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Jumbo Package: LSU poised to be the first sub-.500 defending champ in 53 years

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, everyone. It was a fine night on the hardwood for Nate Oats and company, who sit 3-1 despite extreme roster turnover. You can see the potential with this group.

In football news, take a moment to peruse this list of the worst defending national champions in college football history. The last defending champ to finish below .500 was Sparty, way back in 1967. LSU currently sits at 3-4 with a remaining slate of Alabama, Florida, and Ole Miss. Godspeed, Tigahs.

Saban plans on being on the sideline for Saturday’s scheduled beatdown.

SEC protocols state symptomatic infections — which Saban has — require isolation “for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms.” At least 24 hours must pass since the last fever without the help of medications.

Ten days from last Wednesday, if that’s the first day Saban showed symptoms, would be this Saturday but it’s not entirely clear which day he first showed signs of the virus.

Saban also mentioned the CDC’s revised quarantine guidelines, which will allow many players to return sooner after exposure with negative testing. That is a good thing.

FiveThirtyEight has a great piece on Mac Jones.

Jones faced the ambitious task of succeeding Tua Tagovailoa, one of the greatest and most popular players in school history.2 Suffice it to say, Jones has exceeded every expectation imaginable: He leads the nation in Total QBR (95.5, on track to be the highest single-season mark since at least 2004) and ranks second among all Power Five quarterbacks in that period in QBR against a five-man pass rush. He ranks a milder second in yards per attempt (12.02) and catchable attempt rate (85.0 percent).

Most recently, Jones responded to being called a “game manager” by Auburn QB Bo Nix with a career high five passing touchdowns in a 42-13 victory over the Tigers. It marked the seventh conference game in which Jones produced a QBR exceeding 95,3 giving him seven of Alabama’s top 25 quarterback performances in conference play since at least 2004. As ESPN’s Brad Edwards noted, only 15 players in the QBR era even have seven career games with a QBR that high.

That last tidbit about QBR is something. I have never been a huge fan of that metric because it tends to skew heavily toward running QBs. Mac dominating that number in that fashion is nothing short of incredible.

In case you missed it, the ACC decided to give Clemson and Notre Dame a week off on December 12, rather than have them play makeup games against Florida State and Wake Forest, respectively. Color SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey skeptical of the motive.

“We committed to playing a 10-game schedule, which is certainly unique to see some other decisions this week,” Sankey told CBS Sports. He referred to the ACC indicating “one direction and they changed at the last minute. ...

“We’re still moving forward with the opportunity for all 14 of our teams to play 10 games.”

With the ACC’s move, the Irish had been scheduled to play Wake Forest, and Clemson didn’t have a game. As a result of the schedule change, Notre Dame, Clemson and Miami will be judged on a nine-game conference schedule. Notre Dame holds the tiebreakers and has secured a spot in the game based on the changes as it plays one-win Syracuse on Saturday. A Clemson win over Virginia Tech Saturday would secure the other spot.

“I was surprised to see the announcement,” Sankey told CBS Sports. “It begs one question: If their two most highly ranked teams were, for instance, (ranked) five and six in the CFP Rankings, would this decision have been made?”

Sankey didn’t hold back, and he shouldn’t have. The ACC currently has two of the top four seeds in the College Football Playoff rankings. They are effectively saying that Notre Dame and Clemson have done enough. Imagine being Miami, with only one loss this season. Yes, they lost to Clemson, but should Clemson drop another game, the Hurricanes could bump them from the title game. The ACC decided to give Clemson one fewer chance to lose. On top of that, Miami still has a game against North Carolina scheduled for December 12. If Clemson did slip up this weekend against Virginia Tech, does Miami now get to cancel that one so that they aren’t at a bye week disadvantage against the Irish? Would Clemson then be required to play North Carolina in their place, and would the Tar Heels agree to that?

Also, neither Wake Forest nor Florida State were likely to pull upsets on December 12, but might one of them have played close enough to give the committee pause in the final rankings? This decision was made for competitive reasons, and don’t think for a minute that the conference brass won’t be rooting hard for Clemson in the championship game. The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and I really hope the committee doesn’t end up rewarding it.

Last, check out this caller to Jeremy Pruitt’s radio show.

Philip, eh? He wouldn’t happen to be a 450 lb. Jabba the Hut doppelganger with a Krispy Kreme addiction, would he?

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

Roll Tide.