I’m not talking about the passing game and Jalen Hurts and deep balls and all that today. I’m tired of it. Here’s some other topics to try and talk about.
66-Consecutive victories have been recorded over unranked teams by Alabama after the Crimson Tide defeated Fresno State 41-10. Alabama's streak is the longest in the nation by 50 games. The next-longest active streak for victories over unranked teams is 16 games, achieved by Wisconsin. The Crimson Tide hasn't lost to an unranked team since falling to Auburn 17-10 on Nov. 24, 2007. Wisconsin's most recent loss to an unranked team is a 10-6 setback against Iowa on Oct. 3, 2015.
Roll Tide to that. Roll Tide.
We’ve suffered the occasional rough loss over the years since Nick Saban turned this into a dynasty for the ages, but we have never lost to an unranked team outside of that first season before Saban had managed to instill his own system and players. We may not always beat the top opponents (hint: no program will ever be able to sustainably do that), but say one thing about Nick Saban coached teams, say they never play down to vastly inferior opponents.
-- The likelihood of Rashaan Evans and/or Anfernee Jennings playing Saturday don't seem great. Neither were doing drills again for the second day of practice after being out all of last week.
-- Dylan Moses also wasn't spotted for the second straight day after Nick Saban said he'd miss Monday's workout.
-- Lester Cotton was back practicing with the offensive line after Saban said he got "dinged" in Saturday's win over Fresno State. He was at first-team right guard as always but there were also looks that included Matt Womack at right guard and Jedrick Wills at right tackle.
-- LaBryan Ray remained with the outside linebackers.
-- Readers have asked several times about Ben Davis at outside linebacker. The redshirt freshman was in a scout team jersey again Tuesday.
-- Josh Jacobs continued to look strong running all the drills with the running backs. He hasn't played this season after being sidelined by a hamstring injury early in August.
An injury report for you. Looks like nothing has really changed yet all week, but an update is always nice.
Lester Cotton’s hold on the starting spot has seemed tenuous at best (just my opinion, not necessarily that of the coaches), so missing a game could prove devastating to him if he gets Wally Pip’d and someone performs better in his absence.
While Womack was clearly the biggest question mark on an otherwise veteran Alabama offensive line heading into the season, the Mississippi native graded out at 90 percent against Fresno State and continues to hold off talented freshman Jedrick Wills for that starting right tackle job.
Womack didn't allow any sacks or quarterback pressures against Fresno, didn't have any penalties and had three knockdown blocks while helping the Tide rush for 305 yards and three touchdowns.
"I think he's a guy who has been trying really hard, been taking it seriously," left guard Ross Pierschbacher said. "And for a guy to get a good accolade like (SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week), it will boost his confidence and he'll continue to grow and become a better player."
After a generally sub par opening game against Florida State, Womack really turned around and played exceptionally last week. Here’s to hoping he continues his improvement. With that size, he could wind up being quite the specimen.
Colorado State, a preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference, is off to a 2-1 start after beating Abilene Christian on Saturday 38-10. The Rams, 43-point favorites, took a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game and pushed that to 17-0 at halftime. Later, after allowing the Wildcats to pull within 24-10, CSU drove immediately for another touchdown to put the game away.
For the day the Rams outgained Abilene Christian 605-333 and won the ground battle 268-62. Quarterback Nick Stevens threw for 337 yards, his third straight 300-yard game, and three touchdowns. Running backs Izzy Matthews and Dalyn Dawkins combined for 216 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Michael Gallup caught 10 balls for 103 yards and one score.
Colorado State opened this season with a 58-27 rout of Oregon State, easily covering at minus-3. The Rams then lost a rivalry game against Colorado 17-3 but were the victims of several questionable calls, including two that negated touchdowns. They also outgained the Buffaloes 397-345.
Alabama opens as a 27 point favorite over CSU. I generally think the Tide scores 42-49 points against that defense, but the Ram’s offense (you’ll see my reasoning in the preview later today) is too veteran and too talented to just roll over like Fresno State, and I expect them to score 17-24 or so. So, with those ranges, we have an 18-30 point range. Which falls right in with the Vegas guess of 27.
Were I a betting man (which I am neither condoning nor condemning), I would take the Alabama win but not the spread. The CSU offense is going to move the ball too much for it to be a total and complete whipping.
So far in 2017, SEC football performance has been stronger. Even with Auburn, Florida, TAMU and Auburn tanking the SEC football 2017 record against Power Five teams is 5-4. Alabama football had the biggest win against FSU and Georgia enhanced the SEC reputation by taking down Notre Dame in South Bend.
In week three of the college football season, Vanderbilt takes on Kansas State, Ole Miss has California and Missouri lines up against Purdue. After those Power Five games, conference play dominates schedules until late in the season. Before the 2017 bowl season, SEC football teams will compete in 17 games against Power Five teams.
SEC Swagger lost? Perhaps. SEC Swagger regained? Not yet, but there is plenty of football to go in 2017.
As usual, the SEC is riding our coattails. At what point do we basically disown them and stop relying on “conference strength” as an argument for our team being good, and just rely solely on our own name? (think: New England Patriots in the AFC East).
At least Georgia beat Notre Dame. I harbor no hatred for Kirby and Bulldogs, and it’s always nice to watch ND lose.
And I’ll take a loss to the conference along with a Clemson win any day if it means Auburn lost again.