Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama may have won 63-7 on Saturday, but they still dropped a spot in the Coaches Poll, and are now no. 2 in both major polls.
A week after Georgia jumped over the Crimson Tide for the top spot in the AP Top 25, Alabama has moved to No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. The Crimson Tide remained No. 2 in the AP poll this week, too.
Both teams are 3-0.
Alabama is fresh off a 63-7 victory over Louisiana Monroe. Georgia dominated South Carolina 48-7 on Saturday as Brock Bowers caught two touchdowns.
The Bulldogs hadn’t given up a touchdown until the game against the Gamecocks. Georgia also beat No. 18 Oregon 49-3 and Samford 33-0.
There is plenty to improve upon, with only one more tune-up before the real work begins.
Nick Kelly took a look at the contributions of newcomers, and one in particular stands out for the wrong reasons.
WR Jermaine Burton: Saban called him the most consistent wideout in the preseason. Through three games, he has the fourth-most catches with 8 that have netted 61 yards. After catching five in the opener, he has just three in the past two games. Bryce Young overthrew him in what would have been a sure touchdown early in the ULM win but with Alabama looking for a playmaker downfield, the search continues.
I really thought we’d have seen more from Burton given the chemistry that we heard about with Bryce since he arrived on campus. Perhaps it’s something that will develop more as the season goes along.
Bama Central over at SI did some film review of the punt return performance vs. the Warhawks.
The special teams, an area that neglects to get attention in most games, executed at a notably high level against the Warhawks, specifically on punt returns.
Across eight returns and four different return men, the Crimson Tide racked up a program-record 228 punt return yards in the game. The previous record was set back in 1947.
Chase Goodbread wrote the same tired piece we see after every cupcake.
Although the announced attendance of 98,433 indicated strong front-end sales, there were far fewer butts in seats, and a look around the stadium in the fourth quarter, with the game well out of reach for the Warhawks, looked more like a scrimmage crowd. Indeed, one reason Saban has advocated for the all-inclusive Power Five schedule is to enhance the fan experience, appealing to the insatiable public appetite for more big games, more competitive games that put extra weight on the edges of both stadium seats and couches at home.
This was most definitely not that kind of game.
Alabama posted more yardage in punt returns than the Warhawks recorded in total offense.
I empathize with the writers trying to find something to fill the sports page with after the cupcake games, I really do, but this one has been done over, and over, and over....
Down on the Plains, Bryan Harsin may have a soft landing spot should they decide to pull the trigger on him this week.
Just hours after Arizona State’s decision to cut ties with Edwards, Auburn coach Bryan Harsin’s name popped up as a potential replacement — despite being just three games into the second season of a six-year contract. ESPN’s Pete Thamel identified Harsin as a name to watch for the Sun Devils’ opening, along with BYU coach Kalani Sitake, former Texas coach Tom Herman, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, Marshall coach Charles Huff, North Dakota State coach Matt Entz, Kent State coach Sean Lewis, Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Oklahoma State (and former Auburn) defensive coordinator Derek Mason and USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
Last, besides Tua Tagovailoa’s historic performance, a few former Tide players made some sweet plays on Sunday. I’m pretty sure that this first one qualifies as assault, and Da’Ron Payne did it on television.
@94yne— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) September 18, 2022
#WASvsDET FOX pic.twitter.com/xjedsVrJg2
That man has a family, Da’Ron! Najee is still doing his jumping thing.
Najee Harris tossed 'em and hurdled the next guy— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
: #NEvsPIT on CBS
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/63C0YRqyqR pic.twitter.com/cC0lBTpkNi
And in the same game, we had some Bama on Bama crime.
Minkah Fitzpatrick's weekly reminder that he's a PLAYMAKER.— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
: #NEvsPIT on CBS
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/63C0YRqyqR pic.twitter.com/atHENbXErz
Mac got the win yesterday, but he isn’t off to quite the start of his predecessor in Crimson.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.