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Jumbo Package: The Most Valuable Leg in the State is ahead of schedule

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The rest of him is pretty good too.

Heisman Trophy Presentation

Tua 2020

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

This is what you’re here for, so let’s not bury the lede.

“He’s doing well,” Saban said during his press conference. “I think he’s probably ahead of schedule. He’s been able to take a lot of reps. He’s been able to throw the ball from the pocket. He can run. I don’t think he’s 100 percent change of direction yet, but he’s already going 100 percent on the gravity treadmill. He’s been able to practice, and he’s made really, really good progress. So we’re encouraged by that.”

While the Most Valuable Appendages are ahead of schedule, Cornbread is still hindered. He began running this week, but he’s still not healthy. There’s no question that he has been the straw that stirs the drink for this offensive line — it’s just better with a healthy Deonte Brown. (Link below in presser.)

Spend enough time around Oklahoma’s football facility, and you sense the Sooners don’t care.

They don’t care they’re two-touchdown underdogs to No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal. They don’t care about the Nick Saban aura, the Tua Tagovailoa era or the error of their ways.

To be specific, that would be an epically bad defense. So bad that the defense put forward by No. 4 Oklahoma is the worst to every play for a national championship (based on total yards allowed in a season, beginning with the BCS era in 1998).

When they don’t get a stop against the offense they’ll care. I’m going on record again — if Alabama’s offense is healthy, the Sooner defense will not make a single first-half stop against the first team offense. Period.

#DirectorateOfHotTakes

More on the historically bad defense OU trots out to the Orange Bowl.

Welp.

Highly touted quarterback Justin Fields has notified Georgia he intends to transfer, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Though Fields showed a few flashes of his talent, they came mostly in blowout games and it wasn’t clear that he had a path to more playing time next season with Fromm returning for his junior season in 2019.

Fields was also the subject of racially bigoted comments made by a Georgia baseball player during a Sept. 29 win against Tennessee, which led to that player’s dismissal from the program after an internal investigation.

There’s not a lot of positive to say about how Fields’ brief UGA tenure played out — his two most memorable moments on campus were an incident of racism and being put into an impossible situation with the worst coaching decision you’ll ever see.

In fact, let’s watch it again. LOL

That’s two No. 1 QB prospects that have transferred from UGA in the last 8 months. I doubt Alabama is anywhere on the radar, not with Tua, Lia, Hatcher, Mac and Tyson, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out and what the long-term impediments to recruiting may be — the racism stuff is particularly toxic. And the mismanagement of Fields’ abilities and the depth chart may be almost as bad for the program. @what a pity@

But, don’t tell the Big Dawgs that — in Dawgville, it’s all about how special Jake Fromm is!

‘Lia picked up a bit of hardware yesterday:

Thompson senior and Alabama quarterback commit Taulia Tagovailoa has been named the nation’s best high school back by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta.

And, speaking of transfers, Georgia native and 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon is leaving the Wolverines. It was thought to be a three-team race last year with Georgia, Alabama and Michigan as the finalists. Coincidentally, Alabama has need of some depth on the d-line next season — even if he is a bit of a drama queen.

One player on the DL that may not be available is Eyabi Anoma, who missed practice yesterday to “sort some things out.” You can make your own guesses as to what that may be; your first one is probably correct.

Nick Saban was again nominated for AP Coach of the Year. Again, he did not win — that honor went to the Irish’ Brian Kelly and the 18 junior and senior starters his team returned against the nation’s 48th-ranked schedule. Brian Kelly now has as many COTY awards as Nick Saban — fully earned, right? #Shade

Slam the brakes on the CFP expansion — the pushback behind the curtains must have been intense. Less than a week after Bowlsby and his lackeys in the B12/B1G were whining about inclusion, getting to a field four was hard enough and that is plenty of teams for now.

“Four works,” Bowlsby told USA TODAY by text message on Sunday, reiterating a point he has consistently made. “It was hard to get to four with lots of compromises. We should be thoughtful, but shouldn’t refuse to discuss.”

You can tell this dude is definitely an administrator. His approach to CFP expansion could not be a more textbook case of over-administrating: identify a non-problem, exaggerate its importance, form a committee to study it, then either make no changes or screw everything up.

I love this story on the Jalen Hurts appreciation tour:

“Yeah, Jalen is a special guy,” said running back Damien Harris. “Everybody knows that. The character he embodies, the way that he has handled this entire situation has been remarkable. Like I said, he shows up every single day and he just tries to be the best version of himself no matter what the circumstances are. I think that has been shown. Whenever we needed him to step up in the Georgia game, he came up and did it and he didn’t even flinch.

“So, just the character he has shown and the resiliency and everything he has done continuing to improve and the circumstances he’s been in is truly impressive.”

Here’s Saban’s full presser yesterday:

We’ll see you later today with a bowl game preview and some ‘Bama basketball.

Roll Tide