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Jumbo Package: The Lane Train returns to the SEC

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Florida Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. As you have undoubtedly heard by now, Lane Kiffin has been hired as the next head football coach at Ole Miss. As Red Cup Rebellion notes, he is already building a staff. This should be fun.

The Tide held its annual awards banquet at which it selected the permanent captains.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings and safety Xavier McKinney were named the permanent team captains for this season. There were also a lot of awards handed out.

All four of those guys are outstanding choices. It’s a shame that the season worked out the way it did.

Saban talked about the Citrus Bowl

-- “Our team is disappointed with how the season ended,” Saban said, and it’s an opportunity to get back to the Alabama standard he’s mentioned all year.

-- This is about the future, so this game is about establishing that, Saban said.

-- On the topic of players skipping the game for the draft, Saban said guys will make individual decisions based on their situation and circumstances. They will focus on coaching everyone who wants to play. This has been a situation Alabama hasn’t faced, “but we’ll see how it goes.”

Yes, we will see. This seems like a great time to refresh Saban’s 2016 remarks about players passing up bowl games.

He’s exactly right. I have maintained all along that, if people just had to have an on-field national champion out of 128 schools, the best way to accomplish it would have been a plus one. Go back to the old bowl tie-ins so that all of the major bowls are a big deal, then choose two finalists with that additional data point.

While you’re at it, go ahead and scrap the boring conference championship games played in NFL stadiums and add a 13th regular season game for everyone. In a plus one format, they are no longer needed.

There is significantly more early coverage of this game from Michigan writers than our own.

Jim Harbaugh has a huge Ohio State monkey on his back and, while a win over #13 (LOL) Alabama won’t help his 1-14 record against top ten teams at Michigan, rest assured that he wants this one. Badly.

Last, Tua made a tweet and people lost their minds.

Read into that as you see fit. Everyone else is.

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

Roll Tide.