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The Jumbo Package | 09.12.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

"I don't know what to do with my hands..."
"I don't know what to do with my hands..."
Scott Cunningham

The Worst SEC Football Opponents of Week 3: Cutting Down on the Calories - Team Speed Kills

Southern Miss at Alabama, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2 There was a time when this game would have been a potential upset, or when it would have brought back memories of Tyrone Prothro's great catch. That was before the Golden Eagles decided to hire Ellis Johnson to be their head coach. In any case, Brett Favre is not the only famous alumnus from Southern Miss: Jimmy Buffett, Gov. Phil Bryant and Ray Guy also attended the school. Alabama 45, Southern Miss 13

Roll dang creampuffs.  Line up our out of conference schedule for the past few years, and you'd have a veritable croquembouche.  Is there any chance we take the initiative to reverse course, or will it take a doomsday scenario of being left out of the playoffs to call the practice into question?

Nick Saban says Alabama has 'a lot less selfishness' than teams of recent past |

The Alabama coach doled out, perhaps, his biggest compliment yet during his Thursday radio show, when he said this year's team had "a lot less selfishness" than teams of the recent past.

"I think it shows in how they play," Saban said. "That doesn't always equate to how we execute but the effort, the toughness, the enthusiasm, has really been good. That's what's helped this team improve and get better and we need to continue to do that."

Well, that's a striking admission about previous teams.  Here's to hoping that it's true.

Nick Saban explains biggest challenge facing Alabama QB Jacob Coker |

"I think Jake is certainly making progress and improving," Saban said Thursday on his weekly radio show.

"I think sometimes people sort of underestimate how important it is for a quarterback to really understand the terminology, understand the offense, feel comfortable with exactly what's expected of him. Also, understanding exactly how other people that you play with are going to run a route or whatever, systematically being able to change plays, being comfortable with the terminology.

"He's made a tremendous amount of progress but I still think there's times when he's a little uncertain exactly about what he's supposed to do."

Ask enough about Alabama WR Amari Cooper and you'll start hearing the same things |

TE Brian Vogler "It's a testimony to how hard he worked in the offseason. Some guys want to be good, but he wants to be great. He wants to be the best ever to come through here. You have to admire that. It's kind of a privilege for me to play with a guy like that and see his work ethic. It definitely rubbed off on me. I saw how hard he worked. If he can do it, anybody can do it. It's awesome to see his hard work come out and he be able to put up the numbers he's been able to put up."

WR Chris Black "It's just his attention to detail. He's a guy that uses technique every single play. He's a guy that can win one-on-one matchups each and every time he steps out there."

On the beat: Evolution of Alabama pass rush means changing the way it is evaluated |

"It's very important that the defensive linemen do a good job of retracing on the screens or they block you on the perimeter and make big plays," Saban said. "When we have had passing situations, we've been able to get — I don't even know how many sacks we have."

The answer is six. That's good enough to tie for No. 25 nationally after accounting for a total of two in the first two games of 2013. Xzavier Dickson had a pair in the opener against a quick-releasing West Virginia to lead the way.

Anybody else surprised to see that Bama is in the top 25 here?  With all of the quick passes that we've faced, it has felt like our pass rush has been largely contained.  This is an encouraging stat, to say the least.  It's always dangerous to extrapolate early season stats, but danger is my middle name so let's do this.

If we were to maintain this sack rate for the remainder of the season, the team would end up with 36 sacks up through the end of the regular season.  That total would eclipse the season-long total of any previous Saban-era Bama team (including championship and bowl games).

Kenny Hill's family trying to trademark 'Kenny Trill' -

Yes, it seems Kenny Hill isn't just following in the footsteps of Johnny Manziel as A&M's signal caller; he's also trying to get into the trademark business. According to, Hill's family has filed for the trademark to "Kenny Trill" with the intent of using Hill's nickname on athletic apparel.

Oh, good grief.  Is this an official ATM rite of passage now?  Does Sumlin have "must be an insufferable prick" listed on his quarterback application form?  This kid is two weeks into his college career.  Yeah, you had one nice game against a (supposedly) decent opponent.  It's still too early to tell, but I would say the odds are much better that Kenny's season will end up looking much more like 2012 Geno Smith than 2012 Johnny Manziel.

Oklahoma Sooners, Tennessee Volunteers game preview - ESPN

How Oklahoma can control this game: It comes down to the trenches, where the Sooners appear to hold a decisive edge. Oklahoma owns the most experienced offensive line in the Big 12, and that has manifested itself in a ground attack that is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and almost 224 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the Sooners have been just as formidable up front, thanks to tremendous depth and speed across the board. If Geneo Grissom and Charles Tapper and Eric Striker can get after Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley and force him into mistakes, it could be a long day for the Vols in Norman.

I know that rooting for the Vols is physically impossible for most readers here, but make no mistake - a Vols win this weekend would be a boon for the SEC generally and Bama specifically.

So with that in mind, I have to say it:  Roll... I'm just kidding.  I'm not looking to get murdered.

Hey Coach! with Nick Saban