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Jumbo Package: Georgia writer melts down over John Harbaugh comments, Lane Kiffin needles Saban about parity remark

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Baylor Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. We open the week with a hilarious grievance filed by Georgia beat writer Mike Griffith. As you may recall, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said recently that Alabama and Michigan players are the most NFL ready in his opinion. It was a pretty silly and transparent assertion, but boy did Ol’ Mike take umbrage.

One imagines a phone call to his brother went like this:

John: “How was the game against Georgia?”

Jim: “They won, but we’re built more like an NFL team.”

John: “Great, I’ll put your team at the top of my mind, with Alabama.”

Stumping for a relative is one thing, but suggesting the Michigan football program is superior to Georgia — or Ohio State, for that matter — is insulting to the college football world.

Almost as insulting as a Baltimore Ravens team falling below .500 and winning just one playoff game in six years.

Folks, that is meltdown worthy stuff. Of course Harbaugh was stumping for his weirdo brother, but only a Georgia bro wrote a headline about his team being “overlooked.” His main beef is that Georgia has more NFL draft picks than Alabama over the past four years after this one outlier draft is counted, which says nothing about Harbaugh’s opinion that Alabama and Michigan players are better prepared for the league once they get there.

Besides, Georgia rostering an unprecedented haul of draftable upperclassmen and still needing a fourth quarter comeback over one of Saban’s weakest Alabama teams, after Alabama lost its best offensive weapon mid-game, just about says it all. Never mind the pantsing they took in Atlanta just a month prior.

For his money, Christian Harris believes that Alabama got him ready for the next level.

And how did trying to learn all that NFL information so quickly go for rookie linebacker Christian Harris this weekend?

“I was at Bama, so humbly saying that,” Harris told reporters when asked that question. “They prepared me pretty well. But, obviously, there’re still some challenges, but I’m getting through them, so I’m good.”

Maybe that’s why Smith was hugging Texans general manager Nick Caserio after Houston selected Harris in the third round of the NFL Draft on April 29.

Nick Saban riled up a bunch of folks by suggesting that college football has had “parity” at some point in recent memory, and Lane Kiffin checked in to make sure he was feeling well.

While parity in college sports, especially football, has been nonexistent, the impact of NIL on the game and players entering the transfer portal has broaden the gap between the average, the good and the elite teams. However, Alabama football coach Nick Saban believes parity should be re-installed in college football. “One of the things I like to see us be able to work back to is everything in CFB has always had parity,” Saban told Paul Finebaum on The Paul Finebaum Show on Friday.

Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin, who was once an assistant under Saban, thought his former coach’s comments were comical. “I love the [GOAT] but Coach ………. U feeling Ok?? @AlabamaFTBL,” Kiffin tweeted, adding cry-laughing emojis.

Nick was talking about equal scholarships, academics, etc. but parity was certainly a poor choice of words. A few programs have dominated the sport for a couple of decades now.

Nick Kelly ranks Alabama’s toughest opponents this year. The Aggies are understandably at the top, but the next two might surprise you.

3. Tennessee (away)

The Volunteers had their highest-scoring offense in program history in 2021. From that group, returning are quarterback Hendon Hooker, 1,000-yard receiver Cedric Tillman, leading rusher Jabari Small and four starting offensive linemen.

2. Arkansas (away)

The Razorbacks gave Alabama some trouble in Tuscaloosa in 2021, and now the Crimson Tide will face Arkansas on the road. Receiver Treylon Burks went to the NFL Draft, but the Razorbacks added Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood. Plus, quarterback KJ Jefferson is back.

Both programs seem to be on the upswing, but I don’t expect Alabama to struggle too much with either.

At least one analyst sees big things from Traeshon Holden this year, and he seems ready to live up to the billing.

Last, the weekend of the Mississippi State game will feature a special celebration.

That team remains a favorite of many Alabama fans who are old enough to remember seeing them live.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.