Sorry for the no-post yesterday. Blogger was down everytime I tried to update. Ridiculous.
Of course, there wasn't anything major from yesterday morning. Alabama baseball gave up 23 runs in their last 11 innings of the season, so that ended their hopes at a super regional. The Alabama women got beat 3-1 by Arizona State, again, after a magical Saturday where they beat Arizona and La-Lafayette. And then golf finished #13 out of 15 in the NCAA Championships. So, all other sports seasons are done. Now it's time to focus on football.
And it couldn't happen any sooner. With all the bad feelings about everything ending prematurely, we got a commitment yesterday from a 4-star running back that many are praising as the next big thing to come through Tuscaloosa. He's easily the best we'll have had since Shaun Alexander. His name is Trent Richardson, and he's a 5'11, 210lb running back from Pensacola, FL who runs a 4.5 and is a bruiser. This kid is just ridiculous. Everyone assumed he would be attending Florida or Florida State, but Coach Saban sold him on how he would fit into the offense, and he's headed to Tuscaloosa next year. I'm down.
RollBamaRoll.com hosted the Crimson & White Roundtable yesterday, so I get to post my answers today --
1. There is a poll up at RBR about what was the biggest SEC upset from last season. What is your pick and why?
I'm gonna have to go with Vanderbilt over South Carolina, in Columbia. That just isn't supposed to happen, especially with South Carolina having beaten Georgia in Athens earlier in the year. Only scoring 3 points on Vanderbilt? At home? And people still say Spurrier is one of the best coaches in the league? Yeah, ok.
2. Looking ahead to this season's schedule, what games do you see as being the deciding factors in who will win the SEC?
In the West, it's the same as always. LSU @ Auburn, Auburn @ Alabama, Alabama @ LSU. In the East, you can go ahead and count Tennessee out. I would imagine we'll have to see what Georgia does against Alabama, Auburn and LSU, since Florida only has to play LSU out of those three. Then, of course, there's the Not-a-Cocktail Party, of course.
3. Phil Steele and Athlon have Florida ranked #1 in the country with UGA coming in at #9 and #5, respectively, while Lindy's likes the Dawgs at #1 and Florida at #6. Obviously both teams can't represent the East in Atlanta, so which team do you think will wind up playing for the title and a berth in the Sugar Bowl (or National Championship Game), or do you think it's possible neither team will be there at the end of the season?
I think Florida still has too many questions on defense, and I'm still not sold on Tebow, even after a Heisman campaign. He hasn't proven that he can win when he needs to. The Michigan game really opened up my eyes and showed that if you get pressure on him, and don't allow him to scramble around, he's just like John Parker Wilson, only a good bit bigger. I figure Florida will probably win 9 or 10 ballgames again, but I don't think they'll be a title contender.
Now Georgia, on the other hand, has everything in place, except for the schedule. If they get through this thing unscathed, they may be the best team of all time. And, it is definitely possible that they could do it, but not likely. I think Georgia will probably win the East, and probably the SEC. Depending on what everyone else does, they could easily be representing the SEC in the Title game, even with 2 losses.
4. It's a little early for a "traitor's draft" since we don't know who the starters are going to be until the fall, but since football is a year long affair let's go ahead and have one. If you could trade two Alabama spring starters, one offensive and one defensive, for their counterpart on any other SEC team, who would you trade and why?
I know my two right off the bat. I'll take Jasper Brinkley from South Carolina at linebacker, to put alongside Rolando McClain in place of Jimmy Johns (or whatever freshman takes the spot), and I'll take Matt Stafford at quarterback from Georgia, in place of John Parker Wilson. Stafford grew up in the middle of last season and started making good decisions. JPW is known for making bad decisions, and not having the arm to pull them off. And Jasper...well, he's experienced and has a really good head for the game. And he's a lot better than anybody we've got coming back.
5. Finally, and just for fun, give me one non-Alabama game you'd love to attend this season (there's a list of the "Top 40" non-con games of the season here if you need a little help).
I don't think I'll go with non-conference games. I think I'll go with the Georgia / Florida game. I've never been, and I hear that it's absolutely ridiculous how good the tailgating can be. Not to mention it should be a helluva game this year, and those two teams hate each other almost as much as Alabama and Tennessee.
I'll be posting the games from Coach Stallings's tenure later on today. For now though...work calls!
¶ 9:20 AM