Happy Tuesday, everyone. Nick Saban is quite testy this week as you will see in his press conference video, but he did update us on some injuries.
“Justin Eboigbe has got a neck injury that we’re having specialists look at to make sure we manage correctly,” Saban said, “and we’re not going to allow him to play until we can get the exact most expert plan of action for him and his future.”
Branch’s return is critical to Alabama’s secondary as the Crimson Tide (5-0) approaches a home game against Texas A&M Saturday (7 p.m. CT, CBS). Branch has made 22 tackles, two tackles for losses and a sack this season. Eboigbe has made 11 stops in four games.
“We’ll just have to evaluate it day-to-day,” Saban said. “I can’t tell you if that’s going to be today, tomorrow or the next day.”
It sounds like it will be a while before we see Eboigbe, if we see him again, and that’s a shame. He got off to a very strong start this season. Branch will likely be back which is huge. Where Bryce is concerned, Saban got testy with media for speculating that he isn’t going to tell us anything about Bryce’s availability until Saturday, but we all know that’s the case. In the pregame we will hear some breaking news from a reporter on whether he will play. As usual, he also took the usual opportunity to rant at the team through the press conference, though he is clearly impressed with Kool Aid McKinstry.
The full press conference:
Pat Forde is still trying to push a storyline that nobody cares about anymore.
Regardless, Saban was breathing fire at the media in his press conference Monday, railing about “rat poison” and generally trying to attack any semblance of overconfidence that may be surrounding his team (or even infiltrating it). Bama is favored by a whopping 24 points, but the coach clearly wants his team locked in. If the Tide are up big late in the game, how Saban handles trying to tack on additional points might be a truer indication of how he feels toward Fisher than any of the conciliatory rhetoric from the offseason.
Meanwhile, Jimbo hasn’t felt this much rejection locally since his wife slept with that Gator while he was coaching at Florida State.
The coach who Jimbo wanted slapped has his team off to another 5-0 start despite a scare from Texas in Week 2 and despite losing Heisman QB Bryce Young to a shoulder sprain in Saturday’s 49-26 win at No. 20 Arkansas. But Jimbo’s own team looks headed toward a second straight season outside the Top 25. The Aggies (3-2, 1-1 SEC) lost 42-24 at Mississippi State, with the Bulldogs scoring TDs on a blocked field goal return, a pick six and a 75-yard Will Rogers pass. It was so bad, even TexasAgs’ Billy Liucci, Twitter’s most ardent A&M supporter, was letting Jimbo have it.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M is a little better at 3-2 (with victories over Miami and Arkansas) but is coming off an 18-point loss to Mississippi State. This is Fisher’s fifth season on the job and he delivered a lackluster 8-4 campaign in the first season of the big deal. Now, the Aggies look like an SEC West afterthought. They are 24.5-point dogs in Tuscaloosa.
This isn’t what anyone envisioned when expensive deals (and massive buyouts) locked up both men for the long term.
We now know for certain that the Tennessee game will be in the CBS 2:30pm slot.
No. 8 Vols (4-0, 1-0 SEC) will host No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) at 3:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 15 at Neyland Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS.
It’s one of the most storied rivalries in college football. But Alabama has won 15 straight over the Vols, a streak that started with the arrival of Nick Saban in 2007.
Last season, Tennessee hung tough for a while against Alabama, cutting the Crimson Tide’s lead to 31-24 early in the fourth quarter. But Alabama answered with a scoring surge to pull away for a 52-24 win.
This was a fairly obvious choice, as these two teams are playing the best ball in the conference currently.
Last, Bill O’Brien seems more and more likely to get a head coaching gig this offseason.
Oddsmakers have O’Brien listed second among the most likely candidates to replace Chryst, only behind interim head coach Jim Leonhard, the defensive coordinator now tasked with trying to salvage the season following a 2-3 start.
It’s one of those places you look at and think “Oh, that could be a good fit,” especially since O’Brien was once the head coach at Penn State. He already knows the conference, and had success.
However, he’s also reportedly on Nebraska’s short list of top candidates.
Don’t overlook Georgia Tech, either.
This of course means that he will be interviewing in December, which is always lovely.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.