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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban has neither the patience nor the time for your quarterback assumptions

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He’s in midseason form already.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">CFP National Championship presented by AT&amp;T - Alabama v Georgia

Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

PRACTICE REPORT FOR GAME WEEK IS FINALLY IN. Including, swoon, a three-tight end goalline set that makes my heart pitter-patter.

We’ve not seen much movement in the two-deep at all this fall. The staff seems to have decided quickly upon a rotation and has spent camp getting everyone on the same page.

That one is behind a Paywall. But Casagrande’s got you covered if you don’t have a 247 subscription:

It was as comfortable as 90 degrees could feel for the late-afternoon workout. Here’s what we saw:

-- Najee Harris looked strong making sharp cuts with the running backs. He missed a few weeks with a foot injury but has been steadily working back closer to playing form leading into Saturday’s game with Louisville.

Ryan Fowler had some quality guests on The Game yesterday, including Will Lowery — who previewed Louisville-’Bama — and CBS’ Barrett Sallee — who must have borrowed my painkillers, because he earnestly argued for Ole Miss having the potential to beat Alabama. (I broke my foot yesterday assembling IKEA furniture: In the annals of manliness, it wasn’t my finest moment.)

Here’s an outstanding guide on cord-cutting and streaming without impacting too much of your CFB viewing. I did it for three years, and honestly, there wasn’t much of a difference in experience. In fact, it was a little more convenient than satellite, if not as convenient as cable. Also, it’s significantly cheaper than either.

LOL. Sabin on Saban’s cat-and-mouse game of dissembling, obfuscation, and treating reporters like mushrooms (kept in the dark, and fed with sh**):

“I know that’s hard when you guys... You believe the written word,” he said to the reporters in his midst. “You believe the written word, even though sometimes, I don’t know if you can believe the written word that I read. From you.”

This is the football Oz Saban has created in Tuscaloosa, where he makes certain the window inside his program never offers a complete, panoramic view of the Crimson Tide...

...With less than a week before the opener against Louisville, Saban refused to tip his hand Monday. The coach playfully dodged the media’s fusillade of questions about the quarterback situation, sidestepping five that came at him in quick succession.

When asked if the plan was to play both Hurts and Tagovailoa, Saban turned mischievously coy.

”Nobody said that,” Saban said. “I mean, I don’t know where did that come from, just to be clear?”

Related to that proposition, and covered somewhat yesterday in our depth chart release piece, make no assumptions about anything based upon it, especially with regards to quarterback play.

The depth chart did however show that Jaylen Waddle has worked his way into the equation. You can’t keep that guy sidelined. He’s been named as a breakout new face for 2018:

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama: The Tide are as talented at the wide receiver position as they’ve ever been under Nick Saban with Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy returning as sophomores, but Waddle is forcing himself into the equation as that fourth receiver. He’s so dynamic in space and such a burner as a slot guy that Waddle will factor into this offense immediately.

Even including the pre-wire poll era, this is the best decade by any one program in history. Nice historical piece by Forde putting it in perspective:

The only other school and coach that can claim five national titles in a 10-season span is Minnesota and Bernie Bierman in the 1930s and ’40s, but the first two of the Gophers’ championships (1934-35) came before the wire-service poll era.

I’m going to call this show “Strictly for the Birmingham Folks”

Former Alabama quarterback and Heisman finalist in 1994 Jay Barker will return to Tuscaloosa and the airwaves with a brand new show on Tide 102.9/100.9 the home of Alabama Sports.

Barker led the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 1992 under legendary head coach Gene Stallings and the winningest quarterback in Alabama history is looking to bring the same championship expertise with a two-hour program breaking down Alabama and college football.

The 1994 SEC Player of the Year, winner of the 1994 Johnny Unitas Award, and member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame will launch the Jay Barker Show with Lars Anderson beginning Tuesday August 28 starting at 12 p.m.

First episode is today. I’m not a terrible fan of Barker’s glib analysis but maybe Lars is worth listening to? Or, maybe Jay will be unleashed somewhat when he’s not on the cesspit that is JOX? Someone let me know.

Nick Saban’s presser covered everything from Louisville (well-coached, talented, etc.) to quarterbacks (don’t f’n ask me about them). Interestingly it appears as though Joseph Bulovas has won the PK job with Austin Jones handling kick offs. Bulovas was believed to have the longer leg and Jones the more accurate one. I think, for good and ill, this one is probably your season-long unsettled competition.

How this works into the new fair catch rules is anyone’s guess. We’ll find out Saturday.

For those interested in a look behind enemy lines, Louisville Cardinals’ coach Bobby Petrino also held his Monday press conference. After two weeks of bulletin board fodder issued by the Cards, Petrino’s coachspeak was A+ and he played it as straight as a Mormon at a DARE meeting:

...Great tradition, very well-coached team, with a lot of really good players. It’s a great challenge for us. We’re looking forward to it. We’re excited. We need to have a good week of practice, good week of preparation—not just practice, but the entire week of preparation, and the meetings and the studying, and really understanding. It seems like we’ve been working for this game for a long, long time, so it’s nice to finally get here and get the week going.”

Man, burn down everything in Waco and start all over again with a new Baylor.

This makes me sad: the Aggie and Shorty series is going to wind up being the Iron Bowl of the 21st century — solid decades between appearances. Last week we covered A&M turning down Texas. Now, it’s Texas’ turn to bloc-out the Aggies:

Chip Brown reported for Horns247 this week that Texas is working on lining up home-and-homes with Georgia, Penn State and Clemson. From his report:

Currently, Texas has marquee non-conference opponents lined up through 2027. The source said a home-and-home with Georgia would be after that — most likely 2028 and 2029.

Texas has also been in talks with Clemson and Penn State about a possible home-and-home series in 2030 and 2031, said the source, adding that a series with Penn State might be more likely for 2030 and 2031.

If the Georgia and Penn State series come to pass, the earliest UT-A&M would get back on the docket is 2032. The Longhorns and Aggies last played in 2011. This means the majority of the players in a hypothetical 2032 reunion wouldn’t have even been born the last time the two sides met on the field.

I’m honestly not sure at this point who will bury the hatchet first and resume at least a few appearances in their series: KU-MU’s Border War or A&M-UT’s Thanksgiving manna from heaven. Conference realignment has made us the poorer for the loss of these, and other more obscure, rivalries.

Gather ‘roun chil’ren and lemme tell you about a time when Arkansas-Texas and Nebraska-Colorado was a thing...

We’ll have more as it happens. Roll Tide.