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Jumbo Package: Will Alabama be on upset alert in Austin this fall?

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. The Gym Tide are in Auburn tonight at 8pm and will be televised on ESPN2. Men’s basketball will host Baylor tomorrow in what will be a very difficult matchup, and we will be along with coverage later.

Despite the fact that they are coming off the worst season in program history since the 1950s, 247sports has Texas as a darkhorse playoff contender.

Despite a dissapointing campaign in Steve Sarkisian’s first season, there’s reason to believe Texas will get it together with a difference-maker under center in 2022 in Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers, not to mention the return of Doak Walker and Heisman candidate Bijan Robinson in the backfield. The Longhorns might have the biggest ask of any team in non-conference play come September, as they’ll host Alabama in the Crimson Tide’s first game against a Power Five opponent since their loss in the national title game. There’s also getting over the hump of beating Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown, as the Longhorns have not beaten their rival since 2018.

Sark has some momentum with a top 5 recruiting class and Ewers coming in, but Ewers has also never thrown a pass in college. The hype is off the charts and Oklahoma is in a rebuilding year, so don’t expect Texas fans to stomach a mediocre season.

ESPN correctly cites rushing the passer as Alabama’s key strength headed into 2022.

You’ll have to keep a close eye on the quarterback when Alabama plays, and not just because the Crimson Tide return Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who threw for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns in his first season as the starter. You’ll have to watch the opposing QB carefully as well because Alabama’s defense possesses what promises to be the best pass-rush tandem in college football. On one side at outside linebacker will be Will Anderson Jr., the presumptive first-round draft pick who led the country in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss last season (31). On the other side at outside linebacker is Dallas Turner, who came on like a rocket late last season with 5.5 sacks in the final four games, earning Freshman All-America honors. — Alex Scarborough

Combine that rush with what should be an outstanding veteran secondary, and the makings of a great defense are there.

Josh Pate was doing some serious Gumping on his show.

Great stuff.

Edwin Stanton at SI wrote a great piece on Alabama broadcaster Chris Stewart.

“When they got me to Brookwood, Sharma used a clot buster device,” he said. “He had it on max setting and my blood pressure was over 200. The clot was not budging and I was running out of time. I later asked him about it and he said, ‘I was going to fight as long as you were, but frankly, you were running out of time and there was no plan B.’ He said, ‘on the last attempt that I could in good conscious make, you opened your eyes, which is an indication the clot has cleared, and looked right at me. We put you to sleep and put the stent in.’ That was the first time the man saved my life.”

Chris has been through the ringer, and his perspective is an an inspiration to anyone.

Last, Bo Nix’s younger brother Caleb has decided to walk on and throw his college interceptions at Clemson.

Guess he wanted a lake.

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

Roll Tide.