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Jumbo Package: Prepping For Atlanta

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The Tide prepares to defend its SEC title in the ATL.

Jim McElwain, looking for the dead fish.
Jim McElwain, looking for the dead fish.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Saban on national coaching standard: 'It's a setup'

"I'd be more concerned about, from my perspective, when we lose three games, what's going to happen to me," he said. But after a long pause, Saban provided a long-winded answer to the question during his noon press conference. "Look, I'm old-school (and I) believe in college football and what college football is all about," Saban said. "And I know from a media standpoint, nobody really cares about this, but we're suppose to help develop people who have a better chance to be more successful in life because they were involved in the program because of the leadership and example that were set by people and the standard that you have. Guys do things, on and off the field, so they have the thoughts, habits and priorities that are going to help them make the kind of choices and decisions that they can take advantage of their gifts."

FTR: Mark Richt won a higher percentage of his games than Vince Dooley, and had just almost as many ten-win seasons in a decade less than the Georgia legend. The first Epicurean maxim, and one which Georgia would do well to heed, is know thyself. The Dawgs believe that they are something that they are not and overlooked the excellent staff in their own backyard.

Tom Herman staying? Houston expects to have deal done soon, says athletic director -

"Nothing is signed and nothing is final. We're going to work this week to finalize the deal and I expect we'll have it done this weekend after the AAC Championship," athletic director Hunter Yurachek told SB Nation's Steven Godfrey. "I expect Tom to be our coach. Something dynamic would have to happen for that not to be the case." Herman is 11-1 with Houston and will play for an AAC title, plus a spot in a New Year's Six bowl, against Temple on Saturday. A UH star player said Herman "killed the South Carolina thing" and will wait until after the title game for any potential moves.

There was a lot of buzz around Herman to USC, or potentially UGA, until yesterday when people began reporting with far more confidence than was warranted about Herman sticking around for another season in Houston. The simple fact is an agreement in principle is not a contract, and as his players stated, we really won't know until after the AAC championship game this weekend.

The Audible: Why Georgia should steal Mississippi State's Dan Mullen | FOX Sports

Alabama DC Kirby Smart could be a fine choice, but Mullen is the better bet.

I absolutely agree with Feldman here. Kirby has earned his shot, but I'm not certain that Georgia, which wants to keep pace in an arms race with Florida and improving Tennessee, really can afford a year or so of on-the-job training here.

Rewinding Nick Saban's thoughts on Florida, Kirby Smart, Auburn win |

— Saban said Florida running back Kelvin Taylor is one of the better running backs Alabama has played this year. He said quarterback Treon Harris' playing style reminds him of Blake Sims. — Saban: You're crazy if you don't think this will be a significant challenge for Alabama. — Saban said Florida is probably the most complete team Alabama has faced this year.

I think we'll have to forgive Saban's sandbagging on this one. Florida has a deficient offensive line, no playmakers on the outside, a serviceable running back and a woeful quarterback. The defense can keep them in games, to be sure. But, the offense can't win them. No team in the country misses one player quite like the Gators miss QB Will Grier.

Alabama no longer leads for Ahmmon Richards after visit to Auburn |

"There's opportunity here to come and play early, which is something I really want to do," he said. "I got to know (Franklin) a little more. You want to know who's going to be the quarterback and who's going to be competing. You want to know those guys before you actually get to a school." Richards is set to take an official visit to Miami Jan. 15 and will likely visit Alabama later that week. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound U.S. Army All-American dominated his opponents as a junior and senior at Wellington High School, catching 126 passes for 2,461 yards and 35 touchdowns. He is ranked as the nation's No. 34 wide receiver prospect in the 247Sports Composite.

Richards had Alabama as his number one until he visited Auburn, saw that depleted and decidedly non-SEC receiving corps, and realized he could play immediately. With Calvin Ridley and Robert Foster firmly entrenched at Nos. 1 and 2 next year, and with the bevvy of young talent behind them, I don't think we'll see Ahmmon's signature in crimson this February.

Alabama practice report: Updates on Kenyan Drake, scout-team roles for star Gators |

-- Kenyan Drake was again second in line was the running backs. It appeared as if he had the same protective covering over the arm he broke Nov. 14 at Mississippi State. Trainers were still watching him closely in the individual drills. -- Denzel Devall was not spotted with the outside linebacker after spraining his knee Saturday at Auburn.

Devall's injury looked pretty nasty for just a sprain. I'd be stunned if he actually played Saturday. Drake, meanwhile, is on the mend. Again, I'm not sure that he'll see time in Atlanta, but he will be needed, frankly. Florida's defense is just a wee bit better than Auburn, and Henry can't run the ball 40+ times every week down the stretch: fatigue leads to injury, and Alabama must have the King healthy to win an SEC and National title.

McElwain brings new dimension to Alabama-Florida series |

Much has changed since McElwain called plays for Alabama. The game has sped up and spread out. But the 53-year-old McElwain remains the same self-deprecating funny guy he was during his four years in Tuscaloosa. "The best thing that probably happened to Coach Saban was me getting the Colorado State job so they could get better on offense," McElwain joked when asked about what differences he sees from his Alabama offense to Lane Kiffin's offense.

Very nice piece on what Saban meant to McElwain and how Coach Mac wants to make his Poppa Bear proud. I notice that Coach Mac does conveniently skip over the Nussmeier years, as many of us mentally do as well.

Two Alabama players receive Player of the Week recognition from the SEC following the Iron Bowl - The Crimson White

Adam Griffith was selected to be the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season. On Saturday Griffith went 5-of-5 on field goal attempts from 26 (twice), 40, 47 and 50 yards out . He also connected on two extra point attempts and handled kick off duties. Running back Derrick Henry was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time this season. Henry's career-high 46 carries against Auburn broke the previous school record of 42 carries set by Johnny Musso against Auburn in 1970.

For the second week in a row, and the third time this year, an Alabama player was named the SEC's special teams player of the week. #FireBobbyWilliams. And, Derrick Henry of course was just Derrick Henry - and that's more than enough to earn him accolades.