1. Whenever a media outlet evaluates the Tide heading into the fall, the first three questions are always ‘how will the Tide replace Terrence Cody?’, ‘will the secondary be a weakness?’, and ‘what sort of liability will special teams be?’ After these three obvious questions, is there another area not being discussed that could be problematic this fall?
Because the offensive line is basically recreated every single season (unless you have that very rare situation where all five starters return) I will stress over how that unit gels until I see proof otherwise. There is also bound to be some drop off in production at the tight end position with the loss of Colin Peek. Those are the two that concern me in addition to the 2010 pre-season boiler plate concerns.
2. Every season since Coach Saban showed up on campus, at least two true freshman have distinguished themselves either as starters or as standout contributors on offense or defense. In 2007, it was Rolando McClain and Kareem Jackson, followed by Julio Jones and Donta Hightower in 2008, and last year it was Trent Richardson and (arguably) Nico Johnson. Who do you see being an immediate asset for the class of 2010?
Because of the lack of depth in the secondary that would seem to be the area that would offer the quickest playing time. Milliner and Fulton could see playing time there based on their supposed skill sets. Generally, I believe it’s hard to predict what freshman, if any, can make an impact. The one big difference between this year and the previous two is that the quality depth is as good as it has been since the early nineties. You’d have to be a very special player at an area of need to break to rotation this season.
3. We’re all hopeful that Alabama goes undefeated for the third consecutive regular season, but ‘unlikely’ doesn’t begin to describe the difficulty of that. If Alabama is going to lose at least one game, the question is not which is most likely, but which loss could you stomach the easiest?
As much as I hate to think about the sickening feeling that I’ll have in my stomach when that finally happens, my first reaction is that the Florida or Penn State games would be the easiest to take. Those are early enough that the team could recover enough with good performances down the stretch. Plus with Florida, the team could win out and get a rematch that would matter more. Either way, that’s just tough to think about.
4. Lots of people are pointing to the Georgia State game as the functional equivalent of a bye week. Agree or disagree?
I agree so much that it may even be better than a bye week. That is a game that should see the starters exit early and every single player on the roster logging some playing time. It would be even better if they can do it on Thursday, so Saban could keep his routine week in preparation for Auburn. I hate to degrade any opponent but let’s face facts, the scout team has more talent than the Curry’s Georgia State team will have.
5. We’ve been talking about hypothetical expansion for weeks now and the consensus is that the SEC will expand if it feels so compelled by the moves of other conferences. For a few days a specious rumor has been circulating on MSM sources that the Big Ten has extended invitations to Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Rutgers (one version includes Syracuse). If this group of invites were true, would this be enough to cause the SEC to attempt expansion? Why or why not?
I believe that it would. If the SEC has been anything, it has been progressive. I just can’t see them resting on their laurels while another conference makes attempts to steal its thunder.