Alabama Wins 29-9

You probably won’t be hearing from me for a while, so I can’t leave you without something to enjoy…

Yes, I know we all have to talk about staying 100% classy, but that game was against Phil Fulmer, and I don’t like the man. Nick Stephens, hats off to you for your toughness throughout the game. You’re the leader Tennessee needs.

Crimson and White Roundtable Round-up

This should have been up on Friday, but Sunday evening is good enough…. right?

It will be interesting to see who exactly had a good feel for the game. Alabama did win by a score of 24-20 over Ole Miss, but most were expecting (hoping?) for more. It was closer that it really needed to be, but I’ll always take a 4 point victory in an SEC game.

Click the link below to read our responses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alabama wins 24-20

That was ugly, but an SEC win is always big. Stats are available at ESPN.com, but these numbers are all that matter: 7-0 (4-0 SEC), 45-9-2 against Ole Miss, 5 straight over the Rebs, and Saban moves to 6-1 against them fine Hoddy Toddy folks.

Congrats to Ole Miss and Houston Nutt for that comeback. I have to admit, even though we all like to have some fun at HN’s expense, I hate playing any team he fields. You’re always in for a tight game with that man on the other sideline.

I won’t go into great detail about how bad that 2nd half looked, but here are my thoughts expressed in one picture:

The Gut and I: Alabama vs. Ole Miss

This game is really hard to get a hand on for a number of reasons. Both teams are coming off of bye weeks. Both bye weeks follow lackluster performances, which follow a week where both squads beat Top 5 teams on the road. Alabama is #2 in both polls, while Ole Miss has had an up and down season comparable to only the U.S. Stock Market.

I could go on. But, as Houston Nutt would say during a boring movie, Let’s just skip to the funny part!

Picture via Gate 21. No disrespect to HN of course.

Reasons for my gut to say Alabama wins

  • The Rebs don’t like it when other teams decided to actually pass the ball. They made Chris Smelley look like Peyton Manning, so we can only hope John Parker Wilson turns into Tom Brady.
  • Alabama is coming off of a poor performance, but an SEC win nonetheless. A week off was needed due to a grueling schedule during the first half of the season. A fresh mentality should hopefully lead to a good victory for Bama.
  • I know they are touting that Wild Rebel stuff, but this only shows that they cannot beat us if they line up and play standard, smash mouth SEC football. We have to force them to play our game, something we’ve been able to do pretty well during the first 6 games.
  • Ole Miss beat Florida with some fortunate turnovers and some nice moves by McCluster. If we keep the football in our hands (lookin’ at you, Glen), then we should be fine.
  • Our D-line is one of the best in the nation. They might try to trick us on these constant trick plays, but they surely can’t beat us up the gut.

Reasons for my gut to say Alabama losses

  • For some reason, Houston seems to get a lot going his way durin these types of games. I don’t know if he has a football version of the farmer’s almanac, but he certainly has a history of making big statements at just the right time. Of course, he’ll probably drop a few more SEC games due to an inconsistent coaching style, but he his a threat against ranked opponents.
  • I still worry about Alabama’s Special Teams. Tiffin has missed a few big FGs, and we really seem to give up big returns on kick-offs and punt returns. If McCluster is allowed to return a Touchdown, we’re making it much harder than it needs to be.
  • Ole Miss has had success against other team’s turnovers, and Glen Coffee had a few issues with that against Kentucky. Keep the ball in your hands please.
  • Jevan Snead has a very good arm, and our Secondary and overall Pass D has given me moments of concern. If we are to have a breakdown on this side of the ball, it will be in this area.
  • We don’t have enough deep talent to make up for early mistakes and a tired 1st string. We also need to keep our focus. If we lose our focus, hello 2007.

Ole Miss can win this game is they come with more intensity than Alabama. If we’re evenly matched in that department, Bama will end up winning the game. We just have to stick to our assignments, play physical football, and keep our foots on the gas if given the opportunity. Ole Miss is very capable of covering the spread (around 13 points…. I think). Alabama should win, 27-17.

SEC Power Poll- Week 7

1. Alabama

Tuscaloosa restaurants had to shut down early this weekend as Andre Smith and Terrence Cody had a Saturday afternoon off. It has been reported that Tuscaloosa County has set off an amber alert for the manager of Bob Baumhower’s Wings restaurant, who ran away screaming after the 10th order of chili cheese fries failed to quench their hunger.

2. Florida

It is now apparent that SEC speed is starting to eat its own.  It’s…. evolving.

3. Georgia

Not great, but acceptable when you’re playing a very confused Tennessee squad.

4. LSU

Yuck.

5. South Carolina

A Spurrier team coming in under the radar? It appears to be true!

6. Ole Miss

The Rebels come into Tuscaloosa without the momentum they had hoped to bring. That Florida victory is looking better, so I imagine people will be preparing for a tough game when Ole Miss comes to town.

7. Vanderbilt

That was fun while it lasted.

8. Tennessee

Still not sure what to make of the Vols. I still think this Stephens kid will work out for them in the long run.

9. Kentucky

Two straight SEC losses? BS! Dicky Lyons out for the year? BS! No Quarterback? BS! Barbara Stanwyck’s initials? BS!

10. Auburn

I’m………. speechless. How do you address such a horrid performance? HOW?!

11. Mississippi State

I’m not shocked that Vanderbilt’s 5-0 joyride crashed against MSU. Starkville is a lifeless void where happy thoughts go to die.

12. Arkansas

I’m glad Bob Petrino got to avoid working on his frown wrinkles this weekend. The Hogs still have a ways to go, but they have something positive to build on.

The Crimson & White Roundtable- Host Edition

I’m back, and I’ve brought the CWR with me!

I will perform the hosting duties this week, which hasn’t happened since I first started organizing this Roundtable forum. It seemed like so long ago….

Remember when this guy used to coach? Talk about forever-ago!

Since last week was an idle weekend, I decided it would be best to avoid the standard questions concerning Bama’s last performance. Therefore, this week’s set of questions is rather short and simple. I have been known to over analyze certain situations in order to have something to talk about, so this could start to sound like the inconsistent rambling of a crazy man. Let’s overreact!

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

It is probably for the best that Alabama isn’t ranked #1 right now. While I would like to see it for the first time in years, that is more added pressure than I am comfortable with right now. We’re about to play a team that beat a top 5 squad on the road and Tennessee. I know the Vols have been down recently, but you never know what’ll happen in a rivalry game.

2. Kentucky’s Defensive Line gave Alabama an afternoon of problems. Considering that Ole Miss is said to have a better D-Line, is there a cause for concern, or our we just over-reacting to a tired team’s performance?

Even though some will automatically say “no, they were just tired”, I thought this would be a good question to make others sit back and consider the fact that injuries could really mess up our Offensive Line.

Think about the Andre Smith injury, and the mini-hold fest he had once he came back into the game with a tweaked elbow. You also should remember the Tulane game when Andre and Marlon Davis were both injured. This is a squad we really need to stay healthy for our offense to continue to play well. Hopefully, game changing injuries won’t happen again*knocks on wood repeatedly*.

Big Andre will carry this offense whether they like it or not.

If injuries do start to take their toll on our physical O-line, then bad things could start to happen to both the offense and defense. We’ve got talent on the 1st team, but we’re mighty thin when it comes to the 2nd string on down. The offense could start to sputter, forcing the defense onto the field longer that we would like. They’ll get tired, and could possibly break down towards the end of games.

Maybe I’m just an overly cautious guy, but I do think my concerns are legit.

3. What part of Alabama’s team concerns you against Ole Miss? Likewise, what aspect of the game should Alabama control?

With the domination of Clemson, Arkansas, and Georgia, most people have spoken very little of the problems we’ve had when it comes to Pass Defense. Clemson had no O-line, so it really never showed up, but it has given us a few problems from game 2 on. Matthew Stafford is going to get his stats no matter where you go, but they certainly were able to make the game much tighter with an impressive air assault. Even Mike Hartline of Kentucky looked fairly good when he was handing the ball to Rolando McClain is terror.

Jevan Snead is one of the better QBs in the country, so we better be prepared to see the guy tossing the ball around as much as he can…. whenever Nutt isn’t running his Wild Tecmo-Cat-Hog-Rebel formation.

I got a TD!…. Did that dude just wet himself?

If our Pass Defense has been a tad bit suspect, our Run Defense has been the Steel Curtain. Mount Cody and crew have been shutting down top back after top back, and I’m not sold on any Ole Miss Offensive Lineman not named Michael Oher having the ability to stop them.

If we can stop Spiller, Davis, and Moreno, then we can stop most anybody in the country (in theory).

Holy Cow!?

Is this true?

the Opelika-Auburn News say Tony Franklin has been fired? I’m no AU fan, but this is huge news anywhere for it to be 6 games into the season.

SEC Power Poll- Week 6

1. Alabama

Some will criticize this group for the close game against Kentucky. Even though it was a sloppy performance, I don’t see how it outweighs beating ranked teams and starting 6-0.

2. LSU

Lesticles vs Tebow’s amazing circumcision powers. Who ya got?

3. Georgia

Mark Richt’s offense might have a few problems with Tennessee’s defense. The good news is that his defense won’t have so many problems against Tennessee’s offense.

4. Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt might be the only team I know that can improve with an injured Quarterback. Very impressive comeback by the ‘Dores.

5. Florida

Even though the Gators beat Arkansas by a wide margin, they still seemed to struggle until the 4th quarter. They can’t pull that kind of stuff against LSU.

6. Auburn

I would say something sarcastic and cutting about Auburn, but I’m not sure if their fans can handle that right now. Their current state of mind isn’t something I want to mess with right now.

7. Kentucky

Kentucky probably won’t win the SEC East, but they sure will give a few folks some problems.

8. South Carolina

Great road win for the Gamecocks. I was starting to worry about the psyche of gamecock fans around the world.

9. Ole Miss

This is a really tricky team to put your finger on. Their trip to Tuscaloosa should still be an interesting match-up.

10. Tennessee

Personally, I am expecting to see the Vols play much better towards the end of the year. Nick Stephens isn’t a Heisman candidate, but he was serviceable against NIU.

11. Mississippi State

The Croom machine could actually catch Vanderbilt off-guard on Saturday.

12. Arkansas

WOOOOO! PIG SOUIEE! WOOOOOO! PIG SOUIEE! WOOOOO! PIG SOUIEE!! RAZORBACKS! Sorry, I figured the hog fans out there needed something to lift their spirits.

Alabama Wins 17-14

Yeah, that wasn’t the prettiest game I’ve ever seen. Still, any SEC win is huge if you want to do well in the conference standings. Kentucky certainly did not back down for a full 4 quarters, and that deserves a hat tip to Rich Brooks, Mike Hartline, and whoever else played a key role in that performance.

Alabama had around 400 yards of offense, and only scored 10 offensive points. The cause can be tied to many mistakes by Alabama’s offense and special teams. What helped us out were 1 lucky roll after a mistake, and a case of butterfingers by Hartline. Those two plays kept this from becoming a much tougher game for the home team.

Saban’s reaction to the end of the game reflects the feelings of the entire Alabama fan base.

Yet the odd thing about this win was that the players with the biggest mistakes were able to bounce back and win the game for Alabama. Glenn Coffee had a case of the fumbles, but racked up a Touchdown and 218 yards on the ground. Leigh Tiffin missed 2 FGs, but hit the eventual game winner with 2 minutes to go. The O-line had too many holds for such a veteran group, but they provided the huge holes that gave Alabama that critical 8 minute drive for the last FG. Yes, our offense stunk it up in the 2nd half, but they did what it took on that monster FG drive, which included a midfield 4th down conversion.

It is now clear that Alabama has 3 critical issues that will come back to haunt the Tide later on in the year. They include: inconsistent Quarterback play, depth concerns, and poor Special Teams play. I’ll have more on that later in the week.

The rest of the SEC was good, but not great. Still, the Auburn-Vanderbilt game was a bit shocking. Even though the ‘Dores are ranked, nobody expected them to beat a much more physical and faster Auburn squad. Tiger fans are extremely unhappy about their current situation, so I imagine Tuberville will “encourage” Franklin to quietly send out his resume to non-BCS schools.

Arkansas fans must really be hurting right now. I hope they take some solace in the fact that it wasn’t a bad as the score indicated. Yes, they hung pretty tough for 3+ quarters.

Congrats to South Carolina and Tuscaloosa native Chris Smelley. Some say this was the law of averages for Nutt, but Ole Miss certainly has plenty of holes to fill. You should still give them a lot of respect, because they are dangerous enough to take advantage of a sloppy offense with multiple turnovers (see Florida from last week). I hope we got our turnovers out of us against Kentucky.

I want a grand finish to this post, but I’ve got nothing. Roll Tide.

The Crimson and White Roundtable

Sorry for the delay, but here we go with the CWR. Todd from Roll Bama Roll is hosting this week, and he brings us these 5 questions.


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

If you had told me in August that Alabama would have a legitimate argument at being the #1 ranked team in America, I would’ve checked your noggin for frying pan bruises.

Based on what we’ve achieved, I am more than willing to admit Alabama deserves the ranking. We’ve got the best win in the country. For every BCS opponent we’ve played, we blown them out of the water (Georgia did make it respectable).

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?

The entire 1st half. I know, I know… everyone has said that, but that doesn’t take away the face that is is true.

As for being dominated, I’d have to go with Special Teams. That blocked punt was awful to watch due to the lackadaisical “going through the motions” attitude we seemed to take on that play. Add in the on-side kick and that TD on the return (yes, I heard about the refs. That still does not excuse everyone else), and it was a HORRIBLE night for Special Teams. They could cost us a game or two if they don’t get their act together.

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

On offense, you have to give it to John Parker Wilson. He was efficient, smooth, and in control the entire game. That TD pass to Julio was a thing of beauty, something we have not seen from John Parker as often as we would like.

On defense, I would give it to Justin Woodall. When you analyze that 2nd half comeback, a TD at the end of the half would’ve been a HUGE disaster for Alabama. But, Woodall made the Interception, and kept the score at 31-0 at the half. Add in his 5 tackles, and I’d say you have yourself a defensive MVP.

4. The Wildcats are a very quiet 4-0 with lackluster wins over Louisville, Norfolk State, MTSU, and Western Kentucky.  Obviously every game in the SEC is going to be a tough one and the Tide could be in danger of a letdown after such a huge win, so are you at all worried about UK?  Why or why not?

Yes, I’d say there is a cause for concern. Our special teams looked horrid last weekend, so Kentucky could be allowed a few easy points due to poor kick-off coverage. We also know that the Tulane game will be the mantra for every team coming into Tuscaloosa now that Alabama has the proverbial target on our backs.

Don’t forget that Rich Brooks has turned this program around, earning a win against the eventual BCS champion LSU Tigers. Of course, this all depends on how focused and well prepared Alabama is when the game starts. I’ve seen some of this extra love in the TV coverage, and it does make me rather uncomfortable that Antoine Caldwell watched a lot of it on ESPN.

5. John Parker Wilson is a new man this season, looking the kind of savvy game manager that can make just enough throws to keep defenses guessing we need in this offense.  What’s your take on his sudden emergence, and are you comfortable with him under center in clutch
situations?

How can you not have more confidence in JPW? He got us our biggest win of the decade, something that Watts, Zow, and Croyle were unable to do. I hope it doesn’t go to his head, but I think he’s finally getting that inconsistency issue out of his system.