Expating With The Best of ‘Em

The good folks of Razorback Expats recently asked me if I was willing to provide a guest post. I recommend you give them a read, because they provide great Arkansas coverage.

Their fortress of solitude

Even though we’re friendly now, things might be a bit different come 11:30 am on Saturday morning. Go buy some bacon, and prepare plenty of the other white meat, because it’s time to hog tie Petrino’s offense! (yes, that is a very bad joke. You think blogging for free means you get good stuff all the time?! You crazy man.)

I’ve got this gut feeling that this will be a tough game, as they usually are between Alabama and Arkansas. Road games in the SEC are tough no matter where you go, so let’s hope our boys come to play a physical game. stay tuned for more….. VIST THE RAZORBACK EXPATS!

SEC Power Poll Roundtable

In a world where SEC bloggers can only voice their opinions in short blurbs in a poll format, one man seeks to change everything.

That man is Cock’N Fire from Garnet and Black Attack, who brings us a new SEC Power Poll Roundtable. It’s not going to happen every week, but it will give us some time to stop and review what has happened in order to determine what will happen (assuming we’re actually good at predicting things).

Please feel free to comment, and look for a round-up on G and B A.

1. Pretend for a minute that Vanderbilt wasn’t 2-0, then answer this question: What has been the most surprising thing in the SEC so far this season?

I’d have to say South Carolina’s offense. I thought this would be the year where SC would finally be able to live up to the Spurrier offense. They have an experienced QB and a handful of good receivers, but still seem to struggle. That offensive showing against Vandy and UGA leaves me scratching my head.

2. Conference action has either just begun for most teams, or will Sept. 20. (The exception is Kentucky, which I believe plays I-AA teams until mid-November.) From what you’ve seen so far, how will your team fare in your division? If it’s not going to win, which team will?

Alabama will certainly play a factor in the chase. I don’t know if we’ve got enough depth to take it, but we’ll certainly make more than just a two team race.

The SEC West picture will probably clear up a good bit in the next two weeks with Alabama vs. Arkansas and LSU vs. Auburn. If Bama wins, we’ll be in contention for most of the season. There will be one Tiger team that could be eliminated, so keep an eye on that one.

3. Which SEC player that few of us are paying attention to is poised to have a breakout season? Try to choose someone not on your team.

Casey Dick. What? Why is everybody laughing?

I still won’t make a decision on Arkansas until they play BCS level talent, but Dick will have some very impressive statistics when it is all said and done. Petrino likes his NFL passing attack, and I know he’ll use it as much as he can.

4. Both Arkansas and LSU have had games delayed because of hurricanes. If you could choose a game on your team’s current schedule to get postponed because of inclement weather, which game would you choose and why?

Alabama’s schedule would become extremely difficult if we had to postpone any of our remaining SEC games. We end the season with LSU, Miss. State, a bye week, and then Auburn. If we had to put in a Georiga, Tennessee, or even Ole Miss in that bye week, that would be tough.

I guess I would wait with Arkansas State, so that we could have an extra week to prepare for LSU. I don’t think playing Ark State later would help or hurt our chances to win that game, but it would certainly be a nice time for a rest.

5. So, the Large Haldron Collider hasn’t destroyed the Earth – so far, anyway. But had the world ended Wednesday morning, which SEC game would you have most regretted missing? Assuming, of course, you had been around to regret it. (Head…hurts…)

I know everyone will say this, but if I would like to see Florida vs Georgia (This is assuming I am not allowed to pick any Alabama games).

Take the two best Quarterbacks in the SEC, mix in a little Knowshon, and then sprinkle in some Harvin & Rainey. You let that simmer for a week in Jacksonville, Florida with pleanty of Jack Daniels, and you have yourself a very good recipe for a football game.

Crimson and White Roundtable

Today might just be a big Roundtable-fest.

3 games, 3 wins, 3 roundtables, and 3rd Saturday…. good times. This week, the CWR is hosted by the folks at Third Saturday in Blogtober. They have shown themselves to be one of the more dedicated CWR contributors, and always provide very good insight.

1. What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? Are we overrated? Underrated? Just right?

I wish we weren’t ranked in the Top 10, because going on the road as a TOP TEN TEAM can bring extra fire from opponents, as apposed to an 12th ranked team. In the future, this shouldn’t be of too much concern, but until this team can prove they can be consistent… I shall worry (somewhat).

2. What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most? What aspect of the game was Alabama dominated in that shocked you the most?

It was nice to see a total domination on offense. I knew we’d win, but I didn’t know we’d get 500+ yards.

Didn’t really see anybody on Alabama get dominated, but that 4th down TD given up was less than impressive. Effort like that will bury you in the SEC.

3. Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.

Julio Jones had some nice plays, catching the ball 5 times for 66 yards and a TD.

Rashad Johnson had the most tackles, with 7 unassisted. Great games for both.

4. Who on each side of the ball has been the biggest surprise to you so far?

Mark Ingram really seems to be shining so far. I knew Glenn Coffee would get his fair share of carries, and I thought Terry Grant would get some as well, but Ingram has been playing the best out of all of the Freshmen this year. Whenever he gets the ball, the pile just continues to move. It helps to have a sharp O-line, but he is playing the best ball out of all of the offensive skill players.

How about Javier Arenas? The return specialist has 13 total tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, and a sack. How many tackles did he have in 2007? 13. So yes, he’s already reached last year’s total in 3 games. He’s a beast on special teams, and have proven himself to be a player on Defense.

5. The last three weeks were fun, but now it’s time for conference play.  What area of play concerns you now that we’re getting into the more physical stretch of the schedule?

Arkansas doesn’t seem to be the biggest defensive threat in the SEC, so I will worry about how a young defense will handle an aggressive passing attack under Bobby Petrino. Clemson depended on their ground game, but Arkansas appears to be a bit pass happy under the veteran QB Casey Dick. The Hogs have proven themselves to be comeback kids (albeit against lower level talent), so I know they are used to quick drives in the crunch.

SEC Power Poll

1. Georgia

Need to step it up a bit. Arizona State lost to UNLV, but the Bulldogs need to be careful for their longest road trip in years.

2. Florida

Tebow took a break this weekend, electing to save only 4 or 5 people from burning buildings.

3. LSU

LSU’s first REAL test is coming up this weekend. Insert Tigers vs. Tigers joke here.

4. Alabama

Good win, although that was a big mismatch. Let’s hope we don’t have a Tulane performance against Arkansas.

5. Auburn

Offense was horrid. Where did those hard hats come from? (see Sen’Derrick Marks after the game)

6. Vanderbilt

“I’ve got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t.” – Steve Martin

7. Tennessee

Crompton was up and down. Arian Foster needs the ball more, assuming he can keep it in his arms.

8. Ole Miss

So-So performance against Samford, a team that isn’t known for playing it close against Div-IA teams.

9. South Carolina

There’s always Wofford.

10. Kentucky

I’m still not sure what to make of this Wildcats squad. Some bigger tests are on the horizon.

11. Arkansas

Arkansas seems to play poorly until the last 10 minutes of a game. Let’s see what happens when a conference opponent comes to town.

12. Mississippi State

I’m not sure what goals MSU’s offense had for this season, but it looks like scoring isn’t one of them.

Crimson and White Roundtable

Life has been causing me a bit of stress, illness, and downright confusion. I’m sorry I’ve been out, and I might not post much for a little while.

This week we turn over the keys to Ell from Bama Sports Reports, who provides us with some very good questions. This is a somewhat new blog, but the folks over there have really been churning out some amazing stuff. Give them a read, you’ll find something you will really like.

OK, so here we go:

1. What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? Are we overrated? Underrated? Just right?

After that performance against Tulane, Alabama is probably ranked too high. We’ll find out if we’re worth such a rating in the next few weeks.

2. What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most? What aspect of the game was Alabama dominated in that shocked you the most?

Um…. special teams?

As for being dominated, I’d have to say just about everything else. We allowed ourselves to be dominated, and we were. The Sousaphone line could’ve blocked better.

3. Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.

Mark Ingram, considering he has been the most consistent player of the very short season. He’s got what it takes, so I hope he stays healthy.

Defense has to be Rolando McClain. This guy was all over the place, showing very few signs of having slide under a moving vehicle while falling of a motorcycle. Take my word for it…. the dude is tough.

BOOYAKASHA!

4. John Parker Wilson has been called a number of things – most of them not so nice. What do you see in your crystal ball for #14 for the balance of the season?

Listen, I like JP. If John Parker called me up right now, I’d take him out for a drink or two (I’d drive of course). But he has his limits, which means some will never like the guy.

I for one say accept the fact that he can’t do certain things on the field, because then we’ll all be better off. He isn’t Tim Tebow or Matthew Stafford, and that is ok. What John Parker will need to do is accept this fact, and manage the games the best he can, using his skill talent around him properly. If he can keep from trying to re-live his Superman days, he’ll play some-what mistake free football.  I think he can do it, as long as that O-line gives him some protection.

Do I think it will happen? For the most part, but you never know when it comes to Alabama football.

5. Considering that we rushed for 6.5 yards per carry against Tulane, and only averaged 1.6 yards on pass plays, why do you suppose that we passed 27 times and only ran 22 times?

I would guess that Jim McElwain wanted to get something going in the passing game, then decided that he needed to at least achieve something offensively, so he  gave the ball to Mark Ingram. McElwain knows that Wilson needs to develope a position rythmn early on if he is to succeed this year. He’s heard the stories, and has Saban approving of his plays, so I’ll assume Nick thinks the same way.

The Gut and I: Alabama vs. Tulane

It’s the battle of the Tide and the Wave! Which water based team can pull through?

Alabama comes into the weekend 1-0, ranked 13th and 17th respectively. Most thought we wouldn’t be in this position, but that is now irrelevant as we have 11 more games to finish for this season. Plus, we need to be excited for our home opener.

In comes Tulane, a school displaced because of Hurricane Gustav. Certainly a tough situation for this New Orleans school. Yet even though I agree we should cheer for them and avoid anything close to a Rammer Jammer, I hope to see our team run all over them in order to get past a very low point in 2007.

Reasons for my gut to say Alabama wins

  • We might just be on a bit of a hot streak.
  • Much more talent for the Crimson Tide.
  • Nick Saban is the better coach compared to Bob Toledo.
  • Tulane is missing both of their top offensive threats last season, leaving Tulane fairly young.
  • MOTIVATION!

Reasons for my gut to say Alabama losses

  • I’ll never say never again in this type of post after that ULM debacle.
  • Toledo is 2-0 against Bama from his UCLA days, so he has experience beating the Crimson Tide.
  • We’ve had habits of just going through the motions, and letting smaller teams play well. That should not happen, and there is no excuse for letting it happen this season.

This is Alabama’s first step to moving past that horrible performance from the end 2007.  We need to stay careful, and need to realize we still have to prove ourselves. I think Alabama can do it by about 20+ points…. if we come out ready to go. Alabama wins it 34-12.

CW Roundtable Round-Up

Sorry for such a late post, but my computer has been on the fritz.

Let me just say that Todd from Roll Bama Roll has really done a great job running the CWR. Let’s hope it continues on its path to internet greatness. I’d also like to thank TideFaninTN for this cool logo. Look at how it glistens.

Our participants this week included:

Thank you to all who participated. I know this was a rather short week for the Roundtable, but I am happy with the number of blogs who participated.

This next part is pretty simple. I’ll pick a variety of answers from all of the folks listed above, giving you a good overview of what the Alabama blogs of the world are thinking. I wish I could give everyone an equal amount of space, but with an odd number, some will have to only go with one. More after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

A Mal Moore Message

Dear Crimson Tide Fan:

For the second time in three years, the members of the Tulane football team – players, coaches, athletic department staff and their families – have been displaced from their community by a devastating hurricane.

The people of the State of Alabama have consistently opened their homes and their hearts to their fellow citizens from the city of New Orleans. As a continued show of support and respect for their plight – and as an example of the class and dignity with which the citizens of Alabama, particularly Crimson Tide football fans, have always shown – I urge all of you to welcome the Tulane football team to Bryant-Denny Stadium with an enthusiastic, warm round of applause when they take the field Saturday night.

Since it will be our first home game, I encourage you to arrive in Tuscaloosa and on campus early. Parking, as you know, will be at a premium, so if you can double or triple up with friends coming to the game, it might alleviate some of the traffic and parking congestion.

While there will be a number of people honored Saturday night, I do want to alert you that we will have a video feature on the video boards at halftime honoring John Mark Stallings. Our honorary captains will be Bobby Smith and Dave Sington, who were the permanent captains on Coach Paul Bryant’s first team, fifty years ago in 1958.

We look forward to hosting all of you this week.
Roll Tide!

Mal Moore
Director of Athletics

Crimson and White Roundtable: Redux

It has been placed upon me to continue the Roundtable, something I do with great honor and pride…. mostly for visits though.

After such a performance on Saturday, it seems like a very good time to gather together and gauge the feelings of the Alabama fans and bloggers. We won a game that few thought we could win, something that has to put a smile to everyone’s face. We haven’t had a time to smile like this since last year’s Tennessee beat down, so enjoy it.

Good times for one and all… in Crimson

Since it is rather short notice due to scheduling, I will understand if others cannot participate this week. If you can’t, we’ll all understand. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep things rolling on an continual basis.

1) Due to that colossal victory over a Top 10 team in Clemson, Alabama has shot up in the polls (13th in AP and 17th in Coaches). What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? (Too High? Too Low? Just Right?) Expound on this if you can.

I would be happy with 15th place considering we’ve only played on game, so I guess it evens out when you consider the two positions in the polls. We need to play some SEC football before I start complaining about being ranked “too low”.

Early season poll rankings are starting to mean less and less. If you don’t like where your team it today, you certainly have plenty of opportunities to gain some ground. Just look at the 2007 polls, the most fluid of my lifetime. It seemed like a top team was falling every week. So don’t panic, because this thing will probably be very different come October.

2) We’re all a little shocked at how much Alabama dominated that game on Saturday. What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most?

Even though I created this question, I have to admit it seems a bit open ended considering how well things went on Saturday. I guess my one shock was our ability to not crumble after a few big plays by Clemson. With that Ford catch, and later the Spiller TD,  thought it would become a very close game that we might lose. But, we responded in a manner unlike 2007 with our ability to finish the game. The only question now is can we avoid the late season collapse that has mired us in mediocrity for the last few years?

Think about it; we’ve actually had some pretty respectable performances until the end of the season year after year. Even though that is when we play LSU and Auburn, we’ve still had the likes of ULM and Mississippi State to deal with (two non-juggernauts of football). We’ve got to stay tough, and I think this year we just might do it.

3) Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.

On offense, you have to give it to Mark Ingram. The Freshman Running Back was the rookie of the weekend if my opinion, gaining a ton of yardage against a highly vaunted defense from a year ago. He’s got the speed, toughness, and plowing ability that you need in an SEC RB.

on defense, I’d go with Terrance Cody, as I am sure most of you will. He’s 360+ lbs, and can still do a 360 degree slam dunk. With his agility, he created tons of problems for Clemson last Saturday. If we are to have a big time D-line this season, Cody will be the key kog for Alabama.

SEC Power Poll- One Week Down

A little bit of house-keeping for the SEC Power Poll. First, we have a new header. It still has that new header smell. Second, we have an official website, set up by Glenn from A Sea of Blue. You can check it out at SEC Power Poll.

Ok, here is my first official ballot.

1. Georgia

A blowout that technically wasn’t a blowout. Still, those last few TDs were given up at the very end by the lower string players. A solid performance overall for the #1 team in America.

2. LSU

For a team with a Division I-AA Quarterback, their performance was almost flawless.

3. Florida

I’ll put them in the 3rd spot, even though I have a few questions on defense. Tim Tebow and company are my pick for SEC East champs, and they did not disappoint against the Warriors.

4. Alabama

Vic Koenning: “Somebody set up us the bomb!”

Nick Saban: “All your Escalades are belong to us.”

5. Auburn

Chris Todd…. the door is to your left. See to it that you keep it from slamming into your hind-quarters.

6. South Carolina

With Nutt and Dick no longer working together, it appear that Smelley and ‘Cocks are the main filth joke for SEC fans everywhere. To be honest, I doubt South Carolina would have it any other way.

7. Tennessee

“Claw-Fense”…. you know it’s good when you have to give it a nickname in order to sell it to the fans.

8. Kentucky

The power of football has shifted in the state of Kentucky. Rich knows this, any could retire “on top” in the eyes of the Wildcat faithful.

9. Ole Miss

Round 2 of SEC vs. ACC: Ole Miss vs. Wake Forest. Houston’s gonna kick himself some Demon Deacon Butt, Giggity!

10. Vanderbilt

Instead of giving you actual commentary, I will provide you with Steve Martin quotes throughout the season describing how Vanderbilt should be feeling at this very moment. They beat Miami, OH, something most people thought they would not accomplish.

The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need. My name in print! That really makes me somebody. Things are going to start happening to me now!

As “Navin R. Johnson” in The Jerk (1979)

11. Arkansas

They very well could have the worst season in the SEC, but because they actually won, they get to avoid the bottom row for now. ULM is next…. stay on your toes gentlemen.

12. Mississippi State

Croom got “Croomed”, something that I thought was impossible.

Funny question: if Croom gets “Croomed”, does an alternate universe open up where Phil Fulmer weighs 170 lbs, Nick Saban makes $300,000, and Les Miles has a Ph. D from Cornell in English Literature? It just seems like such an anomaly.

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