That was a complete, methodical, physical ass-whipping of the greatest sorts. And it was AWESOME!
I mean, seriously. The guys didn't mess up too much, and they just absolutely whipped the guy across from them. For Auburn fans, players, and coaches, it had to be the most disappointing, depressing, disgusting thing they've ever witnessed.
Did I mention it was awesome? And to cap it off, G-Mac made an awesome throw to the corner of the endzone to Marquis Maze to cap off the scoring, and give us signs of what might be to come next year. Can't get much better than that.
Really though, the fact that we only had to throw the ball a total of 18 times, and 2 of those were by the backup, was just a sign of the kinda pounding we put on them for 4 quarters. We appear to be clicking on all cylinders at the moment, which is definitely a good thing going into the toughest matchup of the season - #1 Alabama vs #2 Florida in the SEC Championship.
And the best thing about that game is, of course, the fact that NOBODY expects us to win. Every single media member that I've heard has picked Florida to win this game easily. Honestly, we've won all of our games, and have beaten a lot of the same competition they have, and we're expected to just fold over? I love it. Reminds me of 1992, and 1999 when we went to the Swamp. I honestly don't think we've been expected to beat Florida any time since 1992, and that's awesome to me. I like the role of the underdog. Just gives us more fire.
The early odds have Florida -7.5. More than a touchdown? Really? Wow. I'll take it.
Ahhh. I've already watched the game twice. Watched it again before I went to bed. Really, it couldn't have been a better game to watch. Hell yeah. I'll be back tomorrow with more of a preview of the SEC Championship game. Roll Tide!
Ok, so I don't want to stray too far from football...
...but I sat up last night and watched the Tide play basketball. At least until about 8 minutes left in the game when we were down 20. A 9 point lead in the first half turned into a 20 point deficit in what seemed like no time.
I realized, once Oregon took their first lead in the closing minutes of the first half, that I was watching the end of Mark Gottfried's career at Alabama. This team can't shoot, from the field or from three or from the free throw line. They don't know how to play defense. They don't really know how to do anything. They don't move the ball around on offense. They just dribble, maybe make one pass, and then one guy tries to play one on one with somebody else. It's ridiculous to watch and an absolute embarrassment to former Alabama teams and this conference. Of course, there are a lot of bad teams in this conference now.
It's not going to get any better this year. We got beat at home by Mercer. Got hammered in Maui by Oregon (who got beat at home by Oakland earlier this year). We've still gotta play Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, and Clemson in non-conference, along with a game against St. Joe's or Indiana to close out in Maui. This is going to be a BAD season. Ronald Steele can't move like he used to, and the freshmen we've brought in aren't exactly world beaters. This team is just miserable. And you know that teams take on the personalities of their coach. Hey Mal...I hear there's this guy named Anthony Grant over at VCU....
It's FINALLY game week! To pass the time over the weekend I went and caught METALLICA and DOWN in Little Rock. My guitar player and bassist are both members of the MetClub, so we were able to get into the venue early and dude...we were front row. Right on the rail. It was nuts. I've never been that close to any band ever...much less Metallica. It was insane. Great live show too. I'm officially obsessed with Down. They can own a stage. Phil is absolutely nuts, and their music is right up my alley. The heaviest possible stoner rock. It's like a modern day Black Sabbath. Favorite lyric from their new disc is as follows:
Never try... you either do it Or don't waste my time
Words to live by. Haha. Could be a Nick Saban song.
The Tide basketball team plays in Maui tonight against Oregon at 11pm CST on ESPN2, so if you can stay up, do it. It'll be a nice indicator of where this basketball team is.
LSU fans are beginning to lose it. They've lost 4 games this year, and the Arkansas game isn't exactly a gimme. Read this article about how Miles is to blame. It's fun. :-)
Chris Bonds, a 4-star DE from South Carolina, committed to Alabama last week. He's kinda small right now, 6'4" 265lbs, but I would imagine he'll be bulking up in Coach Saban's program. He'll probably be one of our hybrid linebacker/defensive ends because he's quick. Read more here.
Scarbinsky tells us how Alabama isn't like Texas Tech in style or substance, and the difference between the two. Read more here.
Ray Melick talks about the odds of Auburn missing out on a bowl and Alabama being the last undefeated team in college football. It's kinda funny, really. Read more here.
Gentry Estes talks about how this weekend's Iron Bowl is as close to a must-win as Nick Saban has had in his 2 seasons as coach at Alabama. Here's the article. People can think they Tide will overlook a weak Auburn team all they want, but people in the South know that Alabama hasn't beaten Auburn in 6 years, and there won't be any overlooking this one. As a matter of fact, it's the biggest game on the schedule, and has been all year. Even bigger than the SEC title game.
¶ 9:52 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I've enjoyed the bye week so far, but will definitely be back in regular mode next week. Tomorrow I'm going to Little Rock to see Metallica and Down, so that should be fun. I'm gonna take my lil TV and my XM radio to keep up with the games...so that should be fun too. :-)
Let's see...first off, the Tennessee fans are delusional as who knows what. I've been laughing my rear-end off reading their message boards. They laughed at us during ours, so now I feel justified to laugh at them as well. Here's the latest example...
"Sometime very shortly after December 1st, your next Tennessee coaching staff will be announced as the following:
Bill Cowher Head Coach
Lane Kiffin Offensive Coordinator / HC in waiting
Kevin Steele Defensive Coordinator / Associate Head Coach
Here’s the “how” and “why” it happened, as best I can tell you.
1. Hamilton wants to have a coach in place by Dec. 1st. As both the college and NFL seasons are still underway at that point, that would seem to indicate that both out-of-work head coaches and coordinators are most likely to be named. This hire had better be - by mandate of both fans and boosters - an absolute homerun. If not, he’s likely on his way out the door - be it sooner or later.
2. Don’t let teh amount of money it cost for the buyouts of Fulmer and his assistants fool you - the UT AD is flush with cash, as are the boosters who forced Hamilton to scuttle Fulmer two weeks ago (did you think that the boosters would be able to essentially fire the guy, and not have a say in when it would occur?!). They’ll pay whatever it takes to get their guy….if it is their guy. Do you think that Alabama regrets Saban’s contract? Neither does Hamilton.
3. No doubt - for a time, Davis was the number one candidate, which is why it kept being mentioned by the local media. Many “sources” within the UTAD confirmed that he was the top target - that’s who they also thought would be most likely to come to UT. Had everything remained static, this is likely what would have occurred - Davis comes to Tennessee.
4. However, this was all before the search firm, doing nothing more than due diligence (i.e. going through the paces) contacted Cowher, who showed a marked openness to the idea. Once that occurred, it all changed - the world turned upside down - and Davis was no longer the top candidate.
5. Hamilton rushes to Raleigh to meet with Cowher - for no other reason than to talk to him, and as a sign of how badly he was wanted at Tennessee. The interest was confirmed, and obviously, mutual. Of all we know about the dealings and movements of Mike Hamilton over the last few weeks, the only confirmed rumor we have is that he was, in fact, in Raleigh, NC last Tuesday…meeting with a UT Booster Club. Did I mention that Cowher just happens to reside in Raleigh, too?
6. Cowher is very familiar with the Tennessee program, its facilities, and Mike Hamilton himself, having been in Knoxville for previous coaching clinics. “Selling” him on the program might not have been as difficult as some would believe.
7. Was it coincidental that the day after Hamilton is in Raleigh, Davis issues his very public and adamant denial of any interest in Tennessee. Maybe he realized that there was a new best candidate, and it wasn’t him.
8. If there is a “knock” on Cowher (and I use the term “knock” as lightly as possible), it’s in his unknown ability to effectively recruit and teach / manage players at the collegiate level. It’s not saying that he couldn’t, or wouldn’t be wildly successful at it - it’s just an unknown. Hamilton had a front row seat for how badly these two things could go wrong - first, he watched almost the entirety of Tennessee’s recruiting class evaporate last season when Cutcliffe and his staff left for Duke, and this season, as he watched Clawson fail to effectively teach his offense. Hamilton won’t let either of these happen again, if at all possible, and that’s where both Kiffin and Steele come in.
9. Lane Kiffin was in Knoxville. Some may have disbelieved it - but no one disproved it. The local media guys foo-foo it because an out-of-town media outlet broke it first. Kiffin was (and is?) here. Period.
10. Kiffin’s latest interview at Clemson only proved what Hamilton (adn others) have privately told him -that he has an unrealistic estimation of the worth of his coaching stock from coaching in the NFL. As many of you have pointed out, for every Saban, there’s a Weis. After now having heard it from two sources (Clemson and Tennessee), Kiffin finally believes it, and realizes that had crazy-as-bat-crap Al Davis not pulled him up from USC, he would be indistinguishable from Steve Sarkisian at the moment, as they shared o-coordinator and play-calling responsibilities at USC (where Sarkisian remains, today).
11. Lane knows fully well that the wrong job could irreparably harm his now golden-hued career for a long, long time. Tennessee looks like a step-back, until you consider all of the factors at play, and the options that really remain.
12. There is a recent trend in college football to have the head coach’s successor on staff for a period of time before the HC steps down, and the designated successor steps up. It’s that way at Florida State, Kentucky, etc. It adds a continuity to a program that many boosters and fans like. Likely, Hamilton has noticed this.
13. Having come to terms with all of this, Kiffin accepts the O-Coordinator position, and the chance to serve under one of the most widely respected coaches in the world in Bill Cowher. Kiffin will be the o-coordinator for a minimum of five (5) years, and when Cowher retires (for real, this time), he will be contractually guaranteed to be the new head coach.
14. Kevin Steele played football for Tennessee before starting his coaching career. Currently, he serves as the defensive coordinator for Alabama, after being a head coach at Baylor, and “Executive Head Coach” (or something or other with a title like that)while he was at Florida State for two seasons. Interestingly enough, Steele has also spent time in the NFL, coaching LB’s for Dom Capers with the Carolina Panters. Well? Guess where the Panthers zone-blitz scheme first came to glory? That’s right, from Pittsburgh when Capers was the defensive coordinator for the Steelers, under Bill Cowher.
15. Outside of Saban himself, it is Steele’s defense and his voracious recruiting that is widely believed to have turned Bama around so quickly. In fact, Steele was named as the Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year in 2005 while serving at FSU - and he also orchestrated Bama’s #1 ranked class last season, and likely will be ranked #1 again this season, too.
16. Why hasn’t Steele’s name surfaced as a possible replacement for Fulmer? Simple. He doesn’t want to be a head coach. Steele was previously the head coach at Baylor, where he was - by any standards - a horrific failure. His name has never surfaced because it is widely known that he has no interest in being a head coach, again.
17. As a defensive coordinator, and not a head coach, it would be far less traumatic for the Crimson Tide if he were to leave before the end of the season, a la Cutcliffe in 98 to Ole Miss…right before the National Championship game. That means that he could be here, announced, before December 1st - just like both Cowher and Kiffin.
18. If you need to know more about Steele’s credentials, consider this, too. Saban gets - and deserves - a large amount of credit for the recruiting and evaluation of players. However, it’s often overlooked that he has shown the same prowess in hiring assistants as well. Need an example? It was Nick Saban who gave Wil Muschamp his first break by brining him on staff.
Here’s why it works for everyone
For Cowher He gets back into coaching without the same-old, same-old grind that his life became in the NFL. Being out of the coaching game for 2 years, he’s rested and ready to be back, making NFL-type money, but doesn’t have to live in one of the metropolitan holes that most NFL teams are located in. As he’s only 51 years of age, spending 5 (or more) years at Tennessee likely won’t be his last gig, if he doesn’t want it to be. He will spend his life coaching - not managing a roster full of spoiled millionaires - and being revered amongst the Big Orange Nation, from the day he steps on campus, until the day he dies. It fits him, perfectly.
For Kiffin He lands at what would be the safest possible place - as a coordinator at a big-time school, while working for one of the most respected coaches in the country, in Bill Cowher, and alongside a bedrock program builder such as Kevin Steele. After 5 years (or a couple of more) of serving in that role, he is 38 years old or so, and he inherits what will almost certainly be a Tennessee program that is unrivaled by almost anyone.
For Steele Steele will ensure that Cowher’s NFL-style defense is translated to college players - he’s doing it now at Alabama, but now, he’ll be in Knoxville, where he wants to be. He will also help Cowher to learn the ropes in Knoxville, college football, the SEC, recruiting, and Kiffin in learning about the SEC, especially in recruiting around here - which cannot be taught, per se, but rather, must be experienced.
For Hamilton He would have pulled off the coup of the century - period. He would be cemented as one of, if not THE best AD in the country, essentially, signing a lifetime contract in the process.
Recruiting This is the lifeblood of the program - and we would have stacked the deck, almost unfairly so. We could go anywhere, and get anyone. Bar none. Kiffin ties us in to the West Coast, and has had three straight #1 classes at USC. Steele opens us up to Florida, from his days at State, in Texas where he was a coach at Baylor, and anywhere else in the South that he would want to go. And, oh yeah, after all of this - we could get Coach Cowher to come into the room and flash his Super Bowl ring while asking the recruit if he’d like to be on a team where he would be groomed for an NFL career. Do you think that this kid would sign?
Believe it or not. Like it or not. Agree with it or not.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HA. HAHAHA. HAHAHA. They really think they're getting Bill Cowher to coach in college football? HAAHAAAHAHA. And Lane Kiffin's gonna take a job as an offensive-coordinator at Tennessee? HAAAHAAAHAHHAH.
Man. The viles really know how to brighten up my day.
Ok, on to the picks. I went 2-3 last week, again. This is getting a bit ridiculous. My record is now 29-24. Not cool. But, we're gonna try it again this week.
Tennessee at Vandy (-3) Saturday --- The Commodores are favored over UT for the first time since 1982. I think Tennessee is tanking the rest of the year. Vandy wins by 2 touchdowns here.
Arkansas (-1) at Mississippi St Saturday --- State got beat up pretty good last week at Bama, losing their starting Defensive Tackle in the process, along with any chance of a bowl game. If they have anything left in the tank at all, they're saving it for Ole Miss. Arkansas had a week off last week, and is still looking at a shot to become bowl eligible. I think Arkansas wins this one handily.
Ole Miss (+3.5) at LSU Saturday --- Last week, Ole Miss was resting their starters after the first quarter in a 59-0 beatdown over La-Monroe. LSU was having to expend WAAAY too much energy to try and come back to beat Troy at home after being down 31-3 midway through the 3rd quarter. I think Ole Miss feels like they can win this game, and LSU is fighting to hold onto what was supposed to be a decent season. Things ain't lookin good for the Hat.
UCF at Memphis (-5) Saturday --- Memphis is getting back their starting quarterback, and they're not only playing to be bowl eligible, but they've still got a shot to win the conference. Central Florida has been absolutely pathetic this year, and I don't see where they'll step it up against a hungry Memphis team.
Tulane at Tulsa (-28.5) Saturday --- LOCK OF THE YEAR dude. Seriously. Tulane just got beat 41-24 at home by UAB. The Green Wave have thrown in the towel on this year, and Tulsa is pissed the hell off about being beaten like a drum by Houston last week. I think Tulsa gets to 60+ points, and Tulane will be lucky to score 3 touchdowns. Scary how lopsided this one's gonna be.
¶ 2:25 PM1 commentslinks to this post
Yup...told you I'd be here with em. Badabing. Went 2-3 last week, which puts me at a ridiculously low 27-21. Hmmm....time to start racking up wins, my friends.
Purdue (+18) at Iowa Saturday --- Perfect letdown opportunity here for the Iowa Hawkeyes, who aren't exactly great anyway. We're getting extra points on this because of Iowa's last second win over Penn State last week. Purdue isn't that bad, and Iowa isn't that good. I think Iowa will win, but we're lookin at 10-14 points here.
Georgia (-10) at Auburn Saturday --- Auburn can't score. And they can't stop anyone from scoring either. You know how close that UT-Martin game really was? At one point the score was 20-20 in the middle of the 3rd quarter. The Barn stopped UTM with an interception in the endzone. Kodi Burns ran that ball all over them...like weak conference teams usually do - just give the best athlete the ball. That won't work against Georgia.
East Carolina (+2.5) at Southern Miss Saturday --- East Carolina is in position to win their division in Conference USA. They've won 3 straight and are lookin like a fairly good football team. Southern Miss is a decent team, and yeah, they hung 70 on a shitty UAB team, but in the end, they're a 2nd tier team in C-USA right now. I think East Carolina pulls this one out.
Texas (-13.5) at Kansas Saturday --- Kansas' pass defense couldn't stop me and my dad from throwing for 200 yards. Can you imagine what Colt McCoy will do to them? That, along with the fact that, since Texas lost a game, they have to play the whole "style-points" game. Ridiculous, but it is what it is. Texas by 4 TDs, easy.
Boise St (-36.5) at Idaho Saturday --- For a while, Idaho was the team I picked against every week. Then they started to show signs of life against Fresno St, then won against New Mexico St, and played a tough ballgame last week against San Jose St. Not this time. Boise has been layin the wood to people the last few weeks. And, just for a bit of comparison, in Week 4, Idaho lost to Utah State 42-7. Last week, Boise beat that same team 49-14. Yikes. I smell a BIIIIG blowout here.
¶ 5:53 PM0 commentslinks to this post
He's behind...get this...Paul Johnson at GaTech, and Mark Richt. Surely we can beat Mark Richt, right?
The Montgomery Advertiser shows us how Coach Saban has molded this team that, at the beginning of the year, appeared to be full of holes that have apparently been filled with guys that were already on the roster. Read more here.
I'm going to repost something I posted on the TideSports.com board. We were having an argument on whether or not Tennessee is a good job, and whether or not the state of North Carolina is a "fairly fertile" recruiting ground, especially for Tennessee.
"Since 1988, these are the number of kids that were drafted in the NFL that went to high school in these states. I'm only going to do the ones that surround Tennessee, and then I'll post a reminder of who the coaches are in those states that will keep players at home.
Now, out of ALL of those states, the state of Tennessee ranks ahead of only Arkansas and Kentucky for NFL players drafted since 1988.
Now, this is not per capita, because that's a whole different story. Alabama has one of the better percentages in that regard, and North Carolina gets knocked way down...but regardless, you see where I'm coming from.
Back in 1998 they had 86 players on the roster, and there were only 31 from the state of Tennessee. That's roughly 36%.
Just to give you an idea, in 1998, there were 11 players from North Carolina on the roster - that's 13%. In 2008 that number is down to 6. Only 7%. And the sad thing is that 3 of them are freshmen, with one being a 3 star, and the other two not even being ranked. The other 3 are Montario Hardesty, who can't seem to win a starting job (he was a 4*), Johnathan Crompton (5*, #2 QB in the country coming out of high school - aka FLOP), and Josh Briscoe, a senior who was a 3* wide receiver coming out of high school.
Tennessee can't go into these states and pick out the best talent like they did a decade ago. The coaches have sealed up their states. What UT gets is leftovers. How else do you explain a 3 star and two kids that didn't even obtain a star in this last class from North Carolina?
Regardless, all of that is to prove the point that yes, North Carolina is a fairly fertile recruiting ground, and no, Tennessee is not a good job. It is a job where you have a fanbase that expects compete with Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, but without the built in resources."
I didn't post this - let's take a look at teams, which are the biggest in their state, and what percentage of instate players they have on their team.
Georgia has 101 players on their rivals roster. They have 64 players from the state of Georgia. That's 63% instate on their roster.
Alabama has 103 players on their rivals roster. They have 57 players from the state of Alabama. That's 55% instate on their roster.
Florida has 96 players on their rivals roster. They have 63 players from the state of Florida. That's 66% instate on their roster.
LSU has 110 players on their rivals roster. They have 61 players from the state of Louisiana. That's 55% instate on their roster.
North Carolina has 101 players on their roster. They have 49 players from the state of North Carolina. That's 49% instate on their roster.
Texas has 112 players on their rivals roster. They have 103 players from the state of Texas. That's 92% instate on their roster. That's insane.
USC has 108 players on their rivals roster. They have 82 players from the state of California. That's 76% instate on their roster.
That's all to point out that teams build their core from within their own state, and then try to go after surrounding states. If Tennessee's surrounding states are all having successful seasons, with good coaches that know how to recruit, then there's not much cherry picking that UT can do. It could be a LOONG time before UT is any good again.
¶ 9:06 AM0 commentslinks to this post
So, to stay focused, lets check out some stats about Mississippi State.
First off, State has lost games to Louisiana Tech, Tennessee, and a 3-2 Barn burner to Auburn. That should tell you enough right now. But, let's look at some other things.
The Mississippi State offense is averaging 297 ypg, which is good for 107th in the country, out of 120 teams. They throw for 184 ypg, which is good for 91st in the country, and their bread and butter is running the football, where they go for 113 ypg, good for 99th in the country. All of that helps them score 16 points per game, which is 115th in the nation.
Now, the offense is pathetic, but the defense is pretty stout. They give up 295 yards per game, which is 18th best. Their pass defense has been incredible, giving up only 153 ypg, 2nd in the country. Rushing defense - 142 ypg, or 63rd in the country. They give up 21 points per game, which was helped by Auburn's 3 point outburst against them.
I don't believe the guys will have any trouble remembering what happened last year in Starkville, or what happened two years ago in Bryant-Denny. That's right. We got Croomed. Two years in a row.
Man, I gotta admit, I want this game pretty bad on Saturday. And I don't just want a win. I want a beating. The amount of shit that I've had to listen to for the past two years is just unbearable. I want a 56-3 whipping. A beatdown of epic proportions, as I would normally say.
But...I doubt it'll get to be that bad. We'll probably see something like 28-10, or 35-7 or something. I think the guys will get amped up, do what they need to do to preserve the win, and leave it at that. But...then again, I could be wrong. Let's ask John Parker Wilson.
"We know that they beat us the last two years -- it makes us mad, ok? These past few years have left a bad taste in our mouths," quarterback John Parker Wilson said. "(MSU) and Auburn. We said that about LSU, added the Arkansas State game, as payback from last year against ULM. So we're taking that mentality that we haven't arrived, that we still have a lot to do."
You know what the best part about this is? Next week is a payback game again. I don't believe ANYBODY in that locker room will be looking past Mississippi State after what's transpired the past two seasons against Croom's Bullies. But...we'll focus on that after the 24-hour rule.
Un-freakin-believable. I mean, really? It's all about changing a mindset, I believe Coach Saban once told Alabama fans. Instead of expecting to lose, I fully expected the Tide to make plays at the end of the game, do what needed to be done, and win the football game. Rashad, Julio, JP...hell, everybody. It was unbelievable.
Now, first things first, I'm pretty pissed about Earl Alexander not just holding onto the football and going down at the one or two yard line, but in fairness, I really think that ball broke the plane before it was knocked out. Next up was Javier's fumble which, honestly, looked like it was recovered out of bounds. JP's interception was just a horrible throw...and he'll have those from time to time.
Leigh Tiffin is not kicking the ball bad. However, his snapper and holder are pathetic. Go back and watch the first one that he pulled, and watch how his timing was affected because the holder screwed up. That's something they need to work on A LOT in practice this week. Fitzgerald has done a miserable job as holder all year.
Dan Wetzel, from Yahoo Sports, talked about how Alabama and Coach Saban just continue to take care of business. That's what good teams do. They persevere through bad games, even in hostile environments.
Pat Forde, at ESPN.com, wrote about how this wasn't just another game, especially for the Sabans. The players felt it too. Read more about Terry Saban's reaction, Coach Saban's arrival and post press conference, and more here.
Ian does a good job with a lot of links and a lot of different items from the game yesterday. Read his blog here.
Stewart Mandell points out something that none of us have really thought about this morning, I'm sure...and that is the fact that when Alabama hired Nick Saban on Jan 3rd, 2007, it was for yesterday's moment when JP got into the endzone in overtime. Read more here.
Chris Low, ESPN.com's SEC blogger, knows what's up. Every championship team runs into a game where it just doesn't have it's best stuff that day. Where the other team smells the upset, where you make uncharacteristic mistakes...where it seems like nothing is going right. And then, like championship teams are supposed to do, they fought their tails off and found a way to win at the end.
I love the fact that all the LSU players feel like they should've won. I hope it burns them into another loss against Ole Miss in two weeks.
I hope Coach Saban uses this as motivation - College Football News moved us down from #2 to #5 behind Florida, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Texas after our win yesterday. Really? Check it out here. Normally I'm not one to be pissed about rankings...but damn, dude. We're undefeated with wins away from home against Clemson, @ Arkansas, @ Georgia, @ Tennessee, and @ LSU. No, it's not great, but what has anybody else done to match it?
Yeah, it's still technically Thursday night, but I'll be in that exam for a good portion of the day, and then we're playing Jackson, TN again tomorrow night, so I don't know if I'll be able to post. Sooo....here it goes.
Spence Tillman is, for some reason, regarded as a high-profile, all-knowing college football guru. What the hell for? I mean, does this guy even watch football games? He's talking up Texas Tech and all that good stuff, which is fine...but then he tries to act like he knows what he's talking about with the LSU / Alabama game. Read the story here.
Now, it's a good read, if you're clueless. Spencer does a good job of acting like he knows what he's talking about. Here's the biggest issue I have with his article. " The Tide are favored this weekend in part because LSU was beaten soundly by Georgia and Florida. The Tigers' young secondary couldn't handle the Georgia and Florida quarterbacks, but match up better against a less-explosive Tide. Factor in Les Miles' coaching ability, particularly when he has two weeks to prepare, and we might be in for another close call.
Consider that Alabama defeated Ole Miss and Kentucky by a combined seven points and there is cause for optimism for Tigers fan. Yes, even though neither one of their quarterbacks is ready to win a game on his own. They both must play with a lead, and Charles Scott must deliver another 100-yard rushing performance in order for offensive coordinator Gary Crowton to be at his best. "
This sonuvabitch didn't even watch the Georgia/LSU game or the Florida/LSU games. Did he? Otherwise he would've seen that it wasn't the QBs that beat LSU -- it was the line play. How else do you explain the Florida game? The Gators ran for 265 yards on 41 attempts. LSU ran for only 80 yards on 26 attempts. Yikes. How about the Georgia game? UGA ran for 194 yards on 36 carries. LSU ran for 188 yards on 41 carries. It's called line play.
Also, what the hell is he talking about Les Miles having two weeks to prepare for Alabama? Surely he didn't forget that LSU played Tulane last week. And if that's a gimme game, then so was Arkansas State for Alabama. So then both coaches have had two weeks, if that's how you're looking at it - and I'm pretty sure that EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY would rather have Nick Saban gameplanning, rather than the Hat.
Just 2 days 'til the Beatdown on the Bayou. That's what I envision the newspaper headlines being on Sunday morning. That's the name of the shirts UA will have printed in stores next week. Haha.
Seriously, the more I look at this game, the more I really expect an early whipping. We could be up 3 touchdowns at halftime, and if we get them down early, and Jarrett Lee has to play from behind, it could get Arkansas ugly.
Anyway, I've gotta get back to studying for my test in the morning...but for now - THE PICKS!!!
Yeah, I missed em last week, but we're back. It's probably better that I missed it because all of the normal picks ended up losing. I didn't have a good feel at all last week. But, alas, I am 25-18 on the year, after going 2-3 two weeks ago. We'll do better this go round.
Florida at Vandy (+24) Saturday - 7:45pm ESPN --- I bet this game every year, because every year everybody goes "man, it's Vandy, and it's Florida, and it's gonna be a killing because it's Vandy and it's Florida." You know what the last 5 games have been? 49-22, 25-19, 49-42, 34-17, 35-17. Last year was pretty bad, but I think Vandy's better this year, and they seem to keep it close. 24 is a lot of points for Florida on the road. They've been wailin on people as of late, but they've all been either at home, or at a neutral site (UGA). I think Vandy can keep this one a ballgame til late, and they'll keep it within the spread.
San Diego St at BYU (-36.5) Saturday - 1pm --- We all know how just pitiful Wyoming is. And I know you're wondering "why are you talkin about Wyoming?" Well, this is why. BYU beat Wyoming 44-0 earlier this year. Wyoming beat San Diego St last week 35-10. The Cougs will walk all over this team. It'll be over early.
Oklahoma (-27.5) at Texas A&M Saturday - 2:30pm ABC --- Oklahoma's offense is rolling. Texas A&M's defense isn't. What more can I say? I just have a feeling this game will turn out kinda like the Oklahoma-Nebraska game last week. Somethin like 63-28 or whatever.
Kansas (+1) at Nebraska Saturday - 1:30pm --- If there's one thing the fighting Manginos can do, it's throw the football. If there's one thing Nebraska can't stop, it's a decent passing attack. The Cornhuskers give up, on average, 230 ypg through the air. Todd Reesing will have a field day with this defense. I think Kansas handles these guys by two touchdowns. I mean, honestly, does nobody remember the 76-39 beatdown the Jayhawks laid on this team last year? We're only ONE YEAR REMOVED. And Kansas has almost the exact same team. Jeez.
Tulane at Houston (-16.5) Saturday - 7pm --- The wheels have fallen off the bus for Tulane. They started out and played Alabama and East Carolina really close, and then everything fell apart. They're just a really bad football team. Offensively, they only score 18 points a game (and that's against teams like Rice-17, UTEP-21, and Army-13). I mean, this team got beat 44-13 by ARMY a few weeks ago. Yeah, that same shitty football team. Houston's offense is clicking (even with loss last week at a good Marshall team), and they'll hang 50 on the Green Wave. I think it won't even be near that spread.
¶ 8:43 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Amazing election coverage last night. It was over around 9:15pm CST because, if you had been paying attention, that's when it was announced that Obama had won the state of Ohio. The total number of electoral votes from there, along with the votes from California, made Obama a lock. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new President of the United States of America.
Next up, I need everyone thinkin about me on Friday morning. I'll be taking my MCTS exam for my Microsoft Windows Vista Certification. The book I've been studying is something like 1,400 pages. It's insane. But I feel pretty good about it.
Next up, football.
Ever wonder what all happened to Luther Davis when he decommitted from LSU, and instead joined Nick Saban at Alabama? Well, here ya go. I swear, Les Miles is gonna run that program directly into the ground.
Coach Saban isn't too worried about his safety this Saturday when he goes back to Baton Rouge. Of course, security officers are. Read more here.
The Decatur Daily is a subscriber site, but if you just wanna read what Phillip Shanks had to say about Tennessee supposedly running a clean program under Fulmer, go here.
College Football News expects a 24-17 Tide win this Saturday. 4 out of 5 Sportsline.com experts think Alabama will beat LSU this weekend. Interesting. Read more here.
Y'know...the last time the Republican party was leaving the White House and being replaced by the Democratic party was 1992. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
¶ 9:38 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Man, if you can't get amped up for Saturday, or if you start overlooking Saturday, then you're just an idiot. This is the biggest game on the schedule...for now.
How important is it that we handle LSU? Georgia and Florida both handled this team with ease. Those risks that Miles takes have backfired in a big way. Their undisciplined play has bit them in the rear end by giving up half a hundy in 2 ballgames this year. A loss to this team would look terrible.
And then, of course, there's the Saban factor. I think he's been waiting for this game for a loooooooong time. He wants to rub every LSU fan's nose in what he's doing. It's absolutely perfect. The setup is more than great - Saban's team is #1 in the country for his first return to Tiger Stadium. Their fans want this more than EVER. The biggest thing to remember is that Saban doesn't have any players left out there that played under him. There are a few who were redshirted in 2004, that are now redshirt seniors...but there's not many.
I guess I can touch on the fact that Phillip Fulmer is out at Tennessee. I mean, really...who didn't see that coming? I think they should have kept him around, but the biggest problem was the lack of fan support. Same thing happened with Shula. When fans stop coming to the games (i.e. Shula's game against Mississippi State in '06 - stadium was about 65 or 70% full), it starts to hit the university in the pocketbook, and that's when it's time to make a change.
I think they're gonna have a HUUUUGE problem getting somebody to come there without opening the bank. Roy Adams apparently says that UT is in a budget crunch right now, and they aren't going to spend big. Which would mean what...Todd Graham from Tulsa? Gary Patterson from TCU? Really? Yeah. Amazing hire, brah.
The Tommy Tubbs rumors are swirling that he'll be stepping down at the end of the year. I had an interesting conversation over the weekend with several people that think that maybe he is tanking games on purpose, just so he can get out of Auburn after his 10 years (since he'll be fully vested in the Alabama education system, along with all of his assistants) and still get his huge buyout money. That way he can still go coach somewhere else in a couple of years without any kinda penalty.
Finally, keep an eye on the Redskins and Steelers. It is almost a lock (has been for years) that if the Redskins win, the party already in office will be re-elected, but if they lose, the opposing party will take over the White House. Keep an eye on it.
Oh yeah, and another interesting fact. I'm pretty sure I said this earlier this year - every year that the Giants have won the Super Bowl, the Redskins have won it the year after. It's like clockwork. Think that'll happen again? The Skins are 6-2 so far.
¶ 3:49 PM2 commentslinks to this post
Well, we got through that one. Now on to the big one.
The biggest game on the schedule was / is the LSU game for all the external factors, and now for the fact that we've ascended to the #1 ranking, thanks to Texas being beaten in Lubbock last night.
You know what Coach Bryant and Coach Stallings both used to say about football? Just win. Everything else will take care of itself. My dad taught me that a long time ago. Do the things that you're supposed to do, and do them the right way, and everything else will take care of itself.
I really didn't expect ESPN's College Gameday to make another appearance at an Alabama game this year, especially since the newly annointed #3 team in the country is playing against another top 10 opponent, but I guess since they just went to Lubbock, they couldn't really do it again. But...you never know. There aren't a ton of big games this weekend, and I'm pretty sure that EVERYBODY will want to see what happens, and how the crowd's going to respond when Coach Saban goes back to Baton Rouge.
I watched a touch of LSU's game against Tulane last night and the best thing that I took away from it was this -- Jarrett Lee threw another pick-6. The coaching staff is putting him in bad situations, and that's something that we can take advantage of. He's putting the ball in places where the defense can make a play on it, rather than making smart throws. The play-calling has A LOT to do with that. We'll see if that continues.
The biggest thing this week is to remain focused. Go into the game like we're the underdog, and everything will be just fine. Besides...look at Bama's games on the road this year: 34-10, 49-14, 41-30, and 29-9. Beatdowns. That's what I'm talkin about.
Not to mention the fact that I have a feeling that Coach Saban wants to absolutely beat the dog piss out of the corndogs. Just a feeling. I think he's sick of the shit that they're spewing down there, and he's got some tricks up his sleeves that he'll pull out for this game. We could see this one being like the Florida / UGA game turned out yesterday. And I do mean UGLY.
We've played LSU one time as the #1 team in the country. November 10th, 1979. We beat them 3-0 in Baton Rouge that day.