Happy Black Friday, everyone. I trust that you all have recovered from yesterday's food coma sufficiently to get your mind right for tomorrow's bloodshed in Tuscaloosa. With the spread being what it is, along with the holiday, news is pretty sparse:
"They have practiced and if they continue to make progress, they both will play," Saban said of Robinson and Kirven. "Bo Scarbrough has practiced more this week so we're hopeful he will continue to progress. Certainly looks a lot better this week. That's about it."
Getting running back Kamryn Pettway healthy is going to be a boost for the Auburn offense, but whichever quarterback starts -- Malzahn has not named his starter yet -- is going to have to produce some kind of big plays through the air. Relying entirely on a rushing attack against Alabama is about as sure a way to ensure a loss as there is. The passing attack must be a legitimate threat in this game, and to beat Alabama, the Tigers are going to have to find big chunk plays over the top.
Auburn is unsure, at least publicly, who will start at QB. I'm not sure it matters much. Auburn's defense, particularly in the front four, is plenty good enough to pose problems for the Alabama running game. Still, the line is 17.5 for a reason. This Auburn team simply can't challenge the Alabama defense through the air effectively enough to open running lanes. Look for the Tide to choke out Auburn's offense almost completely. After a low scoring first half, I have the Tide wearing them down for a 30-10 final.
As usual, vote and give us your score in the comments.
According to the plan, statues of Heisman winners, Ingram (2009) and Henry (2015) will be permanently affixed to the plaza, joining statues of Alabama's national championship-winning coaches. Exactly where the Heisman-winner statues will be situated isn't clear. Presumably, future Heisman Trophy winners will also be honored with statues.
This would be very cool, though they are running out of space. #BamaProblems
We have a couple of NFL notes for you as well:
Alabama's roster of former players now in the NFL includes five running backs – Kenyan Drake of the Miami Dolphins, Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans, Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints, Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers and T.J. Yeldon of the Jacksonville Jaguars – as well as fullback Jalston Fowler of the Titans. "I think it's just the standard that we have," Drake said of the number of Crimson Tide running backs in the NFL. "When you go to Alabama, you just understand it's always a big expectation with running backs now."
Khyri Thornton had started at one of the defensive tackle positions for the Lions in the previous two games. But with the former Southern Miss standout sidelined by a foot injury, Robinson, the Lions' second-round draft choice out of Alabama in April, made his first NFL start in Thornton's place. Robinson was credited with one tackle and tipped a pass for an incompletion as Detroit took over first place in the NFC North with a 7-4 record.
Roll Tide, men.
Last by not least, Tom Herman is akin to a prom queen who is rumored to be looking for a new boyfriend:
The LSU Tigers have zeroed in on Houston's Tom Herman as their next head coach and could have a deal in place as early as Saturday, sources said Thursday. But another source said Herman hasn't ruled out an offer from Texas, which has been expected to make Herman its top choice if Charlie Strong is fired.
Rumors state that LSU is trying to get this deal closed by Saturday, with one report claiming that Herman has decided to go to Baton Rouge. Another report says that Herman still wants to wait and see if he gets an offer from Texas after their season ends today. Texas chancellor William McRaven is said to favor keeping Charlie Strong for another year, which has already started to set off quite the meltdown, and the LSU players loudly chanted "Keep Coach O!" after whipping the Aggies last night.
That's about it for today. Enjoy your holiday weekend.