“…to a 3-4 which will hopefully play to our strength at linebacker. And that’s all I have to say about that.”
State of the program: Alabama football is kind of like the Federal Government, in that they’ll exhaust any amount of their unlimited resources to stay on top. A year removed from a 10 win season, Mike Shula was
given a raise fired, and slick Nick Saban was brought in to do for Bama what he accomplished on the bayou, and end Bama’s seven year BCS Bowl drought. As we see here in Lexington, logic and reason often take a backseat in the Mustang’s of the ravenous fan base, while historically shaped visions of grandeur ride shotgun. We all know about the 90,000+ that came out to watch the spring scrimmage, and while some, perhaps sociologists, would see that as maniacal, there’s no disputing their commitment. The reign of King Saban is officially upon us, now go run wind sprints before he sees you slacking off and exiles you to the land of the Pac 10.
“Alabama, you got the weight on your shoulders/That’s breaking your back/Your Cadillac has got a wheel in the ditch And a wheel on the track.”
So you’re saying there’s a chance: The Tide were far from mediocre under Shula, and there’s plenty of returning pieces for Saban to play with. QB John Parker Wilson often resembled Raggedy Andy last season, but he has the tools to be one of the better passers in this league. He’ll have a talented crop of WR’s to throw to, and an improved OL to boot. Couple that with a talented LB core, a gifted stable of DB’s led by AA candidate Simeon Castille, and a head coach that makes love to aggressive defense, and you’re left with a team capable of competing each week.
Hey, what was all that one and a million talk: For the first time in a long time, the Tide are without a proven, gamebreaking RB. So. Terry Gant has plenty of speed, but at 5-9 184, will struggle to push 20+ carries a game. The universal improvement of the SEC gives the Tide little wiggle room to feel out their new personnel.
Schedule: Bama has about as favorable of an SEC docket as you’re going to find. Arkansas, UGA, Tennessee, and LSU all come to Tuscaloosa, and they get Vandy on the road as opposed to USC or UK. They did however add a sexy inter-conference game with Florida State in Jacksonville (9/29), making the 9 win plateau reachable, but unlikely.
Giving back to the community: Three Tide footballsmen were arrested back in May after causing some ruckus outside of a Campus bar. So. DL Brandon Deadrick, So. RB Roy Upchurch, and So. DL Brandon Fanney were all booked on misdemeanor charges, while Deadrick’s wrap includes resisting arrest, criminal mischief, and giving the cops a false name.
Officer Daggum: “What’s your name son?”
Deadrick: “John Parker Wilson.”
What’s in a name? Comedy: Backup Jr. RB Jimmy Johns. What a ploy: open a sandwich shop, buy the rights of a talented high school running back destined for stardom, and voila, free advertising every Saturday.
In conclusion: Nobody expects Saban to fail. He’s simply too good at what he does. With an infinite buffet of resources at hand, a talented pool of prep talent at his disposal, and the mystique of the Bear forever entrenched on campus, Bama will be back to the BCS before too long. However, this likely won’t be the year, as the talent simply isn’t as deep as half of the league’s. Either way, there should be some good old fashioned hysteria to report from fans and administration alike, so be watching…you might even see Ali G again…