Happy Monday, everyone. What a glorious weekend it was, as Alabama rolled into Red Stick and walked all over the Bayou Bengals. Michael Casagrande has a few extra notes from the game.
— Najee Harris was the star of the first quarter for Alabama. He was running with anger and a burst, attacking holes, then navigating the second and third levels with footwork. He finished the quarter with nine carries, 73 yards and two touchdowns. A veteran LSU beat writer came up to me at halftime incredulous as to why Harris was still at Alabama and not in the NFL with the skillset he displayed.
— Center Landon Dickerson is probably the most interesting center I’ve watched operate. He’s a monster in the trenches — strong as any lineman in recent memory. He’s also a next-level competitor. The way he two-hand pointed to the guilty party twice after drawing an LSU defensive lineman offside was honestly hilarious. He later went viral for a bit of a flop after the whistle.
Mike, you tell that LSU writer that NFL Draft evaluators blessed us with a fourth year of Najee and we are grateful. Landon Dickerson is a mauler, and running Harris behind him, Deonte Brown and Alex Leatherwood just isn’t fair.
There were plenty of standout performers on Saturday, but the night belonged to one DeVonta Smith. At least one of the usually insufferable talking heads is on board his Heisman train.
"If we're gonna really actually give the Heisman to the best player in America, I think @DevontaSmith_6 should start getting a little bit of love."@JoelKlatt is a fan of what the @alabamaftbl WR has done this season pic.twitter.com/QkbL5LFLZH— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 6, 2020
I laid out DeVonta’s case yesterday, and it’s tough to refute the argument that there is a bigger gap between him and the second best at his position than there is at QB or RB. Since Waddle went down, he has absolutely carried the passing game. Give the man the trophy.
Watching the Louisiana product light up the LSU defense was a bit too much to bear for Dacoacho.
“Our plan was, for most of the game, double team (Smith),” He said. “That was one of his times that we wasn’t. Then we got beat one on one, that’s nobody’s fault. We went into the game to stop No. 6 and you have to give them credit. Now, sometimes we had him doubled and he made some great big plays. It was just frustrating seeing a player have 300 yards in the first half.”
You just hate to see that.
What we didn’t hate to see was Gary Danielson and Brad Nessler losing their feed during the game. Sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl did a phenomenal job filling in.
Just a few thoughts. pic.twitter.com/kp70yeVSy7— Jamie Erdahl Buckman (@JamieErdahl) December 6, 2020
Classy words from her. That couldn’t have been easy, and she came across very well prepared when thrown into the fire.
Moving on, Alabama is a huge favorite in the ultimate trap game this Saturday.
Arkansas is a physical team that is playing hard for Sam Pittman. Alabama obviously needs to get out of there with a win, but just as important is to emerge healthy. Expect Mac Jones, Devonta Smith, and Najee Harris to exit this one as early as possible.
The Onion covered Nick Saban building a literal strawman with which to argue while quarantined.
“What the hell was that? Mac [Jones] had no time to throw the ball—not like those routes were worth a damn. Don’t give me that same stupid look you always do. You better make an adjustment at halftime.” At press time, the taped-together amalgamation of fabric and trash had been offered a new role as head coach at Michigan.
That is a quality last line, Onion.
Surprisingly, this next piece isn’ from The Onion.
The Georgia special teams coordinator interviewed for the Southern Miss job that ultimately went to Tulane offensive coordinator Will Hall, per sources. While Hall was long considered the front-runner for the job, the interview with Cochran went well and was considered to be a pleasant surprise.
Vanderbilt is in the early stages of its search following the firing of Derek Mason on Nov. 29. Although Cochran is considered a longshot for the Vanderbilt job, sources have indicated that he has had contact with at least one person involved with the search. It is too early to know whether Cochran will earn a formal interview with Vanderbilt.
A man needs to know his own limitations, Scott.
Last, Pat Forde is just putting it out there.
In the ACC, the desired result is Clemson avenging its loss to Notre Dame. That would leave both teams with a single defeat and probably get both in the playoff. In the Big Ten, the desired result would be Ohio State beating West champion Northwestern (6).
If either game game is close, could a borderline offensive holding flag, or a defensive pass interference, or a person foul call that favored the desired winner come into play? You’d hate to think so. But any conference willing to change its rules at this point is inviting a new level of cynicism. If a Northwestern defender so much as breathes heavily on Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (7) in a possible Big Ten title matchup, keep an eye out for a torrent of yellow flags.
As he notes, if you don’t want people asking questions about your integrity, don’t do things to openly benefit your best teams like cancel games to give them a competitive advantage or allow Ohio State to play for a division title without playing six games. You can bet the house on a money line bet for Clemson against Notre Dame.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.