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Jumbo Package: Amid national furor, Nick Saban wants to just stick to sports

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But circumstances may eventually compel a lengthier response.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Week four’s players of the week? All of them. Well, not every person who was on the 85-man travel roster to Nashville was a player of the week, but the Alabama staff recognized the offensive and defensive squads. J.K. Scott had one not-good punt, but otherwise special teams were excellent too. Don’t discount the job the Tide return coverage teams did pinning the ‘Dores down deep after changes of possession. For a team with the offensive vigor of a eunuch, putting the Commodores at or inside its own 15-yard line on four occasions was devastating.

Another week, another Alabama offensive lineman recognized by the SEC as its Lineman of the Week. This time, it was Ross Pierschbacher. He joins Matt Womack and Jonah Williams having been honored by league so far. We’re going to give a shout-out to big Lester Cotton though. The kid may have played his best game in a crimson jersey. He was dominant Saturday. The guy they opened holes for, Damien Harris, was the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Harris had a monstrous day (first half, really): 151 yards, three scores on just a dozen carries. He is tied for the SEC lead in rushing touchdowns (6,) and he leads the nation in yards per carry at 8.13. Harris will be treating the big guys for their excellent work.

When pressed, Alabama players Damien Harris and Anthony Averett expressed support for the the Take A Knee movement. But, Harris was also quick to add that Week 5 was not the time to address the issue either. Nick Saban just wanted to be left out of the discussion entirely -- as though sports have ever been removed from the larger social fabric. I don’t think this is not wanting to cause offense either: Ask Nick Saban what he’d rather be doing or talking about, and football is at the top of that list. Still, CNS has weighed in before when to do otherwise would be unconscionable silence (such as he did for the player protests at Mizzou). I don’t think his “stick to sports” is going to last as long as the professional protests continue or intensify...no matter how much he may earnestly mean it.

Many of his former players were not so tight-lipped. Amari Cooper, C.J. Mosley and Mark Ingram were among players taking a knee to raise awareness of racial injustices, particularly in policing and the criminal justice system.

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Football wasn’t the only sp0rpsball team to dominate over the weekend. Women’s golf leveled their competition in Oklahoma:

The Alabama women’s golf team was in a league of its own at Oklahoma’s Schooner Fall Classic in Norman as the Crimson Tide won by 17 shots against a quality field.Sophomore Kristen Gillman fired a personal-best 7-under par 64 final round on Monday to claim individual medalist honors and lead Alabama to the team championship at the 6,046-yard, par-71 Belmar Golf Club.

Speaking of golf, former Alabama great Justin Thomas made a cool ten-mill yesterday and got a fancy trophy to boot:

Former Alabama men’s All-American golfer Justin Thomas finished runner-up at the season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake Country Club. As a result, Thomas took home the lucrative FedExCup trophy and the $10 million bonus that comes with it.

Kickoff time has been announced for the A&M game in two weeks, on October 7th. CBS inexplicably picked up sure-to-be-terrible LSU-Florida game for its 2:30 national broadcast, leaving the Tide with a much better 6:15 prime time ESPN kickoff. If you’re in the bleachers in Southeast Texas the first week of October, that’s a good thing.

The Gator Nine were hit with a barrage of felony charges yesterday, almost certainly ending the career of its only two offensive playmakers, Jordan Scarlett and Antonio Callaway. It only gets worse: The Feds are now making noises about a parallel investigation of the identity theft and credit card fraud.

Nice story here by TSN’s Bill Bender on the remaining unbeatens squaring off and who’s likely to fall next. For instance, the red hot Hokies face the Clemson Tigers this week -- with the likely result in a weakened ACC that the loser faces an uphill climb to the playoffs. Conference play has that effect.

Butch Jones is in 100% DGAF mode, going on an awkward and meandering rant about “fake news,” questioning injuries, and the like — the entire subtext being that beat media are hurting recruiting by reporting on negative or adverse events in Knoxville, therefor they really should be mouthpieces for the Vol program. Needless to say, it backfired spectacularly.

Who wants ‘Bama? Mark Schlabach doesn’t think anyone does if they’re being honest, but he breaks down a few playoff contenders nonetheless

This week’s S&P agrees: the Tide is number one by a huge margin.

Eryk “Frankenstein” Anders’ next appearance has been set. He will meet John Phillips “the White Mike Tyson” in Fresno on December 9th for UFC 123 Fight Night. (White Tyson has a post-Givens fat-Tyson record, 21-6, BTW. Anders, meanwhile, is 9-0 in the Big Boy circuit).

We have plenty for you today, including hot degenerate gambling action, Charting the Tide breakdown of Alabama’s performance against Vandy, and, of course, The Original Meltdown. Accept no substitutes.