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Jumbo Package: Friday, 14 October 2016

Crimson Tide news and notes.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. It's Tennessee week, and we know what that means: Irvin Carney takes center stage on social media.

What, you don't know who Irvin Carney is? Sure you do, and nine years later he still hates Tennessee:

Good stuff. As far as the game goes, Vegas is once again all-in on Alabama:

Why Alabama-Tennessee point spread jumped 5 points |

The number moves because of bets that are coming into the books. It's not necessarily big chunks of money that moves the spread as much as respected money. "It's people that bookmakers have seen that continually won, so when those people place the bets, they will change the number on that," Purdum said. "If a respected bettor that's showed success in the past, he might come in there and bet whatever the limit is -- $1,000 -- that would move the line. There was some respected money coming in on Alabama, according to the odds makers at the Westgate SuperBook, early in the week and bet them all the way up to 13."

Butch Jones: Vols' high-level play despite injuries shows ‘resolve and resiliency'

* Their best linebacker, Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder).
* Their best defensive back, Cam Sutton (ankle).
* Backup linebacker Quart'e Sapp (ACL).
* Starting defensive tackle Danny O'Brien (dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation early this week).

And there are questions about:

* Starting center Dylan Wiesman, who suffered what the school called a head injury against Texas A&M.
* Starting linebacker Darren Kirkland, who has missed the past four games with an ankle injury.
* Backup linebacker Cortez McDowell, who left the Texas A&M game with an undisclosed injury.

On Butch's comments, there isn't a coach who better defines cheerleader-in-chief this side of Lake Hartwell.

Look, Tennessee has an improved team this season, but coming in I thought that they were getting far too much hype. Josh Dobbs is a nice player, not an excellent one and, while they do have a few stand-out players, they don't have great talent at all positions. The reality is that a team that struggled against Ohio and Appalachian State, then required a fluke to beat a decidedly mediocre Georgia team, isn't going to beat Alabama, and certainly not with that infirmary report. Their best hope is that 90,000 moonshine-fueled critters dressed like pumpkins can scream loud enough to make Alabama beat themselves.

And yeah, I said 90,000 because there will once again be a whole lot of Crimson inside Bryant-Denny North.

Good luck with that.

To be frank, considering all of the injuries, I think that spread is still a little low. Jalen may be a freshman, but he has shown unreal maturity in avoiding turnovers, and his threat to run has added just enough juice to the ground game. With the talent outside, teams have been unable to cover the receivers while keeping a spy on Jalen as well. They may score a bit more than last season, but won't be able to stop Alabama nearly enough in this one. Call it 37-20.

As usual, vote and tell us your score in the comments.

5 things the Tennessee Vols must do to upset No. 1 Alabama | FOX Sports (Production)

Whenever anyone discusses how Alabama could conceivably lose a game or two this season, most questions center around this: At some point, Jalen Hurts has to look like a freshman, right? It’s a fair question, and with all due respect to Ole Miss and Arkansas -- Alabama’s two road opponents so far this year -- Neyland Stadium will be the toughest road venue he’s ever played in. If anyone is going to make Hurts look like a true freshman, it seems like the Vols would be that team.

See above: Exhibit A.

Sorry, Nick Saban: Alabama-Tennessee matters again, but it's no Iron Bowl -

To this day, Alabama players light up cigars and smoke them in the locker room after they beat Tennessee. Technically, it's an NCAA violation, but Alabama annually accepts it to keep up the tradition. Reports credit former Alabama head trainer Jim Goostree with starting the tradition in the 1950s or 1960s.

Them cheatin' Bammers and their see-gars, Pawwllll....

Why strange Alabama-Tennessee rivalry defies expectations |

In fact, when the No. 1 Crimson Tide travel to Knoxville to face No. 9 Tennessee in Knoxville, it will mark the first time since 1999 that both programs have played each other while in the Top 10. Even stranger is the fact that since 1970 there have been only four seasons when the Crimson Tide and Volunteers have both compiled a double-digit victory total in the same year — 1971, 1972, 1989 and 1996. Try to explain that one.  Of course, nobody can. "I'm not sure anybody has a good answer for that," said Ken Gaddy, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum on the University of Alabama campus. Fulmer is equally flummoxed.

This has indeed been a rivalry of streaks. Only once has a streak reached ten, however, back in the seventies to early eighties when Coach Bryant reeled off eleven in a row against the Vols while he dominating college football.

Don't y'all love it when history repeats?

NFL Scout's Eye: Alabama-Tennessee has scouts headed to Knoxville -

While Myles Garrett is the best pass rusher in the SEC (and the country), Barnett is a strong contender, along with Williams and several others, to be No. 2 on that list. He might not have the same athletic twitch and bend as others, but get-off timing and body control enable him to capture the edge and counter the moves of blockers. With impact defenders like Cam Sutton and Jalen Reeves-Maybin out due to injury, more pressure has been put on Barnett and he has answered with his leadership and production (all five of his sacks in 2016 have come over the past three games). His performance vs. Alabama, specifically junior LOT Cam Robinson (6-6, 310, 5.28, #74) will be of great interest to NFL scouts.

Barnett is certainly a player that the Alabama offensive line will have to account for.

Alabama 5-star freshman linebacker showing some impressive versatility |

Wilson is unique. The five-star recruit from Montgomery continues to grow at his natural position, linebacker. He is also contributing at fullback and on Alabama's kickoff coverage team while also working as a reserve long snapper and punter. Yes, long snapper and punter. Wilson is out early each day for practice working with the specialists before going through normal practice with his offensive and defensive teammates.

Imagine Mack playing all of these roles in the same game. Come on, Nick. This needs to happen. We will have enough garbage time this season to allow it.

Lastly, in case you haven't heard, LSU and Florida will make up the hurricane game on November 19, in Baton Rouge. Florida's AD isn't too happy about it:

Florida, LSU to make up game in Baton Rouge on Nov. 19 - Alligator Army

"We made this decision to play the game in Baton Rouge," said Foley. "The conference office asked us to find a solution in working with LSU, yet LSU was never a true partner in our discussions. The Southeastern Conference offered some other solutions and the LSU administration made it clear that they were unwilling to consider other reasonable options." "I also would like to thank Presbyterian for their cooperation during this process and allowing us to move ahead with a solution," Foley added.

He sounds salty, as do his fans.

That's about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.