Quite a few interesting things going on this weekend. Let’s get into it.
Saturday Scrimmage. The first big event was the scrimmage on Saturday. Of course there isn’t a ton of news and I won’t show my ignorance by gleaming facts from the minuscule amount of information that we have all seen but I did think that OTS did a pretty good job of reading between the lines. In my observation he is right more times than he is wrong – although reports of this mornings practice show that Eryk Anders was working with the ones at LB. All I know is that in 19 days all the speculation will end and the accolades and hand-wringing will begin.
Injury Update. It used to be that you could read three different reports of practice and render three different story lines. In these days of media lock-down you get basically get the same report by three different papers. Mind you, I’m not complaining, I’m just taking a long way to get to the point that as a team Alabama has been relatively injury free. This is making me nervous. I feel good about it mind you – Alabama has certainly had its share of injury problems over the last few years but they seem to be very, very fortunate this season thus far. Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida have all had major injuries. Hopefully, this is a result of the lauded strength and conditioning program we have all heard so much about.
Here’s hoping that streak continues in Alabama’s favor and best wishes and speedy recovery to those who were injured at other schools. Rivals or not, I never like to see and athlete’s season or career end due to injury.
Ivan Maisel does not have a firm grasp of reality. It is my belief that Mobile native Ivan Maisel tries to cover his unstated love for the University of Alabama by being overly critical of the Crimson Tide with the reason being to put on a show of being impartial. I’ve thought that for years. I believe that he is intelligent and writes well it’s just that I feel his criticisms of Alabama are biased because he doesn’t want anyone to know that he hides away in his house at night and watches replays of Alabama football games decked out in a full complement of Tide Gameday wear. His latest attempt at hiding his true passion is this laughable piece on Auburn and other teams that utilize the no-huddle spread. In fairness, this article isn’t as laughable as an accompanying list of “fastest” teams in the nation. Maisel lists Little Brother (WEH!) as the second fastest team in the country behind Oregon.
The super-fast spread may turn out to be awesome at Auburn but the verdict is still out. I think snitching-ass Tony Franklin’s offense may have some merit to it and in theory the idea that running tons of plays seems to hold water. There is just so much we don’t know about how it will work at Auburn this season with recruits, especially offensive lineman, who were brought in to run the power running, clock management game that Tuberville has always used to own the state of Alabama and become the OMG!!!1! “best big game coach” in the nation. I’ve always believed that you dance with the one that brought you and if this experiment doesn’t work or even starts slow then the outcome could be disastrous. Not that the prospect of Auburn imploding bothers me mind you, it’s just, don’t rank it number two on a list (higher than Troy’s offense that has been running it for at least two seasons) based on one game against a Clemson team that gave up almost 19 points per game (Auburn won 23-20). Yes, it will run more plays in a game than what has been run and yes, it will put up more yards and score more points as a result but it’s certainly not the equivalent of Alabama unveiling the Wishbone in ’71. According to Franklin in Maisel’s article, a lot of his theory is that if the offense plays a bunch of plays then, eventually the defense gets tired and makes a mistake. However, if you go three-and-out in a minute-and-a-half and your defense has to go back out on the field by the end of the game it will be as big a problem for your own defense as it is for the others. Auburn’s stellar, as usual, defense will have them in contention this year if they are – not the Spread Eagle. Of course having to watch the clinic on three-yards and a clud of dust that has been the Auburn offense over the years, except ’04, when Al “Gorgeous” Borges, the OMG!!!1! Best Offensive Coordinator, like ever, led the team to the People’s National Championship. Of course that could have been the absurd amount of talent that Auburn had at that time.
All I’m saying is, Auburn may be very good on offense this season, but let’s let them play first, before we go and crown Tony, the Rat, as the next best thing since sliced bread.
Paddy brings it over The Pond. As everyone who cares about such thing knows now, Irishman Padraig Harrington won the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills yesterday, continuing a streak of two consecutive majors that he can defend next April in Augusta. This also gives him wins in three of the last six majors.
I do love some golf and as has been the case on the three preceding major Sundays this year, I was glued to the TV all day. Despite the statement by one of my co-workers that Harrington, “sounds like a muppet when he talks”, you can’t help but love the guy. I mean, he Irish, which amongst many things guarantees that he celebrated with adult beverages last night. He just comes across as an every-day type of guy and he doesn’t yell at his ball like Sergio Garcia does.
The other things I took away from golf coverage this weekend: Getting to hear Verne about a month prior to CBS football. It’s been so long since the season that it actually sounds good to hear that senile bastard calling the action. Demarco Ryans thanks you, Verne. Also, and I’m not sure he knows the sport, but I would be willing to coach him up free-of-charge, Nick Faldo is one of the best announcers. Ever. I absolutely love to hear this guy talk. I mean obviously he knows that game golf, but he’s incredibly funny without trying to be, unlike Gary McCord, who is horribly not-funny while desperately trying to be. I’m telling you now CBS, send Verne to the assisted-living home and sign up Faldo. He would add a layer of civility to the best-damn-sport in the world that only the English could. Here’s a link to the two together.
“What a tackle! What a tackle! He nearly took his bloody head off with that hit.”