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Jumbo Package: Most likely team to upset Alabama in 2022 is...Tennessee?

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. It was a big recruiting weekend in Tuscaloosa, but we have to start with this bit of humor:

Somebody thinks the Vols are the most likely team to upset Alabama this year.

Yes, you are reading that correctly. We are placing Tennessee as the team most likely to upset Alabama in the 2022 regular season. The game takes place in Neyland this year and Josh Heupel seems like he could be the guy to coach up Tennessee to a competitive level. With a solid amount of key talent returning, the Volunteers could be a sneaky team in the SEC overall.

That’s from Alabama graduate and Tide freelancer AJ Spurr, who was clearly hitting the good stuff this weekend. While preseason SP+ takes an even more favorable view of the Vols, Blake Toppmeyer has the more likely scenario.

Tennessee (No. 18) – This is a smidge lofty for the Vols, who should remain an offensive juggernaut but must replace their best three players off an already suspect defense. Tennessee’s offense is good enough to outscore poor to mediocre competition, but the Vols’ defense hasn’t proven up to positioning UT for success against good teams.

There is still a significant talent gap between Tennessee and the upper class of the conference. Expect the Vols to disappoint, just as their baseball team did and their athletic program at large has for the last 20 years. In true Vol fashion, after watching one of their trashy players and trashy coaches get deservedly tossed from the game yesterday, they threw trash onto the field.

Some things just fit, you know?

This picture broke the college football internet this weekend.

It seems unlikely that Manning is headed to Tuscaloosa, as it always has. They are still recruiting him though. More photos of the weekend are posted here.

We heard last week that Texas and Oklahoma could join the SEC “as soon as” 2023. Now it seems that 2024 is more likely.

The official word from the SEC was that Texas and Oklahoma would join the conference on July 1, 2025, but most people in the know expected the schools wouldn’t wait that long, and were looking for a cheaper way out.

If this plan comes to fruition, the Big 12 will have 14 teams for the 2023 football season, once it adds BYU, Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF.

The league has been comprised of 10 teams since 2011, when Missouri and Texas A&M both left for the SEC.

Alabama is recruiting late tight end signee Miles Kitsleman’s JUCO teammate.

In week five, Benson rattled off a 100-plus yard game and a crisply-ran post route for a touchdown. He followed it up the next two weeks and ended the season with a career-high 192 yards. The interest in Benson eventually led to another Hutchinson player gaining national attention. Miles Kitselman, a tight end, would run routes with the receivers before practice, attracting the interest of one coach who was there to see Benson: Alabama’s Holmon Wiggins.

Benson last released a top-five in May, including Alabama among Tennessee, LSU, Oregon and Georgia. His decision is expected to come next month. Visits to his finalists are scheduled until then, with his stop in Tuscaloosa set for June 15.

Last, Pawwwwl made some Clemson folk very angry this weekend.

“There is no doubt after reading social media (Wednesday), the most insecure, paranoid fanbase of college football in America is Clemson. The Clemsonites take it to a whole new level. It’s one thing if you’ve never won a national championship. ... But these guys have won two in recent years and they are just so desperate for attention. They are so desperate for adulation. They are so desperate to be loved.”

He did have a message for Clemson fans, though.

“I just laugh at Clemson fans,” he said. “Get over yourself, OK? You’re not that important. This 2022. College football has left you behind.”

We’ll see if the Fightin’ Dabos are able to bounce back this year against the rosters full of two- and three-stars they will face along the way on that murderous ACC schedule.

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

Roll Tide.