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Jumbo Package: ESPN GameDay circus heads to Tuscaloosa

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Labor Day, everyone. To the surprise of no one, a full on circus is headed to Tuscaloosa next weekend.

It was announced Saturday that ESPN’s “College GameDay” will head to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, Sept. 9, in Week 2 for the No. 4 Alabama-No. 11 Texas game.

GameDay will be live from Denny Chimes, while SEC Nation will originate from Wade Hall (10 a.m. – noon, SEC Network).

This will be just the fifth time that GameDay and SEC Nation are visiting the same game site in the regular season, following Florida vs. Georgia (2018), LSU at Alabama (2019), Kentucky at Georgia (2021) and Alabama at Tennessee (2022).

As Nick Kelly notes, complete with a nice little “crystal ball” dig, Alabama’s new look secondary is likely to be tested.

There’s Xavier Worthy, who caught seven passes for 90 yards against Rice in Week 1. Then there’s Jordan Whittington, who caught four passes for 47 yards. Mitchell caught three passes for 26 yards and a score. And tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders had two for 44 yards and a touchdown himself.

A year ago against Alabama, Worthy and Whittington combined for 12 receptions for 161 yards, and that was without Ewers for three quarters.

For all the hype and discussion that will proceed what could end up one of the most premiere games of the season, who wins will likely come down to the battle between Alabama’s defensive backs and Texas’ receivers. It should be nothing short of a battle.

Worthy burned Terrion Arnold on a couple of occasions last year. Can Arnold flip the script on him?

Rice was able to get pressure on Quinn Ewers and limit the deep shots. If Alabama can’t, something is wrong.

Speaking of the crystal ball bit, On3 founder Shannon Terry weirdly was put off by it.

Shannon Terry is the latest to accuse Saban of bullying the local media after Paul Finebaum and Tim Brando had similar takes last week.

“Going to take some bullets for this one, but it needs to be said,” Terry said in a now-deleted post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, but was caught in a screen grab. “I have tremendous respect for coach Saban as a coach and CEO. He is the greatest college coach and college coach CEO in history. But the way, he treats the local sports media is disrespectful and uncivil.”

Finebaum and Brando were talking about Saban’s decision not to release a depth chart. Nobody asked them what they thought about Brian Kelly and Jimbo Fisher making the same decision. Not sure what Terry is on about here, but appreciate his picking Texas to win big.

Isaiah Bond’s hit stick seemed to inspire his teammates against Middle Tennessee State.

“When you see a guy working on something so much in practice, and you see him get in the game and just lower his shoulder on somebody— he really means it,” Burton said after the win. “It was great. I loved it. That’s probably my favorite part of the game. I’m not going to lie.”

Milroe put it simply.

“That’s Alabama football right there.”

Austin Hannon over at SI has some film work on Milroe for you.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe looked like a completely different player on Saturday night against Middle Tennessee.

After struggling to the tune of three turnovers in his first career start against Texas A&M last year, Milroe looked composed and confident in his first impression of 2023-24 — looking to take over the signal-calling duties after the departure of Bryce Young.

While setting a Crimson Tide record with three passing and two rushing touchdowns, Milroe also left room for improvement.

Alabama is atop ESPN’s FPI ranking following the weekend.

Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are back on top.

ESPN’s computer released its new top 25 rankings after Saturday’s Week 1 results. Alabama checks in at No. 1, overtaking Ohio State. The Buckeyes fall to No. 2 after a lackluster 23-3 win over Indiana.

Georgia, which beat UT Martin 48-7 but led just 17-0 at the half, is the third-best team in ESPN’s computer rankings. LSU checks in at No. 4, with Oklahoma trailing at No. 5.

Yeah, about LSU...

They got handled by FSU last night and will thus be dropping in those rankings. Also, there was this.

Miss Terry would never.

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

Roll Tide.