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:
- TideFaninTN-3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- Gerry Dorsey- Uncle Rico’s Time Machine
- Todd- Roll Bama Roll
- Tony Orlando- Alabama Gameday
- Ell- Bama Sports Report
- Picture Me Rollin’
- Cheryl- Tide Chick
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.
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.
Gerry Dorsey (Uncle Rico’s Time Machine)- I think 17 may be about right, but 13 is a little high. the polls are just so overly volatile at this time of year. last year michigan was a preseason top 5, lost their first game, fell all the way out of the top 25, only to finish in the top 20. i think my biggest problem with being at 13, is if bama wins the next two weeks (as they no doubt should) and a couple more upsets happen, we could be looking at a top 10 ranking going into conference play. they have no business being in the top 10…yet.
Todd (Roll Bama Roll)- I’m a little hesitant to say we’re just about right. I was of the firm belief that we should be a high to mid teens team at the end of the season and, even though I bumped us up to 12 on my blogpoll ballot, I don’t really think this game proved all that much and we’re coasting on a post blowout high more than any actual evidence that the Tide is really that physically dominant. Clemson rolled over after about ten minutes and really didn’t put up much resistance, which you know the better teams that we’ll face like UGA and LSU simply won’t do. Looking at the Clemson sidelines, they were hanging their heads, arguing with each other, and just generally acted like a beaten team before the half, and even a kick return TD to open the second half couldn’t light a fire under them. The Tide went out and played their game and didn’t let something like that affect the way they handled themselves, which is a huge positive since last year’s team would have quickly started melting down at that point, but there is still plenty to improve on (no downfield passing threat to speak of, left a couple of TDs on the field early and settled for FGs, etc) and until we completely dominate the next four weeks (Tulane, WKU, Arky, and even UK should be pushovers after the way they played last weekend) instead of playing down to the level of competition like we’ve always done the past decade or so and then really play a physical and efficient game against a very good UGA team, I’m still skeptical about Saturday’s performance.
Ell (Bama Sports Report)- Well, I’ve got us ranked 13th in the BlogPoll, so that should tell you what I think. Of course, I also had Oregon State in and not Stanford (who beat the crap out of them). So that should give you a little insight into how smart I am…
Bama does have a tendency to get overrated. There – I said it. I feel better now. That being said I don’t necessarily think we’re overrated now.
However, If we move into the top 10 before we play Georgia, we will be overrated. Until we beat someone who is demonstrably good, we don’t need to be any higher than we are now. Of course, if we are, say 8th, and Georgia is 2nd, then the media will go absolutely nuts.
Either way, we should look for more carping about a “Gameday Curse” when we head to Athens – I’ll be shocked if Lee, Kirk and Chris are anywhere else. Hey, I wandered that off topic pretty quickly…
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?
Tony Orlando (Alabama Gameday)- Shocked may not be the word, but the dominance of the running game Alabama employed was surprising. For Alabama to come out with 3 consecutive runs to open the game was significant. The Tide were daring Clemson to stop them, and Clemson blinked.
Through the use of the short pass and a platoon of running backs, Alabama dominated time of possession, and forced the Clemson defense to raise the white flag. It was unexpected, it was brilliant and – ok, it was a little bit shocking.
Picture Me Rollin’- The play of the defensive line was very pleasing followed closely by the offensive line. I felt good about the receivers and while they still haven’t really been tested I wasn’t too concerned about them as a group. My main cause for optimism this season, based on Saturday’s results, if the effort of both lines. If they stay healthy and continue that effort all season this could be a tremendously better season. One that at minimum will position Alabama to be considered with the current big names of the conference in the coming seasons.
Cheryl (Tide Chick)- “Dominance” is the word I kept muttering to myself the night of that game, and pretty much this whole week since. It’s been a very long time since we have truly dominated. And what I liked was that it was done on BOTH the offensive and defensive lines. I felt pretty good about our offensive line going in, but was very pleasantly surprised by the pressure that the defense put on the Clemson team all night long.
3) Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.
TideFaninTN (3rd Saturday in Blogtober)- Offense: Really, just a tough call. I’ll take Nick Walker. I had a college football fantasy draft the other night and I teased the guy (a UT fan no less) who took Walker. I told him that we just don’t throw to our TEs. Walker was a capable receiver, I told him, but he’s not so great holding onto the ball. Nick–excuse me, Mr. Walker–forgive me. You were automatic. You’re stiff arms stamped “first down” on Tiger helmets. You caught everything thrown to you. You ran perfect routes. And that’s just as a receiver. You were also a part of that impenetrable offensive line. My doubts were trampled like so many falling Clemson defenders.
Defense: Terence Cody. A popular answer I’m sure, but completely deserved. His job was to just take up space and occupy blockers. Which he did. But he also racked up 2 solo tackles and 2 assists, and that’s against a team that only ran the ball 14 times and with Cody only playing slightly more than half the snaps. The players tried to warn us. Mt. Cody is no longer an appropriate nickname. Mountains just don’t move like that.
Tony Orlando (Alabama Gameday)- Nobody would dispute that Mark Ingram was a pleasant surprise and a game-changer, but we’re giving the nod to John Parker Wilson.
With an entire summer to enjoy the constant criticism of fans and the sports media, Wilson went out and managed his team brilliantly. With a completion rating approaching 80 percent, Wilson calmly executed Jim McElwain’s retooled offense, dumping off short passes and tucking the ball and running when needed. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he led his team effectively and put points on the board.
On defense, we simply could not stop watching Terrence Cody. This leviathan abused Clemson’s offensive line all night, and looked like a man among boys. He’s gonna be fun to watch this year.
Todd (Roll Bama Roll)- Offense has to be JPW. He did what he was both supposed to do and was capable of doing, namely managing the game, minimizing mistakes, and being as efficient as you could ever ask from a QB. A delay of game penalty is the only real knock we can put on him, but with clock changes and it being the first game of the season, I have to think that was a one time deal. On defense, The Legend of Terrence Cody has brought an entirely new dimension to the Tide defense, so you have to take him with honorable mention to Josh Chapman. Having the kind of size and talent they provide at NG that we simply didn’t have last year made a huge difference in our defense, namely that we were able to get a good push and pressure in the backfield without having to bring the house like we did last year (with dubious results).