Sorry about the delay in posting today. I've been INSANELY busy at work. I'm lucky I got a chance to update at all. Today's will, of course, be kinda short, since I'm doing this on my lunchbreak.
As you saw on the headline, this is my 500th post. I'm feeling pretty damn good about myself for that. I've kept this thing going a lot longer than I thought I would. Thank you guys for continuing to come back and read up on the Tide. It kinda drives me to keep writing. :-)
This isn't really Bama news, but it involves that douchebag, Coach Franphony. Apparently he has been selling injury reports and details about his players in a confidential newsletter called VIP Connection. Only a dozen big name boosters were subscribers, but it was a $1200 fee to join and get the inside scoop on certain players' injuries, etc. It is a CLEAR violation of HIPAA laws. Anyway, read more about it here. Man, talk about the bottom falling out for a coach. Jeez. Karma's a bitch.
You can see a whole lot of Coach Saban in Jimbo Fisher. The same focus on "the process," along with other facets of the game. Read more about their similarities here.
As we've been saying for most of the week, Saturday will probably be the debut of Brian Motley on defensive line, along with the return of Captain Insano, Darren Mustin. Read more here.
John Parker Wilson has, of course, been struggling. When asked about it, Coach Saban joked "maybe we should just run a 2-minute offense all the time." Then the joking ended. Wilson's gotta get better for this team to have a chance to do really well this season. Period. Read more here.
Plenty more news stories today about all things Bama / FSU. Turns out that Cal vs Oregon is the biggest game of the weekend. People are comparing Dennis Dixon to Vince Young. For some reason, I don't buy that. I watched this kid play last year, and he looked awful. Of course, it does say something about LSU's Gary Crowton, who was Oregon's OC last year - if he couldn't get them to win and score like they are now...maybe he'll be the chink in LSU's armor this year. :-)
RollBamaRoll has a huge write-up about all the ties that we're seeing in this game. From Bobby Bowden offering Nick a job way back when, to Mickey Andrews attending the UofA and winning 2 national titles while playing for Bear, to the Jimbo Fisher / Nick Saban stuff, etc. Check it out here.
The saga of Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher is told, somewhat, here. Read up on it.
Coach Bowden has known Coach Saban "since he was about that high." Read more about all that here.
Roy Upchurch is ready to get on the field more. This is, after all, the team he grew up a fan of. He's from Florida, so he wants to show out a lil bit. I like this quote - "T spreads em out, Glen beats em up a lil bit, then I come in and run by 'em." Good philosophy that should actually work. Read more here.
I haven't read an article detailing Coach Saban's "Hey Coach" show as of yet, but I finally got one here. Being in Memphis, I don't really get to listen to many of the Bama radio shows...although I'm debating spending the $5 per month for yahoo sports.
Brian Motley and Darren Mustin will both be playing in limited roles on Saturday against Florida State. They both look to be doing well, although I'm sure that Lorenzo Washington and Prince Hall will both start.
Prince Hall is finally beginning to prove himself to Coach Saban and the coaching staff, and he's relieved. He's finally getting some good playing time, and it's going to add more depth to the defense. Read more here.
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Don't forget guys - if you're debating going to the game in Jacksonville this weekend, make sure you've got your tickets. Check out TickCo.com's Alabama section for tickets to any game, home or away.
I went to see Bury Your Dead last night at a new place called the Dregs. I used to be big into the hardcore scene...but now I just don't understand it. Buncha kids getting into fights, and punching air and all that. Really strange. I like some metal, but I'll stick to my beer drinkin rock n roll, thankya very much.
19 of LSU's 24 starters were signed by Coach Saban. That's pretty damn incredible. Read here.
We can get excited about the fact that Hayes won't be starting at MLB for Fla St on Saturday, or we can face the facts that, even without a start, he'll still get significant playing time. Bowden left the door open for him to still get minutes.
You want depth? We'll get some depth - maybe as soon as this weekend. Brian Motley was back at practice yesterday, and was not wearing a "no-contact" jersey. McCullough and Chapman were both in scout team garb, and Motley was running with the big dogs. Of course, Coach Saban said Motley wouldn't be back in football-shape until after this weekend, but we'll see what happens.
They're not sure, but this could be the first time ever that both Alabama and Auburn travel to the state of Florida in the same weekend. Both teams are going to face tough competition, but Auburn looks to have the bigger challenge, playing in the Swamp.
Coach Steele says that leaving Florida State was the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Read more about it here.
Ray Melick throws in his 2 cents worth on Alabama fans staying "classy." I agree with everything, but I am really sick of hearing about all of this. Read his article here.
Turns out, figuring out exactly what's wrong with John Parker Wilson isn't quite so easy. There are a ton of things he's doing wrong, and it's tough to just point to one thing and say "There. That's what needs to be fixed." Coach Saban said JP needs to just settle down and take what the defense gives him. Which is, of course, easier said than done. Read more here.
By now you all know that the Houston/Bama game on Oct. 6th will be a pay-per-view broadcast at 2pm. There are a ton of big games that day, so it's not surprising that we didn't get picked up for a broadcast. Read the specifics here.
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There's not a whole lot going on this morning. The guys get back to practicing today. After two draining football games against incredibly tough competition, they needed a couple of days without contact to get their bodies back into gear.
Finebaum knows what he's talking about. Read more here.
The transcript from yesterday's press conference, previewing Florida State, is up over at rolltide.com. Go check it out.
Everyone involved with the game on Saturday, from Florida State, Alabama, and the Gator Bowl committee, is incredibly excited about it. It's like a bowl game in the middle of the season. Check it out here.
Coach Bowden will discuss the kids that were arrested, and any other injuries, etc, on Wednesday. 'Til then, he won't talk about it. Read more - here.
Several of the current players on Alabama's roster grew up as Florida State fans - which is normal because Florida State was the hottest school of the decade in the 90s with a 109-11 record and 2 national titles. Of course, once Saturday rolls around, they'll be ready to whip some Seminole booty. Read more here.
There are just 4 trillion story lines leading into Saturday's matchup, but this was the most interesting to me. Coach Bowden offerend Nick Saban a position on his staff, even though there wasn't one available, so he could move closer to home to be with his mother after his dad passed away. That's a huge gesture and it shows a lot of class. Should be a helluva ballgame on Saturday.
The running backs have no idea what the rotation is, or really what their role is on the team yet. Terry Grant, Glen Coffee, and Roy Upchurch appear to be the main three, with Jimmy Johns being the odd man out. Antoine Caldwell says it best: "it's always good to have fresh legs in the 4th quarter."
The Jaguars newsroom talks about Coach Shula not commenting on the Alabama situation at all. Read more about it here.
If you had any question on where Coach Saban stands involving stupid, class-less fan behavior - read here. It doesn't represent our university in a good light, and it will hurt us in the long run, so for anybody that's thinking about throwing a cup, or calling a coach - don't do it. Period.
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But, of course, you already knew that. Here's the deal - we talked about Gundy's tirade about an article that was mainly an opinion piece, based on rumors, that was somewhat trashing Bobby Reid, Oklahoma State's quarterback that has since been replaced. It was attacking his character and his attitude, and was incredibly uncalled for by anyone with any kind of ethics. If you want to bash the kid's playing ability, that's fine. If you want to bash a kid for getting arrested or something, then that's fine too. To question a kid's attitude or desire to work hard - that's just a slap in the face to not only the player, but the coaches as well.
I for one think Mike Gundy outburst was needed. Dennis Dodd, using the whole "journalists fraternity" idea, thinks Gundy should be fired for attacking a journalist. Read more about it here. More proof of why he's an idiot.
Either way, that's not Alabama stuff, so I guess I shouldn't care at the moment. Haha.
You need your Bama-FSU tickets, don'tcha? Well go on over to TickCo.com's section for Bama/FSU, or you can get tickets for any other Bama game this year as well.
The Decatur Daily talks about how Saban is getting more out of this team than anybody even thought capable. Read more here.
Ian Rapoport says the loss should bring us fans back to reality, but it shouldn't make us any less excited about the future of this program. We've actually got guys that can coach now, as compared to the past decade, and Saturday was more proof of that.
Scarbinsky talks about how, for a few minutes in the 4th quarter on Saturday night, the Saban-mania, and the belief in the impossible, crossed the threshold from insane to ridiculous. Read more here.
Coach Saban talked about how the passing game needs to improve - again. Read more here.
Nick Gentry, freshman from Prattville, played quite a bit Saturday night as the back-up nose tackle. Nobody really talked much about him before, but that's just one more body that can come in and help us get some depth on the line towards the end of the season. Just imagine how deep this team can be by 2009. It should be on the verge of ridiculous.
Cecil proves, again, that he knows what he's talking about. There are lessons to be learned from the loss, and he goes through them. Very very good article.
Looks like the boys are going to get 2 days of rest rather than one. Should be good for them. They could really use a break. Read more here.
I remember last year having close ballgames, but knowing that we would lose. And this year, even when I knew we would lose (like last night), I still had hope.
It is incredibly obvious that we do not have the talent to compete for SEC Championships yet. Georgia did anything and everything they wanted to for most of the night, and we still found a way to take the game into overtime. That's absolutely incredible for a coaching staff that just came in here 9 months ago. This football team believes they are better than they really are, and that's half of the battle.
Now, after the overtime loss, we've crashed back down to reality, but just getting to overtime was a feat in-and-of itself. I didn't hear anybody that was mad about losing...just people that know that better things are on the way. We got smacked in the mouth last night, early and often, and still fought back, and I'm proud of our football team, as I'm sure most everyone is.
The Florida State game has been confirmed for CBS, with kickoff at 4pm CST on Saturday. This is another team that has more talent than we do, but they haven't shown anything as of yet. Should be another fun game, so get ready for another thriller. And the early line has Bama as at +3.5.
As for the Georgia fans that defaced Bryant-Denny - I have no proof of that happening, and until I see otherwise, I won't believe it. I met several Georgia fans yesterday, and they were very very nice.
And now, for the Greek section at Bryant-Denny throwing cubs, shakers, and liquor bottles on the Georgia players when they were celebrating the victory the other night, I have this to say - who cares? Yes, the Georgia players have the right to celebrate, but run down the field and get in front of your fans. Don't taunt our fans and jump around in front of the student section. That's just idiotic. I don't blame our fans for throwing shit, same as I'm not going to get irritated at Georgia for celebrating in the wrong spot. Everyone that's worried about "class" - don't be. Both of these teams had it, and both fanbases do, even if there was a minor incident at the end of the game.
Coach Saban made some interesting remarks about the passing game at the end of the night, saying that we've got too many good skill players to not be better at throwing the football. I agree with him. And for the people that are wondering how Georgia got more pressure on our quarterback than we got on theirs - look at the difference in the QBs.
John Parker is NOT the quarterback that will lead us to the promised land. He's not a good decision maker, and he's not an "under center" qb. But that doesn't bother Coach Saban - because he's not going to change his gameplan, or change what he's trying to accomplish to match his personel. It is very obvious that Coach Saban isn't worried about winning for the next couple of years. He's worried about getting a plan in place and doing things the right way. JP is the perfect shotgun quarterback. If he had gone to Texas Tech or to Hawaii, he'd be putting up ridiculous numbers, but in a power offense, he's just not that good.
Bottom line, see how many times JP held the ball longer than 2 or 3 seconds in the ball game. An offensive line should give a quarterback about that long to go through his progressions and make the throw. John Parker sat back there as long as humanly possible, got happy feet, and couldn't make the throws when he needed to. But you notice that as soon as we put him in shotgun in pressure situations, he knows where to put the football.
Of course, that's not what Coach Saban wants though. He has a plan. Eventually, he will get the football players to fit that plan, but we're not there yet. The process will take time.
...But it is definitely fun watching as it happens. Oh yeah, it hasn't quite been 24 hours, but I'm hearing that they've "voluntarily" gone over Florida State film today. The game should be interesting to see if Jimbo has some tricks he's saved for Coach Saban.
Oh yeah, and this is absolutely awesome - I am officially a Mike Gundy fan, even though they beat us last year. The article he's talking about is located here.
They're setting up the Gameday stuff in front of the stadium. I'm just curious where the walk of champions will occur on Saturday, because it appears that they're setting up directly in the middle of it. See for yourself...maybe you see it differently than me.
Oh well. Either way, it's better to have Gameday here than not have them. I know that much. Maybe changing coaches and changing locations will help break the jinx we've been talking about all week.
Students and RVers alike are expecting Coach Saban to break the Gameday jinx. People are more worried about the process, and the attitude of the players more than they were previously. Read more here.
According to the message boarders over at TideSports.com, Tubberville skipped his call-in show last night, electing to send Al Borges into the fire. Apparently Tommy was out "recruiting," or...as we like to say...collecting left-overs.
The Texas A&M boards are livid this morning, calling for Franphony's head. They're already talking about how they're going to get Tubberville. Sounds good to me. Haha. Check it out here.
If you'd like to see the full size versions of the pics of ESPN setting up yesterday evening, go here. Very good pics.
Scarbinsky says that Alabama has an advantage if Saban is freaking other coaches out - i.e. Mark Richt closing practices. Read more here. Oh yeah, and he says in Nick Saban's movie about his life story, he'll be played by Al Pacino. And then I realized that they actually do like kinda similar.
Mark Edwards reminds us that Georgia has won only 2 of its last 7 SEC games. Of course, I believe Alabama is close to the same number, but we've had a regime change since then...haha. Advantage: Alabama.
Coach Saban used Saturday's game as a teaching tool. Hopefully the kids caught the lesson.
The Mobile Press-Register says that Georgia closing practices is no big deal - just look at the fact that EVERY practice in Tuscaloosa has been closed since Saban got here. And I would agree, except for the fact that Georgia has ALWAYS had open practices under Mark Richt for the past 7 years. Read more here.
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