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Jumbo Package: Can Miami sneak up on Alabama football?

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Ohio State vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, everyone. Tonight marks the beginning of SEC football, as Josh Heupel will try and avoid an embarrassing loss to Bowling Green in his debut as Tennessee’s head coach.

Former SB Nation writer Alex Kirshner penned an outstanding piece of Gump, ranking SEC teams by how badly Saban has tanked them from their 2002-2006 standards in both on-field performance and recruiting.

Florida was the last dynasty-like team before Saban built up his monster at Alabama, and his first national title with the Tide came directly at the Gators’ expense when Bama beat UF in the 2009 SEC Championship. Tim Tebow crying on the sidelines that day was a sign of things to come, and Bama has twisted the knife by repeatedly beating Florida in future SEC Championships. The Gators’ loss in ’09 was the first of four (and counting) to the Tide on the same stage. If anything, BASH understates Florida’s Saban-related suffering. After Urban Meyer exited, the Gators hired two onetime Saban assistants who went on to get fired as head coaches in Gainesville: LSU defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain. Saban wreaked havoc on Florida on the field and in the hiring department.

In Georgia’s case, the Bulldogs could have won up to three national titles since 2012 (as opposed to their actual zero) had the Tide not been standing in their way.

Tennessee is victim #3, meaning that Nick basically killed the SEC East. I told you that it was outstanding. This is inject-into-your-veins stuff leading up to the season opener. artist J.D. Crowe made this beautiful cartoon.

There will never be another like those guys. What teammates they were.

Saban held his typical Wednesday press conference, but it was rather brief.

— Saban said players are “very much excited about having a game to play” on Saturday. Saban added it is important for players to keep the right mindset. “We can practice a lot mentally, and I think that can have a huge impact on how we can play and how we can get off to what we hope is a good start,” he said.

He didn’t say an awful lot, but I have embedded the full presser at the bottom.

Barrett Sallee thinks the Canes may sneak up on Alabama.

King is one of 10 offensive starters returning for the Hurricanes. Others include running back Cam’Ron Harris and wide receiver Michael Harley, both of whom led the team in their respective categories in 2020, plus a veteran offensive line. The lone newcomer is former Oklahoma star Charleston Rambo, a potential playmaker in his own right. What’s more, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is back for his second year and can claim success against a Saban-coached defense from his time in this role at Auburn — particularly from 2013-14.

If King and Lashlee can pop a few big plays, especially early, it’ll put a ton of pressure on the young and inexperienced Tide offense to play catch-up.

He’s not wrong that an early deficit would be less than ideal for a young offense. Here’s to a quick start.

Miami coach Manny Diaz is highly concerned about John Metchie.

“I think he would have been No. 1 on maybe 95% of the teams in the country,” Diaz said. “Strong hands, contested catches, route runner but the thing we’ve used as an example is the way he blocks is as impressive as anything.”

Metchie was No. 2 in receptions last year, trailing only Smith’s 117 with 55 of his own. He also stretched defenses as a big-play threat with catches of 40-plus yards in four games including a 78-yard touchdown against Texas A&M.

“He’s a problem,” Diaz said.

Ben Flanagan put together a “where are they now from the 2009 national championship game.

Alabama alum Kaitlan Collins was gushing about Mac Jones on CNN.

Last, check this out.

You can check out their entire Mac Jones line here if you like. They do have options with Mac in uniform.

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

Roll Tide.