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Jumbo Package: It’s Gump Day at SEC Media Days!

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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

Happy Gump Day, everyone. We’re talking SEC Media Days today, and Nick Saban is scheduled to speak just after 9am CT.

Nick Alvarez has some predictions for you on what will be discussed.

Do expect: Saban to discuss the sport’s biggest topics

The debate around name, image and likeness has only grown since Saban took the podium a year ago. In the interim, Saban has talked about the regulation needed on NIL and illegal pay-for-play deals. He even joined SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on a trip to Congress in June.

Reporters will be sure to ask Saban about that trip as well as the other major topics concerning the conference like scheduling, the expanded playoff and the arrival of Oklahoma and Texas in 2024.

Alvarez correctly points out that there will be no answers on the QB situation, though that won’t keep reporters from asking about it over and over.

For Alabama fans, the most interesting question of Tuesday was posed to Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea, who worked with Tommy Rees at Notre Dame.

“Tommy, he’s incredibly competitive and incredibly prideful,” Lea said. “What that means is he’s going to take the time necessary to build out his awareness and understanding so that he can execute in his role. There are certain ones of us who kind of carry that (competitiveness and pride) with us 24 hours a day, and that can be a curse just as much as a blessing.”

Defending Rees’ offense was a pain for Lea. Rees’ approach to practice was centered around dominating. Sometimes he made adjustments to practice plans to exploit weaknesses in Lea’s defense. It angered Lea in the moment, but he recognized that it strengthened his defense because his staff had to find those answers eventually.

Auburn is dreaming of beating Alabama.

The Tigers are fortunate this season that the game will be played at Jordan-Hare. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have had their struggles in Auburn, from the 2013 Kick Six to the 2019 game.

According to the Auburn players who’ve been there before, having the game at home could make a huge difference.

“It always helps, I’ll tell you that,” Deal said. “I love playing away games. As a football guy, I love it. It’s cool to go to different universities, different stadiums, but there’s nothing like Jordan-Hare Stadium in the fall.”

There’s nothing like the officiating, that’s for damn sure. Alabama ain’t the only team in the state with an ongoing QB competition.

Freeze told ESPN on Tuesday that Auburn could end up playing two quarterbacks at times this season, as incumbent Robby Ashford and Michigan State transfer Payton Thorne are expected to battle for the starting position.

“Do I think it’s possible to play two and win?” Freeze said. “I do, actually, if they handle it the right way. Someone is going to have to be the starter. And someone is going to be the guy you depend on in the fourth quarter.”

Last, check out this answer from Kirby Smart about the reckless driving problems at Georgia, one such incident resulting in deaths.

“I’m disappointed anytime we have traffic incidents. It’s very evident when you look at it, we’ve had traffic citations and incidents throughout the history of being at the University of Georgia. We actually don’t have more now than we’ve had in the past. What concerns me most is the safety of our players, and when you drive at high speeds it’s unsafe. We don’t want that to happen. We’re going to do all we can to take that out and make sure that’s eradicated.

“But I’m also smart enough to understand and know that 18- to 20-year olds is when this happens. It’s when it happened to me as a student-athlete. That’s when speeding happens. What we want to do is take that out and make it safe and not have high speeds. As long as they don’t get a speeding ticket, it should not be a super speeder.”

Handling discipline internally is one thing, but Kirby seems to be making excuses for the behavior. We don’t know what is said behind closed doors, but that’s pretty much the opposite of leadership.

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

Roll Tide.