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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: Alabama Spring Game Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. We are just a couple weeks away from Alabama football, with the final scrimmage of the fall going down tomorrow. There were rumors of an injury to Jordan Battle’s ankle, but nothing close to official and it seems to be nothing serious. We will obviously keep an eye on it.

Speaking of Battle, he and Demarcco Hellams look to be dominant this year.

“I love DeMarcco man, he’s Hit Man Hellams, he’s a big hitter. He’s come back, he’s doing a great job taking care of his body, great mentally, he’s locked in. We’re both locked in and focused on what we need to do to get better this year, what we can do to change from last year that we did wrong. So just having him back and being comfortable with him back there with me is great,” Battle said.

Nick Kelly notes that two back sets may be the ticket for the Tide this fall.

For a team that has shown an affinity for multiple tight end sets, the two-back set might help make up for the lack of proven options.

Just ask coach Nick Saban who talked about two-back sets on WJOX earlier this summer.

“Just an opportunity to get maybe a more skilled guy the ball because the predominant formation in college football is three wide receivers, a tight end and a back,” Saban said. “When you replace that tight end with a very skilled guy as a running back, you can do some of the same things but you create a little better mismatch in some cases, depending on what kinds of tight ends a team has in terms of what you have to defend.”

This is what makes a player like Gibbs so tough to handle. Traditionally, you’d match 21 personnel with base defense since there are only two WRs on the field. Do that, and Gibbs will likely have a linebacker on him in the passing game. Go with nickel instead, and the defense is light against the run.

Andy Staples names Alabama’s loss to Ohio State in 2014 as the most influential game of the millennium.

Forty-two days after the loss, Alabama offered a scholarship to Channelview, Texas, quarterback Jalen Hurts for the class of 2016. The days of Alabama game managers would soon be over — though not quite. Alabama rode tailback Derrick Henry and a dominant (but smaller) defense to a national title in 2015, but soon enough the Crimson Tide would reach Final Boss form. They played for the national title in the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021 seasons, winning in 2017 and 2020. This season, they return the defending Heisman Trophy winner (quarterback Bryce Young) and the most dominant defensive player college football has seen in a decade (Will Anderson). Naturally, they’re ranked No. 1 in the preseason. Who is ranked No. 2? The Buckeyes, of course.

If he’s right, then the rest of the country should be really angry with the Buckeyes.

Aaron Suttles has a great piece on “The Deuce.”

Ron Ingram has been involved in Alabama high school football for more than four decades. He’s seen everyone from Bo Jackson to Julio Jones, and he isn’t shy about sharing his opinions.

Especially when it comes to David Palmer.

“Inch for inch, pound for pound, he’s the best player Alabama’s ever had in the state,” said Ingram, formerly the preps editor at The Birmingham News and now the director of communications for the Alabama High School Athletic Association. “Every game you went to see, he did something extraordinary.”

In the words of Melvin Udall, Bill Connelly makes you want to be a better man, er... fan.

Some people are content with focusing on their team and their tailgates. Others expand their reach primarily to a single conference. If that’s what satisfies you, so be it. But I’m here to tell you that eating the whole cow is the way to go. College football is a rabbit hole with no bottom. The further you fall, the richer the experience and the more you find to love and enjoy. As I did last year, allow me to walk you through how to get the most out of this coming season, nose to tail.

He is behind the ESPN+ paywall, but that’s about as comprehensive a guide to watching the season as you will come across.

Tua’s new coach is impressed.

Last, why?

Just why?

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

Roll Tide.