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Happy Gump Day! Texas A&M decides to give Alabama some locker room material

Plenty of Gump to get you over that hump

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NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Arkansas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s Hate on A&M

October is traditionally Moving Day for conferences. The OOC schedule is mostly done, and the FCS soup cans have been mostly exhausted. All that’s left is the round-robin hate and familiarity of conference foes.

The PAC 12 looks to have the craziest month on tap, with 4-5 national title contenders mostly squaring off this month (and it begins in earnest this week, with Oregon-Washington, and Wazzu-UCLA). But the SEC is facing even more dire straits. After early losses by this trio, we’re facing an elimination of one or more — perhaps all three contenders by Halloween:

SEC Elimination Season (33) is at hand. Four league teams with one or zero losses will face off against each other multiple times this month. Those games will go a long way toward clarifying how many playoff contenders the conference has.

One-loss teams Alabama, Texas A&M and Tennessee play a round-robin: Saturday, Texas A&M hosts Alabama. The following week, the Aggies visit Tennessee. And the week after that, the Volunteers are at ‘Bama. All three are 4–1 to date, with both A&M and Alabama’s losses coming against nonconference competition. The Vols were beaten by Florida.

Meanwhile, undefeated Kentucky’s next three games are at No. 1 Georgia, home against unbeaten Missouri, then home against Tennessee.

Yes, the Tide can still win the division with a loss: Texas isn’t an SEC team yet. But its goals were a bit less modest than that. Of the three, the Tide is the only one still harboring national title ambitions, though the others could catch fire and emerge to be a darkhorse as well.

Speaking of Aggie, here’s the most overpaid man in America.

Fisher is one of the most accomplished active coaches in the FBS, with one national championship, a playoff berth and five top-10 finishes in 14 seasons at Florida State and A&M. He also owns one of the most onerous deals in sports, a fully guaranteed 10-year contract worth $95 million signed on the heels of his one strong year with the Aggies...

Thought we were done with Aggie?

Oh, no siree. We move on to Enai White breaching the unwritten rule by recording recruiting pitches and blasting them out for social media clout.

Saban’s pitch to Class of 2022 defensive end and eventual Texas A&M signee Enai White went like this:

“We have way more players playing in the league than anybody,” Saban said during the Zoom call with White. “Everybody is going to tell you in recruiting ‘don’t go to Alabama. You can play at our school before you can play there. They’ve got all these good players and you aren’t going to be able to play while you could play at our place earlier.’ I think that’s the worst stuff people can tell you ... If you asked our players on our team, they’ll tell you just the opposite. They’ll tell you ‘the competition made me better.’

“Marlon Humphrey will say you if you play corner — the first corner taken in the NFL draft — he can say ‘I had to cover Amari Cooper every day.’ Amari Cooper was the first receiver taken in the draft. Cam Robinson played left tackle here and won the Outland Trophy. Jonathan Allen played for Washington and he won the Nagurski Award. They practiced against each other every day for three years. All those guys will tell you ‘that made me better ... the guy I practiced against was better than the guy I played in the game against.’”

The complete (recent) history of the Bama / Aggie beef is here at this great story on 247

And we are STILL not done with A&M. Jimbo Fisher is not the only one who’s decided to make this game personal.

WR Ainais Smith decided to pop off and give Alabama precisely what it did not need — motivation by way of locker room material. And calling out Nick Saban by name? Awesome:

“I know what Nick Saban wants, and we’re gonna mess that up ... I feel like this game always more personal, every time I play them.” Smith was referring to the situation in 2016 when Alabama would not immediately grant his brother Maurice Smith to transfer to Georgia. “Every time I do look on that sideline I do think about what had happened ... it’s more personal for sure ... “I’m not trying to cocky or nothing but my brother’s class, they was nice. They was real nice. And no disrespect to Alabama right now, but them boys was always one, two. It was no question. I guess you could say that they’re... I ain’t even gonna say that.”

Saturday cannot get here fast enough.

Ever wondered what it sounds like on the headsets during a game-winning drive? Football Scoop has the audio of Marcus Freeman and the ND staff during last week’s last-second win over Duke.

Very cool.

Wanna’ take a wild guess at who was the SEC Freshman of the Week? Him.

I’ve been banging on about this for a few years now, and it’s good to see me vindicated: The difference in Alabama’s good defenses and their great ones come down to three players: dominant nose, dominant Mike, dominant FS. I think we see that effect this year. The Tide’s ILB corps is phenomenal. The safety tandem is the best in the league, thanks in no small part to Downs. And Keenan has improved tremendously, but is not yet that game-changing force the Tide needs him to be down the stretch in the running game. But, he has shown serious flashes at times.

Yet this is still a great defense. And its full potential hasn’t even been untapped yet. That’s the exciting and scary part #GumpSoHard

Really good interview here with Jalen Milroe on a wide range of topics. Here he is on handling crowd noise and those ghastly snaps:

On working with McLaughlin to clean up the snap situation

“I take full ownership on that. I should be more vocal and louder to allow the snaps to be on point.

“Going to Mississippi State is a loud environment. It took me being more vocal at some points in the game. That’s definitely something me and Seth are going to get together about. We want to build and grow from it.”

On overcoming the noise at College Station

“It’s definitely going to be loud. It’s going to take preparation throughout the week from us, for sure. We’ll come ready; by Saturday we’ll have a plan to attack that.”

Look, I think we can appreciate JM wanting to claim leadership of the team by falling on the sword here for Seth. But when half a dozen snaps hit your damn ankles, that’s not a QB-comms issue; that’s a center-execution issue.

Nice try though, big guy. We know where this one lies.

Read More: Milroe Takes Responsibility for snap snafus |

Two initiatives coming down the pipe from the NCAA. One is purely performative, one is in response to Harbaugh showing his ass to the NCAA.

First, enhanced penalties for infractions, especially directed towards coaches:

The NCAA Division I Council announced on Tuesday that it’s voted unanimously to introduce a package of proposals with the aim of strengthening penalties during the infractions process. Among the most notable of the proposals the was the NCAA Council including the expansion of coaching suspensions to include days between contests.

This proposal is especially relevant given the recent suspension levied against Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan self-imposed a three-game ban for Harbaugh to begin the 2023 season stemming from alleged recruiting violations during the extended COVID-19 dead period. Though Harbaugh was unable to even attend the Wolverines’ first three games, he was able to handle coaching duties during the week.

The council also proposed the creation of a public database of coaches with a history of Level I/II violations, the two most severe tiers in the NCAA infractions process. Below is a full list of the proposals put forth by the Division I council:

Publicly naming individuals involved in infractions and creating a public database to identify coaches with more severe violations.

Expanding coaching suspensions to include the days between games.

Expanding disassociation penalties for boosters that engage in rules violations.

Attaching penalties for schools that hire individuals during a show-cause order.

The second is pure theater; you’ve never seen a more toothless set of proposals than the ones being forwarded to help reign in the monster of NIL they created.

They include creation of a voluntary registry for NIL service providers, such as agents and financial advisors; requirements for disclosure of NIL deals worth more than $600 by athletes to their schools; development of a standardized NIL contract; and education programs for both high school prospects and college athletes.

“Today’s action by the DI Council is a great step toward achieving our shared priority at the NCAA, which is better outcomes for all college athletes who participate in NIL activities,” NCAA president Charlie Baker said in a statement. “As the Association makes these changes to improve the environment for young people with NCAA rules, I look forward to partnering with members of Congress to build on these protections and create greater consistency and opportunities for all college athletes.”

A few fliers, a 100% voluntary registry, and a valuation database, and that’ll solve the problems, right?!

At least he had the good sense to beg Congress for a fix. Again.

Tide Hoops have agreed to an 11th hour exhibition game in Winston Salem, to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

The wife of Wake’s head coach suffered a stroke, so all proceeds from this affair are being used to benefit stroke research.

Alabama could use the time to help work on a rotation, and it’s for a good cause. No problem with this whatsoever.


I hate to end on a sour note, but there are reports coming out that Alabama running back Ray Hudson passed away recently. It has been brutal of late for Tide ‘backs: Santonio Beard, Altee Tenpenny, Ahmad Galloway, and now (reportedly) Hudson.

This has not been confirmed yet, but neither has it been disavowed. I’d be happy to have published an erroneous report TBH.

RIP, Ray Ray.
Roll Tide in the Great Beyond.

That’s it for now. We’ll be back with more later. For now, dig in.


What SEC Contender is most likely to be a fraud at the end of the day?

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  • 4%
    (45 votes)
  • 5%
    Ole Miss
    (57 votes)
  • 14%
    Texas A&M
    (154 votes)
  • 9%
    (103 votes)
  • 7%
    (85 votes)
  • 17%
    (186 votes)
  • 41%
    (449 votes)
1079 votes total Vote Now