Louisiana native and Alabama fan Gerry Dorsey, who edits the a standard weekly read, Love Thine Enemy, on his great site, Uncle Rico’s Time Machine, has chosen this week to host.
The questions and my answers:
1. what are your feelings on alabama’s current position in the polls? are they overrated? underrated? just right?
At some point Saturday night it became apparent that Alabama, by means of attrition, would ascend to the number one spot. While this is the constant goal of the vast majority of the Alabama faithful, my first reaction was, “No, not yet!”
I have always felt that a team that is ranked number one has a much larger target on their back and get the best effort of every team they play and that those teams at the pinnacle are more susceptible to hubris than other teams. Then again, this current Alabama team seems to be healthy, improving, and saving their best efforts for the biggest games. This team, I hope, is too workmanlike in their approach to get caught up in the rankings.
Because of his job – which is in no way affiliated with the University or Athletic Department – my father sees Javier Arenas, as well as several other players, on a weekly basis and gets the chance to chat them up. He has been a fan of Arenas since he got to campus and always speaks highly of him in that, “he’s a good kid, you can just tell – very polite, yes sir all the time,” kind of way. Anyway, Dad ssaw Javier on Monday and tells him, ” I would congratulate you on being number one but I now your coach doesn’t like that. Javi’s response, “Thanks, but we don’t even focus on stuff like that, we’re focused on LSU.”
There. You heard it here first.
To conclude, I’m tickled pick, or crimson as it were, with the current rank. It is a very rare thing and this team, at least for right now, deserves to be number one. Now they just have to hold onto it…
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 am continually amazed, although I shouldn’t be considering Saban’s past, with the improved play of the defense. This is becoing a salty defense.
On the other hand, I continue to be concerned with pass protection. How does this team give up exactly zero sacks against Tennessee and then give up four to Arkansas State?
3. name your player of the game on offense. also name one on defense.
Mark Ingram on offense and Rashad Johnson on defense
4. as we found out yesterday, with november comes the coaching carousel. what are your thoughts on phat phil and his legacy? which realistic candidate, if any, scares the crap out of you?
I’ll paraphrase Paul Bryant here; watching the press conference on Monday, I started to feel sorry for Fulmer. But not too sorry. That fat son-of-a-krispy kreme doughnut, has dealt me a lot of misery. At some point Fulmer decided that it would be better for him to worry about getting Alabama in trouble than to focus on his own team and their ability to win. He was successful in the short term, because he was able to hang on to victories over his lifelong nemesis, but in that process he started forgetting how to coach. To be honest with you his demise has been fun to watch.
He put his mark on the rivalry and it is arguably the most controversial and ugly part of this long-standing traditional game. He made it not about the players or the contest itself. I hate Tennessee, but I have a feeling that as his imprint on that storied program becomes less and less apparent that the hatred will lessen and be replaced with the respect that the team and fans deserve.
I wish him well, only because I try not to harbor ill will toward anyone, but he has reaped what he sowed and you should never feel sorry when that happens.
I’m not too worried about a replacement… unless it is Nick Saban.
5. with all the hype of fowler, corso, and herbie in town, the #1 ranking, the unbridled (and unnecessary) hatred for saban (and most anything crimson tide for that matter) from the tigah faithful, just how ripe for for the upset is bama this weekend?? how do you expect the squad to react?
This team has showed the ability all season to rise to the occasion. They have been in at least two other match-ups this year where the eyes of the nation were turned to them. They have faced hostile crowds. They are well coached and should be prepared.
LSU is not the team they were a year ago. Their defense is somewhat soft and while they are still somewhat explosive on offense they are not as balanced as they have been in the past. They are very inexperienced at quarterback. What they are though is still a very physical team. They will bring the fight on every snap and as evidenced by the Georgia game, they never give up. They are very capable of beating Alabama. The fans will be as loud as they ever have and if the team stays in the game they will be there in the fourth quarter, when it gets dark, to cheer them on.
Alabama needs to take the crowd out of it early. They need to build, and maintain, a big lead so that the stands are devoid of purple and gold fans by the fourth quarter. They should be able to do that.
Am I nervous or worried. Hells yes. And that will only grow as kickoff approaches.