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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’d like to begin by thanking those of you who made positive comments on the “Stuff Crimson and White People Like” post at Every Day Should Be Saturday that Gerry Dorsey and I worked on. I have always liked that site a lot and got a big kick out of seeing something I had been a part of writing on there. Don’t be too hard on Holly about the pictures. I gave her the option of doing what she wanted; we wrote the post a month or so ago and didn’t know they were going to publish it until Wednesday night. It was a hectic week and there was no way I could have come up with pictures that quick, plus despite her Orange loving ways, she is pretty talented and has a great sense of humor and I felt confident that she would do an admirable job and was actually glad to have her do it with the time constraints. I might have picked a different Bryant pictures (OK, I certainly would have) but I loved the Auburn “championship ring”. She has always been gracious in helping me and regardless of her allegiance I consider her a friend and a good (no great) sport. She’s welcome at my tailgate any time.

I also got confirmation, via the comments, that Houndstooth bras and thongs exist. Now we just need some verifiable proof in the form of pictures, preferably modeled on a lovely young female.

Now, on to the round table; I’d like to thank all of this week’s participants, in no particular order:

Roll Bama Roll

DBH Dance Party (Who for the record is not a Bama Blogger – btw I loved the Kenny

Fisher youtube. Part of the derivation for my blog comes from his quote)

The Tide Druid

Uncle Rico’s Time Machine

3rd Saturday in Blogtober (Crimson King)

Alabama Gameday

You’ve already seen my answers as I gave them with the questions on Monday. So we’ll just dive in to some of the responses.

1. Other than the contest against Little Brother, what do you think is a “must-win” for Alabama this season?

As much as I hate to say this, but how about Arkansas State? Seriously people, the embarrassing November collapses to State, LSU, and Auburn are bad enough, but did we really need the added humiliation of a home loss to one of the worst teams in the worst conference in the country? No, we didn’t. And we’re right back in the same situation with a trap game against an “inferior” opponent late in the season that should be an easy breather. The Indians Red Wolves have a back to back 1000 yard season rusher in Reggie Arnold and a mobile quarterback in Corey Leonard, the kind of combo that got the Warhawks an upset win last season. Just ask Texas, who escaped with a 21-13 win after allowing 397 yards (57 more than the Longhorns could gain) and ten points in the fourth while being shutout in the final quarter, and Tennessee, who gave up 178 yards rushing (130 of them to Arnold) in their 48-27 win, how seriously we should be taking them. And honestly, we need to be taking everyone on the slate seriously, since finally actually beating all the teams we are SUPPOSED to beat in a season is the first step we need to take in order to get back to contending for the SEC. Todd – Roll Bama Roll

Here’s what makes that question so hard to answer: at Alabama, every game is a must-win. At this time last year, we were all sitting around wondering if Week 2 at Vandy was a must-win. Of COURSE it is! There’s a story one of the bloggers — and I can’t remember which one — told about going to a random Kentucky basketball game like last year, and wearing an Alabama hat (without really thinking about the implications). And what happened to him? More than one UK fan took the opportunity to heckle him … about Kentucky’s overtime win over ‘Bama in 1997. The point, simply, is that every game is must-win in Tuscaloosa. It’s the best and worst part about the job. Will Heath – DBH Dance Party

Like me, several of the contributors think that Mississippi State is a game Alabama must win, especially this season. LSU was a close second.

2. Every year there seems to be a player that no one is really talking about pre-season that garners accolades by the end of the year. Who will that be for Alabama this year?

Mike Johnson. He struggled at RT (why must we keep saying that year after year?!?! WHY?!?!!!11), but he’s a mean run blocker and the move to LG should really make him an asset on the offensive line, and hopefully he can garner some hype for himself. Todd – Roll Bama Roll

Earl Alexander at WR. He had himself a very good A-Day performance, and we desperately need a few Receivers to step up and fill the shoes of Hall, Brown, and Caddell. He is tall, quick, and fairly strong, and doesn’t seem to be garnering much attention with the likes of Burton Scott and Julio Jones getting all of the media coverage. The Tide Durid

i’m going to go way out on a limb and say lb eryk anders. i’ve already mentioned this guy once over on pmr, so i’ll stick with him. he’s not all that big (6’2″ 225lbs), but has pretty good speed, and is obviously at a position in need of someone to step up. he also looked pretty solid getting 2 sacks in the a-day game…whatever that’s worth. you heard it here first. Gerry Dorsey – Uncle Rico’s Time Machine

John Parker Wilson, or as I refer to him, Ross’ brother was also a popular choice for this, but I’m going to have to be technical here and say that if you are on pre-season all-conference teams (hey, third team counts) then you aren’t an unknown. I will give this: if he flourishes there will be an element, especially in our fan base that is shocked by that.

3. In your opinion, how many true freshmen will start against Clemson? How many will start against Little Brother?

We may actually see more against Clemson since it will probably be a testing out period for a portion of the game. Sure, we do want to win, but it is only one game and we need to figure out who can step up during a pressured situation.As for the Iron Bowl, I really hope that we see the exact number needed for a victory, whatever it may be. The Tide Druid

We believe Julio Jones is ready to play now, and will against Clemson. For the sake of argument, we’ll add 2 more freshmen to the mix for the Iron Bowl, assuming they get playing time earlier in the year. Tony Orlando – Alabama Gameday

For the opener against Clemson I could see as many as seven and as few as three true freshmen starting.  Julio Jones and Jerrell Harris are obvious picks and will be starters as long as they stay healthy through the summer and fall practice.  I would also basically pencil in Mark Barron at safety as well.  As for the others, I could actually see Don’ta Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Alonzo Lawrence, and Marcel Dareus getting the stating nod because of the need for their positions.  While Coach Saban and Staff were a huge, and I mean HUGE factor in bringing the number one class for 2008 in, the pitch of potential early playing time was actually truthful, reasonable, and probable.

As far as the starters for the game against Little Brother, several true freshmen could be starting by then.  It’s tough to predict at this point because of injuries or suspensions (hopefully neither), but playing the hypothetical game I will say there could be nine to ten possible true freshmen starters.  Obviously this number is going to seem high, but it’s June and what difference does it make right now???  It’s all fun and games, but I’ll be right.  Or way off.  Anyway, the seven already mentioned and then possibly Corey Smith, or myself if we don’t find a punter, and maybe Tyler Love at one of the guard or tackle spots.  I also do believe that Burton (BJ) Scott will be a starter in the slot as well, sharing reps with Marquis Maze and putting a lot of pressure on LB’s and zone defenses.    Capstone King – 3rd Saturday in Blogtober

4. Pick one player on offense and one on defense and give a match up with an opponent that you are really looking forward to watching this season.

Ah, so many to choose from.  I’ll keep it Alabama related for now and then I’ll venture out.  I really, really want to see Eric Berry match up with Burton Scott.  Talk about the talent clash on that play.  Any and every true football fan who know who these guys are regardless of team affiliation should get at least a little excited about the idea of this match up.  Berry is quite possibly the best defensive back in the league along with a couple others in the elite group going against a for sure future All-SEC player.  Seriously though, need I say more about it?  As far as defense goes for Alabama, I just want to see Terrence Cody go one-on-one with any offensive lineman.  I don’t really care who it is as long as it is one-on-one.

As far as seeing a player from a different school besides Alabama, I would have to go with Greg Hardy from Ole Miss.  This guy had a great season last year and it all got started in the game against Alabama where he had to of had 15 tackles for loss.  I know some of you might be thinking there are better match ups, but I just have to see if Hardy is the real deal or if it was just momentum he carried after going unblocked for four quarters against Alabama.  Line him up against some of the SEC’s best offensive lineman like Andre Smith and I want to see if he’s got the moves then.

*Note, Hardy abused Mike Johnson until he was benched for Chris Capps and he was abused as well (go figure).  Hardy rarely faced Big Dre in last season’s game. Capstone King – 3rd Saturday in Blogtober

Kareem Jackson vs Mohamed Massaquoi. Jackson’s efforts against the Vols last season was one of the highlights of the year, and the Dawgs have a solid receiving corps this year. Let’s see if he can have another game where his defensive efforts help snatches victory from what looks like certain defeat before the game even starts. Todd – Roll Bama Roll

It’s difficult to say you’re looking forward to a match up between linemen because it’s so hard to focus on linemen and still watch the rest of the action. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing how Alabama’s front matches up against opposing offensive lines. As Joe Kines proved in 2004 and 2005, a solid front can make up for a number of glaring deficiencies elsewhere.
Offensively, weirdly, I’m looking forward to the coaching chess match as much as anything else — I’m interested to see what manner of personnel groups McElwain and company put on the field, and how they come up with ways to get them the ball with a chance to create something. Yes, I’m a geek. But you knew that already. Will Heath – DBH Dance Party

i enjoy watching physical specimen go up against each other. therefore, these match ups are based less on the likelihood that they will actually see a lot of each other on the field, and more on my level of interest.

rolando mcclain vs. knowshon moreno

julio jones vs. eric berry

Gerry Dorsey – Uncle Rico’s Time Machine

5. What, if any, SEC school’s head coach will be out after this season?

Steve Spurrier. Having been to Columbia, South Carolina numerous times, I can tell you that it is a nice place to visit and possibly live (I never got to see the suburban areas, so I can’t speak for them. And yes, I know the Danny Ford boys might be disappointed in me for saying such a thing). But, it is not a football hot bed, nor will it ever be a football hot bed. He’s over the age of 65 and has really looked worn down and tired of being at a program that isn’t moving up as quickly as he had hoped. Adding all of that together, it just seems that he may step down in the next year or two. The Tide Druid

The seat is getting warm for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, but he will be given time to either win, or quit. Tennessee is the obvious choice; Phil Fulmer got to Atlanta last season, but the days of winning the SEC in the courtroom or the league offices – instead of on the field – are over.

However, don’t be surprised to see Tommy Tuberville leaving town at the end of the year. He wants out; they want him out. Only his buyout stands in the way. If that issue gets resolved, he’ll be out quicker than you can blow a duck call. Tony Orlando – Alabama Gameday

Fulmer was the really popular choice

Well, that wraps up week three. Thanks again for the great responses. Have a great weekend.

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