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Midweek, Bye Week, Supersized Jumbo Package

I think we need a bye week as much as the team.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban updates status of 3 Alabama players injured vs. Tennessee |

Safety Eddie Jackson, who suffered a sprained knee but later returned to the game, practiced some Tuesday. "We think he'll get better every day and probably be back in a day or two," Saban said. While safety and dime back Ronnie Harrison is in a walking boot after suffering a sprained ankle, Saban said he should be fine by the end of this week. Right tackle Dominick Jackson is the only one of three whose status appears to be uncertain for the Tide's game against LSU next week.

Dominick is one of the Tide's more consistent run-blockers, but has struggled with the pass rush this season. Who knows how this plays out in another 11 days, to be honest. Having Ronnie Harrison and Eddie Jackson back is of much greater moment. Malachi Dupre is a terror.

Why Nick Saban's not worried about assistants being head coaching job candidates |

"I think the quality of the character that we have in the coaches that we have here ― they really do put the team first," Saban said. "They care about the players, and I don't think they would sacrifice doing a good job for their players or the program in terms of the pride they have in their performance because they were more focused on something else."

If that's not a shot across the bow at Chavis, and a not-so-gentle reminder to his staff, I'm not sure what is. It very well could be self-recrimination as well, because Saban was guilty of mailing it in against Iowa in 2005 when his head was in Miami.

Warm Up ... with Nick Saban

“You talk about affecting the game. I mean, their fans really did affect the game, and it says a lot about our players to keep their poise and focus… You know, this is the first place we’ve played for a long, long time, that we never got booed when we came out. First place!. I’m telling ya. It’s a really nice facility. They had 105,000 people. And they cheered their tail off for their team. And they made it hard for us to play. I hope our fans can hear this, because this is the kind of place we should be."

On the heels of the TAMU game, Nick Saban reminds fans to put butts in seats, be loud, be nasty. I don't think that will be a problem against LSU, but we as fans have to compete for all 60 minutes as well.

'Are you a better coach than Nick Saban?' Urban Meyer opens up to Dan Patrick

Are you a better coach than Nick Saban? Are you the best coach in college football? “I don’t believe I am. I believe, if I have better players, then I’m better.”

I miss having Urban in the SEC. Two black hats that deeply respect one another and competed viciously in every way imaginable. Hell, they may have gotten into a scrum following a game of quoits for all I know.

Eddie Jackson Named Semifinalist for Thorpe Award - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Junior safety Eddie Jackson was named to the list of 16 semifinalists for the prestigious Jim Thorpe Award, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Monday.  Jackson has already turned in an impressive season with five interceptions and 230 return yards, including two pick-sixes, across eight starts. The Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., native has also added 27 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in his first season manning the safety position. His 230 interception yards are an all-time high for a single season in Alabama history and currently rank first nationally as well. The five interceptions are tied for the third-most in the NCAA.

I admit it; I scoffed at the notion of Eddie Jackson, All-American safety. But, he has been a revelation this season. Good luck to him, and great job making the secondary the best in the nation...because it is.

Alabama's pass defense is back to being the best in the country -

After some lackluster (by Tide standards) pass defenses in recent years, which led to plenty of overreactions about Nick Saban's defenses falling behind modern offenses, the Tide have surged to No. 1 in the country in Passing S&P+. And it's been a team effort. Five defensive backs have at least five passes defensed -- including three freshmen (Minkah Fitzpatrick, Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Harrison) who have combined for 20 -- and linemen Dalvin Tomlinson and Jonathan Allen have gotten their big paws on a combined 10. Recent recruiting is reaping immediate dividends, and Alabama is once again well positioned for a national title run despite its offense struggling to produce as many big plays as normal.

Number 1 in pass defense, No. 15 in sack rate. This is a fun group to watch, particularly given the terrorizing effect of the best DL in college football and a lot of hungry, talented freshmen in the secondary.

The Miami Hurricanes' coaching search isn't quite as simple as you think -

My list for The U basically comes down to Alabama assistant and former Cane Mario Cristobal, not so much because of his pure coaching acumen, but his unique knowledge of the politics. He knows how to handle the Miami high schools and youth leagues. He knows how to manage university officials concerned about the ghosts of the 1980s. And he has head coaching experience, albeit truncated after he got a raw deal at FIU.

Let the Mario Cristobal sweepstakes begin. I think Alabama may be able to retain Coaches Kiffin and Smart, but with two jobs opening in Florida, I think the Tide's recruiting takes a hit as the best recruiter in the nation leaves to helm a program again.

UCF Knights Coaching Search and Candidates: An Initial Reaction - Underdog Dynasty

He's a Florida guy, which is appealing for a program that has seldom succeeded in capitalizing on Florida recruiting. In addition to his experience at FIU, Cristobal was a player at UM and also had two head coaching stints with the Canes as well. Cristobal is a heck of a recruiter and also has a track record of identifying and pursuing the kind of under-recruited guys who can become stars (T.Y. Hilton, anyone?). Here is where I won't even pretend to be dispassionate: Cristobal is the guy the Knights need. Let's go and get him. And let's do it before UM does.

Many people argue that UCF could very well be the better long-term job: better fan support, better alumni support, same cash and access to talent, better facilities, and much better stadium. My gut feeling is that Schiano goes to Da U and Cristobal takes over the Knights.

Practice Report: Alabama continues to work on getting turnovers - The Crimson White

Coach Nick Saban worked with and threw passes to the secondary. The defensive backs, such as Tony Brown, Cyrus Jones, Maurice Smith, and Eddie Jackson, worked on their one-on-one coverage. Alabama totals 12 interceptions for 375 yards this season. The running backs, including Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake, worked on agility drills that required high feet and making cuts all while carrying two footballs for ball control. O.J. Howard and other tight ends were working on blocking at the beginning of the viewing period but then switch over to receiving short passes.

Alabama is treating this bye week like bowl practice; working on fundamentals and ball security. The latter hasn't quite been the issue it was earlier in the season, but an absolute war is looming and the Tide cannot lose the +/- battle.

Alabama 19, Tennessee 14: Tide win with big pass rush and big passes? Odd. - Football Study Hall

Alabama relying on big passes and a huge pass rush to win tight games while getting outrushed (from an efficiency standpoint). I don't know what to believe anymore.

Excellent statistical breakdown from Bill as usual. He's almost as good as Saxon.

Know Your Non-conference Opponent: Alabama - Banners On The Parkway

Anthony Grant is out and 2006 NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson is in. Johnson won 254 NBA games in stints with Dallas and New Jersey/Brooklyn. In the NBA, Johnson really favored an attacking, fast break style offense, emphasizing a five-man commitment to the defensive glass followed by a structured but aggressive flow to the offensive end of the court. In the half-court offense, he ran old school NBA isolation that focused on letting star players work. As for personality, he is a very direct, no nonsense kind of coach. He has a game plan and expects his players to execute it, with woe befalling the player who freelances too heavily.

Xavier's SBN site has a good preliminary look at Alabama this season, and does a great job breaking down the offense we're likely to see under CAJ.

Former Alabama LB claims Lance Thompson cost him 'hundreds of thousands of dollars' |

"I didn't miss out because of my talent," Hubbard told Campus Sports. "Everyone is getting that misconstrued, but things just don't add up. Just go look at the film. The facts are the facts. Everyone is always wondering what I am thinking about or why I am daydreaming a lot, but I'm just chilling. I'm thinking about where I should be because I know where I should be. "But I'm not there due to Coach Thompson because he may have talked to people in the league that were long-time friends and because he has been cool with them for so long, they are going to take his word over mine."

Man, Adrian is pissed. I wouldn't put it past a s***nugget like Lance Thompson to poor-mouth people either. Everything about that guy is distasteful.

Report: Ole Miss removes DT Robert Nkemdiche from Lott Trophy consideration | FOX Sports

“We do not have a specific academic criteria, such as a minimum grade point average. We ask the Sports Information Directors if their student-athlete is attending and passing classes. In the case of Nkemdiche, Ole Miss notified us after the season began that they felt he did not qualify academically for our award."

Insert "another illiterate Ole Miss player" joke. Seriously, though, how dumb is Nkemdiche if he's pulled from an award based upon academics...when the award has no academic criteria?!