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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher speak ahead of Saturday’s contest

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, everyone. Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher held a teleconference yesterday ahead of Saturday’s contest, and Alabama should be seeing Charles Kelly and Christian Barmore back on the sideline.

And on the defensive front, Christian Barmore has practiced all week after missing the Missouri win with knee injury Saban previously described as minor.

“We’re hopeful he’ll be able to contribute in the game as well,” Saban said Wednesday evening.

The third-year sophomore had been part of the rotation on the defensive line after seeing success last year in pass-rush situations. Six of his 26 tackles were behind the line of scrimmage including two sacks and five additional quarterback pressures.

If Barmore can take the next step and push the pocket like he did last year but on a more consistent basis, he and Will Anderson are going to be hell to deal with, let alone the rest of the dudes across the front.

Jimbo is downplaying this game as a measuring stick.

When a reporter later in the call framed a question by noting Fisher had “mentioned the game was a measuring stick,” the coach interrupted with a clarification.

“No, I was asked that,” Fisher said with a chuckle.

It was a comment from Fisher that seemed to reinforce the gap that still exists between the two programs, and Fisher’s apparent reluctance to be measured up to Alabama at this point in his Aggies tenure.

I don’t know why Jimbo cares if people use this game as a progress report. His seventy-five million dollars are guaranteed anyway.

Meanwhile, Saban was chewing some ass through the media, as he is wont to do, about the lack of intensity and execution in the second half.

“When we play a good team like Texas A&M,” Saban said, “That is capable, with a quarterback, of coming back in the game, 28-3 or whatever the score was [at halftime] — game ain’t over then! Not when there’s two quarters left to play! Aight?

“So that’s the thing I was most disappointed in. So if I was most disappointed in it, that’s the thing we need to improve on the most.”

This is usually a very good sign that he thinks the team is good.

The playoff committee will only have one set of rankings before Thanksgiving this year.

Like everything else in sports in 2020, the first College Football Playoff ranking has been pushed back.

Bill Hancock told ESPN the first ranking will not debut until the of Nov. 24.

The original plan was to debut the rankings Nov. 17. With the change - and the final ranking on Dec. 20, it will be the fewest number of weekly rankings of the payoff, according to the report.

So, the SEC will have played almost the whole season before the rankings are out, while Pac 12 teams will have played three games. That should be interesting.

Speaking of the Pac 12, Larry Scott wants his autobid for this year.

I can only imagine the laughs that Sankey and Bowlsby got from that request.

Marlon Humphrey got paid.

Attaboy, Hump.

Last, it’s behind a paywall, but ran across this on Bama’s 247 site. There is a poster over there handled “Ghost Charter” who apparently has it on good authority (aka A Trusted Poster) that we have been making up the meltdown comments.

Every week. For 12 seasons.

I didn’t know meltdown truthers existed, but maybe it’s a thing?

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.