How would you bet Jags versus Tide? 

November, 2, 2012

I'm going to make a point, so stick with me.

Do you think Clay Matthews is a pretty good linebacker? The answer is yes, don't even try to find a way to disagree. Do you think B.J. Raji, at 6-foot-2 and 337 pounds, is very good? Don't answer that. Of course he is. He is a man playing against boys, even in the NFL.

Let's continue.

Charles Woodson? Making the Hall of Fame. A.J. Hawk, Tramon Williams? They'd start on any team in the league. All this talent and the Green Bay Packers still allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to gain 341 yards last Sunday, keeping the game close until the final minutes.

I'm getting closer.

And I am going to repeat this: The 1-6 Jacksonville Jaguars gained 341 yards against the 13th-best defense in the NFL. They were on the road against a Super Bowl-caliber team that needed a field goal with less than a minute remaining to clinch a win.

We have arrived.

The point is, any conversation about whether the Alabama Crimson Tide should even be on the same field as Jacksonville is ridiculous. Any conversation about whether Alabama could cover a spread against Jacksonville is equally preposterous. It's the kind of question that prompts this exchange when I emailed Jeff Sherman of the Las Vegas Hotel, who happened to be standing next to his fellow bookmaker Ed Salmons when I pinged him.