger contributor against Mississippi State, Saban said. He did not re-injure his knee during the game.

"That's the biggest issue at times, when a guy can't practice at all during the course of a week and then how much do you really feel like he can contribute to the game," Saban said. "Older, more experienced guys like Brian he probably could have played without practicing, but for the most part college players need to practice to be able to play well in the game. Brian did a good job in the game with the limited amount of reps in practice, but we feel like he's going to be able to practice this week and be much better for this week."

When asked about T.J. Yeldon's status, Saban replied, "TJ's okay. He's got a little ankle sprain. Probably be a little bit slow the first couple days this week but hopefully we'll get him going later in the week and he'll be ok."

Alabama practice report: Monitoring Tide's injury situation as Mississippi State week begins | AL.com

RB T.J. Yeldon (ankle) was with the running backs but wasn't participating in any of the drills. This was expected. We'll be monitoring what Alabama's leading rusher does as the week progresses.

LT Cam Robinson, who played through a high ankle sprain Saturday, was limited during drills. Austin Shepherd lined up at left tackle while Grant Hill filled Shepherd's spot at right tackle.

This Saturday is just about football - For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

No matter what you know this weekend's Mississippi State versus Alabama game as, it really can be boiled down to being one simple thing: another football game.

Sure, this weekend won't be treated as another football game because at the national level it's not.  The matchup between Mississippi State and Alabama is a game that could ultimately decide the west, the SEC, and a playoff spot.  The game will host College Gameday, and it has been selected as the CBS game of the week.

It features a Mississippi State team that has gone undefeated through a schedule that featured LSU and Auburn; it features an Alabama team that, after a loss to Ole Miss, has returned to being Alabama by moving to 8-1 and within reach of another SEC title. This game is about so much and so much is on the line, but again, it really can be boiled down to being one thing: just another football game.

Mississippi State expects star WR Jameon Lewis to be at full strength against Alabama | AL.com

Mississippi State receiver Jameon Lewis, the Bulldogs' top pass catcher last season, is expected to be at 100 percent for the Bulldogs' game at Alabama on Saturday.

Lewis has been hobbled by a leg injury since the Bulldogs beat LSU on Sept. 20. In that game, Lewis caught five passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He's played sparingly since then, catching one pass for two yards, but did not play last week against UT-Martin.

Mississippi State's Dan Mullen preparing for Alabama, notes difference in number of 5-star recruits | AL.com

"(They) probably have more 5-star players sitting on the bench that can't get a rep on their team than we have on our roster," Mullen said Monday at his weekly press conference.

He has a point. Only two of Alabama's 5-star recruits in the 2014 class - left tackle Cam Robinson and cornerback Tony Brown - have seen significant action this season. Class of 2013 5-star receiver Robert Foster isn't in the rotation and 5-star linebacker Reuben Foster mostly plays on special teams.

According to the 247Sports composite rankings, sophomore defensive end Chris Jones is the only 5-star recruit on the Bulldogs' roster.

The Bullies may only have one 5-star, but that one player is a doozy.  If you don't know the name yet, keep an eye out for Chris Jones.  That dude is the truth.

The Places in America Where College Football Means the Most - NYTimes.com

Here, we are looking at another question: not which teams fans root for, but the proportion of the population in various places who are fans of any college football team. We asked Facebook to compile that information, and the results offer a portrait of America’s college-football obsession — or lack thereof. To be more specific:

Alabama has the highest concentration of college football fans. This perhaps shouldn’t be surprising, given that the University of Alabama has finished the season ranked No. 1 in the country in three of the last five seasons and that Auburn has finished twice in the top two. It will also not surprise anyone who has read “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer,” by Warren St. John. Almost 34 percent of Alabama Facebook users were fans of a college football team, more than five percentage points higher than in the state with the next-highest level.

Roll Dang Tide

Could playoff selection committee have style bias? Punt, Pass & Pork | SI.com

It’s understandable why the College Football Playoff would assemble a committee full of people who have accrued a lot of valuable life experience. The playoff wants people who have built up some equity, because equity is required for credibility. But having members aged 54 to 77, as this committee does, creates a different kind of diversity vacuum. As members roll off the committee, director Bill Hancock should consider adding some (relative) youth. There have to be a few retired NFL players in their 20s or 30s who pay close attention to college football and didn’t go into college coaching or the media. Those would be the ideal candidates. They would bring fresher experience with the game and a different perspective because they didn’t grow up with the same game the other committee members did.

Of course, a current committee member accused of such a subconscious nostalgia bias could make a salient point using recent history. Four of the past five national champions have utilized an old-school approach. That's three Alabama teams and last year's Florida State squad, but the facts are the facts. That style has been awfully effective at winning national titles.

What time is the 2014 Iron Bowl? | AL.com

In what could prove to be a crucial game in the SEC West, Alabama and Auburn will kick off at 6:45 p.m. CT on Nov. 29 inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. ESPN will broadcast the game.

The kickoff marks the first nighttime game for the Iron Bowl since 2007. The game has featured a mid-afternoon kickoff since 2008.

Contractually, CBS was unable to select the Iron Bowl because of Alabama's five appearances on the network in games against Florida, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU and its upcoming game against No. 1 Mississippi State.

Videos

Nick Saban Monday press conference

Monday practice footage (linebackers, defensive backs, offensive line)

DeAndrew White (wide receiver, slayer of tiger dreams) interview

Reggie Ragland (linebacker) interview

Blake Sims (quarterback) interview

Austin Shepherd (offensive lineman) interview

Hide yo kids.  Dana Holgorsen second half adjustment vid incoming: