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This week’s edition of the Rountable bids a fond farewell to Memphis Tider as he ceases blogging on his site this week. I completely understand this thing called real life and how it interferes with activities like blogging. There comes a point when you have to pare down things in your life because there are just too many of them. Best wishes, Memphis Tider!

On with the questions:

1.After hearing as much as I have about BJ Scott, Dre Kirkpatrick, Rod Woodson, etc, is it possible that the secondary this year may actually be better than last year’s squad?

I guess that anything is possible and it would seem that the premise is that raw athletic ability will make up for the lack of experience but it just seems that experience is just too important. As talented as they are they are bound to see some things that make them think and as we all know at this point, if you’re thinking you’re not reacting. Really elite football teams react. The most likely scenario is that this groups surprises us by their rapid development as the season progresses. The early conference tests set up well for being tested and learning early.

2. How will all of the awards and honors, especially from his hometown, affect Mark Ingram’s performance this season?

Ingram seems to be a humble enough kid that it shouldn’t affect him. The unfortunate thing is that he is very unlikely to produce this year like he did last – it was, in fact, a record breaking performance, he stayed relatively injury free, and Richardson emerged as a viable option in his own right and that should reduce some of the load and thus opportunities this year. There is a faction out there that will blame his relative woes on a big head if the numbers drop. Tebow remained humble after his trophy and although his numbers were never as good as his Heisman year he remained an effective player. I believe that Ingram is made of the same type of stuff. At least I hope he is.

3. Could you see Greg McElroy as a legitimate early round selection in the NFL draft next year? Why or why not?

Admittedly I know very little of what constitutes an early round pick in the NFL but if McElroy improves some and is consistent (I suppose that would be his improvement) there is a possibility he could be an early draft pick.

4. James Willis was a master recruiter and one hell of a linebackers coach. We haven’t talked much about what the loss of him means to our staff. Tell us what you think the effect will be with him gone to Texas Tech.

What a great question. First Saban has shown that winning is not a function of consistency in staffing so I believe that as long as he’s piloting the ship, the course will remain the same. As far as how he’ll do at Texas Tech, his addition to the staff has to be a boon for Tuberville. Willis’ knowledge of defense has got to help the Red Raiders and surely his recruiting prowess will be helpful. But overall, Texas Tech will probably never be a football “power” and that is mostly for the same reasons that Mississippi State will never be: there is really no tradition from which to build and the location is horrible. I believe that as a coach selling a program you’re better off selling a new program than you are one with a history of mediocrity. Also, and I mean no offense to Starkville and Lubbock, unless you are raised with an affinity for these institutions, there really isn’t much in the way of enticement to spend four or five years of your life there. Sure some would argue that you could say the same of Tuscaloosa, and on many levels I’d agree, but the difference  is that Tuscaloosa is a football town – it doesn’t take very long for even the most football obtuse to realize that – and there is an established history of football excellence here. If you’re going to spend four to five years in a location that doesn’t fit your idea of paradise, you at least want the opportunity to win while you’re there. To conclude and be concise with my response: Willis will do well in Lubbock because he is a good coach, but there would seem to be a glass ceiling on the level of accomplishment that is possible at Texas Tech.

5. Have you ever seen a state whose political views can be switched by football rumors? The Tim James fiasco is absolutely incredible to me how much football can mean to a state.

I must be out of the loop more than I thought because I don’t know all the details. I don’t listen to Finebaum because he’s an instigator and tends to bring out the worst elements in the football loving public of our fine state. As far as I can tell most folks that would seek to be callers on Finebaum’s show are exactly the kind of person that can’t wait to vote for James.  So I’ll provide two responses: First, good or bad, football is our thing in this state. Despite the ridiculous heat that unpacks its bags  and moves in for four to five months this time of year and the ignorance that abounds in this state (the very fact that there is even the remotest of possibilities that Tim James could become governor proves the astounding amount of ignorance) there is no place in the world I’d rather be as September rolls around than right here. Football is what we do.

Second, Tim James represents the worst element of this state, the ignorant masses who attend church every Sunday and still believe that it’s acceptable to hate and oppress, the hypocrite, those with two-story houses in their eyes that stand up and yell about the splinters of their neighbors eyes, those who would gladly lead a prayer in a school unless of course it was a prayer to Allah or in Hebrew, those who teach English in schools and still say “ain’t” and end sentences with “at”, those who believe God and the founding fathers stand firmly with them despite the fact that the only verse of scripture they know  is John 3:16 and couldn’t tell you anything of the fathers other than that they were “Christians”, basically the people that love Rick and Bubba. James  is counting on their vote to become governor. That is reprehensible. He is the definition of a politician and I loathe him for that.  I contend that we need a leader. Someone who will embrace the future and the changes that must take place in this state if we are ever to move beyond where we are now.  Someone who will put an emphasis on education despite the fact that it doesn’t play well politically. OK, I’m done now. I’ll stop before I get really worked up.

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After two weeks of wrangling, arguing, scheming, checking, and planning I am officially bound for the BCS National Championship Game to see my beloved Tide play the Texas Longhorns. It’s been a crazy journey to get to this point.

To make a long story short, I got one ticket and needed two so that my wife could go as well. We were never able to get another one at a reasonable price and tried to sell mine with its mate, which was possesed by my best friend – whose spouse also did not have a ticket. Our reserve price was never met and in the meantime my buddy  got clearance from his significant other. I never got the blessing from my wife, but after I was assured that my stuff wouldn’t be on the lawn I made the executive decision to go. Game on.

In order to keep costs low, we are driving to Nashville next Tuesday (Jan 5) and flying to Phoenix. We’ll crash there Tuesday night with a buddy who is then going to ride with us six hours across the desert to L.A. on Wednesday. We’re picking two more friends up at the airport Wednesday afternoon and all five of us are staying at the same hotel and going to the game together on Thursday. Friday we’ll head back to Phoenix and fly back to Nashville on Saturday. It will be a whirlwind trip but it should be completely worth it.

I couldn’t be more excited.

I’ve created a Twitter account and plan on updating that from my mobile along the way. Check it out.

Something you thought you’d never hear: ESPN’s College Gameday has opted to broadcast live from Colorado Springs, Colorado for the Air Force vs. Army game.

I heard this was part of something called the “Armed Forces Week” promotion. Don’t get me wrong. I love the armed forces but this just isn’t good television.

Sure, I’m biased, but on a really dull weekend in college football, a matchup between two top ten teams in the heart of the football crazy south, in a location that ESPN hasn’t been to and won’t have another option to this year, just seems a little hard to pass up.

I guess when you’re the only game in town you can play by your own rules.

From the beginning of this blog, for the most part, I have always tried to be somewhat reasonable and stay away from the types of things I consider to fanatical one-sided ranting with complete disregard for logic and the consideration of others. I’ve tried to be honest, with a decidedly pro-Alabama slant, without the mindless name-calling and unintelligent drivel I read on a few other blogs; my team and its fan base are not infallible. Just because I love the Crimson Tide and root for them without exception, that does not mean that everything their coaches, players, administrators, boosters, and fans do it above inspection, criticism, or reproach.

Furthermore, I have many good friends who went to and support Auburn. It is a fine institution that is full, for the most part, of fine individuals. I see them in the business and social worlds. I sit by them at church, I wave to them in the neighborhood and I am truly glad to see them when our paths cross. They are my brothers and sisters in this fine state that we all call home. There I feel better for having said all of that and that will continue to be the company line come next Sunday. But starting today…..

All that is out the window. We have officially started Iron Bowl Week. And do you know what that means?

It means that until the conclusion of the game this coming Saturday I hate the Aubs.

I hate their colors. I hate their mascot. I hate their big-eared, egotistical-dress-up-as-friendly-good-ole-boy head coach. I hate their former snitching-ass offensive coordinator. I hate their new offensive coordinator that was too stupid to be an offensive coordinator and is now the offensive coordinator again because the aforementioned head coach was too stupid to figure all this out ahead of time.

I hate Tigers. I hate Eagles. I hate Teagles.

I hate Plainsmen. I hate villages. I hate the Plains. The fact that these bumpkin-ass slack jawed yokels think they live on the plains is proof positive of how dumb they are. They’re pastures, people. Pastures. The plains stretch for thousands of miles. You can’t swing a dead cat (or bird- would you please make up your freaking minds?!) in Auburn without hitting a pine tree. That does not constitute plains. Pastures. You live in pastures.

I hate little brothers. I hate sociology degrees. I hate the Department of Animal and Dairy Science.

I hate people that besmirch one of my childhood heroes by claiming that he was a mumbling drunk and then name a field after Pat Dye. Have you heard Pat Dye lately? I’m pretty sure Coach Dye doesn’t even know what he’s saying.

In short, and in closing for now. I hate Auburn. And other than the few short moments in which I participate in the blessing before my Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, I will let that hatred consume me for the next five days. And in case you didn’t think I was serious, Picture Me Rollin will be known as “Go to Hell Auburn” for the next six days.

The LSU Tigahs play host to the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at 2:30 (central) this coming Saturday. CBS will air the game.

By all accounts this should be a great week, and to a degree it is. Let me rephrase that. This is an awesome week, there is just so much going on that I can’t slow down enough to enjoy it as I typically do.

Alabama is seven games into the season and has not lost yet; Tuscaloosa, as I was telling a friend a day or two ago, is a much better place when Alabama is wining.

This Saturday, Alabama will travel to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee and play the Volunteers. This is the game that embodies everything great about college football to me.

The first anniversary of this blog’s existence passed without fanfare last week. I’ve been faithful to this for one year and I am still entertained by it and excited about the future it might have.

With all that going on I should be beside myself with anticipation and excitement. The truth is there is so much going on in the world of truly important things that I haven’t been able to sleep and eat properly, much less concentrate on things that I enjoy – like football and this blog.

Sometimes you have to make tough decisions that affect not only you but a few others. And then sometimes you ask a few questions that you already know the answers to and react. The latter has what has happened to me over the last week-and-a-half.

I have been a partner in a business venture and after two-and-a-half years it became completely apparent that the goals we had set for ourselves would not be realized. My options came down to financial ruin, at least in the short term, or striking out on my own (with the distinct possibility of financial ruin). I did what anyone in my situation did and struck out on my own. It has been an amazing few days that were broken up by a football game.

As of Monday, I am the sole member of an LLC and have been gathering support and resources ever since. The response from friends, advisers, and clients has been amazing. I’ve got a great attorney, a great accountant, a great insurance agent, a great computer guy, and multiple friends that have been there for me every step of the way.

This has and will dominate my life for the next several weeks. That’s OK, in fact, that is how it needs to be. The downside is I will have very little time for blogging.

So I’ve been here over a year now. Yeah for me! Instead of the post to commemorate that (which I will do later) you can search to archives if you want to relive something.

Also, instead of a new post on how I loathe Tennessee and yet love the game played between them and my beloved Tide you can reread this and just change any words out that are indicative of the location of the game for this edition.

Don’t worry, I won’t be far away.

In a well deserved acknowledgment, the SEC named Alabama’s senior quarterback, John Parker Wilson, the conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Wilson looked like a true leader on Saturday night.

On another note, it’s hard to watch or listen to a media outlet in this state this morning and not hear about the Tide. It’s even harder to peruse the internets and not see Alabama as a major topic on conversation today. I’ve heard or read national championship more time than I can count this morning and the phrase, “undefeated LSU and Alabama meeting in November is huge” has been uttered more time than a few.

Let’s do a good job and keep this in perspective. There are seven more gamers to be played
starting with an undefeated Kentucky team this weekend. Kentucky is unranked and has a chip on their shoulder because they are not getting any respect.

Ole Miss, who Alabama faces in a little less than three weeks, just defeated Florida, at home.

Tennessee, who seems to be headed toward oblivion, will not roll over and die when Alabama comes into town at the end of the month. In fact, nothing would make Fulmer happier than to upset Alabama as it might save his job and will certainly be a point of pride.

Arkansas State would love nothing more than to upset Alabama on homecoming and will put forth their best effort.

I don’t believe that I need to say anything about LSU.

State has a two game winning streak against Alabama and always, always plays out of their minds against the Tide.

And Auburn. If you don’t think that Tuberville can whip those guys into a frenzy to play Alabama then you haven’t been watching football.

There is a long, long way to go. Just as the team needs to focus on the the next game, so do we. It’s nice to dream and speculate and it’s wonderful to celebrate, God knows we’ve needed that win to charge us up. But let’s keep focus.

There is nothing at this point but a good Kentucky team that can beat Alabama unless the Tide gives their best effort. Let’s be ready to fill Bryant-Denny on Saturday and cheer as if that is the only game left to play, because in truth, if we (every last one of us)  don’t, it just might be.

Roll Tide! Beat the Wildcats!

I’m looking for two tickets to the Alabama-Georgia Game next weekend (9/27) in Athens. Obviously, I’m willing to pay for them but if it is any incentive I’m completely willing to negotiate a use of this space in return. This is a platform that is viewed everyday by more than a few college football fans. I’ll write a profile about you, say how great you are or promote a cause for you (within reason). I’m willing to advertise a product or service for a period of time as well.

So, if you have got two tickets and can’t go and would like an Alabama fan and his spouse to be in your seats cheering for you or you just don’t want to deal with Atlanta area traffic give we a shout.

You can email me at: picmerollin(at)gmail(dot)com

in Men’s Cross Country.

Alright, alright, this is the 100th post since the inception of this blog and I wanted to use a gimmick. I do wish all the best to the Cross Country Team and to the truthful, any time Alabama wins anything other than the lowest property tax race, it is reason to celebrate.

The 100 post mile stone is a neat thing for me. I was thinking about a “best of” type thing but it wouldn’t have been this long (as there aren’t many candidates) and I might save that for the one year anniversary coming up in October.

Thanks for checking this space out. My hope and plan is that it continues to improve.

Mark Dau, who is the editor-in-chief, for The Tailgater.com, published a story today on his site that was compiled form an email interview with yours truly. I tried to express how great I believe tailgating on the Quad, Alabama Football, and the awesomeness when the two come together is and I think Mark did a good job relating that to his readers.

So go check it out.

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