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Jumbo Package: Happy Thanksgumping!

The Tide are relaxed and focused on the eve of the Arn Bow. Are you?

Chattanooga v Alabama
Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images

I think it was pretty apparent most of the season that Kool Aid’s heart wasn’t quite into endangering Top 5 NFL money for a 4-yard punt return. After another muff that led to points for an opponent, No. 1 hit the pine and was replaced by uber-stud Caleb Downs...who then racked up 90 yards and a score.

Kool Aid seemed more than okay with the demotion.

Kool-Aid McKinstry doesn’t seem that beat up over potentially losing his punt-return duties last weekend.

“I’m just here for the team,” McKinstry said Tuesday. “Whenever my number is called, I’ll step up.”

McKinstry, Alabama’s junior cornerback, had served as the Crimson Tide’s starting punt returner for the last two seasons. But in last weekend’s 66-10 win over Chattanooga, he was replaced by true freshman safety Caleb Downs.

“Caleb did a good job this weekend,” McKinstry continued on Tuesday. “I feel like he stepped into the role and did a good job, scoring a touchdown. He went out there and did well for the team.”

I’m guessing he’d just as soon not have that number called. And, ya’ know, that’s okay too.

Embeds disabled, but Josh Pate previews the Iron Bowl over at 247. Specifically, does Auburn have an upset in ‘em?

Most people seem to be leaning into those narrow losses against a flat UGA and Ole Miss team. But, math don’t lie: Auburn should get their ass kicked on Saturday.

Here are the myriad of reasons why:

For Pate’s preview, hit the main landing page over there for the auto-roll video.

Too fast, too soon.

That was my reaction to the Tide vaulting all the way up to No. 15 and 17 in the Hoops polls.

The Crimson Tide was ranked 15th, up seven spots from last week, in the coaches poll. Alabama was 17th in the Associated Press top 25. UA (4-0) started the season at No. 24 in the coaches and the AP.

The top nine remained unchanged with Kansas, Purdue and Arizona leading the pack in both polls.

Alabama’s offense has produced 105, 102, 102 and 98 point-outings across its first four non-conference opponents. It’s shooting 57% from the field and 48.9% from 3-point range. Guard Mark Sears is averaging 19.5 points per game.

Alabama is about to enter a span of five games in six outings over the next three weeks that — without any sort of melodrama here — will largely determine its post-season fate: Oregon, Ohio State/ Santa Clara, Purdue, Creighton, Arizona. Three of those teams are in the AP Top 10.

I rather liked the idea of last year’s national No. 1 seed and SEC champ sneaking up on teams as a respectable-but-slumbering good team...Now we look like an existential threat, and the notional ship of sneaking up an anyone has left the dock.

One reason for the meteoric rise has been the emergence of Clowney-Clone Jarin Stevenson, who ‘Bama poached right out from under the Tarheels in Spring:

Alabama freshman Jarin Stevenson has made his way to one of these mock drafts, projected to go No. 27 to the Denver Nuggets, according to Yahoo Sports Krysten Peek.

“Head coach Nate Oats has done it again with a raw, athletic freshman forward who possesses endless potential. Last season, it was Noah Clowney (the Brooklyn Nets drafted him with the 21st pick) and Stevenson appears to be further along than Clowney early in the season.” wrote Peek.

Read More: Alabama Freshman Mocked to go in First Round per Yahoo Sports |

Please keep your hands off of him for at least one year?!

What did the Boogs say about trying to stop Jalen Milroe and the Alabama offense (September Me can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.) It’s a tall order:

And to be frank, Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze knows Alabama’s sophomore quarterback is bound to give the Tigers’ defense trouble.

“You know, we did not fare well against a kid similar to him down in LSU,” Freeze said Monday, comparing Milroe to LSU’s Daniels.

Against Auburn, Daniels passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns, all while tacking on another 97 yards with his legs during LSU’s dominant, 48-18 win.

“And now (Milroe) is playing at a very high level with good receivers and good running backs. It’s a very difficult task for sure. I don’t know that you completely do that,” Freeze said when asked about stopping Milroe. “You gotta hope that you do limit those explosive plays somewhat, but stopping him? No one’s really done that.”

You can read the rest here...just too bad Auburn’s roster can’t. HEEEYO.

For a second straight week, the cowards at the CFP Committee barely moved the Top 8 a smidge. And even that swap between 4 and 5 was owing to the the loss of FSU star QB Jordan Travis for the year after UW beat Oregon State in hostile Corvallis, fighting a good team and bad weather. But the rest? AfterTexas again struggled with a bad team. Nada. Zip. Stuck at 8.

So, how well does ‘Bama’s resume stack up? More than competitively, as it happens.

The biggest deterrent to Alabama’s path is the Longhorns. That Week 2 win is arguably the best victory in the country any team could have on its resume. And though there’s a healthy debate to be had about who would be favored in a rematch, the committee can only deal with the facts. Should Texas beat Texas Tech, it’ll clinch a spot in its conference title game and likely have another ranked opponent in either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State.

Herbie discusses the nightmare scenario for ‘Bama fans: What if the hold serve, UO and UA win their titles, and you have five worthy conference winners?

Despite admitting Oregon’s schedule is trash, Herbie I think gets to the heart of it: Eyeballs will give it to the Ducks.

One scenario includes the following. What if Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC Championship; Oregon beats Oregon State and wins the Pac-12 Championship; Michigan beats Ohio State and wins the Big Ten Championship; Texas beats Texas Tech and wins the Big 12 Championship; and Florida State beats Florida and wins the ACC Championship. That creates two 13-0 teams (Michigan and Florida State), five 12-1 teams (Alabama, Oregon, Texas, Georgia and Washington), and five conference champions.

You follow?

If that happens, some deserving teams could find themselves on the outside looking in. To ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, there’s an answer.

“Texas would have to be in there, and it’d be a debate with Alabama and Oregon,” Herbstreit said on the CFP reveal show Tuesday night. “Depending on how these last two weeks went, I would probably have to give Oregon just because I think they’ve been a better team all year, even though they haven’t played the same competition. I would probably give Oregon the edge under that scenario.”

Le sigh. When winning on the field doesn’t matter...

Speaking of hoops, I regret to inform you that the traditional basketball powers in the SEC are as-advertised this year. Kentucky gave Kansas all they can handle, and the No. 7 Vawls and No. 2 Boilermakers banged their way to a game that was tight throughout.

Worse, Kentucky

There aren’t gonna’ be any gimmes this year for Nate.

Finally, we leave you with this clip of player interviews yesterday, and Roydell is genuinely a funny dude

That’s gonna’ do it for now. Giving Away Money will be along in a bit, and then I’m taking a few much-needed days rest to eat, drink, and do Mary.

For now, please take our very important Thanksgiving Poll


My preferred Thanksgiving entree is:

  • 24%
    (145 votes)
  • 60%
    (362 votes)
  • 3%
    Other traditional (goose, oysters, Cornish hen)
    (20 votes)
  • 1%
    Wild game (moose, eel, long pig etc.)
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    Non-trad (tacos, Chinese, pizza, etc.)
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    Vegetarian / Vegan / Sides are enough for me!
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to hate on what you like.
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    I’m an edgelord shithead who’s too cool to celebrate Thanksgiving and be grateful for life’s small blessings.
    (20 votes)
603 votes total Vote Now

Happy Thanksgumping to you all!

Roll Tide