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Jumbo Package: Tide at #5 in both polls after loss to Texas A&M

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Your greatest Crimson Tide news and notes.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game - Miami v Alabama Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. As you know, Alabama suffered a significant upset at the hands of Texas A&M on Saturday. Michael Casagrande’s recap:

— Plays like that kickoff return TD are difference makers when Alabama outgains A&M 522-379.

— The last team to beat Alabama and gain fewer yards than Texas A&M’s 379 was LSU in 2011 when the Tigers had 239 in the 9-6 overtime win in Tuscaloosa.

As usual, a close game comes down to a few plays, and it’s easy to point to that kickoff return as well as the interception in the end zone. So many little things would have resulted in an Alabama escape from another rough performance. They did not, and will hopefully improve from here.

The playoff is still well within their reach if they do get it together and play to their potential.

Iowa is No. 2, up one spot after winning a top-five matchup with Penn State. The Hawkeyes have their best ranking since they reached No. 1 in 1985.

No. 3 Cincinnati has its best ranking ever, and No. 4 Oklahoma moved up two spots after a come-from-behind victory against Texas in the Red River Showdown.

No. 5 Alabama had a run of 14 straight polls at No. 1 snapped. It is out of the top three for the first time since 2019.

Some are up in arms that Alabama didn’t fall further, but it really doesn’t matter at this point if you put them at 2 or 10. Alabama has one path to the playoff at this point: win out, and beat Georgia in Atlanta. Georgia is now going to get to play as the favorite, and funny enough should Alabama get there, they may have a bit of a psychological advantage as the underdog. Lots of ball left to play before we can even talk about such things, of course.

A lot of folks have wrung hands about play calling, but Saban was focused on execution.

On issues in the red zone for the offense:

“Well, you watched the same game I watched. We threw incomplete passes. We had guys open. We ran a bad route. A guy picked the ball off. We had some drops in critical situations. We had a drop at the end of the game when we could have went 2-minute and it would have been a first down and we had started to move the ball. So I don’t know that anything went wrong. We just didn’t execute. We didn’t throw and catch the ball like we needed to. We didn’t run it effectively enough. Some of those situations, you know you could say if we could run the ball effectively in those situations maybe we wouldn’t have those issues throwing it. So you could second-guess everything that didn’t work. But the issue is we just didn’t execute. We had trouble with their pressures in the first half, especially. The quarterback got sacked several times on third down. So there’s a lot of issues.”

Film study is going to be hell this week, as it should be.

Check out this little nugget.

Alabama’s loss was a boon for sportsbooks. The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas said Texas A&M knocking off the Crimson Tide produced its biggest win of the college football season so far. Caesars Sportsbook vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said A&M beating Alabama outright Saturday produced multimillion-dollar decisions in favor of the house. Among the big bets on the Crimson Tide was a $569,738.60 three-team money-line parlay on Ohio State (-1,600), Cincinnati (-7,000) and Alabama (-1,000). The bet, which was the largest college football wager this season reported by Caesars, would have paid a net $105,656.

Dude had a bad day with that bet.

NFL notes:

Last, check this out:

How awesome is that?

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

Roll Tide.