The fine folks at 3rd Saturday in Blogtober are hosting this week. Without further ado:

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

While it’s nice to be 9th in the AP it still seems a little high and once again the Coaches have it about right with 13. Clemson’s reemergence into the poll helps state the case for a top 15 ranking as does ECU’s struggles with Tulane.  We’re still about two to three weeks from being to able to scrutinize the polls effectively.

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?

You shouldn’t leave a game against the likes of Western Kentucky shocked unless it’s because something bad happened. I was thankfully not shocked – unless it was the realization that the band is seriously sticking with this “Queen” thing.

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

I’m going with the running backs on offense. Coffee, if I have to single out just one, but, fumble aside, they all played well. When was the last time you remember this many running backs playing this well? Outstanding.

On defense, I’m choosing Arenas. He is really an asset as a defensive back.  It’s just hard not to really like this guy.

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

On offense it has to be Mark Ingram. Julio is obviously the crowd favorite and while I believe him to be a great talent, he has not even remotely had the impact that Ingram has had. He is the punishing runner that every team in the conference wants. He’s not a glitzy as Moreno – at least not up to this point – but he is a definite talent.

On defense it is without question Terrance Cody. All the hype was about Harris and Lawrence, and while they may very well develop into great players, Cody’s impact has been immediate and huge. We were schooled from the beginning that Saban’s scheme called for a big tackle to anchor the line. Cody’s sheer size pointed toward him being that important cog in the the Saban defensive machine but that same size also led to speculation that he might not have the required conditioning. He’s held up well and honestly I cannot wait to see how he performs against the best center in college football. If Cody can win that battle more times than he loses it this weekend there will be a lot of worried offensive coordinators in the conference. He is a difference maker and what’s even better is that he is allowing other to make a difference as well. I’d bet that Rolando McClain calls him before bedtime every night to make sure he’s tucked in and comfy.

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?

Offensive consistency. Offensive consistency. Offensive consistency.

I believe we were all lulled into a sense of well being once Andre Smith returned the line last weekend. We’ll see how that plays out over the next three weeks. If the offense can make it through that stretch with consistent production, even with a loss to Georgia, then you would have to believe that this team could compete – mind you I didn’t say win but compete – for the division title and that would be a huge, huge step up. This is shaping up to be a year of mediocre offenses in the conference. Alabama seems to have the ingredients to have one of the best offenses in the SEC this year they just have to show some consistency.

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