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The Jumbo Package | 09.22.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QB Blake Sims will be 'sore for a while' with bruised shoulder |

Blake Sims called it a "rinky dink" injury, but Alabama coach Nick Saban cautioned that the quarterback's bruised shoulder would need some time before it felt normal again.

Sims bruised his AC joint on a third-quarter scramble in the Crimson Tide's 42-21 win over Florida.  He briefly left the game and retreated to the locker room but was back on the field for Alabama's final, fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

"It's fine. Just a little bruise," Sims said after his historic, 445-yard, four-touchdown performance. "Just get with the training staff and try to get better and let the team know I'm good and then I'll come out against Ole Miss."

Let me start out this JP by fixing myself a heaping plate of crow.  Allow me to publicly admit and personally apologize - Blake... I was wrong.  After this past A-day game, I was one of the most vocal opponents to Sims potential rise to the throne, and I have to say, I was completely wrong.

Sims made some throws Saturday that I thought he was absolutely incapable of making, and I can't overstate how impressed I am with his turnaround.  When he went down with the injury, it felt like a potentially season-altering-level loss, and that's not something I think anyone would've predicted a month ago.

Here's the thing, as good as Sims is (really good), there's someone else that deserves a ton of credit in this miraculous transformation...

Lane Kiffin, Alabama’s New Offensive Mind, Shows His Mettle Against Florida -

Blake Sims, Kiffin’s pupil, amassed 445 passing yards — second most in a single game for an Alabama quarterback, behind Scott Hunter’s 484 in 1969 — and four touchdown throws in the No. 3 Crimson Tide’s 42-21 win over Florida. Two fumbles and an interception led to three Florida touchdowns, unnecessarily extending the suspense in a game that Alabama dominated statistically.

The postgame mantra from offensive players was that Kiffin masterfully exploited schematic mismatches. "He knows exactly what he’s doing," said Cooper, who accounted for half of the Tide’s touchdowns.

Center Ryan Kelly cited the "West Coast kind of feel," with a fast-moving, no-huddle approach — not widespread in the Southeastern Conference. "It’s genius. It slows the defense down."

Yes, Kiffin called a fantastic game.  The first play of the game was brilliant to me.  OF COURSE the defender bit on the fake slant by Kenyan Drake.  After all, who puts a running back out wide and has him run a go route for the first play of the game?  LFK, that's who.

But exceptional play calling aside, Kiffin's biggest achievement so far has to be Blake Sims.  I know Saban has praised Sims for two years, but I watched him with my own two eyes look terrible.  Kiffin fixed him.  I don't know if it was just simplifying the process, working on a couple fundamentals or what, but Kiffin has done what I thought was impossible, and that ain't half bad for a guy that we all hated five years ago.

Also, one other note for the New York Times - "fast-moving, no huddle" is not at all what Ryan Kelly means by "West Coast feel".  It's stretching out the defense horizontally, and throwing quick, short passes to open up running lanes and long pass opportunities.

Will Muschamp, Florida players explain struggles in stopping Alabama's Blake Sims, Amari Cooper |

"He created a lot of things with his legs," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. "That was something we knew coming into the game. They did a nice job with pocket movement. We had him hemmed up at times and he got away. We had opportunities to get him on the ground at times and we couldn't get him on the ground.

"We had to keep him contained in those situations and we didn't do a good enough job." Florida's Keanu Neal, who scooped a 49-yard fumble and scored a touchdown to give Florida an early 14-7 lead, wasn't surprised in Sims' passing ability.

"We knew he was a great athlete," Neal said. "We knew he could throw the ball. We just had to cover the guys. We knew he was a scrambler. We knew we had to cover the receivers twice. We did that for the most part, but we let some slip away."

College Football Rankings: Alabama Gains First-Place Votes as Mississippi State Storms Into Polls - Team Speed Kills

One interesting note is that Florida State and Oregon both did lose some No. 1 votes because of lackluster showings against Clemson and, in Oregon's case, Washington State. That largely benefited SEC teams. A combined eight top votes drained away from FSU and the Ducks, and six of those went either to Alabama or Texas A&M -- with five switching to the Crimson Tide. Alabama picked up an impressive 10 first-place voters in the coaches poll, while Oklahoma gets eight more than last week because -- well, your guess is as good as mine. FSU and Oregon lost a combined 17 first-place voters there, so my guess is that somebody forgot to vote last week. This is how we used to pick a national champion, folks.

Overall, the SEC remains at eight teams in the rankings, with Mississippi State essentially taking the place of Missouri, which dropped out of the polls altogether. This tends to happen to teams that lose to Indiana at home. The Bulldogs' win also dropped LSU hard, with the Bayou Bengals plummeting down nine spots in the AP ballots and 10 among the coaches.

I'm really looking forward to hearing what the Mizzou folks have to say in the comment section of the TeamSpeedKills SEC power poll this week, you guys.  I have a sneaking suspicion the whole "why isn't anybody respecting us?" racket will have died down quite a bit.

Tony Brown 'didn't seem nervous' locking down top Florida playmaker in first Alabama start |

The injuries and the first-half suspension for safety Nick Perry (targeting penalty last week) caused a few changes. Maurice Smith had to play Star for Smith who took Perry's spot at safety. Jarrick Williams "probably could have played in an emergency," Saban said after his Week 1 broken foot, but he never entered.

"We can't seem to keep Eddie healthy enough to keep on the field and he can't practice like he needs to practice to get back to where he needs to be," Saban said entering the bye week. But that quad injury opened the door for one of the more anticipated starting debuts.

"Tony is making a lot of progress," Saban said. "He's playing with a lot more consistency, has a lot better idea of what he's supposed to do and how to do it. I think he's going to continue to get some playing time."

Will Muschamp Will Get Fired This Year - Team Speed Kills

I'm calling now what I knew a week ago but didn't want to say: Will Muschamp is going to get fired during or shortly after this season.

Year2 probably lives comfortably off his Vegas winnings.  Through some significant internet sleuthing, I have managed to find this picture of Year2 in the wild:


Yes.  Will Muschamp is as good as fired.  If not for Bama's first two fumbles, we might've put up 56 points and 800 yards.  At which point, he may have not had a job today.

The real question is what will happen with the impending vacancy?  Will Florida try to woo back Dan Mullen?    Similarly, will Michigan make another push for Les Miles this year, after Brady Hoke is inevitably canned (in the most proper and Michigan-man-ish way possible, of course)?

What if both of those guys leave?  Would LSU consider going after Kirby Smart?  Surely Mississippi State would, but is that job enticing enough to lure Smart away?

VIDEO: Mississippi State's Dillon Day steps on two LSU players -

In two separate plays the Mississippi State center has stepped on an LSU player, and neither looks to be done accidentally. First Day stepped on Davon Godchaux's stomach, and then later he planted his foot right into Rashard Robinson's groin. Robinson had to leave the game.

Disgusting.  The video evidence is bad enough, but add in the knowledge that Day was suspended for half a game last year for stepping on an Auburn player and there's nowhere to hide from the truth.  This kid is a filthy player straight out of the Ryan Pugh School of Learning for Offensive Offensive Linemen.

Suspend this kid now, before the SEC has to, Dan Mullen.  There is no place for this bush league horsecrap in the premier conference in the country.


Saban post game press conference

Quarterback Blake Sims post-game interview

Amari Cooper (wide receiver)

Derrick Henry (running back) 1

Derrick Henry (running back) 2

Jalston Fowler (fullback)

Jonathan Allen (defensive end)

Ryan Kelly (center)