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Jumbo Package: ESPN FPI drops Tide to #2 headed into Iron Bowl

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: The Citadel at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. After slogging through the annual November FCS game, Saban finally got the anti-rat poison he so desires: ESPN FPI ratings now have the Clemson Tigers, not Alabama, ranked #1. Of course, the Tide are still a virtually unanimous #1 in every poll and will undoubtedly be at the top of the CFP rankings again, but it’s something.

Finishing up The Citadel:

There are, of course, no Citadels remaining on the schedule. That was Saban’s underlying message. He’s not concerned Auburn is going to come out running the triple option. But he knows Auburn is capable of causing real trouble if Alabama doesn’t prepare well.

Then comes Georgia, an additional game in front of a hostile crowd against a team that has playoff aspirations of its own. Alabama’s hopes would probably survive a loss to AU, although a second straight defeat in the rivalry would be bitter venom for UA fans.

As I said in the postgame, whatever. It sounds like none of the injuries are serious, which is a good thing. Saban offered a little chalk talk on defending the veer, if you’re interested.

The Citadel actually blocked that up really well again particularly at the LB level. Thankfully, Deionte Thompson did his job.

So, Alabama is indeed expected to beat the hell out of Auburn.

Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-24.5): The Iron Bowl isn’t expected to be close, but it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you think the spread is a bit large here, I do not blame you, but we must remember that Alabama isn’t only 7-0 against SEC teams this season, it’s 7-0 having won just one of those games by fewer than 24 points. So you have to ask yourself if Auburn will be the second team to do it.

Spoiler: No.

This spread is the biggest in the series since the 2012 tilt that Alabama won 49-0, and the second largest ever. Auburn’s defense has a pulse this year, however.

The goose egg on the scoreboard boosted Auburn’s scoring defense into the top-10 nationally heading into this week’s Iron Bowl against top-ranked Alabama, a team that features the nation’s third-ranked scoring offense. Auburn is holding opponents to just 16.6 points per game this season, which is on pace for the best mark of Kevin Steele’s tenure as defensive coordinator and the best for an Auburn defense since 2006. Of course, the Tigers’ toughest test to date awaits them in their regular-season finale against Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Nick Saban’s team averages 48.7 points per game this season.

We need to fix that.

Hey, it’s time for somebody to write nonsense about the Iron Bowl again!

No one is crazy like us, y’all. No one.

People like to tell me that the Tigers and the Crimson Tide are like pro teams in Alabama, and that the Iron Bowl is our Super Bowl. That’s not true. Those are false equivalencies. There is nothing in the NFL that comes close to the societal importance of Alabama and Auburn football to this state.

You can thank your local writers for perpetuating the stereotype of people in Alabama with no lives outside of college football.

Coachin’ poachin’ season is firing up early this year.

Can y’all at least let us get this here national title first?

Eddie Jackson did Eddie Jackson things yesterday.

Get it, Eddie. He is quickly making a name for himself.

Last, SEC shorts understands Auburn very well.

They’d have no problem sawing off a leg to get an advantage.

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

Roll Tide.