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Jumbo Package: Alabama football #1 per ESPN FPI, Lunardi pegs Tide hoops as a 4 seed

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Joe Lunardi updated his offseason bracketology, and Alabama is now a projected 4 seed after losing Jaden Shackelford and Josh Primo. Imagine thinking a few years ago that the Tide would be picked to be a Sweet Sixteen team going into a season after losing four starters plus a couple of key reserves.

ESPN’s updated FPI has Alabama at the top.

Can the Crimson Tide win another one with a new-look team? ESPN’s FPI points to Alabama’s national title chances at 45.6%, second nationally among contenders (Clemson). Nick Saban is used to this and another elite-level recruiting class means the cupboard continues to be stocked with the type of premiere players needed to get it done. Rising sophomore quarterback Bryce Young assumes a leadership role along with veteran running back Brian Robinson, who will get RB1 carries for the first time in his career. Alabama made crucial hires along the offensive line and at OC hoping to maintain its level of superiority in those areas.

Yes, they can. Will they? We shall see. Athlon went out on a limb and predicted a final of Alabama vs Clemson.

Phil Steele is a believer in the Aggies this season.

“I think it’s definitely Texas A&M, and I would put Texas A&M into that first tier,” Steele said during an interview with Chris Gordy of the Locked on SEC Podcast. “When I talked to (head) coach Jimbo Fisher last year, towards the end of the year — I was going over his offensive line with him for the Joe Moore Award — and he was telling me that despite as good as Texas A&M’s offensive line was last year with the five returning starters, he said, ‘Phil, we’re going to lose four starting offensive linemen. But we’re going to be more athletic, we’ll probably have more NFL prospects, this may even be a better offensive line this year.’ And they get to play (five) games, prior to playing Alabama. So the offensive line will have plenty of time to get in shape, prior to that game.

Jimbo thinks the OL will be better after losing four starters, eh? Good luck with that one.

RB coach Robert Gillespie has the pedigree.

Fourteen running backs eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in college football last season. Two of them came from Gillespie’s unit at North Carolina. Michael Carter led the ACC and ranked No. 4 in the nation with 1,245 rushing yards while his teammate, Javonte Williams, ranked No. 6 in the nation with 1,140 yards. North Carolina was the only team with two 1,000-yard rushers last season, a statistic made more impressive by the fact they only played in 11 games apiece.

AJ McCarron spoke with reporters at his free football camp in Mobile.

During the question-and-answer session with his campers on Saturday, the former St. Paul’s Episcopal football and baseball star was asked if he was going to take Ryan’s job.

“Well,” McCarron answered after a pause, “I’m always ready to play.”

That boy has never lacked confidence.

Last, what in the Barn hell was going on in Tuscaloosa yesterday?

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

Roll Tide.