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Jumbo Package: Saban speaks on Arkansas, Texas A&M kick time announced

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Nick Saban held his Monday press conference and as usual, was quite complimentary of the opponent.

— Saban said the plan for Drew Sanders was to move him inside (like he has at Arkansas) but it didn’t work out. “It is what it is,” he said.

— While KJ Jefferson is a great runner, Saban said he didn’t want to minimize his strong passing arm. He notes his ability to hit the deep ball.

— The back shoulder throw is a challenge to defend. Saban said they didn’t always defend it well but notes they didn’t give up the big play over the top.

While Jefferson had a phenomenal game passing the ball against Alabama last season, it was current Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks who truly dominated. The 6’5” Burks accounted for 179 of Jefferson’s 326 passing yards on only 8 catches. Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood was a five-star recruit back when and has been the Hogs’ top receiver, but he has been more of a possession guy at 11.9 yards per catch, matching his career average. Last week Jefferson found senior Warren Thompson for a 56 yard TD but finished the game with only 171 passing yards.

We will soon see what he has in store for the Tide, and vice versa.

Playing Alabama so close last season gives Arkansas plenty of hope headed into this one.

Well, ‘Bama, they can beat you before you even run out on the field. Programs like that, Georgia, I don’t know in other conferences maybe USC’s that way, I don’t know, maybe Oklahoma is that way, you know, per say in the Big 12 or whomever it may be. But I think what happens when you play somebody close and you start having some belief that you know we got pretty good team, we can go out not making mistakes play well, play hard, get some turnover sayings that nature and you have a chance to win a game and certainly that’s where we’re at now with our football team.

As far as the matchup goes, you have to like what you see for the Tide. Unfortunately we also know that the team has had a bad habit of underperforming on the road for the past couple of seasons. Hopefully they can buck that trend.

Next week’s game vs. Texas A&M will be under the lights.

After the summer controversy stoked the fires, the two will kick off at 7 p.m. CT on Oct. 8 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will air on CBS. Aside from the Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher dust up, this will also be a rematch of last year’s 41-38 Texas A&M win over the Crimson Tide.

Something tells me that the crowd in that one is going to rival the 2014 Mississippi State game, which many have cited as the loudest they’ve ever heard Bryant-Denny to be.

Where rankings are concerned, this is looking like the toughest three game stretch for Alabama in the past six seasons.

“It’s the SEC, that’s why you come to Alabama to play in the SEC and in games like this,” Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. said. “It’s not going to be our first time going on a stretch like this. We play good teams all the time out here in the (SEC) West.”

But there’s seldom such a stacked lineup of games in the division. Assuming the rankings hold up, it will be the first time since 2016 that Alabama has played three straight Top 25 opponents in the regular season.

That team brushed by No. 16 Arkansas (49-30), No. 9 Tennessee (49-10) and No. 6 Texas A&M (33-14) without breaking much of a sweat, and survived a stiffer test from No. 13 LSU (10-0).

CBS has now decided that Alabama should be third after Georgia and Ohio State, not that it matters.

We’ve released just five editions of the CBS Sports 131 this season, and this latest update marks the fourth different combination for the top three of Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama. This battle for supremacy will ultimately be settled on the field, and we do have a long way to go before we could get those hypothetical matchups, but we see in these rankings how preseason expectations are being erased and replaced by a judgement of what each team has accomplished to this point in the season.

SEC Shorts put out a funny video yesterday, but Tennessee was the headliner so we didn’t give it front page promotion. Is that petty? It’s possible, but it’s how we roll. Captions on, folks.

Yet another coach has been canned, and in Tech’s case the AD is gone too.

“I am grateful to Coach Collins for his hard work and commitment to our student athletes,” school president Angel Cabrera said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the results of our football program have fallen short of what our loyal community, fans and athletes expect and deserve. We are committed to rebuilding the program and a coaching change is a necessary first step in that process.”

Brent Key was named the interim coach for the Yellow Jackets, while Frank Neville, who is the school’s chief of staff and senior vice president for strategic initiatives, was named the interim AD.

Bill O’Brien’s name has already been floated as a possibility, but there are quite a few candidates including Key.

It was just another day in Baton Rouge.

Last, someone caught a video of Saban jumping with his bionic hip so he could slap the wall like the players.

Nice hops, Coach.

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

Roll Tide.