Well, I haven't done a good job updating lately, but hopefully I'll get better. First day of practice is tomorrow, so we'll start to learn about a mythical depth chart, etc.
For now, though, we have the Crimson and White Roundtable, this week hosted by Tide Druid.
1. Complete this sentence: Alabama’s biggest improvement from the 2007 season will be __________.
Without question, I think it will be the offense. The only improvement you really need is consistency, and McElwain is known for that. Yes, John Parker Wilson is awful...but if he can just limit the back-breaking interceptions and fumbles, then we might be able to make some noise this year. Think about the games that were lost last year due to turnovers by Wilson - a) Florida State b) LSU c) Mississippi State d) Louisiana-Monroe (yes, the pick that they returned to the 1 in the 2nd quarter is what killed that game), and I guess we could even say the Auburn game, but I guess that pick in the endzone could actually be blamed on DJ Hall. Regardless, all of those games were decided with one or two plays here or there. If Coach Mac is as good as advertised, we'll have a QB that doesn't have to win ballgames for us, and hopefully won't lose them either.
2. Who will be the unsung hero of the 2008 Crimson Tide? This is a player that hasn’t received any pre-season attention, nor will he receive any post-season attention from the media. Yet without his presence, the Tide would be lost.
I think I may have to go with Mike Johnson. I think he's gonna bring a lot of consistency to the RG position. He couldn't hold up at right tackle because he wasn't quick enough, but he's a stud, and guard is his natural positon anyway. He'll make our running game more effective, and give JP more time to sit back in the pocket and find open receivers. It's all about the progression in the pocket. Another option here could end up being Tyler Love. If he can sew up the right tackle slot, this line could be the best in the country. We haven't had somebody that could actually protect the QB on that side of the ball in years.
3. This is a rather vague question considering we haven’t even started fall practice, but what bowl game can we expect for this Alabama team?
Peach bowl. We haven't been there, I don't believe, and an 8-4 or 9-3 season will definitely get us there. Plus, we want to get into Atlanta as many times as possible. All about recruiting bro. Haha.
4. This next one has to do with the recent hub-bub over the sabbatical Kenny Stabler is taking from the radio broadcast. I would like you to pick your ultimate Alabama football radio broadcast team. Pick an announcer, color analyst, a sideline reporter or two, and anything else you’d like to add.
Hmmm...ok, here we go. Announcer, I want Joe Kines. Of course. It'd be difficult to understand, but it would be entertaining. Jay Barker as color, and sideline reporter...even on radio, I would love to have Erin Andrews. :-)
Pretty soon I'm gonna run through all the recruits that we've gotten committed already.
Big news yesterday afternoon was the hiring of Dave Hart as Executive Athletic Director. I'm pretty sure that means that he'll be replacing Mal Moore in the next few years when he finally decides to retire. Hart is an Alabama alum, and was the Athletic Director at Florida State from 1995 through 2007, and he left last year due to "personality conflicts" with the president of the school, although the rumor is that Hart didn't want to hire Jimbo Fisher as Bowden's replacement, and the pres did. I think they did a good job and found somebody that was interested, and somebody that can actually lead this program to new heights.
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Man, oh man. I can smell the ocean now. I am 30 days away from heading down to Gulf Shores for a looong Labor Day weekend. And yes, I'll have my laptop so I can blog about the game, and leading up to it.
CollegeFootballNews.com has their Alabama preview posted, and their big thing is that Alabama probably needs to start winning right about now, because the offensive line won't be that solid next year, and we'll be breaking in a new quarterback. Of course, that's fine with me, because that new QB should be AJ McCarron. Anyway, check it out. It's a pretty good read, and says we should be in contention for the West title.
Fan Day will be this Sunday. I don't know if I'll be able to be off work, but damn I'd like to go out there and watch the new guys. Of course, it's like a 3 and a half hour drive for me...so that could make things difficult as well. If you get the chance, go check it out.
Todd McShay, on ESPN radio yesterday, said that Alabama was ranked #6 in the country in his top 10. I had to go back and listen to make sure he wasn't talking about recruiting. He thinks that Alabama will be this year's Kansas. Thinks the offense will be awesome. Thinks the defense will be great with the stud freshmen coming in, and thinks we'll win the West. Yikes. I'm down with it...I just thought the guy was smoking crack at first.
¶ 9:48 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I haven't laughed this hard in forever. So, I'm sitting in my car this morning, on my way from one office to the other, and I'm listening to George Lapides and Stats Norsworthy on Sports56. They're getting ready to bring on Phillip Fulmer, and a guy wearing Notre Dame garb walks around and gives everyone a copy of the subpoena that was served to Phil Fulmer earlier in the morning. Talk about everyone being in shock. That was the best few minutes of radio that I have heard in quite some time.
Apparently, Fulmer has not even looked at the document, and didn't know what it was for. It was given to him as his car pulled into the parking lot at the Wynfrey Hotel this morning and he just threw it in the car. I found it incredibly entertaining that it's for 2 days before the Vols play at Auburn, which is a game that could find the Vols at 2-2, which would be a make or break game, much like 2005.
I had to laugh when I heard what the subpoena was for - Wendell Smith's case against the NCAA is still ongoing, and if this case proves that there was a conspiracy between Tennessee and the NCAA, then you can bet your ass that Tommy Gallion will be right back to his old tricks. This deposition is incredibly important on September 25th, and for anyone that thought this was just going to go away, you were sadly mistaken.
Now, I must take to task some members of the Sports56 crew who were at the game. And one person, in particular, who claims to be an Alabama football fan (but is a North Carolina basketball fan). Towards the end of the "Middays" show, they talked about how disrespectful and stupid it was to have Fulmer served at SEC Media days, and that it's ridiculous that this is still going on, and that Alabama fans need to just let it go. The best way to get back at Tennessee is to whip their ass on the field because we can't get those scholarships or those years back.
What our friend Will, and Rob, and Greg need to realize is that when Fulmer played tattle-tail, he ruined the lives of a few individuals. His work with the NCAA left several people without work, and those guys do, in fact, have a case, and once this thing is finished, they'll get what is owed to them. This isn't just Alabama fans that Fulmer got in trouble. He actually left people without work, who can't get a job now, who were doing this for a long long time and don't know how to do anything else. And honestly, even thought Wendell is still well off, there's also the case of people just wanting to clear their good name, and they'll go down swingin. People like this have the money to be able to go to war with somebody like Fat Phil, and they won't stop until he's hurting somewhere.
You can go ahead and claim that people like Wendell, and Ronnie Cottrell, and whoever else was involved with this mess, deserve everything that happened to them. Put people like Phillip Fulmer don't deserve to get off free. Karma is a bitch, and something is going to go down. Today's events may have opened up a whole 'nother round of Tommy Gallion and his wonderful bag of tricks.
My original plan was to be in Atlanta for the Alabama / Clemson game on August 30th...but I got the itch and now have plans to be in Gulf Shores for Labor Day weekend. I'm taking a week's vacation and going out to catch some rays and watch the game on a 27" in a condo. Can't beat that, I don't guess. Haha. I'll be in Tuscaloosa for the Tulane game, so there's that too.
Alabama got 2 commitments last night after not having any for over a month. William Ming, a 4 star defensive end from Athens, committed to the Tide. This is the kind of kid you want on your team. Class act, and sporting a 4.0 GPA. Yup yup.
We also got a commitment from Gerald West, a 3-4 star (depending on the site) cornerback from Mobile who can run a 4.4 40. He had some academic issues, but has since gotten that figured out. He made a 20 on his last ACT, and his GPA currently stands at 2.5, so as long as he passes his senior year, he should be ok.
SEC Media Days starts today, and there looks to be over 800 media members present at the event. That's the most they've ever had. Read more here.
I could be wrong about this, but I don't think this Justin Graves guy has been around here very long. He doesn't think Nick Saban will be treated like a rock star again at SEC Media Days? Are you kidding? It's in Birmingham. Alabama coaches are ALWAYS treated like rock stars at media days. Read more here. He's got a good story about how good the coaching lineup is in this conference.
¶ 10:23 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Well, we're getting ready for football, and now there's basketball news. And it's good news too. Antoine Pettway, hero of the '03-'04 NCAA Tourney Elite 8 run, and the guy that hit the layup to give us our first SEC Championship in basketball in forever, has been hired on as an assistant coach for Mark Gottfried's staff. I'll take it. This guy had some guts. He had a desire to win that I haven't seen in these players since he left. Now, maybe he'll be able to instill that into the kids on this team. With Steele, Gee, and Green on the team, we could be a force this year.
Les Miles has got a big mouth, man. At a recent Tiger Tour Stop in New Orleans, before the SEC Media Days, he had a quick jab to tell everyone that beating Alabama wasn't that big of a deal because "a lot of teams in Louisiana beat that team." You think Nick Saban won't be using that this year? Jeeez.
My PS3 NCAA '09 dynasty is currently 5-1 after a loss to Georgia, but a 38-0 whipping of Kentucky the following week. The game is absolutely incredible.
The Times Daily has a list of the big non-conference games in the SEC this year. App State and LSU has turned into a big one. And, of course, they tell the truth by saying that, if Alabama can upset Clemson in the first game of the year, expectations will be through the proverbial roof for the rest of season in Tuscaloosa.
Then, the Times Daily decides to look at the biggest conference games for this year. Alabama only gets one mention, and that's the Saban Bowl in Baton Rouge. Things could get ugly down there this year.
The Montgomery Advertiser takes a look at the preseason magazines and throws all the expectations together to get a good average. Pretty good read.
And finally, there will be mroe reservations on campus this fall for football games, so be sure and check out UAGameday.com to make sure that your favorite parking spot isn't one of the new pay lots, etc. Read more here.
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What record would you consider "sufficient progress" in the coming season?
I would say 7-5 would be sufficient progress. I don't have my expectations too high, and 7 wins means we get a win somewhere either on the road, or against Auburn or Clemson. I'll take any of those things.
Does college football need a playoff? Why?
I say it needs a 4-team playoff. Basically just the plus-one format. I can see it happening, and relatively soon, where 3 or 4 teams will go undefeated in a season, and without the plus-one, there's no real way to determine who exactly is the best team. I don't think we need some long drawn-out 8 or 16 team playoff, but a plus one would be hella cool.
If you’re an Alabama fan and a native Alabamian, then more than likely you became a fan sometime between conception and the cutting of the cord, but what moment do you remember best as being "the moment" that you became an active participant in your fandom?
I remember when I was 6 years old, Alabama was playing at Ole Miss in a game that was moved to the Jackson Coliseum in Jackson, MS. This was in 1989. I was a huge Gary Hollingsworth fan because, of course, he had the same name as me (Gary). I remember the score being 21-0 Ole Miss in the first quarter before we really got comfortable in our seats, and then the Tide offense went on a rampage. Alabama ended up winning 62-27 that day. Ever since then, I've been fully active as a Tide supporter. I'm 25 now, so that should tell you something. I'm goin on 2 decades.
What rule change would you most like see implemented?
The one I wanted is being implemented this year. If you use your challenge, and you get it right, you get it back, but you can't challenge more than 2 plays a game. If you get the first challenge wrong, then you lose your challenge and a timeout. I like it.
Ok. Somebody has to explain to me what the hell Zeke Knight is thinking. Transferring because he can't get cleared by the UA Medical Staff? And other smaller schools are going to let him play? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Football is, after all, just a game. This is a kid's life we're talking about, and he's willing to sacrifice that for a game? Incredible. Doesn't he graduate in August anyway? Am I missing something? Ian fills us in a lil more - read here. Anyone else find it kinda funny that Jacksonville State is one of the legitimate possibilities?
David Wasson's got a new magazine coming out, so go on over to AlabamaGameday.net and check out what's going on with it. Looks like it could be cool.
The players that Coach Saban is taking to media days next week have been set - offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell and safety Rashad Johnson. Seems like the perfect choice to me. Both were captains last year, and both are destined to be team leaders this year. They do things the right way.
I went out and bought NCAA 09 for the PS3 and good lord was it worth it. Graphics actually got better, in my opinion, and it looks even more realistic. I've only played one game, against my friend Matt who's in town from Los Angeles. He went to Mississippi State, so, naturally, I beat the Dawgs at their place 21-3. Julio had a 62 yard touchdown reception on a slant across the middle to open the scoring and take the lead 7-3 in the 2nd quarter, then the defense did the rest, with Rashad Johnson getting a pick-6 with a minute left in the 2nd quarter, and Marquis Johnson getting an 80 yard pick-6 in the 3rd quarter. Good times, my friends.
And by the way, they really think our team is going to be pretty damn good this year. That's a good sign, cause our talent level is pretty far up there.
¶ 8:54 AM0 commentslinks to this post
More from the Bleacher Report - of course, this article is by a Bama fan. I like the way that he does the games in 4 different sets of 3. He does a rundown of the entire season here.
Antoine Caldwell will be one of 22 student athletes that will write a blog for the Sporting News this fall. It will begin July 23rd. Read more here.
Coach Saban talked about future non-conference games and how playing good teams will only make you better. Penn State is already on the schedule, and they're working with Virginia Tech and Florida State for other games in the future. Read more here.
¶ 9:55 AM2 commentslinks to this post
If you live in Tupelo, come hang out with us tonight at Good Time Charlie's. We're playing at 7:30 tonight with Refuse the Fall, Allyria, and Egypt Central. Rawk.
Well. Mr. Farmer has left the football team. He was a late addition to the 2007 class from Houston, and he didn't play a snap at all last year, so I think that's ok. That puts us down to 62 scholarship players currently. Take out Zeke and Will Oakley and there's your numbers fix.
Bruce Arians will always be remembered as a bum, at least in this state, no matter what he does anywhere else. Go ahead - give him credit for helping build Peyton Manning into what he is today. Give him credit for helping the Steelers win a ring. But don't tell me he's not a bum, cause anybody that calls a screen pass, when you're trying to run out the clock, is a bona fide idiot. Pure and simple. Read the article about it here.
For some reason, this guy thinks that no SEC team will win the National Title this year, due to the depth of the league, etc. Well, my friend, LSU lost to Arkansas and Kentucky last year and still won it. I have a feeling something like that could happen again.
It's getting closer and closer. 54 days ain't nothin.
Don't forget, you can go back and vote once a day for us to win the Next Big Thing contest at alternativeaddiction.com, so click here and go vote for Prosevere again!
Scarbinsky goes into why Tennessee gave Fulmer a new raise, and an extension through 2014 even though his record against Nick Saban is now 1-3 and his record against Urban Meyer is now 0-3. Interesting read here.
I didn't realize this, but Alabama having 10 players arrested since spring practice last year isn't even close to Iowa, who has had 14 arrests. Read more here.
Can you believe it? We're under 2 months til kickoff. I'm freakin' ready, boss.
Time for my normal game of "shameless self promotion." If you're a music lover, and would like to help out my band in a competition, help us win AlternativeAddiction.com's "Next Big Thing!" competition. We were one of 6 bands that were chosen out of around 200 to be in this contest, and it can lead to some pretty big things for us, so head on over and vote for PROSEVERE. Thanks in advance!
Next on the list would be our friend Ivan Matchett, who wasn't doing so well in his History class the last time we checked. Well, summer school does wonders, and he passed the course with an "A," so he'll be enrolling at the start of the next semester (next week, I believe). Read more here.
Finebaum is still all over the Jimmy Johns thing, even calling out Montgomery Sports Attorney Donald Maurice Jackson to help him with his latest article. Read more here. This story died last week, so leave it alone, brah.