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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban, the zen master and sartorial observer

And a WHOLE lot of players are hurt...again

Alabama v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Much like we are doing here this week, Saban’s focus isn’t on the next opponent. Uncharacteristically, he conceded that instead, the staff and team are focusing on themselves and their improvement. You can only do so much Holtzian poor-mouthin , I guess; Mercer seems to be where it would lose credibility.

The crown jewel of Avery Johnson’s early 2018NSD class, Diante Wood, has suffered a nasty foot injury — it could be 2-3 weeks til he’s back, or he could miss the season. Ugh.

Nick Saban wonders “how did we get here?”

That he has time to ponder such mysteries of life probably tells us practice is going well this week. While I generally agree with him in this, we can’t overlook that ripped jeans also gave us one of the late 80’s best posters, one that proudly stayed on my wall longer than I am comfortable admitting. So, bless you, pre-ripped jeans.

Please, Injury Gods, give us this: Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis are in the functional phases of their rehab. Saban won’t update their status beyond that.

Lord knows, Injury God has hated the Tide this year: Hass is still in for an injured Ross Pierschbacher and his gimpy ankle, and the Star is in flux and being shuffled around with Minkah Fitzpatrick in a no-contact jersey for the lingering hamstring injury. If the Tide can make the playoffs, no team in the country needs a month off more.

SI has a really nice piece on Julio Jones. How bad is Sark? He can even f’ up Julio Jones’ production.

Many were surprised to see Clemson No. 2 in the CFP rankings this week, a shock that grew more voluble as the committee hemmed-hawed-and-generally-gee-gawed to a half-ass explanation. Many aren’t buying it, seeing the same things we do: a team that can’t run the ball, against a schedule that’s being overrated, and has been padding final tallies with last-second touchdowns.

Saban did a great interview with Travis Reier at 247. Definitely read this in its entirety. The biggest takeaway, for the next week or two, however, is that Dylan Moses, it’s time to step in and up. Speaking of stepping up, Ben Davis, who’s not played a game this season, finally was practicing with the linebackers instead of the scout team. After two years, that’s nice to see...I guess. -_-

The winner of the Iron Bowl will face Georgia. That’s settled. And, for Georgia that’s far worse news than it is for Alabama or API. The ‘Dawgs have some problems.

Circular Firing Squad of Derp is heating up. The Aggies look to replace their youngish coach who has brought in talent but failed to develop them in one underperforming season after another with...another youngish coach who has brought in talent at his program but failed to develop them in one underperforming season after another. Seriously. I don’t see where Sumlin / Jimbo is a better swap for the Ags. They’ll both finish 8-4 in the SEC, but Sumlin will save you $2-3 million extra a year...and, he actually loves the place already. Still, it looks like the SEC’s profligate spenders will open the wallet, to irritate LSU if nothing else.

Two men are down. Add a third in two more games. Bret Bielema’s biggest cheerleader, Arkansas AD Jeff Long, was shown the door unexpectedly yesterday. The Hogs have the political capital to summon all that Walmart and Chicken Plant money if need be...and it looks they will hire an AD that is willing to do so.

As expected, Nebraska will formally court the hottest young guy on the market, former Husker QB Scott Frost, who is presently laying waste to the AAC. Florida and Tennessee is also looking that way, and you have to think the Gators at least are a more palatable option. Look for UCLA also to make a move soon. That would be a good spot for him.

And the original #GRUMOR is heating up. John Gruden yesterday toyed with the Vols, saying “never say never” to coaching the Vols. Whether they get him or don’t, this is going to break their hearts. Note, this is after a report stating that Gruden wasn’t interested in coaching our least-favorite Jessco White cosplay team.