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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban for Senate

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Not sure how he’d handle being the “junior” anything, and the pay-cut would kill him.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Auburn John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Never too early to get silly about next year’s Heisman!

Alabama QB Jalen Hurts: For all the consternation over his ability as a passer, all the sophomore quarterback does is make plays and win games. His overall record as starter speaks for itself: 25-2. He was the first true freshman to win SEC Offensive Player of the Year since Herschel Walker, and followed that up as a sophomore with 2,708 total yards, 23 touchdowns and just two turnovers this season. If he carries Alabama to a third straight playoff next season, it will be hard to deny the dual-threat QB a trip to New York.

I wish we’d just make this informal split official and then specify those criteria: Heisman Memorial = best offensive player; Chuck Bednarik = best defensive player. (Alabama, by the way, has won back-to-back Defensive Heismans, with Minkah Fitzpatrick following Jonathan Allen’s monstrous 2016 season.)

With the emergence of freshman Jordan Ta’amu, and the departure of Hugh Freeze, former No. 1 quarterback prospect Shea Patterson is moving on to Michigan. The Toledo native is a good fit for a team that needs a quarterback who can escape from that terrible offensive line. But, he’s going to drive Harbaugh nuts with his improvisation, turnovers, and reckless faith in his arm. It’s a good thing the Big 10 sucks out loud...and that Harbaugh can develop quarterbacks. There’s no word on whether Patterson must sit out a season: the NCAA has the ability to waive the transfer penalty. For Alabama this is good news, as it weakens LSU, who was really, really hoping that Patterson would shore up the roster. You get the feeling Orgeron neither wants to deal with the hassle of developing Brennan or Narcisse, nor does he really trust turning over 2018’s offense to them. For all his deficiencies, Danny Etling is a perfectly safe, suitable quarterback for that offense. It also slashes Ole Miss’ top end-depth, as Patterson would almost have certainly been the starter in 2018 after returning from injury.

Speaking of depth issues: the crown jewel of Florida’s 2017 receiving class, James Robinson, has not been cleared to play. He was sidelined all year after an ECG found an enlarged heart. It’s not gotten better: In fact, the University of Florida released a statement yesterday saying that he has been disqualified to play football with the Gators. That’s truly sad; a kid’s career is over before it started. Better his career than his life, though. Florida will almost certainly honor/grant Robinson a medical scholarship.

“Is the SEC back on top?” asks CBS. To which a reasoned observer questions why that belief exists in the first place. A high-end team from another conference doesn’t make that conference the best.

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Ben Kercheval’s best and worst of 2017. Good stuff in here. And, like Kercheval, I am still laughing at Jimbo Fisher’s contract which guarantees him $20,000 a day, every day, 365 days a year, for the next ten years. WTF R U DOING AGGY?! It even has other coaches wondering about the ceiling here.

One day soon, sooner than we’d like, Alabama will be in this position of paying out the nose for a coach. One name not to overlook? Gus Malzahn. Honestly, it’s not the worst idea out there, even if Pawwwwwl was trying to low-key troll.

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We had a separate story on this early today, but the last of the All-American teams was released yesterday. Minkah Fitzpatrick was Alabama’s sole first-teamer, but he was the only player honored on the first from last season, and with his selection by the AP, became a consensus All-American.

His future is really bright, of course, with many mocks landing him in top four or five, although many teams (Tampa 9OV; Cleveland 1 and 7OV) hope to see him slide.

Kenyan Drake had himself a Monday night. The former Tide standout racked up over 100 yards on the ground, 193 total, and was a beast as a receiver. Highlights here.

No need to go to New Orleans. Alabama has no business playing in this game. Get your refund. Clemson is the real deal; Alabama is a fraud.

A.J. McCarron should start the rest of the season for the Bengals. That’s one growing opinion in Cincinnati at least. To say the Benglas have underperformed is understatement. Sitting at 5-8, they’re not out of the playoffs just yet in a dreadful AFC, but Cincy’s Andy Dalton is tied for 25th among NFL starters with a QBR of 41.9. The man he’s tied with? Jake Cutler after last night’s explosion.

Interesting story here from BoL about the early signing period and what to look for.

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Finally, get out and vote today. It’s going to be beautiful and bright and sunny everywhere in Alabama. The low won’t drop below 40 degrees. You have the option to write-in Nick Saban if the others are unpalatable.

Don’t know where to vote? Here you are.

Baffled by the voter restrictions and requirements? You should know your rights. Here you go:

Outside of jury duty, this is the best chance you have to determine your future, make a statement about the present, and otherwise participate in a grand human experiment that has clawed its way out of the darkness of bloodshed and despots and tyrants for three millennia. It doesn’t matter how we do it or who we do it for, but it does matter that we do it. Democracy is fragile.

Spidey sad it best, great power, great responsibility. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Have a great day.