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Jumbo Package: Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and sports-related links.

Yep. Time to move on to 2015.
Yep. Time to move on to 2015.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Final 2014 Associated Press poll has Alabama in top five as Ohio State claims title |

The Associated Press had the Crimson Tide No. 4 after Monday night's title game. Ohio State topped the poll after a convincing 42-20 whipping of No. 2 Oregon.

Pretty much as expected. A great season without a doubt, but watching the Buckeyes run over the Ducks has to make every Alabama fan wonder what might have been.

LSU reportedly contacts Alabama's Kirby Smart about vacant defensive coordinator job |

But there are reports of discussions involving the Crimson Tide's highest-paid coordinator and an SEC West rival. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has been contacted by LSU about its vacancy for the same position, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported Monday.

This seems a bit odd to say the least. First impression would be that Smart's agent is using LSU to get an even bigger paycheck, but it wouldn't be terribly surprising if Kirby felt the need to prove he could run an elite defense without Saban. Something to keep an eye on for sure.

Is Ohio State's Urban Meyer now the country's best college football coach? -

Ohio State's Urban Meyer won two national championships at Florida before Monday night's 42-20 beatdown of Oregon, which could've been so much worse for the Ducks. He's off to a 38-3 start with the Buckeyes, topping Saban's 33-8 in his first three years at Bama. His .845 career winning percentage across four schools beats Saban's .754 at four.

Well, this should be a fun debate. Have to give Urban credit for what he's done up there in such a short time frame.

Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott absolutely dominates National Championship -

Ezekiel Elliott ran 36 times for 246 yards, breaking a National Championship record stretching back a decade, in Ohio State's 42-20 victory over Oregon Monday night. Elliott broke the record held by Vince Young, who ran for 200 against USC in 2005; he also broke the Ohio State record for rushing yards in a bowl game, surpassing Raymont Harris's 235-yard performance against BYU 22 years ago.

This kid was phenomenal in the postseason and will be at the top of everyone's Heisman list going into 2015.

Fired up, and a few frustrated Alabama football players react to Ohio State's national title |

Instead of playing in the inaugural College Football Playoff title game, Alabama players are back in Tuscaloosa watching. And they're not just observing, the Tide (and a few of their former teammates) are posting their thoughts and insight into the Oregon-Ohio State matchup.

Some interesting tweets from the players. Hopefully they can use this as fuel for next season.

Marcell Dareus, C.J. Mosley earn honors from Pro Football Writers of America |

Dareus led the NFL's defensive interior linemen with 10 sacks during the 2014 regular season. In his rookie campaign, Mosley finished seventh in the NFL with 133 tackles, then made 19 more in two playoff games.

"But Saban's players ain't no good in the NFL, Pawwwllll." Good to see Mosley and Dareus getting it done.

Unbeaten Kentucky looms, but surprising Alabama first faces another road test at South Carolina |

South Carolina does have an impressive non-conference win over then-No. 9 Iowa State on Jan. 3. That came at home. Alabama lost to Iowa State in a neutral-site game in Kansas City back on Nov. 24.

The Gamecocks are actually much improved this year and will be a difficult road test for the Tide. Game breakdowns will be posted later in the day.

Alabama gymnastics lands top-10 ranking after Week 1 |

The Crimson Tide was sixth after beating Arizona on Friday night with a score of 196.225. Oklahoma, who comes to Tuscaloosa to close the regular season March 13, is No. 1 with a 197.625 score.

Roll Tide, ladies.

So you're Tampa Bay Bucs, who do you pick in 2015 NFL Draft? Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota? |

Winston threw for 348 yards and a touchdown in FSU's Rose Bowl loss to Oregon on Jan. 1, but threw an interception and fumbled three times. Mariota passed for 333 yards and two scores in Oregon's national championship game loss to Ohio State on Monday night, but did not make many plays in the running game.

Thinking Jameis ends up going first since the Bucs are doing the picking. Mariota didn't look spectacular in the championship game. If you are a GM, who do you take?