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The Jumbo Package | 11.14.14

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Derrick Henry may have to step up big in this game.
Derrick Henry may have to step up big in this game.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Let's start off this morning a bit differently.  I was gonna throw this down in the video section, but I can't not comment on it.  Take it in and I'll meet you on the other side.

Everybody make it out ok?  Aight.  How much do I love how bad this is?  Let me count the ways:

1.  The street sequence at the beginning basically shows a highway, three stoplights and that's it, inadvertently confirming what a sh*thole Starkvegas is.

2.  That audio sync

3.  Rapping Jack Johnson

4.  Making fun of Cam Newton likely being paid by Auburn, when one of the only KNOWN facts of the case was that Miss State offered him 180k.

5.  Miss St has been #1 for three weeks.  Those three weeks are the entirety of Miss St's history of being ranked #1.  Three weeks is apparently enough time to cultivate enough hubris to claim that the team's "rightful place" is "at the top".


7.  That Michael Jackson vibrato

8.  Cowbells

Nick Saban provides one last update on Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon |

"I think he'll be able to play in the game. How explosive he'll be in the game remains to be seen," Saban said. "The kind of injury he has is something you can play with but if he practices too much, it really aggravates him. We just try to practice him enough so he's ready to play. He's certainly had a great season for us."

Saban praised Yeldon, who dealt with a foot injury leading into the LSU game, for his production that goes beyond carrying the ball. He's caught 12 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown and is a "great pass blocker," Saban said. "We miss a lot of things," Saban said.

Full rundown from Nick Saban's radio show: Updates on T.J. Yeldon, pounding the rock and more |

Saban references the San Antonio Spurs and their team motto "Pound the rock." Saban tells a story about how a rock doesn't crack when you hit it 100 times, but does the 101st. It wasn't because of the 101st hit, it was because of the previous 100.

Saban said he challenged Alabama's defense after T.J. Yeldon's fourth-quarter fumble. "Now's the time to show you know how to win." He did the same with the offense on the game-tying drive.

Does Saban love to win more than he hates to lose? Saban said it's true on both counts. Saban said he never tells the team "You do it like that, you're going to get beat." Saban calls them "negative statements" and motivation through "fear of failure." It was different back when Saban was a player. Players now respond better to positive reinforcement, Saban said.

Full audio of last night's Hey Coach with Nick Saban radio show:

On the Beat: CBS' Gary Danielson hears critics, only frustrated by one aspect of it |

"It frustrates me that I don't do a good enough job that people actually think that I care about one team more than another," Danielson said by phone this week.

"I don't think that's their problem. It might be partly, but it frustrates me that I can't do a good enough job getting my communication skills to go across the airwaves."

Wrong, Gary.  It absolutely is their problem.  When I hear LSU fans saying "Gary hates LSU" and Bama fans saying "Gary hates Bama" it absolutely is their problem.  For my money, Gary is one of the best in the game.  He sees the game better than almost any announcer out there, calling penalties away from the ball and formation reads in real time in a way pretty much nobody else matches.  Add in his ability to break down complex football concepts into terms the average fan can grasp and I think you have one of the best in the biz.

Mississippi State vs. Alabama: X Factor - For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

Dan Mullen mentioned in his weekly press conference that he expects Jameon Lewis to be 100 percent for the upcoming game in Tuscaloosa. Lewis was not only expected to be full go for this week's game but for this week of practice as well.

He sat out last week against UT Martin to get an extra week of rest. It's not the first time we've heard Jameon would be back, but he has played sparingly and been more of a decoy than anything else. It was obvious that he wasn't healthy the past few games. He has really been a non-factor since the beginning of the season.

Lewis excelled on the road at LSU when he caught five passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. With so much of the focus on him, De'Runnya Wilson had a big game as well.

Unbeaten and No. 1 in the nation, Mississippi State still playing with chip on its shoulder |

"Everybody's ready to get back to our ball playing as underdogs," MSU offensive lineman Ben Beckwith said. "Coming out and having no stress on us, everybody's picking us to go in there and get killed or whatever. We have no expectations but to go in there and do our own thing."

But is that fair? Mississippi State has road wins at then-ranked LSU and Kentucky and home wins over then-highly ranked Texas A&M and Auburn. Yet they find itself an 8 1/2-point underdog this weekend.

"I really don't care," MSU kicker Evan Sobiesk said. "I love being the underdog, because it makes you want to work that much harder to prove yourself. I think being No. 1 and still being considered the underdog is definitely something that's going to work in our favor when we go to Tuscaloosa."

College Football Playoff: Best Versus Most Deserving - Team Speed Kills

This weekend's game between Alabama and Mississippi State very clearly shows the difference between these terms. Mississippi State is the No. 1 team and has been for a while now based on having no losses plus nice wins over Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M. The dispute over MSU's position, if anything, diminished this week with the committee slotting the only other Power 5 undefeated team third. The Bulldogs are at the top, and there is basically no arguments over their standing there.

Despite that fact, Alabama is a heavy favorite to win the game. The Tide is an 8.5-point favorite in the Yahoo! pick 'em game, and it's either an eight or nine-point favorite depending on which sports book you look at. It's not just a function of the game taking place in Tuscaloosa, as home field advantage typically manifests itself as about a three-point difference in point spreads. Bama would still be about a field goal favorite if the game was happening in Starkville (nine, minus three going to a neutral field, minus another three going to MSU's home field).