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Jumbo Package: Saban not retiring any time soon, Nate Oats benching guys who don’t play D

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. A Nick Saban quote made the rounds yesterday, and it will make you very happy.

“Everybody asks me when I wanna retire. Retire from what?” Saban asked, rhetorically. “I’m gonna jump into an empty abyss, aight, of what am I going to do? Because the very challenges that I talk about and the things in our profession that concern me — for you and for me both, in your game and our game — that’s what keeps me going. That’s why I get up every day. That’s why I can’t sleep at night sometimes.”

That man still has the itch, folks.

Nate Oats and team play at Vanderbilt tonight, for which we will have you covered later, and based on this quote the lineup may not look the same.

“We’re not playing you if you don’t play defense, period. I don’t care if we don’t have a center on the floor. I don’t care if we don’t have a point guard on the floor. I really will put five guys out there and figure the offense out. We’ve got enough talented offensive players. We’ll figure the offense out.

“If you’re not going to play defense at the level we need you to play and you’re capable of playing and have shown us you have played in the past — because every guy we’ve played in the rotation has shown us they’re more than capable of being a great defender when they’re locked into that end of the floor.

“So if you’re not gonna do that, then we’re not gonna play you. That’s just the bottom line. Kentucky played three guys 39 minutes. I don’t have to find guys. We’ll play some guys that we know are going to play hard most of the minutes in the game, and that’s what we’re going to go with.

Nate said that he’d play with no center or point guard if he has to.

A beat writer for the Saints says they are sniffing around Alabama’s strength coaches.

This is going to be tough to turn down if they offer. i’m sure Saban will replace them well if they go, but we’d certainly prefer to keep them around.

Finebaum claims some people, not him, have a very bad idea.

“SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, who was on this committee that came up with this plan, said Friday afternoon ‘I’m not sure we’re going to go along with anything at this point,’” Finebaum said. “Meaning, maybe we’ll take our ball and go somewhere else as some have suggested. Maybe the SEC — I’m not suggesting this but some have. Maybe the SEC ought to have it’s own tournament every year.”

If the SEC were to have their own tournament at the end of the year, there could theoretically already be a format for it, taking the basketball bracket and just playing football. However, the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners could be in the conference by then, making it a 16 team conference.

Who wants to watch that crap? Paul says some silly things, but that ranks up there.

Alabama is hoping for another big WR class next year.

Brandon Innis, 247Sports’ No. 1 receiver, has Alabama among the nine schools he’s considering. He was an Oklahoma commit but changed his mind with Lincoln Reily’s departure. Innis, 6-foot-0, 190-pounds, will visit USC next month and a few other campuses, Alabama’s not among them.

NFL legacy and three-star Eugene Wilson III picked up Crimson Tide and Georgia offers within an hour of each other. Stranahan four-star Hykeem Williams had a historic visit from Nick Saban when the coach became the first to land a helicopter on the school’s Fort Lauderdale campus.

Last, Juwan Howard finally says he’s sorry.

“After taking time to reflect on all that happened, I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they affected so many. I am truly sorry,” Howard said, per The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn. “I am offering my sincerest apology to my players and their families, my staff, my family and the Michigan fans around the world. I would like to personally apologize to Wisconsin‘s Assistant Coach Joe Krabbenhoft and his family, too.

“Lastly, I speak a lot about being a Michigan man and representing the University of Michigan with class and pride, I did not do that, nor did I set the right example in the right way for my student-athletes. I will learn from my mistake and this mistake will never happen again. No excuses!”

Howard was suspended for five games by the Big Ten, which is the balance of the regular season. Since he is now showing some contrition, that punishment seems appropriate, and in fact a public apology was probably part of the deal. After the game he didn’t seem the least bit remorseful.

Thanks to this embarrassing display, there has been talk of abandoning the handshake line. Tom Izzo was asked about it and, well, you can see why he and Nick Saban are so tight. His response is perfect.

Love it.

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

Roll Tide.