Tuesday, January 01, 2008  
Happy New Year!
Yessir, now that's what I'm talkin about. SEC is 4-0 in bowl games, so let's go ahead and let all these other conferences try and stake a claim on that one. Sadly, Auburn won last night...but I guess it's ok as long as the SEC can continue their undefeated streak through the bowls.

The Independence Bowl was an interesting game to sit and watch. Alabama obviously had the better football players. There was no question about that. Amazingly, the one thing that helped save Colorado was how bad their quarterback really is. They used his underthrows as an advantage. Throws were consistently behind the receivers, and the Alabama defenders were in perfect positions to make plays, if the QB had made the throws the way they should have been made. For example, at the end of the 2nd quarter, when Kareem Jackson got burned for a touchdown with :04 left, it was because the pass was WAAAAY behind the receiver, who stopped, turned around, and made a play on the ball. That happened again several times in the 3rd quarter. The Tide tried to combat it by playing zone, but Hawkins was able to hit some kids in stride across the middle, negating that idea. Regardless, bad qbs are difficult to defend sometimes.

Cecil points out that the game encapsulates the entire up and down season. Came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, then had to hold on for dear life, but luckily it was a happy ending. Read more here.

Ian Rapoport goes through everything that happened in the game and points out both the positives and the negatives. I don't like the fact that when JP threw the interception, all of our momentum changed. That shows me that there's still a bad mindset down there that won't be gone until we flush everything out from the previous regime. Anyway, read more from Ian's report on the game here.

One of the biggest questions going into the next season will be whether or not Alabama goes in a different direction at the qb position. John Parker Wilson may have gotten the MVP award from the Independence Bowl, but he also made some boneheaded decisions that could have cost us the game. He is supposed to be the leader, and he, again, didn't do a great job of it. There will be three other viable options next season, and they could all give JPW some competition - of course, Star Jackson won't be here until August. I think Nick Fanuzzi will really give him a run for his money. Read more from Cecil here.

Antoine Caldwell is still waiting on his papers from the NFL. He hasn't made up his mind yet on whether or not he'll be coming back to the Capstone next season. I, for one, believe he needs to stay down there and get another year under Saban's offseason program. I can only help him, because he's not going to be a top pick this year. One more year and he could be a first-rounder.

The Charleston Daily Mail is reporting that West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin is interested in Nick Saban becoming West Virginia's new coach. They want a "big name" coach to take over for Rich Rodriguez. For some reason, I still don't see this happening. :-)

The Alabama / Clemson game, slated for 8pm on August 30th from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, to be broadcast live on ABC, is still in the works, according to Tony Barnhart. Both schools still have some kinks to work out, but it appears like it is bound to happen. School officials will meet at the end of the week to try and finish out the details.

Coach Saban's coaching staff is already looking towards the 2008 season. They'll have a 3-day review of this previous season, and make a list of what needs to be worked on, then go from there. Read more from Rapoport.

Aside from football, Alabama basketball is playing Clemson today over at Coleman Coliseum. We're riding a 6-game winning streak right now, and we're playing our best basketball so far this season. Rico Pickett and Mikhail Torrence have played solidly at the point guard position, which was the biggest question for the Tide. They are ranked #5 in the SEC in assists per game, and #2 in assists-to-turnover ratio. If they can beat Clemson today, that will spell very good things for SEC play, because Clemson is just as good, if not better, than a lot of SEC teams this season.

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