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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Will Nick Saban finally get a kicker into the NFL?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

First up, Jordan Battle accepted his invitation to the Senior Bowl, becoming the 9th Alabama player to join the game.

Alabama’s Jordan Battle has accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, game officials announced Tuesday.

“We’re excited to add Jordan to an already loaded DB group for this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl,” executive director Jim Nagy told “There are a number of guys in that position group who are projected to be top 100 picks, and we’ve spoken to many NFL teams that have Jordan in that range as well.”

While fans and media types are always going to be enamored by the top-5 NFL talent junior players, many franchises still focus quite heavily on scouting the Senior Bowl for their draft. Jordan Battle is one of those guys who was a 3-year starter for the best program in the country and a multi-year captain. He may be somewhat limited by his speed, but an NFL team looking for his mental chops and locker room influence could definitely fall in love with him as a 2nd rounder.

After Tuesday’s bowl practice, Reichard said he is “super excited” to play in the all-star game.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to go play in that game,” said Reichard after practice at Caesars Superdome. “Obviously, I’m from Alabama, so I know a little bit more about the Senior Bowl than kids from other areas. I grew up watching it and really excited to play in it.”

Crimson Tide fans had hoped Reichard would return for one more season, taking advantage of an extra COVID year, and although he contemplated coming back, he elected to turn pro.

“I definitely did think about it, coming back or leaving,” Reichard said. “I wasn’t sure for a really long time, and then after talking to my friends and family and some people that I trust, I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.”

Seriously, congrats to Will for getting to the Senior Bowl and hopefully getting a shot in the NFL. Kicker is extremely difficult to break into the league, as there are only 32 of them, most play till they’re 35+, they don’t get injured often, and nobody has a backup.

But Will will go with much love from Bama fans as being the kicker who, after 10 years of misery post-2011-LSU game, broke the curse and made kicking not a terrifying thing for us.

With the Sugar Bowl coming up, we’re starting to get predictions rolling in. Here’s a good piece from Yahoo Sports:

Alabama vs Kansas State Allstate Sugar Bowl, What’s Going To Happen

Alabama won’t roll with ease, but it’ll get up fast and stay in gear the whole way.

Kansas State will come up with its share of good, long scoring drives to keep this interesting throughout, and there will be moments when it looks like the momentum is about to change, and then Bryce Young will make his pitch for being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

There will also be moments when social media wonders aloud if the College Football Playoff might be better with a Nick Saban-coached team in it.

I like this one. And considering Nick Saban’s trend of absolutely blasting the opponent in a bowl game after his other multi-loss regular seasons, I think it has merit.

Alabama Vs. Kansas State Prediction

Pinnacle effort and just enough talent and grit is a winning recipe in Bowl Season. Already this year, we’ve seen upsets predicated on the will and toughness to win the game– Middle Tennessee, Troy, and New Mexico State all pulled upsets in similar fashion.

Kansas State is the more disciplined team this season and I don’t expect them to beat themselves. Alabama on the other hand, I not only expect them to beat themselves in this game, but actually predict it.

The Wildcats are licking their chops at the opportunity to play this game. Sign me up for another Sugar Bowl win by the Big 12.

The pick: Kansas State 29-26

On the other hand, SI’s TCU site is going out on a limb to pick their Big-12 brethren. The actual analysis in the article is pretty solid, though, pointing out the ridiculousness of the entire nation acting like Alabama is dead-and-gone after losing on a total of 4 points, and the reasoning for predicting the Kansas State win has to do with team discipline... And Alabama has absolutely struggled with that this year.

Alabama vs Kansas State Spread Prediction:

Based on recent against-the-spread trends, the model predicts Kansas State will cover the spread with 51.0% confidence.

Both predictions factor in up-to-date player injuries for both Kansas State and Alabama, plus offensive & defensive matchups, recent games and key player performances this season.

Meanwhile, BetMGM is staying as non-commital as possible, saying that K State has a 51% chance of covering the spread.... Seriously... Why even waste words writing that and posting an article?

Finally, check out this behind-the-scenes footage of Nick Saban warming up to be Alabama’s starting cornerback and proving to all the youngsters that they just don’t make em like they used to: