With thanks to the C&W RT originator Roll Bama Roll for hosting this week
1. What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? Are we overrated? Underrated? Just right?
At the end of the fifth week of the season polls are finally starting to make sense. In fact, I am proud to be a voter in Senator Blutarsky’s Mumme Poll, which doesn’t begin to rank teams until this coming week. Alabama’s schedule and impressive wins have allowed them to overcome a lot of the pre-season bias that early polls often carry and I, for one, believe that a poll should be calculated first, by looking at what a team has accomplished, and second by how they might fare against other teams.
At any rate I am totally comfortable with Alabama’s ranking at this point. Beating two top-ten teams away from home is something no other team has done.
A case could be made for Alabama being number one, because Oklahoma’s list of victims is not as high-profile as the Tide’s but as I have said before, and will again, the only poll that matters is the last one. The important thing is that Alabama has positioned itself where it needs to be to reach its ultimate goal. Now, all they have to do is win, and if they do then there will be no need to plea to the voters.
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?
I was going to say that I am no longer shocked by this team but that would be a lie. In every scenario that ran through my mind prior to last week, I never imagined that Alabama would dominate the first-half in that manner. I knew that the Offensive line was good but never imagined it was that good.
The kick coverage still concerns me although I don’t want to commit to the statement that Alabama was dominated in it. Not that this makes it alright but I have not seen any team with just great coverage up to this point.
3. Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.
On offense I’ve already given John Parker his name back (i used to refer to him solely as Ross’ Brother) and it is only right that I name him as offensive player of the game.
On defense, and this is becoming a broken record, but Terrance Cody gets the nod. His stats will never show it but he is so fundamentally important to this defense and their production. He is now garnering national attention and would have to be a shoo-in for All-American honors if he remains healthy. McClain and Andre Smith might be as well.
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?
After the last ten years I am worried about every game and against every team. Kentucky has a sizable defensive line and has been effective against the run. It should be a challenge for the offense. I believe that Alabama can and should beat this team but that in no way keeps me from worrying. I was at the Tulane game amongst several other games in the past few years that I won’t mention.
People like to look at Oregon State over USC or Ole Miss over Florida and refer to them as flukes. Granted they are not the expected results, but nor are they that far from the norm in this age of parity. As Saban has drilled to the media and no doubt to his players, if you don’t come prepared every week and hit the field with a lot of intensity then you have the chance to get beat.
5. John Parker Wilson is a new man this season, looking like 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?
Just like the team, he still makes me nervous. The SEC Offensive player of the week has still only ended one come-from-behind-in-the-last-few-minutes drive with a victory and I can’t help but believe that he’ll have to do that again as this season progresses.
He is without question playing better but am I the only one that thought the offensive game plan was different for the last game and the first game than it was for the middle three? I really like this offense but I think that they break it out for the special occasions as if it were some fine china. We heard so much about passing in the spring and fall and we’ve only seen passing in a few spots. He has to be better. with all those reps. He is not the best passer in the conference but it wasn’t his throwing skill set that bothered me about him, it was his tendency to not take care of the ball at critical moments. He is certainly a better manager, but he also has not been put into a lot of stressful situations. He most certainly will be as the season progresses. This is one of those enigmas that won’t work fully show itself until we have the whole season behind us.
I will say this, I am happy and content with John Parker as the quarterback. This is his team, but he still makes me nervous.