No. 5 Alabama (10-1) travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face No. 16 Auburn (8-3) in the latest installment of the Iron Bowl. This is the Crimson Tide’s last chance to impress the College Football Playoff committee. Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on CBS.Alabama remains in the Playoff debate but will not have the luxury of playing in the SEC championship game. Backup quarterback Mac Jones replaced injured starter Tua Tagovailoa this week, and the margin of victory will be over-analyzed if the Crimson Tide can pull this one off. WEEK 14 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spreadAuburn is battle-tested, having played three games against top-10 opponents. Auburn lost all three of those games, but this is a chance for freshman quarterback Bo Nix to take some of the ever-present heat off coach Gus Malzahn.The Iron Bowl is always a big deal, and this year is no exception. With that in mind, here’s everything you need for Saturday’s matchup:Alabama vs. Auburn oddsSpread: Alabama -3.5Point total: 49.5Moneyline: Alabama -110, Auburn-110Alabama is a 3.5-point favorite, according to odds at Sportsbook Review, and 52 percent of the wagering has come in favor of the Crimson Tide:Alabama vs. Auburn all-time seriesThe Crimson Tide lead the all-time series with the Tigers 45-31-1. Auburn, however, is 13-9 when both teams are ranked.Three trends to know— Alabama coach Nick Saban is 8-4 against the Tigers since taking over for the Crimson Tide in 2007. Three of those losses were at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Saban also is 2-3 in the Iron Bowl when both teams are ranked.— The Tigers are 7-2 against the spread as a home underdog under Gus Malzahn. Auburn is 2-1 against the spread as an underdog this season.— Under Saban, Alabama is 30-20 against the spread as a road favorite — a 60 percent success rate.WEEK 14 PROJECTIONS: Bowls | PlayoffThree things to watchBo over the top?Nix has been all or nothing in spots for the Tigers this season, but he needs to follow the formula set by Nick Marshall (2013) and Jarrett Stidham (2017). Those two quarterbacks beat Alabama by completing 72.7 percent of their passes without throwing an interception in the last two victories. More importantly, they averaged 75 yards rushing with a touchdown apiece. Nix needs to be a factor with his legs in this game.Auburn defensive frontThe Tigers are at home, and this is a game where their defensive line has to be a factor against a quarterback making his first road start. Can Derrick Brown and Co. rattle Jones into a few ill-timed throws? That means forcing some third-and-longs and staying on their 3.3 yards-per-carry average. Look for Alabama to try to counter with Najee Harris early. Harris averages 6.0 yards per carry and 12.1 yards per catch.Beauty pageant effectAlabama can’t worry about the scoreboard: They need to win the game first. It will be interesting to see how the Crimson Tide handles this game if they pull away in the second half. Saban’s eight victories in the Iron Bowl have come by an average of 24.5 points per game. It might take that kind of blowout to keep the Crimson Tide in the CFP discussion. Stat that mattersJones averages 15.2 yards per completion with a few starts under his belt. If he can spread the wealth to that all-world group of receivers in Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle, then Alabama should be able to get out of Jordan-Hare Stadium with a victory. The Tigers’ secondary has come up with just seven interceptions this season.Alabama vs. Auburn predictionEmotions run high early, and Auburn grabs an early lead after a Jones turnover. The Tigers can’t build on that, however, and Alabama eventually hits on the big pass plays. Harris is a major factor in the second half, and the Crimson Tide pull away. The Tigers hit a cosmetic touchdown late to keep this from being a full-fledged blowout.Final score: Alabama 34, Auburn 23
Fulham have again been linked with a move for Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe.The Daily Mirror say the Whites, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all keen on the England international.QPR and West Brom are on the trail of Argentina star Cristian Ansaldi, according to The Sun.The Rubin Kazan full-back, 25, is said to have been attracting attention from a host of top clubs, including Chelsea.Meanwhile, a number of today’s papers pick up on comments made by Joey Barton’s agent Willie McKay, who believes the QPR midfielder may join Marseille with Stephane Mbia moving in the opposite direction.Chelsea are considering making a final improved offer for Bayer Leverkusen’s Germany international André Schürrle, according to The Guardian.The Bundesliga outfit are reported to have turned down a £16m offer for the 21-year-old forward.The Sun say Chelsea’s Michael Essien is being lined up for a £10m move to Fenerbahce.The Daily Mail say the Turkish club are preparing an £8m bid for Essien and have also enquired about Blues midfielder Raul Meireles.This page is regularly updated.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority has reported that the French vessel Laplace has located pings presumed to originate from one of two black boxes says Aviation Herald.Another vessel the John Lethbridge is estimated to join the search in a week in order to retrieve the blackbox(es).According to Aviation Herald the search for the second pinger continues.In a dramatic development French broadcaster France 3 reports that the plane that crashed did three emergency landings in the 24 hours before the crash.The report has yet to be confirmed by government or airspace authorities.The A320 used for the EgyptAir flight MS804 connecting Paris to Cairo reportedly had to turn around three times and perform emergency landings on each occasion, while travelling between Eritrea, Egypt, Tunisia, and Paris.Shortly after taking off, emergency signals indicating a problem onboard went off, prompting the plane to turn around, France 3 reports.
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drayond green visits michigan stateThursday, Michigan State basketball opens up The Wooden Legacy tournament, played in Anaheim, with a contest against Boston College. Wednesday night, the team had a surprise visit from a former player who now plays for the best team in the state of California. Draymond Green, who stars for the Golden State Warriors but played his college ball at MSU, stopped by during film session to see his former teammates – and, of course, head coach Tom Izzo. Check it out:Green has the Warriors off to a 16-0 start. Perhaps his influence will help the Spartans do the same.