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Jumbo Package: Evans Takes Center Stage in His Last Iron Bowl

The Auburn High graduate and senior leader of the Tide defense will be vital to the outcome on Saturday.

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NCAA Football: Alabama at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. You may have heard something about a football game that’s scheduled for this Saturday, but in the meantime, expect to hear plenty about one that happened four years ago.

It’s hard to blame them, considering the stakes of this year’s game between the Tide and Tigers.

The winner will win the SEC West and advance to the SEC Championship Game to face No. 7 Georgia in Atlanta next week. It’s the first time since 2013 the annual rivalry game has been a winner-take-all matchup, and that obviously didn’t end in Alabama’s favor.

Yes, we know. The last time it was a winner-take-all game, Gus managed to pull a horseshoe out of his derriere. This rivalry obviously means a lot to many people in the state, and we celebrate its history. The narratives that come from it are rather obnoxious, however.

It is well documented that this is not a “throw out the record books” rivalry, as the majority of the games have gone the way they were supposed to. The game in 2013 was a minor upset, as an Auburn win would be this season, and for the first time in a while Auburn appears to come into the game with the better rushing defense. Still, Alabama is a slight favorite on the road according to Vegas:

This one is likely to be a nail biter, folks.

Of course, it would help if Alabama was able to get some reinforcements back. This was an interesting comment from Hootie Jones:

Guess we will find out what these secrets are come Saturday.

This game is undoubtedly extra special for one certain LB:

To this day, Rashaan Evans is reminded that he could have taken an easier course. All he has to do is plug his name into an Internet search engine. A split-second later, up pops a bio from Auburn's official website with a list of his accomplishments and even his projected position -- Star. It seemed a fitting role description because Rashaan was expected to be a linchpin in the Tigers' defense once he stepped on campus at his hometown university.

But Rashaan never made the short trek to Auburn. He took the longer, harder road to Tuscaloosa.

Yep, it’s still there, in all its PB & HBC glory.

There has been a ton of talk about who will be playing next to Evans, but if Alabama is to have success stopping the Auburn rushing attack, Evans is going to be heavily involved. Something tells me he is going to be extra motivated this week.

By the way, I thought the Barn folk always say that going to Alabama is the easy route. It’s so hard to keep up.

A couple of former Alabama DBs showed out in the league yesterday:

Can't-Miss Play: Dre Kirkpatrick returns 101-yard INT

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick intercepts Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler in the end zone and returns the ball 101 yards but the ball slips out of his hand on the 1 yard line, he is just shy of a touchdown.

Posted by NFL Fans - Touchdowns on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Oh, Dre. They were ten yards behind you, man.

Before we go, let’s point and laugh at others, shall we?

“I’ve gotten to know Deontay and his parents quite well in the last several weeks, and I’ve learned Deontay isn’t only an incredibly talented football player with a bright future, but he’s a very level-headed young man with maturity beyond his years,” Mars told USA TODAY Sports. “I’ve found him to be very thoughtful about this matter and it’s also clear to me he was raised the right way and I’ve been impressed by the thoughtfulness and the deliberations he and his parents have gone through to reach this decision.”

This could be a tricky situation for both Ole Miss and the NCAA, as releasing Anderson without any restrictions and making him eligible without sitting out potentially could set the precedent for other Ole Miss players who were recruited in 2016 to do the same.

The attorney representing Anderson is the same guy who represented Nutt and dug up Freeze’s phone records. If this suit is successful, there is going to be a mass exodus in Oxford, which is probably the reason that it won’t be. They’d have to prove intentional misrepresentation to the extent that a judge is compelled to essentially void the NLIs of an entire signing class.

Tennessee still thinks they are getting Gruden.

Hey, maybe they will, and maybe it won’t be a spectacular train wreck. I’m not betting on either, personally. In any event, we’ve gone from plane watching to stalking folks who just want to enjoy a plate of ribs in peace.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.