Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a fine night on the hardwood, as the women started the season with a resounding victory, and the men followed suit a bit later. Alabama is quickly becoming a basketball juggernaut.
In football news, Nick Saban spoke to reporters yesterday per usual. It sounds like the team may well be without Deontae Lawson and Jaylen Key next week.
“It’s not just a matter of whether they’re going to ready to play in the game, but can they practice enough to be ready to play in the game,” Saban said. “ ... Both guys, I would say, are questionable. I don’t know what they’re going to be able to do day-to-day.”
Key suffered a quad injury in the first quarter and didn’t return to the game. The defensive back grabbed his leg after breaking up a pass in the first quarter. Lawson limped to the locker room after trying to tackle LSU’s Jayden Daniels near the sideline. He was seen wearing a walking boot postgam.
Fortunately this team has some depth in those spots, but it will be tested in Lexington.
Saban also spoke about the roughing penalty on Dallas Turner.
“I don’t know if there is a technical coaching point,” Saban said. “You always tell players you want them to see what they hit. Hit the guy here [in the sternum] and then he hit him, sort of, in the chin. It wasn’t like a direct hit or an intentional hit to the head.
“It was a really good hit. But unfortunately, his helmet did slide up and hit the guy. So it’s a foul, if you hit the quarterback in the head. It’s going to get called all the time. We just want to have him keep his eyes up and see what he hits. Hopefully target down a little bit so that doesn’t happen again.”
You can watch the entire press conference below, should you so desire.
Kennington Smith III examines Alabama’s playoff scenario.
There’s a world where there are three undefeated Power 5 non-SEC conference champions sitting at 13-0 in early December: Ohio State/Michigan, Florida State and Washington. In that scenario, all three teams would be Playoff locks, and if a one-loss Oregon were to defeat Washington in the Pac-12 championship game it likely would claim a Playoff spot.
The fourth spot is where things get interesting.
The pathway for Alabama is simple: run the regular-season table, then beat (presumably) an undefeated Georgia for the SEC championship to finish 12-1. The biggest enemy of progress to the Playoff is the same team that beat the Crimson Tide in Week 2: Texas, which also would be 12-1 after a Big 12 championship game win, opponent TBD.
At that point, the resume would favor Alabama, highlighted by a win over Georgia, which could be on a 29-game winning streak by then. But Texas would hold the all-important head-to-head win. Which would the committee favor?
Last, Michael Casagrande ponders this Alabama team’s identity.
And the real question: Is this a national title contender?
Honestly, yes and that that answer changed Saturday night. You saw something closer to a complete performance that almost assured the Crimson Tide a seat at the SEC Championship to likely face a Georgia team that’s not quite as imposing as previous versions.
Still far from a front-runner for a January trip to Houston but the fact we’re having this talk in early November defies everything we saw in early September.
How’s underdog for an identity?
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.