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Jumbo Package: Alabama to face psychological test in Auburn

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama looked the part in the bodybag game this weekend. They ran the ball particularly well.

315 rushing yards.

There’s only one way to get there. No matter the opponent, it takes a nasty, dominant effort in the trenches to reach a number like that. No. 8 Alabama was just that on Saturday afternoon, beating Chattanooga into submission.

10.1 yards per play? 9.5 yards per rush? Those numbers are downright comical. You’re thinking, ‘It’s just Chattanooga.’ And you’re right. But like I said in Sunday’s takeaways, you still have to physically do it. Although it was favored by almost seven touchdowns, the Crimson Tide (10-1, 7-0 SEC) had to take care of business on the field.

Ty Simpson played well when he got into the game, despite his one major gaffe at the goal line.

Following Saturday’s performance, Simpson not only gained the praise of quarterback Jalen Milroe, but also that of coach Saban.

“Ty played well today,” Saban said following the game. “The opportunity he has had to play over the last two weeks has certainly probably improved his confidence. It’s good that he gets some experience, so if he needs to play he will be able to go in there and execute.”

Milroe, who played in the first half where he went 13-of-16 for 197 yards and three touchdowns, praised Simpson’s play.

“I’m happy for Ty to go in there and maximize his opportunities and have fun out there,” Milroe said. “That was huge. And also, the other guys that were able to get into the game, I think that’s a very good moment for guys to have the opportunity to play football and have another opportunity.”

Alabama is heavily favored on the pasture this weekend, and the fact that Auburn just paid New Mexico State $1.85M to beat them 35-10 probably terrifies most of you.

It’s officially Iron Bowl week in Alabama as the collective consciousness of a state skips right over Thanksgiving and straight to the main course.

To prepare you for those uncomfortable family gatherings, or perhaps arm you with information, we’ve compiled a few important stats to compare Alabama and Auburn.

These are clearly two programs on different trajectories as the Crimson Tide is set to face No. 1 Georgia a week later in the SEC title game while Auburn is coming off a 21-point loss to New Mexico State.

Indeed, we are all aware of the shenanigans that have happened down there.

There will be plenty of bad voodoo in the air for the visitors as Auburn celebrates to the 10-year anniversary of the Kick Six by hosting a reunion of the 2013 team.

Reminders of the ultimate blown opportunity on that field will bathe the pregame discussion for an Alabama program whose last comfortable win on that turf came 12 years ago.

There’s just something about that place and this rivalry that turns things weird.

This particular Alabama team seems to have a different edge to it. This isn’t an unbeaten number one team with everything to lose. On the contrary, they are on the outside looking in and seem to embrace their role as the hunters rather than the hunted.

We’ll see how that plays out on Saturday.

Nick Kelly notes that Alabama may not get any help. Surely, however, the committee would put a team with the following resume in the playoff.

The Bulldogs have won 28 consecutive games, tying the SEC record. In all likelihood, Georgia will grab the record with a win over Georgia Tech this week.

That means the Bulldogs will ride into Mercedes-Benz Stadium having won 29 consecutive games. That’s nothing short of absurd in this era of college football.

If Alabama (10-1, 7-0 SEC) manages to beat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, it will mark the first loss for the Bulldogs in any game since the Crimson Tide beat Georgia in the 2021 SEC Championship Game. An Alabama win would also give the Crimson Tide the best victory of any team in the CFP rankings. Alabama would then be a 12-1 SEC champion, with wins over ranked teams in Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee.

That’s a résumé that would be ridiculous for a team outside the playoff.


Last, Mark Inabinett has the weekly rundown of Alabama players in the NFL. Calvin Ridley made the headlines this week with a breakout game.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught his second touchdown pass of the season in a 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 1 and recorded his second 100-yard receiving game of 2023 a week later in a 25-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

But in the four games since then, Ridley had 13 receptions for 138 yards entering Sunday’s contest against the Tennessee Titans.

Ridley caught seven passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns as the Jaguars improved to 7-3 with a 34-14 victory over Tennessee. He also had an 18-yard run.

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

Roll Tide.