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Jumbo Package: Tide #2 according to ESPN’s way-too-early FPI

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. As mentioned yesterday, spring sports are in full swing this weekend, starting today with softball at 12:15 pm competing in the Hillenbrand Invitational out in Tucson. The ladies play two today, and links to the live streams can be found here. Later, the Gym Tide will host Florida at 7:30 pm on SEC Network.

ESPN’s first FPI rankings came out, and Clemson is number one.

This is something you won’t see in any of the preseason polls. The SEC has placed 10 teams in FPI’s preseason top 20.

Let that sink in for a minute.

The SEC has three of the top five teams in the country, five of the top 10 and half of the top 20!

The 10th-best SEC team (Missouri) is better than the second-best ACC team (Florida State) and the second-best Big 12 team (Texas).

I’m not sure that the SEC is going to be that much better than everyone, but seriously, y’all, you can pencil in Oklahoma and Clemson right now. They really don’t play nobody.

Alabama is the heavy favorite to come out of the SEC again and Kirby will have Georgia right in the thick of it, so the hacks can go ahead and prewrite their lamentations over the lack of parity in the sport that you will again be reading this December.

Michigan (Ranked No. 5)

Similarly to LSU, Michigan being in the top 10 makes sense, but we would drop the Wolverines a few slots. They have to replace a tremendous amount of defensive talent, starting in the front seven. Also, under new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, they have to prove their offense is ready to take another step forward, particularly in the passing game. Lastly, it sounds like beating a dead horse, but the Wolverines still haven’t won enough big games under Jim Harbaugh to justify being placed this high.

What? Michigan is overrated? That never happens.

Hey, A Day is only two short months away! The most anticipated battle will be at linebacker.

Moses (6-3, 233) was a second-team All-America last year. He likely will replace Wilson as the play-caller in the middle. Joshua McMillon 6-3, 238, fifth-year senior) was a backup in the middle last year and could fill that role behind Moses.

The primary question is the weakside spot. Markhail Benton (6-2, 231, soph) and Jaylen Moody (6-2, 227, soph) were regulars on special teams and saw action in the rotation last year. Most, however, expect sophomore Ale Kaho (6-1, 218) to be the man. He was late arriving last year, but showed up well on special teams and in limited playing time at linebacker.

It will be particularly interesting to see who takes the reins in the middle. Moses is the upperclassman so he’s the most logical choice, but he likely plays Sam or Will in the NFL. Moody is probably the most prototypical Mike on the roster, but is he ready?

This list should feed your inner Gump.

Yep, that’s four SEC foes with double digit losing streaks against the Tide.

Last, the annual snoozefest known as SEC Media Days is in Bammerham, again, Pawwwwl.

The Southeastern Conference announced Thursday its annual football media days will take place July 15-18, returning to the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - Wynfrey Hotel, which has hosted the event all but once since 2001.

The SEC Network and ESPN will again broadcast the four-day event.

Saban speaks on Wednesday the 17th.

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

Roll Tide.