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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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We’re foregoing the 24 hour rule for at least 48 hours this time. Roll Tide!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 11 CFP National Championship - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This Jumbo Package is going to be short, but still full of revelry from Monday night’s game.

A loss to this Alabama team isn’t anything to look down upon, but it was the way it went down that should leave Buckeye fans scratching their collective heads. It was the known superstars of the roster, with wideout DeVonta Smith and running back Najee Harris that made most of the biggest plays in the passing game.

The conventional big game thought of not allowing that big-name player to beat you went out the window the moment Alabama got the ball for the first time. Outside of Baron Browning’s strip-sack of Jones, the Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on its first five possessions. The trio made up each of the five, including the final four of the first half through the air.

The game got away from OSU in those key early drives and there were common themes in dissecting each of the four passing scores that put Alabama up for good.

This is a pretty neat article looking at the defense that Ohio State was in on a number of Alabama’s big plays, and why the Tide won each one of those.

Just last week, Jones and wide receiver DeVonta Smith were sitting next to a Heisman Trophy, both finalists for college football’s most prestigious individual award. Television cameras were pointed at them in an empty room of the Alabama football facility. They were mere minutes away from one player winning the trophy and the other losing it. It was awkward. Then, Saban came strolling in and said through his mask, “If you guys are going to fight over this, let’s get on with it.” The duo instantly cracked up.

“He does that all the time now,” Smith recalled Monday night. “He knows when to get on us to make us better, but he also knows when to make us laugh.”

ESPN put together a beautifully written long-form piece about how much Nick Saban seemed to enjoy this season and this team. It’s absolutely worth a few minutes of time to read.

Alabama’s blowout win over Ohio State on Monday night was the least-watched national championship game in College Football Playoff history.

ESPN said Tuesday that 18.7 million people watched the game across ESPN’s various platforms. That’s a lot of people, of course. But it’s also more than six million fewer people than watched LSU beat Clemson for the national title on Jan. 13, 2020.

The number of people who watched Monday night’s game is also fewer than the number of people who watched each of the semifinals on Jan. 1. ESPN said that approximately 19.2 million people watched Ohio State’s Sugar Bowl win over Clemson, while 18.8 million people watched Alabama’s Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame.

Alabama done broke college football.

And I LOVE it. Sucking all the joy out of other teams and their fans is exactly how I like it.

On Monday morning after the Crimson Tide’s 52-24 win over Ohio State to win the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Saban was asked how close he was to hiring a new offensive coordinator and if he expects any other coaches to find a new job.

“We always let you know those things when they happen,” Saban said via Zoom. “I can’t make any predictions about our staff. I think we have a wonderful staff. I like the chemistry on our staff. We’re happy for Sark. I don’t know what other opportunities will be out there for our coaches. We’ll just have to wait and see. I can’t answer that. It’s an ongoing process for us to find the right offensive coordinator. We’re certainly in the process of doing that.”

In other words... Chill out. Saban will find his new offensive coordinator in his own time. There’s still plenty of moves that are going to be made in the NFL, and who knows who all will come available.

Another 200-yard performance for DeVonta Smith, who pulled the trick for the third time this season and fifth time in his career. Three more touchdown grabs moved Smith’s single-season mark to 23 for the campaign. In addition to taking over as the SEC career leader in receiving yards with 3,965, Smith also surpassed Amari Cooper for the top spot on UA’s single-season receiving yardage and career receptions lists during the game.

With Smith sidelined for nearly all of the second half, Jones made good use of John Metchie, Jaylen Waddle, Jahleel Billingsley, Slade Bolden and Xavier Williams. In Smith’s absence, the quintet combined to catch nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. It’s another A here.

Alabama’s second half performance really was absolutely phenomenal, considering DeVonta Smith was out, John Metchie was wincing in pain with an ankle problem, and Jaylen Waddle could barely change directions. Slade Bolden and Xavier Williams picked up the slack, and the Alabama offense just kept on humming. That’s a credit to those guys, and a huge endorsement for Mac Jones and Steve Sarkisian.

That’s all for today. Roll Tide!