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Jumbo Package: Unanimous #1 Alabama favored by 24 over Auburn

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. It’a hard to believe that we are already at week nine of the SEC season, but here we are. Michael Casagrande has a few last notes from Kentucky.

— The third interception of Jones’ season came with the following review from Saban. “No disrespect to Mac,” Saban said, “but we’re getting a little greedy. The guy had [DeVonta Smith] cut off and really it was probably not a — I call them ‘hope’ throws. The guy’s got him covered, so we’re gonna throw it up anyway and hope he catches it.”

— DeVonta Smith looked right at home returning the first punt of his career in a moment that certainly created some anxiety among the viewership. Surtain did a good job of hands up, not blocking-blocking to help create an edge for Smith’s 41-yard return in the third quarter.

Saban’s opinion matters and mine does not, but I don’t have a problem with Mac making the decision to give Smith a chance in single coverage, particularly that far down the field. It was not a well thrown ball, and that was the problem. As far as the punt returns, please be careful, Smitty.

The ease with which Alabama handled Kentucky earned them all of the first place votes.

Alabama is now a unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, and Northwestern moved up to No. 11 on Sunday for its best ranking in 24 years.

For the second straight week, the top eight teams in the poll held their spots. The Crimson Tide received all 62 first-place votes after beating Kentucky 63-3, making Alabama the first unanimous No. 1 this season and the first team to do it in the regular season since 2018.

Let’s stay there, men. One last random note from this weekend: you have to appreciate art, and this tweet, folks, is art.

Just beautiful.

Moving on, Auburn is likely to be shorthanded for their scheduled whipping.

Running back Tank Bigsby, right tackle Brodarious Hamm and left tackle Alec Jackson all left Saturday’s win against the Vols with various injuries, the extent of which were not disclosed by head coach Gus Malzahn. Auburn’s eighth-year coach did, however, say that all three are currently “questionable” for next weekend’s trip to Tuscaloosa to take on top-ranked Alabama.

“All three of those guys couldn’t really finish the game,” Malzahn said. “All three of them, at this point, I’ll say will be questionable. That’s probably the best way to put it. We’ll see as the week goes on as they progress.”

They will probably sit all those guys and then enjoy a moral victory when they score a couple of points. It’s The Auburn Way.

The Tide is favored by four touchdowns.

No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-24): Auburn’s win over Alabama last season eliminated the Crimson Tide from the playoff picture. The Tigers were just 3.5-point underdogs, though, and face much longer odds this time around against an undefeated Alabama team that would still have a path to the playoff even with a loss.

Kudos to CBS for pointing out that the Iron Bowl will once again be meaningless. That’s happening with some regularity these days.

Tua was benched due to performance yesterday, but he will remain the starting QB.

“For me, it was a great learning experience,” Tagovailoa said. “I felt like I was holding the ball a little too long. Just got to get completions and got to get the ball in the hands of our guys to make plays for us.”

Tagovailoa connected with wide receiver DeVante Parker on a 3-yard touchdown pass for the first points of the game with 10:08 left in first quarter. Miami moved only 22 yards for the TD after an interception ended Denver’s first possession.

That kid will bounce back.

Last, the game is over when Derrick Henry decides it is.

His endurance continues to amaze.

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

Roll Tide.