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Jumbo Package: On to Rocky Top

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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

Happy Monday, everyone. It was a chaotic college football weekend, but thus far Alabama has been steady at the top. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way.

Hmm, sounds like a sprained knee, like Saban said.

Check out PFF’s top players from the Missouri game:

Quinnen Williams is on there every week at this point, and we see you, Saivion. His performance was huge. Great to see Mack Wilson getting a high mark, and how about that guy at #5?

Seriously, if you are one of the people saying that this Alabama team can’t beat literally any other college football team in the country with Jalen Hurts if it really did come down to it, please step back from the ledge, do some yoga, pop a pill or utilize whatever other anti-anxiety measures work best for you. I don’t know why some Alabama fans do this thing where they pick out what they perceive to be a fatal flaw on the team that will surely lead to its ultimate demise while pretending that other college football teams don’t have their own issues, most of which are far more damning than any of Alabama’s, but it’s part of our brand at this point.

In a totally unrelated note, did you know that Joe Burrow’s completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating are substantially lower than Jalen Hurts’ 2017 number, he’s playing behind an inferior OL compared to Alabama’s and has far less skill talent around him, and that LSU’s defense has basically been a mirror image of Alabama’s thus far this season? Alabama would be favored on the road by a solid touchdown, at least, with Jalen at the helm, and for good reason.

Amazing that Jerry Jeudy didn’t make the PFF list considering his explosive plays, but he did a little talking on Twitter and is having a massive season.

Jeudy now has nine touchdowns in seven games this season to tie Dennis Homan’s 1967 season for fourth-best in program history. One more will equal Al Lary’s 1950 total with Amari Cooper’s mark in sight. The current Oakland Raider had 16 in 2014 when Alabama played 14 games.

The nine touchdown catches rank second nationally for this current season. He trails only Hawaii’s John Ursua who has 13 while playing one more game than Jeudy.

One year in this offense with Tua and he’s on pace to blow away Amari Cooper’s record. That’s gold, Jerry.

As usual, Cecil captures the mood of the day.

So many little things are, not worrisome, but vexing. The punting hasn’t been a problem since Alabama hasn’t had to punt, but Skyler DeLong’s one attempt Saturday looked like he had fouled out to the catcher. Henry Ruggs and DeVonta Smith were banged up, luckily not worse than the postgame reports suggested. Raekwon Davis was fortunate not to get a carry-over ejection.

None of this means the rest of the season can’t be fun. It can. It doesn’t mean Alabama isn’t the No. 1 team in the nation. It is.

But it does mean that the whistle has sounded, and the real work is about to begin.

The real work indeed starts this week, with the annual dismantling of the Vawls.

Did you see what Phil Fulmer did after they beat Auburn on Saturday?

Hmm, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an Athletic Director leading such a thing. It’s almost like his Jabba-the-Hut-looking ass is predictably meddling in Jeremy Pruitt’s locker room or something.

Vegas is holding off on posting a line, ostensibly waiting for Saban to update further on Tagovailoa.

-Lines for Tennessee-Alabama and Tulsa-Arkansas were not immediately available. Uncertainty with injuries to QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Ty Storey, respectively, prevented oddsmakers from offering a line Sunday afternoon during the initial release of games.

-My handicapping indicates the lines should be Alabama -34.5 and Arkansas -13.5. Those are not projections of what the betting line will be, but my personal lines that I use to compare to the Vegas line to determine whether I think there’s value on the game.

Five touchdowns sounds about right.

Hey, we can dream, right?

Tagovailoa already has helped Alabama win one national championship. Who’s to say the Tide couldn’t win two more national titles with him at quarterback for four seasons?

There’s an obvious risk in delaying your entry to the pros. You were reminded of that when Tagovailoa couldn’t finish what he started against Missouri. That’s why you take out an insurance policy.

If Tagovailoa would play four seasons at Alabama, he could be remembered as the greatest player in what has become college football’s No. 1 program.

It’s not totally unprecedented, but it would be a shock considering this:

“Everybody knows (Tagovailoa) is going to be the first pick,” he said. “The kid already this year has 21 touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s gonna be the next Steve Young. He’s a great player. He’s the next great quarterback and he’s two years away.”

#TankForTua is going to be a thing next year, y’all.

Some notes from the crazy weekend:

Alabama (1) remains the terror at the top. There has been plenty of squawking about the Crimson Tide’s schedule, some of it justified. When the game against Louisville lost all value, it further exposed the rest of the non-conference schedule. But the annihilations of Southeastern Conference competition resonate — and before the SEC bashers say the league is overrated, go back to who did work early and who did not. The 22-point thumping of Texas A&M — closest game the Tide have had — is a quality win. The Sagarin Ratings say ‘Bama has played the No. 58 schedule in the country. Sagarin also says Ohio State’s schedule is No. 57. Challenging games remaining: at LSU on Nov. 3; Mississippi State on Nov. 10; Auburn on Nov. 24; presumptive SEC championship game.

Leading candidate for Bust of 2018 is now Auburn.

The Tigers began the year ranked in the Top 10. They’re now 4-3 after a home loss to Tennessee, snapping the Volunteers’ 11-game SEC losing streak. Auburn is now 1-3 in league play, and only once against FBS competition has scored more than 24 points. Gus Malzahn, onetime celebrated for his offensive genius, now leads a team that entered the weekend 12th in the league in total offense.

With games remaining against Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama, 6-6 might be as good as the Tigers can hope for.

If that second excerpt doesn’t make your heart smile, nothing will.

Auburn refused to do their midseason review with SEC Shorts. This is a good one, y’all.

Funny stuff.

Last, there is always one idiot.

As has been the case in every ranking this year, Alabama was again the No. 1 team in the country in the Week 8 AP Poll. But on top of moving up to No. 2, Ohio State is starting to build some buzz. The Buckeyes received one No. 1 vote from Keith Sargeant who covers Rutgers football and college sports for NJ Advance Media.

“New Jersey” and “Covers Rutgers” is all the explanation you need. Means he’s a damn yankee who doesn’t know what good football looks like.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.