Leaving tomorrow...so if I don't update, it's because my internet connection down there is nonexistent. I am taking my laptop, so I'll try and blog as much as I can while I'm enjoying the sun and the sand...and some coronas. I'm taking my dvd recorder with me, so I can record and watch the game again on Sunday night before I go to bed. I've got a REALLY good feeling about this game. Not sure why...but I do.
Doesn't it seem kinda like this whole Vic Koenning thing has been blown out of proportion? I guarantee there will be a mention of it on College Gameday on Saturday morning. It's turned into a much bigger story than it has to. He was just being a typical moron, saying things that only morons would say. We should just leave it at that. The game is much bigger than an off hand remark about what kids are driving. Of course, that's just one more team that we won't have to worry about recruiting in Mobile.
Coach Saban has a plan for Clemson's rushing attack. Although, I do want to mention this little bit of rushing stat information from last season:
vs Florida St - 132 yards rushing on 42 attempts vs La-Monroe - 184 yards on 28 attempts vs Furman - 60 yards on 33 attempts vs NC State - 340 yards on 50 attempts vs Ga Tech - 34 yards on 32 attempts vs Va Tech - 8 yards on 23 attempts vs Cent Mich - 341 yards on 61 attempts vs Maryland - 249 yards on 56 attempts vs Duke - 152 yards on 32 attempts vs Wake Forest- 145 yards on 34 attempts vs Bost Coll - 47 yards on 31 attempts vs So Carolina- 214 yards on 46 attempts
That's 4 games last year where Clemson's team as a whole didn't rush for over 100 yards, including against Furman, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. Now, these teams didn't have absolutely incredible defenses. It is possible to stop this running back duo. You never saw a game where McFadden and Jones were held under 100...so this tandem isn't quite what those guys were. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
Nick Fanuzzi, we hardly knew you. I honestly thought you had a shot at some serious playing time. Thought you might be a good one...but, alas, you flaked out and got beat out by a walk-on (Thomas Darrah). That's not good, bro. At the same time, we wish you well at whatever school in Texas you end up at. Thanks for the extra scholarship for next season and all that good stuff. Take care, and roll tide.
Now, back to other fun subjects...like that fact that I'm in Gulf Shores through next Monday, and now there's a damn Hurricane down around Cuba. I'm pretty sure we're going to be cool...but it's still stupid. Just glad I got that renter's insurance so I can get my money back if something happens. Haha.
Vic Koenning, Clemson's defensive coordinator, has given the Alabama football team some serious bulletin board material. Yeah...he said he was just kidding...but accusing people of cheating is crossing the line. I wouldn't be surprised to see this in the locker room on the day of the game.
There will be 8-10 first year players on the field at some point on Saturday night, and that's just fine with me. Read more here.
Wow. Not one person at CBSsportsline.com thinks that we can beat Clemson. Not one. More bulletin board material, my friends.
Hell yeah! I'm gettin pretty damn excited now. Beach and gameday are both coming up in a matter of days - not weeks - days. It's gettin to be that time. Everybody at work is trash talking, so that's cool too. Gets you fired up, y'know?
To anyone in Memphis that wants to help support the University and meet some more Bama fans in the area, please go check out Bama on the Bluff. They're doing some wonderful things, and I'm looking forward to getting involved with that they're doing this fall.
Ian goes into extensive detail what Coach Saban does when picking which players to offer scholarships to - read up on it here. It is really cool to think about all of the little things that go into recruiting.
Gentry Estes touches on what could be the biggest difference between last season and this season - team unity. Everyone is closer, everyone wants to be around each other. It's just a better all around team than a year ago, which could work wonders by the time November rolls around. Read more here.
Josh Moon made a half-assed attempt at explaining his comparison of Coach Saban to a mob boss here. I actually agree with the "mob boss" comparison. This is a very tight knit operation he's running. I can't remember the last time that everybody was really working towards the same goal, and all Alabama fans were fine with anything and everything that the coach did. It's a lot different from previous years.
We are currently losing a vote to Clemson on the ESPN College Gameday page, so go vote here.
If you like lists, then this is for you. There are plenty of "top 5s" here for all Alabama fans. And it's pretty dang true. :-)
Awww yeah. She's a Julio fan already. That's my girl.
We played in Poplar Bluff, MO last night. Man...you talk about a town out in the middle of nowhere. Jeeeeez. I saw some of the biggest bugs ever. Including this spider that I swear was about the size of my palm that just decided to hang out on the side of our trailer. That was odd...and actually pretty scary. It was hairy as crap. Anyway, we played with a band called One Less Reason - and they're really damn good, so go check them out.
I like the fact that Saban has moved Lorenzo Washington to defensive end. It's going to make this defense incredibly versatile. You'll have a defensive end on one side that used to be a defensive tackle. On the other side you'll have a linebacker that will lineup up like a defensive end. You'll also have an outside linebacker that used to be a safety, etc. It's basically just going to drive opposing offenses nuts. I love it.
Javier Arenas is obviously showing out on defense. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a starter against Clemson - but he should be beaten out quickly this season by Alonzo Lawrence. That kid's just too good to keep on the bench. Of course, it really doesn't matter, because they'll just be swapping them in and out on defense. Depth is the key, my friends.
Awwww yeah. This time next week, I'll be hitting the beach with my family - my girl, my daughter, and my lil brother. Pretty cool, right? I can't WAIT, man.
I know I keep talking about the beach...but if you hadn't been on vacation in like 5 years, you'd probably be doing the same thing. Haha.
We're getting close to time for Saban to decide who to redshirt and who not to. I have a feeling we're not going to see many redshirts this year. We need the depth - not to mention these guys are more talented than the other guys we have on the roster.
Speaking of the roster - we expanded the roster yesterday with walk-ons, etc. Included were Will Oakley and Johnathan Lowe, who were not on the original roster. Also, Leigh Tiffin and PJ Fitzgerald were awarded scholarships, along with Tyrone King, whose teammates think the world of.
Another future opponent on the schedule could be the Samford Bulldogs, according to Mike Perrin. I think I dig that idea. Pat Sullivan, the head coach, is an Auburn guy, so we could beat two Aubies in the same year. Also, it's nice to help out the in-state schools with guarantees and games like that, as opposed to helping out schools like Western Kentucky and Arkansas State. Makes a lot more sense. That's why Saban played Louisiana Tech and Tulane, etc, while he was at LSU.
My boy over at the Capstone Report goes into detail about why Auburn has adopted the spread offense - because they can't recruit. You can get guys that can run that aren't heavily recruited and still run a decent offense. The biggest problem is that you begin to lose out on big time talent because the spread doesn't translate to the NFL. Hence why Auburn has already lost out on 5* running back Enrique Davis to Ole Miss this past year. Read up on it - it's good stuff.
¶ 8:40 AM4 commentslinks to this post
Days 'til Kickoff: 11 Days 'til I hit the Beach: 9
Awww yeah. Fay ain't hittin Gulf Shores, yo. Word.
I can't believe I didn't realize that Dre Kirkpatrick attended Saturday's scrimmage. This is starting to remind me of Julio a lil bit. He won't commit yet, but he's in Tuscaloosa ALL THE TIME. It's crazy. Every time there's a big event, he's there. Definitely a good thing.
So, the CBS schedule was leaked, and the blog Southern Saturday obtained a copy of it. CBS promotions have denied that this is the list...but I think it looks fairly accurate.
So just three games, ehh? That's kinda crazy. Guess that means we'll be on ESPN a ton this year. I'm down with that. We already know the Georgia game will be on ESPN on Sept 27th, so that's cool. If I had to guess, the Arkansas game will be on ESPN, along with the Tennessee game. Ole Miss and Mississippi State look like ESPN2 games, or the Raycom 11:30 games.
I'm starting up The Bros League for fantasy college football. The live draft will be held this Saturday, August 23rd at 12:45pm CST. If you're interested in joining, roll on over to the address below and use the password to gain entrance into the private league.
Days 'til Kickoff: 12 Days 'til I hit the beach: 10
Man, I caught the Kid Rock show last night, and while the American Badass was...well...badass...the guys opening the show stole it for me. I've seen them before, but they were on fire last night. The band is called Back Door Slam. It's a blues band from the UK, and they're awesome. It's three kids, probably early to mid-twenties, who can just wail. Check them out here. It was awesome. Kid Rock puts on a hell of a show nowadays. I saw him before and it was just kinda boring, but last night was great. He's almost completely rock n roll now, as opposed to almost completely rap in the past. Even his set with Rev Run was pretty good. Not to mention it was about 75 degrees with a nice breeze out there at Mud Island last night, and there were attractive females everywhere. Made for a perfect night. Haha.
Fall camp is officially over, so now it's time for us to get ready for Clemson. I would like to trick myself and believe that the Tigers aren't really taking us seriously...but I don't really believe that. They know what's coming. The question is whether or not we're still better than they are, and I think that's very possible. We have a lot of speed on defense now, and we've got some big cogs in the middle of the line, so their running game is going to have trouble. The biggest thing is whether or not we're able to slow down their qb...who, according to scouts, has the same problems that JPW has - he doesn't look off safeties and he relies heavily on one receiver, because he doesn't get through his progressions. Should make for an interesting test for our young secondary.
If you want an opportunity to check out one of Alabama's newest commitments, Rod Woodson, then turn on ESPN on Saturday, August 30th and watch his Olive Branch Conquistadors playing in Miami against Pahokee, FL at 12 noon CST. Kinda exciting for me because I graduated from Olive Branch back in 2001.
I guess this week I'm gonna rock out with my Crimson and White Roundtable...
1. Will JP use Julio as a crutch the same way he did with DJ Hall for the past two seasons?
My gut actually tells me no this time. I have a feeling that the ball will be spread more evenly this season than it has in the past two years - by a longshot. I think Julio will get his grabs, but Maze, Scott, Stover, McCoy, and others are all incredibly capable of being big play receivers. Now, on 3rd and 10, defenses don't know where we're going with the football, which is definitely an advantage.
2. Would a loss in the opener be more beneficial for the freshmen than a big national win?
Shut the hell up. Nothing good ever comes from a loss. Ever. I don't care who you are. As Herm Edwards said "YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME." Period. I don't believe the coaching staff will let these guys get overconfident at any point in the season, even if they blowout Clemson by 4 touchdowns. Won't matter. It's just one game.
3. What will be the tailgate food of choice for opening weekend?
You better believe it man - brats, burgers, and beer. And potato salad. Definitely. I'm down with a case of Coors Light, about 5 brats cooking on the outside of the grill in some aluminum foil, and burgers marinated in Dale's steak sauce and huey's burger sauce. Haven't tried it? Do it...I'm tellin ya, it's like heaven. Should make for a great evening. Fire up the grill at 5pm, put the meat on around 5:20, eat by 5:45 or 6 or whatever, then get in the gameday mood. I'll be good and stuffed, then I'll have my jersey on, ready to roll.
¶ 9:39 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Y'know...I'm only 11 days from the beach. I'm freakin excited. Here's what I'm lookin at...
Ahhhh yes. It's gonna be awesome.
Aside from that, it's only about 75 degrees outside down here today, and it feels amazing. I'm goin to see Kid Rock tonight, so I'll be singin Sweet Home Alabama all summer long. Haha.
The scrimmage stats were a lil concerning to me. The defense got 9 sacks, which sounds awesome...but that means that the offense gave up 9 sacks, and 1 TFL. I also noticed that they didn't include the stats for any other QBs, and showed that JPW and McElroy threw no INTs, but it said Rashad Johnson had one pick. Very strange.
I did notice that the two guys that caught the most passes were Julio Jones and BJ Scott, which I think is very telling of what our offense is going to be like this year. Freshmen freakin EVERYWHERE. Ingram is getting a lot of carries at RB, so I'm thinkin this is a big deal.
¶ 10:48 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Y'know, I didn't figure it would be that big of a deal. Y'know, Coach Saban getting the cover of Forbes magazine.
But hell, ESPN was all over it, the goobs on sports radio were talking about it, and nobody got it right. They don't understand what the point of the conversation was.
We're not talking about who the BEST coach is. We're not talking about who is the most suave individual and all that. The term "The most powerful coach in sports" is talking about how much control Nick Saban has at the University of Alabama. It really irritates me that the talking heads want to talk about Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer, etc. Those guys don't do as much for their University as Nick Saban does. Saban handles EVERYTHING in the football program at Alabama. If he wanted to fire the janitor, he can. Charlie Weis, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer...none of those guys can do that. That's just the way this thing goes, which is why Saban earned the title. He does everything at Alabama, including fund raising, etc. He WANTS that power, and Dr. Witt and Mal were happy to oblige in giving it to him.
If you'd like another example of a guy showing how much of an idiot he really is, take a look at Kevin Scarbinsky's latest article. He apparently didn't read the write-up in Forbes before going off on his dumbass opinion. This guy really does make himself look bad. It's actually kinda funny. Again - Saban is powerful because of the amount of control he was given at his University. That's just all there is to it.
Anyway, enough about that. The helmet clash was a disaster. Florida State opened the flood gates on us. 11 million votes? My ass. Haha. But, alas, it's over, and the Criminoles were victorious, just like last September. I guess it is what it is. 2nd place is always the first loser...but at least we weren't the last loser. That woulda sucked.
I'm goin to see Kid Rock on Sunday night. I'm actually pretty excited about it. I'll be honest...I don't really dig his old stuff...but if he plays most of the stuff on this new record, I'll be happy with it. Roll On is probably my favorite song at the moment. Makes me feel good, y'know?
Tana Patrick suffered a knee injury, and it looks like he could be out for a while. They said he planted and his knee buckled. They knew immediately that something was BAD wrong. Read more here. I would expect him to commit fairly soon now, so as to not miss out on a spot here.
Well, where we were told a few weeks ago that it didn't look like the Virginia Tech game was going to work, we have news that the game may be a go. There's a few kinks to work out, but the biggest hurdle, which was finding somebody to take our spot on Tulane's schedule. BYU has filled that need, so we can move Florida International to week 2, and we can open the first game against VaTech. We'll know more in the early part of the season. Read more here.
¶ 8:48 AM1 commentslinks to this post
Jeeeeez. Are you serious? No update in a week? Yeah, I'm a pathetic excuse for a blogger nowadays.
Aside from that, how have you been? Hopefully your week has been great. My little girl turned 3 on Monday, and man...you wanna talk about spoiled. I've never seen a kid get so many toys for a birthday. She's lucky...her birthday is right in the middle of the year, away from Easter and Christmas and all that jazz. The better half and I both have birthdays in early January, right after Christmas...so birthdays never brought a TON of gifts, unlike Dylan's. Haha. Either way, it was a blast. She got to go to Chuck E Cheese, and that's always a sight to behold. She didn't go to sleep until midnight that night. Ridiculous.
As far as the band goes, we're working on some things for the fall, but not coming up with very much. We're trying to book every Saturday this fall in a different city (places that have TVs for me to watch the games, of course), but I'm not having a ton of luck with it. Turns out that places really only want to book cover bands. Kinda stupid, if you ask me. It's tough to make it on original material. But, if you start doing covers so you can travel and get your name out there, the music industry loses respect for you. Stupid. Oh well...that's the life of a musician, I guess. It's never easy.
Next up, Bama football.
I got my Tulane tix in the mail the other day, and I am some kinda excited. Seriously, we're only 16 days away from Bama and Clemson, which means only 2 weeks away from the first college football game. I've got UTEP (+3) over Buffalo in the first game, and Vandy (+3) over Miami (OH) in the next. I think I'm gonna end up taking South Carolina (-11) over NC State just because of how much the line has dropped already. It opened at -14.5 and has dropped to 11. Either way, how cool is it that we're already talking about lines.
Not to mention the fact that I'm only 14 days away from goin to the beach. Haha. That's awesome.
Speaking of, does anyone know if there are any good Bama merch stores down in Gulf Shores? Just curious.
Sam Burnthall quit the team yesterday. That puts us down to 82 scholarship athletes. Not sure if that includes Colin Peek or not. Regardless of that, the guys that can't hang are dropping like flies. That's definitely a good thing. Get the dead weight off the team.
Coach Saban got the cover of Forbes magazine, which is pretty damn cool. You wanna talk about some publicity for our football team? There ya go. Since he's been here, he's gotten the cover of SI and Forbes, has been on Sportscenter probably over 100 times, and has the Alabama PR machine rolling. EVERYBODY knows who we are again, and that's a good thing.
Todd had a genious idea last night.
From now on, he will be known as The Legend of Terrence Cody. I'm down with that. This guy is freakin unbelievable. He's exactly what we needed. Ridiculously awesome.
Other than that, practice has looked good. Nobody was in black yesterday, other than QBs, which means no injuries. Unlike our buddies over at Clemson, who have had players getting hurt on a regular basis. Their starting defensive tackle, the main cog of their line, is done for the rest of year, and they had a couple of guys break their hands this week. Just freak stuff. As Coach Saban said, "Knock on wood" that we don't have anything pop up.
They announce the winner of the helmet clash today on College Football Live, which comes on at 2:30 CST on ESPN. I'm curious to see who won this thing, because the voting was only up on Tuesday. I know I voted like a SOB, as I hope everyone else did.
Florida's big time tight end, Cornelius Ingram, tore his ACL and will have season-ending knee surgery. This is a bigger loss for the Gators than you think. Read more here.
There were only 3 non-qbs wearing black, no-contact jerseys during today's practice. Baron Huber was on the stationary bike today during practice. Ali Sharrief and Darius Hanks both sported black jerseys, but they both went through workouts. Chris Jackson was in a white jersey after missing the previous three practices. Coach Saban said he probably wasn't 100% yet.
I bought a new cd today, and if you're a fan of something that may sound kinda like a new version of the E Street Band, go check out The Hold Steady. Their new song "Sequestered in Memphis" is absolutely incredible. Great writing.
I've been out of the loop for a few days. We did an IT conversion over the weekend that spilled over until yesterday and it's taken me this long to get my work computer back to where I need it, so I apologize for the delay.
John Mark Stallings passed away over the weekend. He was a class act and brought a smile to the face of every Alabama fan. He was a constant reminder that there are a lot of things that are more important than a football game. He will definitely be missed. I still remember watching him during the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1st, 1993.
I saw the move of Demetrius Goode to the secondary, and I noticed where Josh Chapman is working out with the first team defensive line. I'm digging the way everything is going down. It appears that we have a TON of depth this year, and that's something we haven't seen in quite some time. We have about 10 deep on the defensive line, and that's definitely a welcome sight. I was watching the Alabama / Georgia game last night and they stated "there's nothing like fresh legs in the 4th quarter" when Roy Upchurch came in and spurted off two 8-10 yard runs in the closing minutes. Well, that also goes for defensive players, and if you've got depth, you can win those ballgames.
Collegefootballnews.com has picked us to go 8-4 with losses to Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, and LSU. I think I might would take that this year.
One of the writers for collegefootballnews.com has a story about how Bama is not back in 2008...at least not yet anyway.
Steve Spurrier ended South Carolina's practice early after getting pissed at some of the players laughing when WR Moe Brown got hit by a linebacker. Read more here.
ESPN is doing everything they can to get Alabama fans fired up for the Clemson game. Not only are they putting ESPN Gameday in Centennial Park for the show, they're also putting Dennis Franchione in the broadcast booth for the ESPN radio broadcast. I'm not really sure how I feel about that, but I figure it's whatever. Water under the bridge. If we go out and beat Clemson, then that'll just shove it in the face of everybody. Yup yup.
¶ 10:10 AM1 commentslinks to this post