Good morning. The Rammer Jammer is a daily rundown of everything you need to know about Alabama athletics, published every weekday morning.
There is no greater argument for college football oversaturation than this Saturday. As one who enjoys dropping myself in front of a TV for 14 hours and bathing in dissolved essence of Brent Musburger as much as the next person, I appreciate the wall-to-wall coverage our game receives. But the fact that ESPN2 will broadcast an Alabama scrimmage in primetime for three hours is insane. These are the games made for the brunch slot, to be brushed out of the way early to prepare for the feast to come.
Isn’t there a Sun Belt matchup that might be within 40 points to watch? What am I supposed to switch to when Oklahoma-West Virginia is in commercial? Vanderbilt-Ole Miss?
Truly, these are the times that try men’s souls.
The media predicts Alabama vs Chattanooga
This section is my biggest objection to scheduling non-FBS opponents. I basically have to go into the Dark Web to find predictions for these games.
- Gene Henley of the Chattanooga Times Free Press tells SEC Country’s Marq Burnett that Alabama will win, but Chattanooga will get a two-point score of some kind.
- Campus Insider predicts Alabama’s highest-scoring game since 2010.
- Jeff Schultz at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes Chattanooga … to cover a 48 1/2-point spread.
- The SEC Country crew likes Alabama but not to cover the off-shore line.
- And finally, AL.com’s Lauren Sisler and Kevin Scarbinsky give Alabama a large margin of victory. TRIGGER WARNING: Kick Six mention.
- Anthony Averett overcame more than a stacked depth chart to earn his starting job. The cornerback formerly known as “Little Peanut” was born at just 28 weeks, fought health complications and is now one of the elite CBs in the SEC, from AL.com’s Matt Zenitz.
- Tommy Deas, executive sports editor of The Tuscaloosa News, has this fascinating look at Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman’s role in a high school football dynasty.
- Listen back to Nick Saban’s weekly radio show.
- Part of that radio show featured Saban complaining about people complaining about Saban, even though nobody’s really complaining about Saban.
- Saban also explained Lester Cotton’s move to right tackle in a little more detail.
- In basketball news, Alabama will attempt to rebound from its loss to Dayton when it hosts Ball State on Friday night. BamaOnline’s Charlie Potter previews the game and has interesting notes on Donta Hall’s nickname, inspired by a Golden State Warrior.
- Marq Burnett gives his five keys to the game for Saturday, mostly centered on depth.
- Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Allen are semifinalists for the Walter Camp award given to college football’s top player, while Allen and Reuben Foster are finalists for the Nagurski trophy.
- Hurts may be a Heisman finalist by season’s end but that hasn’t dissuaded Alabama commit and 5-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Built by Bama
- Cyrus Kouandjio became an American citizen on Thursday. His family’s story is remarkable and worth reading.
- In Dallas, Rolando McClain is struggling to make it back to the field after a 10-game suspension.
- Mark Ingram exited the Saints’ Thursday night loss to Carolina to enter the concussion protocol. He finished with 28 yards on 7 carries and 47 yards on 3 catches.
- In humanitarian news, DeMeco Ryans and Andre Johnson are teaming up to feed hungry families on Thanksgiving.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) November 17, 2016
Around the Capstone
— Alabama W Basketball (@AlabamaWBB) November 18, 2016
- That is an accurate tweet. Alabama won, 82-35.
- Swimming and diving opened the Georgia Tech invitational with a school record in the women’s 50 free and three relay wins.
- Track and field signed a 20-person class, including some promising and high-profile sprinters.
- Volleyball travels to South Carolina on Friday.
What to watch
- Noon ET — This is as top-heavy a slate as there is. Four ranked teams kick off at noon, led by No. 11 Oklahoma State at TCU on FS1. For playoff implications, there’s the off chance that No. 2 Ohio State at Michigan State turns interesting on ESPN. There’s also No. 7 Wisconsin at Purdue on ABC to keep you entertained until …
- 1 p.m. — when No. 16 LSU hosts No. 23 Florida in a massive game for the SEC East title race. If I’m an Alabama fan, I think I’m pulling for Florida here. Rematches against rivals always make me nervous. This game could be extraordinarily close, or a blowout in LSU’s favor, I think. Hope for the former, because it’s the last interesting game to kick off for two hours.
- 3:30 p.m. — No. 22 Washington State at No. 10 Colorado on Fox leads the mid-afternoon slate. If you want to see a good defense tested, this is worth a watch, as Colorado’s unit has seen one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation. Elsewhere, No. 3 Michigan hosts Indiana on ESPN, and I guess things could get weird? Also keep an eye on Mizzou at No. 19 Tennessee on CBS.
- 7 p.m. — Alabama hosts Chattanooga on ESPN2! Watch, gripped in the terror of a possible injury to a key starter playing inexplicably late in the game. No. 4 Clemson travels to Wake Forest in a game that will hopefully tide us over until …
- 8 p.m. — No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 14 West Virginia is the game of the day, on ABC. The winner enters consideration for the College Football Playoff. The loser hopes for a warm bowl trip. During commercial, or in case of a blowout, Ole Miss at Vanderbilt will occupy the SEC Network.
- 10:30 p.m. — That most classic of #Pac12AfterDark matchups, No. 13 USC at UCLA, will be our coda, on ESPN. USC is charging up the rankings, UCLA is floundering, anything could happen.
That’ll do for today. Be good to each other this weekend, and try to enjoy it. See y’all Monday.