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1) What will Alabama have to do in order to regroup after the loss to
South Carolina and prepare for Ole Miss?

It would seem that the team needs to learn form their mistakes and focus on the task at hand. It’s hard to put a finger on one particular thing that needs to be fixed, and thus it falls to the leaders of this team to step forward and push where needed.

There is still tremendous talent on this team. Despite the failures we saw last week, if a few things had gone differently (stopping the first third and long on their opening possession, stopping Garcia on his first down scramble, Darius making to catch for first down over the middle, executing better on second and five, etc.) then the whole game goes differently.

The time for excuses and what-ifs (if there were ever such a time) is gone. This team needs to execute – that’s what they can control – the other things will take care of themselves.

2) How does the Crimson Tide match up against the Rebels going into
Saturday?

It’s hard for me to say, because I just don’t know that much about this Ole Miss team. They have an athletic quarterback and that gave Alabama’s defense trouble last week. But beyond that, I’m just not schooled enough in what they run or have to work with.

Getting back to my first answer though, this game needs to be more about Alabama anyway. Can our guys execute? Can our guys show resiliency? Can our guys dominate play after play?

This Alabama team is deeper and more talented – I do know that much. They have more to play for. They are better coached. To me, this week, that’s the only important match up.

3) What is the biggest area of improvement you’d like Alabama make in
this game?

Focus and intensity. To continue on a theme: execution.

4) What are your thoughts on the Ole Miss mascot debate?

They missed the bus by letting the Admiral Ackbar thing go.

Seriously, and I hate to paint with broad brushes and I know that the following is not true with every single Ole Miss fan, but:

Ole Miss still represents everything that is wrong with the South. And they’re proud of that.

The elitist attitude of maintaining the Southern Aristocracy has got to die out before it makes any difference what their mascot is. Not to cast stones from glass houses – there is still an air of that at Alabama – but Ole Miss is the poster child of the “way it out to be” by their own reckoning and no one else’s. It’s as if they believe that they are the last bastion of all that is or was good with the South. Something tells me that the vast majority of them think it is a travesty that Colonel Reb still isn’t the mascot. Until they get beyond that, what does it really matter?

Welcome to this week’s installment of the Roundtable. You can find the other responders and a wrap-up post right here. On to the questions:

1. What is the biggest lesson we learned in the win over Arkansas last
Saturday?

The first thing that comes to mind would be resiliency; Alabama did what they had to do late in the game to win. Sometime in the third quarter, when Arkansas was up by two scores, thoughts drifted back to a few previous Alabama experiences: at Auburn last season, against a Saban coached LSU team in 2000 and against the eventual national champion, LSU, in 2007 (which still had some Sabanistic toughness now missing in Baton Rouge). All three of those games were won, eventually by the better team (two of them were Saban-led) despite the fact that they trailed in the fourth quarter.

This team has confidence and a belief in what it is doing.

The second thing that was learned, and perhaps just as important, is that this defense still has a lot of work to do. This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone at this point. They were atrocious in the first half. If there is a silver lining it is that they did appear to grow up some in the second half. Now, let’s see if they can keep the intensity and effort up for a whole game.

2. What is the biggest concern going into the game with Florida next
Saturday?

The defense’s ability to stop Florida is the biggest concern. Granted, despite the production against Kentucky last week, Florida has not appeared to be the offensive team we’ve come to expect from a Meyer led team but there is potential for Brantley to find some success with the deep ball – two other opponents have and Florida is more than capable.

This weekend’s game appears to be a case of strength on strength (Florida’s defense versus Alabama’s offense) and weakness on weakness (Florida’s offense and Alabama’s defense). The talent gap you can count on with most of Alabama’s opponents is almost non-existent. It’s going to come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.

3. Will this contest be a preview of this year’s SECCG? Why or why
not?

At this point, due to obvious weakness in teams from the East, Florida is without a doubt your odds on favorite. South Carolina is the only team that could conceivably beat them, but that would seem to be a long shot at this point.

The West, however, is a different story. There are three teams that have a shot. LSU has holes, yet they’ve remained unbeaten.  The same could be said of Auburn. At this point Alabama has to be the favorite, but there are some holes there, too.

If Alabama can make it through the next two weeks unbeaten (or even with one loss) it stands a good chance of beating Ole Miss and Tennessee and making it to  the bye week in position to get it legs under it and focus on fundamentals for a week before preparing for the always tough trip to Baton Rouge.  Auburn could very well stumble down the stretch but right now they’ll be the favorite in every contest now except for one. The gmae on the day after Thanksgiving could very well decide the West’s representative in the championship game.

If this does indeed turn out to be a copy of the bill for the title game, it would stand to reason that both the Alabama defense and Florida offenses would be better.

4. What part of this week’s gameday experience are you most looking forward to?

While this appears to be one of the most perfect combinations possible in the football world – a top-ten match up of the conference elite, a clash of cultures and some of the best football weather imaginable – I find that I’m excited about this contest more than any other this season for other reasons.

For the past twelve consecutive seasons, I have gathered for at least one game with two of my closest college buddies. The core three have stayed the same, but without fail at least two more join us and it becomes an annual celebration. This might not seem like that big of a deal, but these guys  travel from at least 1,600 miles away. While they have definite Alabama ties – one’s grandfather played with Paul Bryant on the ’31 National Championship team and later worked for the Athletic Department for years – it’s their passion for Alabama in distant, heathen lands that has brought new converts into the fold. We now have a group of several guys from western states that make a yearly trip to the Capstone to watch Alabama play, despite the fact they have no ties to the University or SEC football. It’s going to be a big weekend for me.

1.What is the most important thing we learned about the Alabama team in the wake of the Duke game?

There are three lessons that were learned this week. None of them are new and all are equally important. There seems to be further evidence that this version of the Alabama Crimson Tide shows up to play every week regardless of who the opponent is. That’s the first lesson and it is a carryover from Week 1 when the opponent was hapless San Jose State. The second lesson is that this offense only seems to get more impressive. A new week, bigger offensive production. The final lesson is that the defense still has a lot of room for improvement. It might turn out that it is a good and capable defense, but at this point it is certainly not a dominant one.

2.What is the biggest area of concern in respect to Alabama’s performance in the upcoming game against Arkansas?

Without having read anybody else’s weekly answers, it is safe to say that this is a big ditto: the defense. It would seem that tackling, coverage and run stopping all need to improve for the upcoming contest with Arkansas. There will be legion Alabama fans grimaced in agonizing butt tensioning when Mallet and company take the field.

3. Which is more dangerous: Ryan Mallett and the Razorback offense or the Arkansas defense?

Giving credit where it is due, the Hogs stop unit appears much improved (when you’re at the bottom there aren’t many other places to go than up) but without question it is their ability to score points. Georgia is not playing good football and seeing the same quality of offense from Alabama as the Bulldogs this week would be really surprising. The Hog D is in for a much stronger test. The defenses for both teams will be tested as they have not been this weekend.

4. How important is the Arkansas game for Alabama’s prospects both in the SEC West and the conference as a whole?

The most apparent answer is huge, but if you take a deeper look it’s not that simple. Arkansas, like Alabama, is basically untested at this point. After Saturday there will still be eight conference games to play (seven for the Hogs) and that is a lot of opportunity for both good and bad to happen. A win by wither team will take some pressure off but that’s going to be the same for every divisional foe each team faces. You always hear about “controlling your own destiny” and wins make that easier, but all hope is not lost with a loss by either team.

What is the most important thing we learned about the 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide in the wake of the San Jose State game?

I think it’s safe to say that we didn’t really learn anything. SJSU was clearly out manned and Alabama was never really tested. CJ Mosely looks like he’s got some talent and McCarron did a pretty decent job as well. So, in that regard I guess we learned that we have some talent in reserve, but I think we were all pretty clear on that anyway. Let’s all agree that the Spartans amounted to a pre-season scrimmage game that actually counts on the record.

What is the biggest area of concern given the upcoming contest with the Penn State?

The laundry list of concerns I’ve had all year: Will the secondary make it through without being scorched on a regular basis, will the offensive line gel, will the tight-end position provide production, will this team have the fight in them that last years team had? In my mind we might as well be starting the season this weekend.
Which Alabama player is most likely to have a breakout performance against the Nittany Lions?

It would be very nice to see Lester back his performance last weekend up with a great game. On the offensive side, I’d like to see McElroy have a really big day.
What part of the gameday experience are you most looking forward to on Saturday?

Now that we got the first week tailgate kinks worked out, I’m looking forward to getting to the Quad early and taking in the revelry. The atmosphere should be up there with LSU last year and Auburn the year before. The other thing I am really looking forward to is seeing, or rather hearing, how loud 101,000 plus can get. There was a great atmosphere last week, this week it should be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.

1. What are your expectations for the coming season?


I don’t want to sound like Negative Nancy here, but the odds point to an outcome that we are not going to be happy about. Anything less than running the table again would be, from this pre-season vantage point, a disappointment; I’m either going to leave the stadium or turn off the television after Alabama has lost a game this season. The thought of that just sucks. There certainly is the possibility that at the completion of the season the one or two inevitable losses will be alright in light of something else that happened – finishing as SEC Champion, punishing Auburn, a great non-championship bowl win – but it’s hard to predict that right now.

For the last three years we were looking for improvement. There are statisticians and tacticians out there that will say, as a team, Alabama can improve this year. I’m not an ician, I’m a fan and my logic says that there is nothing better than a championship. I believe that the odds are against that happening again this season and thus improvement is an impossibility. How do I live with myself everyday? I’m going to focus on enjoying the season for what it is, not what I want it to be.
2. What players to you most expect to stand out?

I’d like to see Julio, McElroy and Ingram stand out on offense. I’m not sure who, but there is also a defensive back that will be a household name by the end of the year.

3. What do you think will be biggest difference between this team and the 2009 squad?

That is a very tough question. The party line is a great offense and an improving defense for this season which was the opposite of last year. If I had to guess, recognizing that my expectations cloud my objectivity, I’m going to say that this team will show huge potential from young, unheralded (outside of recruiting services) talent.

You can view links to all Roundtable Participants here.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been sucking at this blogging thing recently. And by recently, I’m referring to the last 19 months.

Enough of the whining and excuse making. In order to help us make it through this time of year and saving you from the mindless drivel that I contemplated for this, I’m taking the initiative to temporarily alter the format to just three questions this week.  The questions:

1. Expansion has happened. The Pac-10 and Big Ten have grown by two and one teams respectively, the Big XII has shrunk by two and the Mountain West has added one (the WAC lost one, but really who cares?). Who did the best and worse in the whole deal, conference, team or both?

2. To piggyback off the last question, do you foresee a shift in the balance of power in the conferences based on these moves?

3. On to our team; I believe that it is safe to say that Alabama was a run first, clock-control type offense last season. This was, I think, first and foremost because we could count on the defense to shut down the opposing team – the only exception to this was the game plan against Florida, who the coaching staff seemed to respect offensively more. By all accounts the defense will not be as good this year and the offense will be counted on to score more points. Do you believe that the offensive philosophy will reflect this more – basically will the offensive game plan we saw against Florida be the norm for this season?

I’ll be the first to admit that contributing regular, much less meaningful blog posts is tough. Even without anything resembling a life it can become a chore. Add in the doldrums of the off-season that keeps anticipation for actual football high but football-related news low and the act of writing  can easily be shunted until “tomorrow”; only tomorrow usually becomes August. So like the sailors of old stuck in that hot, windless region near the Equator (wow – the parallels are eerily similar, save the proximity to the Equator) we’ll work to maintain the discipline required to keep things in order and running smoothly.

Many thanks to Todd, over at the Champagne of Alabama football blogs, Roll Bama Roll for this weeks questions. As always you can refer to the Roundtable Blog for links to all this contributors.

1. Have y’all developed an unexpected affection for any of the non-revenue sports during the offseason, and if so which ones?

I am firmly on the baseball bandwagon – in true form, only when they are winning – and I was glued to the Softball Super Regional, but for the last five years my springs have been dominated by little league baseball. With two boys playing, it becomes a second, full-time job so there isn’t the time to follow the other sports. I love my alma mater and gladly support it every opportunity I get, but the reality is I devote so much to Fall Saturdays – we have declined participation in more than a few things because of possible conflicts with Alabama games – that the “account” tends to get rather low and thus requires the other nine months to build the balance back up. I do love me some Braves though – three games over the Phillies right now!! (I realize that isn’t a non-revenue sport, but it helps to pass the time).

2. Back to football, which team on the upcoming schedule are you most looking forward to facing and why?

I’m sure this is the stock answer but Penn State is going to be the perfect storm of college football perfection. Along the same lines this year has one of the best schedules and home schedules in particular. Two seasons ago, when Tennessee and LSU were away and Kentucky, moribund State and Ole Miss teams made up the home schedule, along with the Teagles – which saved the home schedule from Siberia-like bleakness – there weren’t many weeks games that had me excited about hauling all our gear to the Quad. That won’t be the case this year as virtually every home game, save Georgia State and San Jose State – where the newness of the expanded stadium and arrival of football will far out shine the opponent – will be eagerly anticipated affairs.  It’s going to be like a roller coaster where you’ve got just enough time to catch your breath before the next exciting turn has you white-knuckled in your recliner or stadium seat.

3. It’s hard to imagine Jim McElwain not making the leap to a head coaching position sometime soon. When that sad day comes, who would be your dream OC hire to take his place?

I’m not sure. I’m a defensive-minded fan and so, while I find a lot of these high-flying offenses intriguing, I really like seeing them at other schools. I’ll just go ahead and resign myself to what will happen anyway: I’ll trust that Saban will make the best choice for our team and the personnel on it.

4. In that same vein, which OC that Alabama will face this year would you send an unmarked van filled with goons to “disappear” and then replace with a cosmetically-surgified-to-look-just-like-them Jeff Bowden?

Petrino and Mullen are both head coaches/offensive coordinators that seem to have earned respect; Arkansas is supposedly a dark-horse NC contender (I suppose only because someone has to be) and I’m very interested to see Florida post-Mullen without the boy wonder. But I’m going to go with someone who as an OC or Head Coach has probably the best record against Alabama and that would be David Cutcliffe. The only thing that gives me any hope (other than the fact that he doesn’t have a Manning taking snaps this time) is that Alabama should be a far superior team, talent-wise. Say what you want about Cutcliffe, but he has the numbers to prove he can call an offense.

5. Finally, what is the one thing you are most looking forward to when football season finally gets here?

It’s certainly, in part, the restless anticipation that builds to crescendo on game week, the electricity that is palpable as I walk the well worn steps from the tailgate, across the Walk of Champions, up the spiral and to my seat, and the way the hair stands up on my neck as the “Star Spangled Banner” is completed and the team runs on to the field. Or even the euphoric elation that can only come from beating Tennessee, LSU or Auburn. Or the way my heart will swell with pride when the new National Championship flag is unveiled for the first time (against Penn State and not San Jose State if anybody in the Athletic Department is reading). All those things are great and I do look forward to them, but the honest and simple truth is that there are seven guaranteed days when I can crack open a beer between 7:00 and 9:00 (a.m.) and know that I have nothing to do the rest of the day but enjoy the  fellowship of good friends and the bask in the joy of something I am absolutely passionate about. That’s the definition of a blessing.

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.

This weeks questions were provided courtesy of one of the best college football blogs out there, Third Saturday in Blogtober. As always you can get links to all participants here.

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.

The questions were provided by yours truly and if you so desire you can read my answers here. To highlight the answers of other contributors, I submit the following:

The first question dealt with future scheduling in light of the recent changes involving Georgia Tech announced last week.

Opinions varied widely on this with most liking the more traditional teams. Todd liked the idea of a revenge game against LA – Monroe.

The second question asked about favorite Tide players from this past year moving up on our own sentimental lists.

Like me Capstone Report couldn’t get enough of Ro. Todd made room in his heart for everyone’s favorite defensive lineman, Terrance Cody. Kurtz, from 3SIB loved Ingram, but not enough to let him overtake Bobby Humphrey. And Alabama Man Dance from the superb Tower of Bammer went back a year to show Rashad Johnson his propers.

The third question asked about conference expansion who you’d pick to become the new pledge class.

Yet again there was a mixed bag of responses for expansion, with about half going for and half against. Everyone’s reasons are as complex as the problem is but there was pretty good agreement with the teams involved: Georgia Tech, Florida State, Texas and Oklahoma plus a few odd teams that fit due to either geography or prestige. There was also consensus that if anybody had to go it should be the Gamecocks and the Razorbacks.

Next’s years chances for success or failure for our two biggest rivals was the subject for the fourth question and there was universal agreement on the ineptitude of our friends to the north. The committee seems to think that Auburn’s chances for success are somewhat bearish based mostly on last year’s performance and their untested quarterback. To quote TJ of Tower of Bammer, “Yeah, yeah, Cam Newton is the real deal, you say. I prefer to make those sorts of judgements after he plays a few games and not base my opinions on players off of whatever youtube videos the barners have been jerking off to.”

Finally we discussed who we thought the biggest surprise in the conference would be:

Roll Bama Roll: Ole Miss will be surprisingly good, if only because Houston Nutt’s teams are always best when no one is paying any attention.  I’m not saying they are going to challenge for the division or anything, but another Cotton Bowl (or other New Year’s Day Bowl) appearance isn’t that far fetched either.

Tower of Bammer:

Alabama ManDance: The officiating! I think it is going to be even worse. And I think the bitching about it is going to reach a fucking fever pitch. Mike Slive is going to have to publicly execute one of those sons-a-bitches, and it won’t even help. Babies will get called for holding, every play will be a unsportsmanlike taunting, and kicking wedge violations will get called on field goals. So many flags will fly it will block out the sun! And you know what? Football will still be fun to watch, people will still get cancer, and bacon will still make you fat and taste good as shit.

TJ: For the 1st time in 5 years, the SEC will not have a team in the BCS Championship Game. The party has to end sometime, right? I have a feeling that the old spectre of SEC attrition will return with a vengeance. Nobody makes it out unscathed and we get to watch Boise State vs Ohio State. Sucks, huh?

Third Saturday in Blogtober: I think Mississippi State has a big year and LSU implodes.

Capstone Report:I believe Georgia is going to be a pleasant surprise this year. Sure, everyone always expects Georgia to be good. And they will be. What I think will be most surprising is that Georgia and Mark Richt will correct the discipline problems and the concentration issues that have plagued the team over the last few years. This means I expect fewer penalties and improved cohesion on the team—that should mean a better chances to win the big games.

Thanks to everyone for participating. We’ll see you on the next addition.

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