Before last Saturday night’s Alabama-LSU game, which carried crucial playoff implications and is always one of the most hyped games of the year, Les Miles and Nick Saban reminded us that even in a competitive moment there are things bigger than football.
The night before LSU played Ole Miss in late October, Miles’ 91-year-old mother passed away. Through some channel, the Alabama coach sent Miles his condolences.
So when Miles saw Saban on the field before the Bama-LSU game, he made a point to seek him out and say thank you for the heartfelt condolences.
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“You know, it hit me because I was with my mother in Tennessee when [he heard],” Saban told Miles. “So, God bless you.”
“She’s sitting up there watching,” Miles responded. “We got another rooter upstairs, I just want you to know.”
1. The new FOX Four is out and TCU moves into the No. 4 spot as Auburn falls out of the playoff field after losing to Texas A&M in Week 11. It’s essentially a pick ‘em for the No. 1 spot, as Mississippi State holds a 0.1-point lead over Florida State. That will get settled this week. Either MSU beats No. 5 Alabama and that lead over FSU grows (the Noles are playing Miami), or the Bulldogs lose and FSU becomes the new No. 1 team.
2. The new AP Top 25 poll dropped Auburn from No. 3 to No. 9, while Oregon moved from fifth to ninth and TCU took the Ducks’ previous spot behind No. 4 Alabama. The coaches poll has Alabama ahead of Oregon, Ohio State at No. 7 (four spots higher than last week) and ASU No. 8 after the Sun Devils waxed Notre Dame.
3. Some unfortunate news for Oregon tight end Pharoah Brown: He will miss the rest of the season with what appears to be some kind of knee/leg injury. Oregon is known for saying almost nothing – or nothing at all – about injuries, but it sounds like even coach Mark Helfrich isn’t entirely sure of Brown’s prognosis yet. He remains hospitalized in Salt Lake City, where he suffered the injury against Utah on Saturday, as doctors further examine his leg. Best of luck, Pharoah, and get well.
THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
1. Bruce Feldman’s Week 11 Big Picture leads off with J.T. Barrett and Ohio State, a team that at least looks as dangerous as anyone in the country right now. It’s incredible how different Barrett looks as a QB in only two months. We have plenty of time to debate the question of who will start in 2015 for the Buckeyes if Braxton Miller comes back to school. For now, let’s enjoy the rest of this season and see where the Buckeyes fall in line in the playoff race.
2. Myles Jack the running back made another appearance for UCLA this weekend in a 44-30 win at Washington, rushing for 38 yards and a TD on four carries. That TD? Yeah, it was pretty sick.
3. After missing four weeks as punishment for accepting money for autographs, Georgia running back Todd Gurley returns this week against Auburn. Freshman Nick Chubb, who rushed for 671 yards in the four games Gurley was out, will still play a huge role in the offense but it’ll be fun to have Gurley back. He’s one of the sport’s best players and will be off to the NFL after this season. So enjoy his last few games as a Bulldog.