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Jumbo Package: Saban asks for fan support, Lane Kiffin plays mind games

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Alabama will host Southern Miss tomorrow as 45 point favorites, with the goals to work on some weaknesses and stay healthy for the rest of the SEC slate. In the home opener, we saw a somewhat listless Tide team against Mercer, and Nick Saban wants the fans to be a part of ensuring that they get a spirited performance this weekend.

“Let’s just get some practice on what we got to do to fill the stadium, have some spirit and passion for our team — we don’t have a perfect team right now, we’re a growing and developing team — so we can get to where we want to go.

“I’d appreciate that from everybody if we can do that. I’ll do the best I can to get these guys to grow and develop and do their part. But let’s everybody be a part of the team. We’ve always been that way.”

It was the second time this week Saban has asked for passion from fans. He said during his Wednesday news conference that it would be “helpful” to players for fans to bring energy and enthusiasm.

To paraphrase:

The preseason rankings appear to be worse than usual.

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs appear to be college football’s supreme elite after the first quarter of the college football season and the experts in Vegas seem to think so, too. The College Football Playoff runs through the top-tier of the Southeastern Conference this fall after a wild first three weeks resulted in 19 nationally-ranked teams suffering losses, the most ever in the AP Poll era at this point of the regular season.

If nothing else, this season appears to be a little more wide open in terms of the last couple of playoff spots. Usual suspects Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma have looked a little sketch against teams that contenders should dominate, though there is plenty of season left.

Chris Doering thinks Alabama is overrated, though he doesn’t tell us who he’d rank higher.

Next week’s opposing head coach, good old Lane Kiffin, is up to his shenanigans.

“I don’t know that. As we know, they have a great team, great players. I wish the media would stop upsetting Coach Saban by saying that this a weak team, they’ve got weaknesses. I mean, they went on the road into a top-10 team into The Swamp and won with a freshman quarterback, got an early lead and hung on at the end. And now all of a sudden, it’s not a good team and they’ve got weaknesses and can’t stop people. That don’t really help us a lot being around there and knowing how that place works. This is a great team. Like Coach Beamer said about South Carolina playing Georgia, a lot of 5-stars out there. These guys more than anybody are loaded with them and now you have a second problem. Now, they get to go and pick the best players from other places, like the receiver from Ohio State, the linebacker from Tennessee, so now more than ever, you’re gonna go into a place with phenomenal players all over the place.”

Gee, I wonder why Lane would want the media talking up Alabama as some invincible team, and would be sucking up to the Mannings, before coming to Tuscaloosa for a game that Arch Manning will be attending?

Last, a comparison for you: Mac Jones, Alabama vs. Sam Darnold, USC.

I have never seen anything more on #brand for Pac 12 football in my life. Says it all, doesn’t it?

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

Roll Tide.