Good morning. The Rammer Jammer is a daily rundown of everything you need to know about Alabama athletics, published every weekday morning.
One bacchanal of horror and hysteria gave way to another as Halloween turned into that highest of feasts, College Football Playoff Rankings Release Day. The first installation of the Definitely Not Exactly Like the BCS Rankings came with the usual controversy, this time in the form of No.4 one-loss Texas A&M getting the playoff nod over No.5 undefeated Washington. Pat Forde at Yahoo excoriated the committee for the decision.
Alabama, meanwhile, came in at the top of the rankings, ahead of Clemson and Michigan. If the playoff were to begin today, the Crimson Tide would have a rematch against the Aggies in the Peach Bowl/Semifinal. Alabama’s future strength of schedule got a boost, with LSU coming in at No. 13 and Auburn ranked No. 9.
FiveThirtyEight gives Alabama a nation-leading 30 percent chance of winning it all.
- Even more secondary shakeups and more in Marq Burnett’s practice report.
- BamaOnline’s Travis Reier has analysis of and video from Alabama’s Tuesday practice.
- Jonathan Allen is making the most of his senior season, from The Tuscaloosa News’ Ben Jones.
- Field vision and a keen jump cut have turned Damien Harris into Alabama’s premier back this season, from AL.com’s Michael Casagrande.
- Calvin Ridley is one of the few Alabama players not rocking Beats headphones before games. Casagrande explains why.
- Speaking of Ridley, he and Jalen Hurts have been working after practice to build their ‘chemistry,’ from BamaOnline’s Charlie Potter.
- From Kevin Scarbinsky, Nick Saban controls LSU’s future, to an extent. When you read the first paragraphs of this column, please understand that Scarbinsky is not actually saying that Saban is going to throw this game to get Ed Orgeron hired. I think.
- The LSU-Alabama rivalry might be even more intense in recruiting than on the field. AL.com’s Drew Champlain runs down some of the current battles.
- Minkah Fitzpatrick has the smarts and skill to replace Eddie Jackson at safety, from AL.com’s Rainer Sabin.
- Duane Rankin’s preview of Hurts’ first trip to ‘Death Valley’ features an anecdote from Shaun Dion Hamilton about LSU fans shaking buses as they roll in. I can report that not only do the LSU fans do that to the players’ buses, but also the Million Dollar Band’s.
- Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee examines the evolved Crimson Tide, ‘incomparable’ as it is.
- And finally, John Parker Wilson and Lauren Sisler break down some film of the diversifying Alabama offense, below:
At the time of writing, results from Monday’s poll are split fairly evenly: 48 percent of you are most worried about LSU, with 45 percent of you stressing about Auburn. The rest, 7 percent, is given mostly to Florida in the SEC Championship.
Moving ahead, let’s hear your predictions.
Built By Bama
- Myriad issues have plagued Rolando McClain, but Jerry Jones hasn’t ruled him out of the Cowboys’ picture.
- Safety Vinnie Sunseri and receiver Kevin Norwood have been signed to practice squads.
- They’re not the only ones hoping to make the jump back into the NFL:
With Jamaal Charles going on IR, #Chiefs worked out Trent Richardson and Vick Ballard, source said.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 1, 2016
Top 5 … Alabama players in MLB history
In honor of Game 7 of the World Series, let’s take a look back at some Alabama baseball history:
5) Frank Lary — Lary was a two-time All-Star pitcher for the Tigers in the mid-century, where he earned the nickname “Yankee Killer” for obvious reasons. Lary retired with a 3.49 ERA and 128 wins in 292 starts.
4) Luke Sewell — Luke Sewell enjoyed a 20-season playing career in Major League Baseball, playing for the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Senators, the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Browns. His biggest success, however, came as a manager, when he led the St. Louis Browns, now the Baltimore Orioles, to the American League pennant. Sewell was also responsible for one of the more unusual double plays in baseball history, in which he tagged both Lou Gehrig and Dixie Walker out at home.
3) Riggs Stephenson — Appropriately, Stephenson split his time in MLB between the Indians and the Cubs. He was a member of two losing efforts in the World Series as a Cub, including the 1932 series when Babe Ruth called his shot. He retired with a career batting average of .336, among the highest for players not in the Hall of Fame.
2) David Robertson — Currently a reliever for the White Sox, Robertson has represented Alabama in The Show for nearly a decade. A Tuscaloosa native, the 2011 American League All-Star has saved 30-plus games in each of the last three seasons.
1) Joe Sewell — The namesake of the Alabama baseball stadium, Sewell played for the Cleveland Indians for a decade. He entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 and remains the hardest player to strike out in MLB history. In 1932, he struck out just three times in 504 at-bats. After his third full season in the majors, Sewell never broke double-digit strikeouts in a season. In 1920, Sewell helped lead the Indians to their first World Series title, and in 1932, he scored four runs as the Yankees swept the World Series over the … Chicago Cubs.