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Is Landon Dickerson going to be Nick Saban’s best center at Alabama?

LSU vs Alabama Photo by Kent Gidley/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Let’s start out with a fun video breakdown from Murf Baldwin looking at the route-running techniques DeVonta Smith used to beat LSU’s Derek Stingley on his monstrous receiving day.

You can skip the first 3 minutes if you’ve already got your fill of laughing at Ed Orgeron losing it on the sidelines.

While you’re watching, check out that very first play where Smith caught the quick slant and then got clocked: look up to the top of the screen, and John Metchie absolutely breaks the poor sap’s ankles and would have had a walk in TD if Mac Jones hadn’t already been throwing the slant.

So, credit to Stingley there, I guess. If he had actually been anywhere close to covering the slant route, Jones would have looked away from the primary read and picked up an easy score. Big brain play by Stingley.

Speaking of LSU, I just HAVE to point out this goldmine that our own Roger Myers discovered last night before moving on to Arkansas.

Check out these quotes from before the game Saturday:

A patient, dual-threat offense can run it down Bama’s throat, carve em up on 3rd down in the short passing game, as well as really control the pace of the clock.

Alabama’s “Diet 2019 LSU” offense scores quickly, with short aggressive drives and fast tempo, yet that could be a an achilles heel if the Tigers can control the clock.

Example: if Bama’s first drive is a typically quick 2 minute passing touchdown giving them a 7-0 lead, then LSU must counter by running the football effectively, moving the chains repeatedly and scoring however, whenever we can...although I’m making a big call for longer, sustained drives to wear down this overrated Golding defense....if we can do it.

——

Because of two inconsequential mistakes, Stingley endured enough shit talk to fill up a Drew Carey comedy routine throughout the off-season. In fact, a few of the SEC Freshmen of the Year voters claimed Stingley’s Bama performance prevented them from voting for Derek over Bo Nix during last year’s awards season.

Watch Derek on every play, mano e mano with Smith and ready to bury the supposed top receiver.

Allowing 1 completion for 8 yards from 7 total, Stingley broke up 3 passes and forced 3 more incompletions due to his unbelievable coverage.

——

PREDICTIONS:

LSU WIN 31-29

LAST SECOND FIELD GOAL

-FINLEY: 367 YARDS, 3 TDs

Obviously, things didn’t quite play out that way. Here’s the follow-up piece dissecting what went wrong for LSU:

Now, because LSU’s culture is obsessed with the NFLSU movement, we can barely convince a player to stay for 3 years, leading to seasons lacking continuity, direction and bad roster management.

Offensive Tackle Shaadiq Charles needed to stay on campus...not only for LSU’s offensive line, but for Charles’ own career he needed another year....now with Washington, he’s been languishing 90% of the season on the sideline or at home after sadly being placed on IR with a season-ending injury.

Guard Adrian Magee (picked up as an undratfted free agent by the Saints) should’ve been convinced to stay....

How could LSU lose so many players to the opt-outs and transfers while Alabama hasn’t?

Bama’s team is mostly the same from last year, why didn’t Jalen Waddle opt out (he later suffered a season-ending injury Saban later acted petulant about on national television)????

DeVonta Smith surely could’ve opted out if Terrace Marshall, Kary Vincent Jr or Tyler Shelvin believed they could

That is... certainly a take.

Anyways, moving on to more important matters:

Cincinnati (8-0) is the only one still hanging around but having games COVID-cancelled from last Saturday and this Saturday won’t boost its image. It dropped a spot to No. 8 on Tuesday. This week’s game with No. 24 Tulsa would have been a data point in company speak but the Bearcats had coronavirus issues again. It will now play Tulsa in the Dec. 19 AAC title game as its last shot to impress instead of getting two shots to beat the Golden Hurricane.

BYU didn’t appear to be a contender at No. 13 last week before losing its undefeated season at Coastal Carolina.

Bottom line, the elites will remain the elites unless some kind of chaos beyond the current reach vaults Cincinnati into the field. The Power 5 is more like the Power 3 again with a two-bid league all but assured for only the second time in the seven years of the playoff.

In case you missed our coverage of the announcement of the CFB Playoff rankings last night, here’s a quick link.

Al.com put together this article that summarizes the chances of each team to make the playoffs really well, so give it a read if you need to catch up on the national implications. With Michigan and Ohio State getting cancelled, the Buckeyes will only get 5 games this year. They, yet again, will be the main source of consternation around the playoffs.

Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who has Alabama No. 1 among Power Five teams in scoring, was one of 10 SEC assistants announced Tuesday as a nominee for this year’s Broyles Award.

The award is presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Sark’s masterclass play design this year, blended with his adaptability to transitioning from Tua Tagovailoa to Mac Jones mid-season last year just might have put him above Lane Kiffin in my mind in terms of sheer as an offensive coordinator. It’s likely a long shot at this point, but I’d LOVE to keep him around for one more season in 2021 to see what he can do with Bryce Young.

4.] C Landon Dickerson

Previous: 4

LSU: Made his ninth straight start at center. Dominated both on the interior and while pulling out in front of Alabama runs that totaled more than 260 yards in the game. Didn’t surrender a sack or quarterback hurry and played penalty free. Graded out at 100 percent on assignments. Offensive player of the week honors from UA coaching staff.

Season to date: Nine starts at center, giving him 17 over the last two seasons. Has yet to allow a sack or quarterback hurry on the season. Offensive player of the week honors from UA coaching staff following Tennessee and LSU games.

Two Alabama players fell backward onto the turf at Tiger Stadium, and subsequently, both of those moments in the Crimson Tide’s 55-17 victory over LSU went viral. One was a one-handed catch in the end zone by wide receiver DeVonta Smith that gave UA a 45-14 lead.

The other didn’t result in points on the scoreboard — or a flag like was hoped. It was an instance many missed during the game but was later posted to social media of center Landon Dickerson “flopping” after D-lineman Neil Farrell Jr. got in his face and bumped his face mask.

“It’s late contact after the play. Usually, that can draw a penalty, but I think the refs may have saw it a little differently,” Dickerson joked with reporters during a Tuesday Zoom call. “It may go to review with the referees and stuff this week, but we’ll see what comes out of that.”

Meanwhile, Landon Dickerson is on his way to becoming an Alabama legend for his personality, and might well go down as the best center of the Saban era (which is a tall task, considering names like Ryan Kelly, Barrett Jones, and Evan Caldwell). His antics against LSU got him going viral multiple times.

Roll Tide!