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Jumbo Package: Gump Day

It’s Cowbell Hate Week, y’all.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

As a full disclaimer, I actually rather like Mississippi State. Kinda like a little nephew or something. In any case, it’s all the more reason to pick on them whenever I get the chance. Just know it’s all good-natured, and not out of actual hatred.

If you haven’t heard already, the national media is jumping on the story of Marquis Johnson and Terrance Cody, plus some others, taking a small amount of money to sign autographs way back in 2009. Here’s a sound bite with Greg McElroy’s thoughts on it.

If you gain anything from it, it’s that GMac totally forgot that Rod Woodson, a freshman safety during his senior season, ever even existed.

Inside Jim McElwain's final days at Florida

In the end, though, frustration boiled over -- a culmination of issues over facilities, on-field performance and, ultimately, McElwain's recent comments about alleged death threats -- and Florida is looking for a new football coach, its fifth since Spurrier retired in 2001.

"There were a lot of issues, and last week was kind of the tipping point of, 'This was not going to work,'" a UF source said.

If you’re interested, ESPN put together a long-form piece with a lot of quotes going over all the many disagreements between Jim McElwain and the UF administration that led to his firing two weeks ago.

After reading it all, it seems to me like there were just too many roosters in the hen house from day 1.

Alabama Football ‘Next Man Up’ mantra getting real

Otherwise, the games have more closely resembled hand-to-hand combat than the track meets now so common in college football. They have been waged by young men who play with, as Bear Bryant used to call it, “reckless abandon.”

Such was the case Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. LSU was as determined as their rock-jawed leader, Ed Orgeron. It was ‘The’ game for LSU. The one for which they had prepared for a year.

In the course of the maelstrom, the teams administered a physical beating on each other. Alabama football came away the winner but paid a price in injuries to key players. Shaun Dion Hamilton with a broken patella is gone for the year. His Alabama football career is over. Mack Wilson broke a foot and will be lost until at least the Playoffs.

We’ve discussed the injury situation ad naseum already over here the last three days, but I’m linking to this one from Bama Hammer anyway because I enjoyed the writer’s prose. He also summarizes all the losses at linebacker and the players who are in line to step up.

The top 5 now look to be Rashaan Evans, Anfernee Jennings, Keith Holcombe, Dylan Moses, and Jamey Mosley. Jennings and Mosley only play on the edge, but Moses, Holcombe, and Evans can all play inside or outside, so expect to see all 5 of them rotate around quite regularly.

Also, Minkah Fitzpatrick is expected to only miss a day of practice this week.

Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class is off to a slow start. But a run is coming.

Just four days ago, OSU offered 2018 QB Jarren Williams, despite still having Jones’ commitment. Is there a chance there’s trouble in paradise? We’ll have to wait and see!

If Jones doesn’t happen, four-star QB Tanner McKee out of Corona, Calif., could be another viable option.

As far as another potential flip, four-star wide receiver and Florida commit Jacob Copeland could end up at Tuscaloosa, especially with Florida going through a coaching search. Tampa-area RB Jerome Ford, who is pretty underrated in some people’s eyes, would make for a nice addition.

As would Texas WR Jaylen Waddle, four-star OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, who visited Notre Dame last month, four-star DE Eyabi Anoma, who has visited Michigan, Alabama, Pitt, and others, and three-star TE Dominick Wood-Anderson.

The defense could use a couple of other solid JUCO prospects, including former LSU corner and four-star Saivion Smith and four-star LB J.J. Peterson, who has visited Georgia, Auburn, and Alabama.

Many of you are starting some hand-wringing about the current recruiting class, so here’s an article from the Mothership about Bama’s recruiting class this year. They talk about some of the current commits, targets, the reasons for the slow start, and how both quality and quantity affect rankings.

In any case, I just began the early stages of my studying of the recruits and I’ve got to admit I’m pretty excited about most of the commits already on board. In particular, I think offensive lineman Tommy Brown is going to be an absolute stud for years to come, while athletes Slade Bolden and Vernon Jackson are extremely unique players who I’m excited to see what kind of roles Nick Saban envisions for them.

Alabama maintains ranking in College Football Playoff poll

The second edition of the 2017 College Football Playoff rankings was released Tuesday night on ESPN, and Alabama was once again firmly in the playoff hunt as the Crimson Tide was named one of the top-four teams in the nation by the playoff committee.

Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) was again ranked No. 2 in the College Football Playoff top-25. The top-four teams, for a second week in a row, consisted of No. 1 Georgia, Alabama, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson. And coach Nick Saban likes it that way.

The top four remain unchanged. Notre Dame takes on Miami this week though, which just might make things interesting.

And if Bama gets a win over ranked Mississippi State, then does it push us any closer to jumping Georgia? Who knows. I guess we’ll find out next week.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this little golden nugget of a YouTube video for Mississippi State hate week.

It doesn’t get any more Cowbell than this. If you happen to have any State fans, use this video for your own evil purposes.