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Jumbo Package: Pundits are at it again. Could Alabama beat the Raiders?

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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

Happy Monday, everyone. After a supremely satisfying beatdown in Baton Rouge that exemplified the chasm between this Alabama team and the rest of the SEC West, the rat poison is in overdrive as Yahoo wonders if this team could beat an Oakland Raiders squad that has offloaded Amari Cooper along with most of its limited talent that other teams would covet. Normally I would say that it’s an asinine prospect, but it may be plausible since Oakland is taking the “tanking” to a new level. Your thoughts?

Poll

Could Alabama compete with this sorry Oakland team?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Yes
    (578 votes)
  • 58%
    No
    (812 votes)
1390 votes total Vote Now

I will say that if they are playing Nathan Peterman at QB, this Alabama team could probably compete with Buffalo. That is the most putrid looking offense I’ve ever seen in the NFL.

Moving on to Mississippi State, the opening line is an absurd 25.5 points against a team that ranks #12 overall and #7 defensively in the S&P+ metric, and for good measure Vegas has installed Alabama at 13.5 over Georgia in the SEC title game.

Your recaps and coronation pieces:

It was a rarefied exhibit of the art of American football, college division, with 102,321 patrons in Tiger Stadium glimpsing Alabama, whose 29-0 win made a team ranked all the way up at No. 3, LSU, look as if No. 3 were a ranking tens of notches beneath No. 1. It also reinforced that watching Alabama football in the year 2018 has become an exercise not for thrill-seekers — for there is no suspense — but for football connoisseurs.

College football is perfect in Death Valley, on the bucket list of places to see a game, especially one with these stakes. Here was where everyone wanted to be. The former Tiger Odell Beckham Jr. bopped on the sideline in a pink sweatshirt and pink shoes. The actor Vince Vaughn arrived with a police escort, which seemed a bit much, even to Vince Vaughn. A plane flew overhead trailing a banner: FREE DEVIN WHITE. As a cool evening fell, it was possible to talk yourself into an upset, to believe that maybe, just maybe, LSU had a shot.

Then the game began.

“They dominated us the whole night,” Orgeron said. “They whooped us. We’re not there [in the trenches]. … It wasn’t even close tonight.”

Who is close to this Alabama team? Maybe perennial College Football Playoff combatant Clemson. Maybe. Outside of Dabo Swinney’s team, everyone else appears susceptible to a severe beatdown.

This was the game that removed any small shreds of doubt about Alabama’s dominance. This was a quality opponent, on the road, in an absolutely berserk atmosphere, and it was a complete mismatch.

We’re not sure it needed proving to anybody else. And let’s be real, the idea of a showdown Saturday night sounded good, but if you’d watched the teams’ journeys to get to Tiger Stadium, it also seemed more than a little forced.

But the immediate context, from the Tide’s perspective, was of dominance against a soft schedule. At 7-1, with a very good defense and a No. 3 ranking in the initial College Football Playoff release, LSU at least presented a credible challenge. And that’s before accounting for the atmosphere, with decibel levels ratcheted somewhere past ridiculous.

But ridiculous also describes Alabama’s brilliance. Through nine games, no one has wanted ‘Bama. Does anyone?

That’s the primary takeaway -- that this is the best Alabama offense of all time, and it’s not even close. Tagovailoa has thrown two touchdowns in the first half of every game this season, routinely found wide receivers in the face of immense pressure and sliced apart a Tiger secondary that boasts -- and earned -- the moniker “DBU.”

It isn’t just Tagovailoa, though. It’s Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Irv Smith and Jaylen Waddle getting open for him. It’s Jonah Williams and Ross Pierschbacher up front doing the dirty work. It’s Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris not only pounding the rock, but wearing down one of the deepest and most physical defensive fronts in college football. Tagovailoa is a video game cheat code, and we’ve known that since he won the national title game last year. But he’s only one piece of an offensive equation unlike any that we’ve ever seen.

-- Offensive guards might get the least attention of anyone but Deonte Brown has been a difference maker since winning the job on the left side. He’s been a difference maker in the running game.

-- It’s been a while since the Wildcat QB look came out before Josh Jacobs ran straight up the gut on fourth-and-one in the second quarter.

Cornbread has certainly seemed to be a difference-maker. On the Wildcat, we have seen it this year, it’s just that Jalen was running it. Had he been healthy, that carry probably would have gone to him.

RIP to this poor stuffed animal. Seriously, this is worth your time.

Another great installment from Josh Snead and team. These folks are a pretty funny follow as well with their weekly “SEC Butt” rankings:

Hey, would you like some meltdown preview? Of course you would.

Posted by Alabama Nation on Sunday, November 4, 2018

The playoff picture appears to be coming into focus.

The star power would be off the charts. It would be a ratings bonanza. With four weeks left in the regular season, the College Football Playoff is coming into focus, and the potential teams are eye-popping.

As of now, with few obstacles in their way, a foursome of Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Notre Dame is very realistic, juggernauts and national brands that would actually bring a much-needed different flavor to the semifinals.

1. Alabama – The tour of devastation continued. Against LSU, the offense slowed to fairly normal speeds – but we can officially fast-forward Alabama into the SEC championship game now, and might as well push ‘em into the Playoff. Can anyone push ‘em once they get there?

2. Clemson – The Tigers dominated Louisville (then again, who hasn’t?), continuing their build-up toward a potential showdown (again) with ‘Bama.

3. Notre Dame – Ian Book helped the Irish fend off Northwestern’s second-half challenge. Now the challenges to an unbeaten season are dwindling.

4. Michigan – The Wolverines pounded Penn State and now look by far like the Big Ten’s best team. The defense, we knew. But hello, Shea Patterson and the offense are firing up, too.

Michigan still has to get through nemesis Ohio State, but with the Buckeyes fading a bit this seems like their year. The only way I can see this Alabama team struggling in a game is if they run into an opponent that can get consistent pressure while rushing only four. Michigan and Clemson present the two best chances for college football in that regard, though both have their warts in the form of Clemson’s mediocre back seven and Michigan’s inconsistent offense. I’d expect Alabama to be favored by double digits over both.

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

Roll Tide.