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Jumbo Package: Therapeutic Gump Day

Last weekend was rough. I have been sad. We need a Gump Day.

Alabama v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama down, but not out, in College Football Playoff race

Alabama is down. But is it out?

The Crimson Tide — the only team to make every College Football Playoff so far — ranked No. 5 in the penultimate set of rankings before Sunday's selection show. Alabama also will sit out conference championship weekend for the first time since 2013.

"We did believe this week that we got the top four identified," College Football Playoff Committee chair Kirby Hocutt said on the ESPN telecast. "We had the top four teams there. … There were a clear-cut top four teams in this week's discussion."

Nick Saban and Alabama are down, but the Tide have the most outs of any team on the outside looking in — or, at the least, the most arguments to create within the committee. The first team out isn't the worst place to be right now.

We’ve already talked about this ad naseum ever since Saturday, but with the official rankings coming out last night, it’s pretty obvious that Bama has a better shot than anyone in the nation wants to admit to get into the playoffs with even just a little bit of chaos. Who knows, we might even get a shot at redemption against the Barn. And if that happens, I hope Damien Harris gets 50 carries for 400 yards.

Mississippi State to hire Penn State assistant Joe Moorhead, reports say

Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead will be Mississippi State's new head football coach, according to multiple reports.

The 44-year-old Moorhead joined James Franklin's Nittany Lions staff in 2016 after four years as head coach on the FCS level at Fordham, where he posted a 38-13 record. Penn State ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense this season, averaging 41.6 points per game.

If this goes through, it is great news. Many #sources had been slipping that Jeremy Pruitt was a top candidate for Mississippi State. And I really, really would like to not lose Pruitt for Christmas please.

For all of his accomplishments, the fact that he put together a scheme that got an effective pass rush all season long despite missing both top edge rushers and others playing hobbled the entire year... all this after replacing 5 of the front 7 from 2016 to the first two days of the NFL draft.

I don’t know if he’ll make a good head coach one day, but if he does, I think I might be happy with him at Bama again in the future.

SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 from Week 13

One day is how long Arkansas held the record for giving up the most points against conference competition in SEC history. The Razorbacks had yielded 337 points in their eight 2017 league games after losing to Missouri 48-45 on Friday. That eclipsed the 329 points that Mississippi State gave up against conference competition in 2003. But after Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 42-24 on Saturday in its final regular-season game of 2017, the Commodores' conference opponents had scored 346 points to stand as the record for most points given up in one season in SEC play.

Yeah, that Iron Bowl loss was pretty demoralizing and I may or may not have been eating my feelings with mounds of pizza ever since, but a little perspective is key.

At least we aren’t Tennessee fans.

Speaking of Tennessee

The Titans are a much better team to like. Mostly because Derrick Henry.

Who, by the way, is not built like a true running back and will never succeed in college win a Heisman succeed in the NFL.

Apparently stiff-arming professional football players into oblivion is how Derrick Copes with the Iron Bowl loss. I like it. It seems therapeutic.

"This win here really helped me because I was sick all last night and this morning," Henry said.

John Petty injury update after hurting ankle in Brooklyn

Petty didn't practice Monday and they'll evaluate how he feels before Tuesday's workout. He'll be a game-time decision for the Bulldogs.

"It just didn't look good," Johnson said. "And when we looked at it after the game, it really looked bad. So, fortunately, we think he's going to be OK and there's not any serious long-term effects to his game or him physically."

Johnson also had an update on Braxton Key's key injury. He's still out for now, but they expect the sophomore will be back for non-contact practice next week and they'll go from there.

Looks like Petty may not even miss a game. And Braxton Key will likely be back by the start of the New Year. It really is Christmas come early. Plus, ya know, Collin Sexton is still on the team.

Four-Star DB Olaijah Griffin Planning Official Visits

"Olaijah has been hearing from everyone. Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, USC, ASU, TCU, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Texas A&M, Cal and a lot more all have reached out and want him to visit. The five he chose to visit are Bama, USC, Michigan, Washington and Oregon. We haven't set any dates yet but those will be his five visits."

Alabama was the most recent school to offer Griffin.

"Coach (Nick) Saban called and said he wants to come in for a home visit and wants to get us out there for an official trip," Warren said. "They want him to visit ASAP so we're going to get that set up along with the others.

"UCLA is definitely still in there but we want to see who they bring in at DC and what kind of system they run. He's a bump and run cover guy so we just need to make sure we find the right fit. I just want to make sure my son is put in the right situation to follow his dreams.”

Griffin is a two-way standout over on the west coast who excels in bump and run coverage. With the entire starting Bama secondary moving on after this season, more defensive backs in the upcoming recruiting class are a must-have. Currently Jalyn Armour-Davis, the speedy cover man from St. Paul’s in Mobile, is the lone defensive back (for sure, there are a few “athletes” that I expect to play offense)

Here’s a quick piece from Andrew Bone about some recruiting news

Nothing concrete is really happening, but the link has a list of recruits that Saban and crew are visiting this week and such. The two biggest names are probably defensive back Nadab Joseph and Juco safety Saivion Smith, who recently became an uncommitted prospect again.