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Jumbo Package: Welcome, Coach Sarkisian

Nick Saban is playing a different game than 129 other head coaches

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban explains why Steve Sarkisian will join the Alabama staff

"Professionally, he loves coaching," Saban said. "We thought it would be a good thing for our organization. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a very, very good coach. To make a contribution to be an analyst here and having some input would be a real positive for our organization. "We’re going to continue to help him in his program as an organization and will support him. I think he understands the consequences that he deals with professionally if he has any issues or problems. We’re glad to have him as a part of the organization. Hopefully, he’ll be able to get back on his feet, professionally, and this will be beneficial."

Nick Saban may very well have saved Steve Sarkisian's career and his life. This is another wonderful addition to the staff by a second-chance kind of man who is playing a different game than anyone else out there. When Lane Kiffin gets another job, the offense remains seamless by and large, and the Tide pick up an even better recruiter. Welcome, Coach Sark.

Nick Saban admits he was playing with media and USC over QB situation

Less than a week ago, Saban said it was down to Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman to start. Barnett started the game, but true freshman Jalen Hurts took over early and got the offense rolling. That was the plan. "What I was puzzled about is I said we were going to pick a starter between Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman. I never said Jalen Hurts wasn’t going to play, and y’all never asked," Saban said. "I never said he (wasn’t) going to play. It was the plan all along to figure out which one would start and manage the game the best, and Jalen Hurts was going to have a role in the game. "We had a special plan for him and he practiced his plays all week long and would go in the third series no matter what, and that’s exactly what we did. Y’all never asked. I wouldn’t have told you if you would have asked, but you didn’t ask."

Just like cross-examination, don't volunteer information. The direct question was never asked of Saban, and he's not going to give it away otherwise (not as though he would have in any event.) Be smarter, journalists: Ask what you mean, not what you think you mean.

Kickoff Week notes for Alabama Crimson Tide, Stanford Cardinal and Christian McCaffrey

A team defines its jersey. It's not the other way around. 1. Alabama coach Nick Saban twice mentioned his relief that his defense held USC to 64 rushing yards without needing safeties for run support. His explanation taught a lesson in the value of defensive line depth. "Once their gas tank is out, it's out," Saban said. "The little guys out there ... can run 100 yards and be tanked on the sidelines and two minutes later come back up and say, 'Coach, I'm ready to go,' and run just as fast as they were before. But when the big guys run out of gas, that tank is not getting refilled until tomorrow."

Nick Saban (and SOME people on this site,) have been harping about the critical lack of depth. He hits on something that is definitely going to come into play this week: depth. Western Kentucky is a well-coached team whose strengths are designed to test the Tide depth. They wind it up and pitch it across the yard 40-50 times a game in 4- and 5-wide formations. Averett is going to get a ton of work, as will those young backups in the secondary and across the front seven.

WKU prep begins

Watch Nick Saban launch Western Kentucky week |

Watch Nick Saban in the his Monday press conference above as he discusses the quarterbacks expanding roles, the running backs and Steve Sarkisian.

Nick Saban explains heated exchange between players on Alabama sideline |

Harrison has since apologized for his heated response. Saban said there's a lesson to be learned here. 'When you have a teammate who cares about you and is trying to help you," Saban said, "the response should be 'Thank you,' not 'Screw you.'" Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton heard the chatter from the Trojans. "Oh yeah, they were definitely fired up," he said. "Everybody is going to be fired up to play us. We just have to play ball like Coach Saban always talks about because trash talking isn't going to win you games."

Apparently, Ronnie Harrison bit on some trash-talking by the Trojans. Rather than ignoring it, or taking Eddie Jackson's constructive criticism, he lashed out at Jackson, resulting in an altercation on the sideline. Everything is all good now, but I seriously doubt Harrison wants to be sorted out by Reuben Foster again.

Nick Saban gives a few details of evolving Alabama's QB competition |

Bottom line: Nothing's resolved in the competition to be the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback. "I still think that we need to play two quarterbacks to try to gain the experience and knowledge and consistency that we need to see," Saban said. "We may do it a little different way than we did last week. But I think we'll probably still play two guys in the game. " When asked to clarify what he meant about trying something different, Saban kept it vague. "Well, I said I might do it a little different, so what does that mean?" Saban said. "I said I might do it a little bit different, so I didn't make a decision or a statement about who I was starting."

Bottom line: Nothing needs to be resolved. Blake Barnett and Jalen Hurts do two different, but complimentary things on the field. If the head man is fine giving both reps (and opposing teams more to scheme for,) then so am I.

SEC QB play? Yeah, it sucks.

The SEC quarterback situation is a hot mess. That’s a good thing for Ole Miss. - Red Cup Rebellion

Things have not gone well for the SEC during Week 1. Title contender LSU did nothing on offense against unranked Wisconsin. Mississippi State lost to South Alabama. Kentucky blew a 25-point lead against Southern Miss, while Tennessee and Arkansas had to mount late rallies against App State and Louisiana Tech, respectively. Mississippi State lost to South Alabama. The most consistent theme in that twisted wreckage of conference ego? Poor quarterback play. There were exceptions—Bama may have found something in true freshman Jalen Hurts; Trevor Knight looked competent while outlasting UCLA; superstar freshman Jacob Eason impressed for Georgia—but by and large, things look shaky behind center in the SEC right now.

RCR had a good read on the SEC QB situation. They were a bit upbeat before last night's game and four Chad Kelly turnovers (even though he's still p. good, people.) Right now, you can really only say that Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and probably Florida are settled at the position.

Speaking of assy QBs...

Rotating quarterbacks? Auburn's 'plan' creates more confusion - SEC Blog- ESPN

"There wasn’t any hesitation [with the quarterbacks]," Malzahn said. "That was our plan. That’s about the 10th time y’all asked me that. Anybody else want to ask me again?" Most of us would like to ask about it again because it’s two days later and still nobody knows exactly what Malzahn was trying to do in that first game. As expected, Sean White started the game at quarterback. But on the second play from scrimmage, a 2nd-and-14, Auburn brought in both John Franklin III and Jeremy Johnson and lined them up wide left. All three quarterbacks in at the same time? The play, a simple handoff to Stanton Truitt, lost two yards.

Auburn rotated QBs 24 times, once every 3.1 plays and within drives, with predictable results. The worst part? That was the coaching "strategy" by Gustav. Woof, how much is that buyout again?

LSU Cheatin'

LSU Tigers' Josh Boutte suspended one game for late hit on Wisconsin Badgers' D'Cota Dixon

"This play does not define Josh as a person and is not indicative of the type of player he is. We sincerely apologize for his mistake." Boutte called Dixon on Monday morning to personally apologize for the personal foul, Miles said. Boutte, a starting guard for the Tigers, was ejected after leveling Dixon with 57 seconds left in No. 5 LSU's 16-14 loss to Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. Dixon intercepted Brandon Harris' pass near the LSU sideline to seal the upset win, and following the play, he started celebrating with the ball and his hand raised when Boutte hit him.

One game suspension for a clearly dirty hit, which seems about right. It was dangerous as hell. Wish USC had gotten that memo. Ruffin, who gave Minkah Fitzpatrick's jewels the business, is sitting for one half against the Sisters of Mercy.



The Rebels had dominated the game up until that point, but you could feel a different vibe in the stadium. Nobody, though, could have predicted that the Seminoles would reel off 33 unanswered points, looking exactly like the national championship-caliber team everybody was expecting during the preseason. Of course, one thing we've come to expect from Jimbo Fisher's bunch is resilience. Going back to 2013, the Seminoles have trailed seven times at the half in regular-season games and won all seven. The third quarter was one Hotty Toddy disaster for the Rebels, who were outgained 214 to minus-7 yards in total offense.

Ole Miss looked every bit the No. 11 team in the nation until a ghastly injury to Eric Webster and depth caught up to them. The cushions were inexcusable, the LBs were late, line play on both sides fell off, and Chad Kelly gacked it up four times. Alabama is going to ream this team like a cistern (we hope.) Oh, the Rebel secondary also gave up 4 TDs and 419 yards to a freshman QB who added another 62 yards on the ground. AND, FSU had its biggest comeback in school history. PRAISE FREEZUS!


That's it for today. Go forth to evil.