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Jumbo Package: LSU “playing as well as anybody in the country” according to Saban

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Ole Miss v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Nick Saban held his usual Monday press conference and as you would expect, was very complimentary of the opponent. One of the main topics was Eli Ricks, who transferred from LSU and had his coming out party in the last game.

— Eli Ricks learned about the fundamentals and the understanding within the scheme throughout the season. He got more comfortable as the season progressed but it’s important for him to play his game at LSU as opposed to trying to do too much against his old team.

— With mobile QBs, the need for all 11 defensive players to be on the same page becomes even more important. It’s about discipline when you have guys like Daniels.

— Tiger Stadium is always one of the better environments and Saban said they need the poise to not beat themselves in games like this.

— Saban said he doesn’t think this Alabama defense is overly complicated to pick up or learn for new players. Everyone develops at a new pace and when they come from a different program, it takes time to recalibrate to a new program.

Plenty of folks have wondered why it took so long for Ricks to play, which really means why Ricks didn’t play against Tennessee, and there you have it. On defending mobile QBs like LSU’s Jayden Daniels, he even explained the dreaded “mush rush” which isn’t so much an effort not to sack the QB as much as it is a requirement to stay in specific lanes as you rush the passer. This does tend to make pass protection quite a bit simpler for obvious reasons, but it forces the offense to complete passes down the field where mistakes can happen rather than simply give up cheap exploisve plays on scrambles. This is especially important if the plan is to play man coverage against a running QB.

Saban also touched, again, on the need for players to ignore outside noise and specifically mentioned players reading opinions of themselves posted on the internet. As often as he’s mentioned it, this has clearly been an issue for this team and, as much as some may not want to hear it, is probably enhanced by NIL. Never before have players been coached to this degree on the importance of building their personal brands while in college. Fear of becoming a meme or ending up on an opponent’s highlight could well be something that causes a bit of the anxiety he has spoken about.

You can take in all of his comments below.

Alabama will be on CBS when they head to Oxford.

Alabama will face Ole Miss on Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS, the SEC announced Monday.

The trip to Oxford will be the Tide’s first since 2020, when several records were broken by the end of a frantic, 63-48 win for Alabama in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

That was the first season at Ole Miss for Lane Kiffin, whose Rebels are 18-4 since the start of last season and ranked in the top 11 of both major polls entering their idle week. Alabama beat Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa last season, 42-21.

You probably heard that Auburn canned Bryan Harsin and installed Cadillac Williams as the interim. Matt Hayes hits the nail on the head on their upcoming search.

Or as one Power 5 coach texted me earlier Monday, “If I know it’s my last job and I’m looking for a cash grab, sure. But no one willingly walks into that thing.”

He’s not the only coach with those feelings.

The job has become toxic since fat cat Auburn boosters tried last offseason to force out coach Bryan Harsin after Year 1 — and took it to a disturbing level with reckless social media plants aimed to destroy his family.

The coaching fraternity took notice of the depth and breadth those with money and power at Auburn were willing to reach to fire a football coach. And now it’s all coming back to haunt them

I don’t know who they’ll land, but I hope the process is as painful for them as they deserve.

The ugly fight that ensued after the Michigan State at Michigan game isn’t going to be left in the locker rooms. Jim Harbaugh is asking for criminal charges and one of the Michigan players has lawyered up.

Attorney Tom Mars, who is representing Green, said his client deserves to be compensated for his injuries, which include a concussion.

“Severe consequences in this case will deter others who might think they can get away with brutally beating an opposing player and only get a slap on the wrist,” Mars told The Associated Press. “I’ve got news for the MSU players who did this to Gemon. They are going to feel the full wrath of the law.”

In case you haven’t yet seen the video, here it is. You can see one of the Michigan State players wielding a helmet as a weapon.

Predictably, there have been some logically deficient hot takes comparing this aggravated assault to the Jermaine Burton incident. I too thought that Jermaine would be suspended, but he certainly didn’t set out to cause bodily harm like we see above.

Last, the Browns blew out the Bengals last night. Amari Cooper had himself a game, finishing with 131 yards and a touchdown, though he did throw an ugly interception on a gadget play that will probably never again see the light of day. Anyhow, this back and forth between Browns QB Jacoby Brissett and Bengals LB Logan Wilson was amusing.

“Snap it, ho!”

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

Roll Tide.