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Jumbo Package: Reeling Alabama on a collision course with the Lane Train

This game could not come at a worse possible time.

Ole Miss v Texas A&M Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

With Nick Saban losing to Jimbo and Kirby over the last year, Lane’s got to be wondering when his turn arrives.

Could it be this week, as a limited Ole Miss ground-and-pound offense surely found something to hang their hats on with the Tide’s poor defense of the run in its loss to Baton Rouge? We shall see. But if Alabama thought Jayden Daniels was a load, then I introduce Jaxson Dart and an Ole Miss team that has rushed for over 400 yards on four occasions this season. There is no time to clean up those mistackles by the defensive line either: if Alabama tackles in this game as they did vs. LSU, they’ll get ran out of the building.

That terrifying Ole Miss rushing attack and mistackles were both highlighted by Saban yesterday.

Nevertheless, Lane remains a national treasure that we must protect at all costs. AL did a very nice feature on 12 of the best or funnier moments of Kiffin’s tenure with and interactions against Alabama.

He celebrated TDs before they even happened

Nobody believed in Kiffin’s game-plan more than the OC himself, as evidenced by one of his most endearing qualities, at least if you’re on the right side of it: Raising his arms to signal a touchdown before the ball even leaves the hands of a quarterback. This happened a few times during the 2014 season, when Blake Sims threw deep balls to Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White in the Florida, Auburn and Missouri games, respectively. Kiffin has since done the same as head coach at Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss (throwing his play sheet in the process). Sometimes, you just know you’re good.

Though Kiffin is not coming back at OC for the Tide, it is hoped that neither shall Bill O’Brien. Tide 100.9 is already kicking dirt on the grave, and he’s not even buried yet.

One person they name is someone else that I have specifically singled out as due for a big time job:

3. Garrett Riley

At first glance, it might not make a lot of sense for Riley to make a lateral move from another Power 5 program. He’s having great success at Texas Christian University and if the season were to end today, they’d be in the College Football Playoff. However, it can’t be ignored that Nick Saban is still in charge in Tuscaloosa, and Nick Saban’s coaching tree speaks for itself.

Former assistants Lane Kiffin, Billy Napier, Kirby Smart, and Jimbo Fisher are all at the helm of SEC programs right now. Dan Lanning has the Oregon Ducks in College Football Playoff contention. Mel Tucker just earned himself a massive extension at Michigan State. Mike Locksley seems to be breathing new life into Maryland’s football program. Brian Daboll has the New York Giants off to the races with a 6-2 record after years of being a laughing stock of the National Football League.

Spending time under Nick Saban’s tutelage isn’t necessary for someone to run their own successful program one day, but it indisputably helps a lot.

As for his own credentials, just look at what Riley has done with Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs this season. TCU is scoring 43 points per game, converting 44% of both third and fourth down attempts, and has run a very balanced offense, something that can’t be said of O’Brien’s system. About the same number of the team’s first downs have come from passing and rushing, and the Horned Frogs have passed for 2,601 yards while rushing for 1,977.

Also worth noting, with the rise of USC, it’s more than possible that the Tide would have to face Riley’s brother, Lincoln Riley, in the expanded College Football Playoff.

Read More: Top Five Candidates to Replace Bill O’Brien |

Yesterday was the early signing period for spring sports, and there were some real treasures in there.

More on everything at the links above

Nick Saban has said all year that he absolutely loves Will Reichard, despite a rough patch over 4-5 quarters midseason. It seems people who know kickers best also love him.

Reichard was named a Groza semifinalist yesterday, after the field was narrowed to seven candidates.

Groza Award

Will Reichard, Placekicker

Alabama’s all-time leader for points with 388 on 56 field goals and 220 made PATs

Leads the SEC and is fourth nationally in total points this season at 92

Good on 16 field goals in 20 tries to go with 44 made PATs in as many attempts

Added 64 kickoffs for 4,093 yards to average 64.0 yards per kick with 38 touchbacks

Awesome and well deserved. Good luck, Will...and the way O’Brien calls plays in the red zone, we have no doubt you’ll get plenty more work the rest of the season.

Here’s what it’s come to, after Alabama’s second loss in three games — Alabama is “overrated” by the CFP committee, and on the road this week in Oxford, “it may be an upset in Vegas, but it’s no real upset at all.” Alabama isn’t even being spitballed any more for a title of any sort: from the natty to the SEC West. Even the normie Associated Press wrote off Alabama.

We’ve been looking for positive rat poison to motivate this team, but that doesn’t seem to cut it, does it? Perhaps this group really doesn’t and can’t get back up off the mat? After the Vols loss, Alabama was erratic versus Mississippi State and blowing all kinds of assignments. That was immediately followed by the debacle last week.

In short, the first dose of rat poison didn’t take and the next one will either be the Super Soldier serum, or it will metaphorically kill them off.

I honestly don’t know how much heart this group has to comeback from a season-ending second loss. And make no mistake: the aims for this year were always a championship or bust. Now, they won’t even get that opportunity, and one wonders if they think the season is over? Can they dig deep and play for pride, play for their futures, play for...whatever? Where are the dogs? We shall see how many there are and who they are this week.

But unless and until they show up, those stinging rebukes are fair and exist for a reason.

It’s not too early to talk about the Bracket, right? Lunardi has Alabama a 7-seed overall (and if this team finishes in the Top 4 or 5 of the SEC, that is way, way too low). And phenom Brandon Miller has been ranked the 41st best player in the country. Already.

41. Brandon Miller | Alabama | Freshman

Miller is the highest-rated prospect in Alabama’s heralded recruiting class that is ranked third nationally, according to 247Sports. The 6-9 forward was the Tennessee Player of the Year after averaging 24.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Cane Ridge High. He’s a Day One starter who should play a big role in the Crimson Tide making the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year. — GP

That’s it for now, we’ll see you later. Roll Tide.


In the Saban era, Alabama’s best offensive coordinator has been:

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Steve Sarkisian
    (446 votes)
  • 45%
    Lane Kiffin
    (388 votes)
  • 1%
    Jim McElwain
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Doug Nussmeier
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Brian Daboll
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Locksley / Enos
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Other, below
    (1 vote)
860 votes total Vote Now