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My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic

Friday, September 30, 2011

Alabama-Florida Preview

After the Arkansas game, and the way our defense so thoroughly dominated one of the best offenses in the country, alot of people are wanting to anoint the Tide as surefire National Championship contenders. And while we are definitely one of the top 5 teams in the country, and in my opinion one of the top 3 most likely to win it all, I think we should remember a few things

Last year, Alabama annihilated the Gators in Tuscaloosa, 31-6, and everyone immediately jumped on the bandwagon and said that Alabama AGAIN had the best team in the country. 

Paul Finebaum was first in line to get on the bus. Reading THIS is sure to piss off most Tide fans, in hindsight

We got WAY too far ahead of ourselves, and believed we were unstoppable. And while I still believe we were the most talented team in the country, we probably believed a little too much of the hype before we promptly went to Columbia, SC and got shown the door by the Gamecocks.

This is a similar situation. We are just coming off a beatdown of a top team, and we are going on the road to face the Gators this year. Alot of people, like myself, expect Alabama to win this game, and fairly easily. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, because Florida is a better team this year than last. Will Muschamp is in his first year as head coach, which usually would spell trouble for most teams, but offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is doing some things with that offense that I think are gonna pose more of a threat to opposing defenses this year than whatever it was that Florida was trying to pull of last year. 

John Brantley is more comfortable in the pocket. Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey are being their usual explosive selves thus far, and are definitely a concern.

For most teams

The thing that people don't seem to realize is that the last two times Alabama played Florida, those two were on the field.

For a Florida perspective on how they have fared against Bama's D, CLICK HERE

Everyone knows that Will Muschamp learned alot of what he knows from Nick Saban. Muschamp was Saban's defensive coordinator at LSU, as well as with the Miami Dolphins. So there is somewhat of a teacher-student dynamic at play here. Muschamp was asked about that this week.

You can see his hilarious response HERE. Star Wars fans will dig the reference

Personally, I do think we will win this game, but I think there are alot of unknowns. The game is in Gainesville. And this time, we are the team with a first year starting quarterback. But I don't think those factors are all that huge. Alabama doesn't rely on the quarterback for much more than to just not screw up. 

I think AJ McCarron is clearly more talented than Greg McElroy, and I think he will be a better player down the road, perhaps even an All America type talent. But this is his first real road test against a legitimate team with a very good defense that will get after his ass all night long. 

I know that he played extremely well on the road at Penn State, but let's be honest, how many SEC teams do you think Penn State could beat? They were an extremely overmatched team 3 weeks ago.

I think AJ will do a good enough job against the Gators. I think he might make a mistake or two. I could see him throwing a pick against this D. But I think a few long runs from Richardson and Lacy, whether it is just straight running it, or even a screen, will do the job. I think AJ will make enough throws to score enough times to win the game.

It basically comes down to this:

I think Alabama is good enough, with Trent and Eddie, to score at least 3 touchdowns and a couple fields goals against Florida.

Do you think Florida, or anyone for that matter, can be counted on to do that against Bama's D? Seriously, these guys are trying to hurt people out there. That lick that Dre Kirkpatrick laid on the Arkansas reciever after he caught the pass coming across the middle was a thing of beauty. He went flying backwards on contact. Dre is 190 lbs and he hits like a 250 pound linebacker.

Here is a preview of what you should expect to see several times during this game

Speaking of 250 pound linebackers...

Dont'a Hightower, Nico Johnson, and Courtney Upshaw are the best combination of linebackers in the country. There is not a single member of our defense, starting or even second string, that is NOT a hard hitter or a sure tackler. When these guys hit you, you do one of two things. You either go down right away, or you fall backwards. 

So I am not afraid of anyone's offense.

But they ALL should live in absolute waking fear of our boys

And to add to the disadvantage for Florida, two of their starting defensive linemen have been hurt in practice this week. Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd are banged up, and at least one may not play. Also, starting cornerback Jeremy Floyd will not play in this game, due to injury

Charlie Weis stated this week that he plans to throw the kitchen sink at Alabama's defense. Hopefully for the Gators, they can CATCH the kitchen sink when they throw it

Tim Tebow ain't walking through that door

Alabama 27
Florida 13

Oh, and just for laughs...

Alabama Football News And Notes (Week 5)

My weekly links to different stories and articles to get you caught up and ready for this week's game.

Gators Sports: Easley, Floyd banged up for the Gators Two of Florida's starting defensive linemen could be out of the lineup against Bama

Gators Sports: Charlie Weis says he will throw the kitchen sink at Bama Hopefully for the Gators, they can CATCH the kitchen sink when they throw it

Alabama September Report Very in depth look at Alabama's season so far, statistically

Unit Efficiency: Arkansas Game Awesome analysis from Matt Dover

Richardson and Jones earn Player Of The Week honors

Harvey Updyke apologizes to Auburn I don't really care, but maybe you do

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Post Game Links And News (Alabama vs Arkansas)

I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of our boys after that game today (or yesterday, or Saturday, depending upon when you're reading this). We took it TO Arkansas, and whipped their ass...like we always do really...But I was very nervous heading into this game. Here, I have compiled all the links to all the stories and articles I could find about the game. I will continue to do this for the rest of the season. I will also be posting nightly with links from the day. Seems like a good thing to do. It will keep everyone as up to date as possible and will create one place where everyone can go to read all the Bama news and information they would ever want to know about. That is my goal right now with this blog: to create ONE PLACE for ALL news related to Alabama Football. If you want to read about everything Bama the internet has to offer, you can come here and know that I will be posting more than enough for you to stay up to date on your favorite team.



USA Today


CBS Sports

Capstone Report

Washington Post


Bleacher Report


Friday, September 23, 2011

Alabama Football News And Notes (Week 4)

I figured I would start a series where I post links and different random things, ALL ALABAMA, for everyone to catch up with all that is going on with The Tide

TideSports: Saban Sees Improved Hogs Defense

TideSports: Four Downs And They Said It

TideSports: Tight Ends Getting It Done

Inside The Tunnel: Arkansas This is usually a premium article on TideSports but they made it free this week, so I figured I would share it with you

WR Amari Cooper Commits to Bama

Inside Look At Saban's Defense

Duron Carter Will Miss The Entire Season

Scarbinsky: Nick Saban Has To Be In Bobby Petrino's Head

Izzy Gould: Covering Alabama Has Made Me Stronger

McCarron Carries Dad's Loving Words

Razorback Report

Is Bobby Petrino Overrated?

Coach Saban Sees You When You Leave Early This is why I love that man

Scout.com Preview Arkansas and Alabama

Alabama vs. Arkansas: The Trendsetter Rivalry

Big plays have helped Alabama against Arkansas

RollBamaRoll: Arkansas Showdown Brings Championship Implications

Alabama has won 19 consecutive SEC openers. More tidbits and notes HERE

The Week That Was And Will Be (Week 4)

The Week That Was

I continue to dominate in my picking of winners and losers as I went  8-2 last week. Kentucky let me down in losing to Lousville. Auburn made my freaking MONTH by making me the happiest I've been to be wrong in a long time. My superstitions are well documented when it comes to making guarantees and I once again proved how things work by spending all week telling everyone that Clemson had no chance. Hell yes

Quickly becoming one of my favorite coaches, Vandy's James Franklin got the 'Dores off to a 3-0 start by absolutely dominating the terrible Rebels of Ole Miss. He is the first Vanderbilt head coach to start his career off 3-0 in almost 70 years. They are probably STILL going to end up losing 6 or 7 games, but it was fun while it lasted

My prediction for the Tennessee-Florida game was that the Gators would win 34-20. That was incredibly close to the actual 33-23 score that really wasn't as close at the score would indicate. Either the Vols are still a long way off, or Florida is alot better than people want to admit. I think it's in the middle somewhere

The Alabama game against North Texas went pretty much as planned. But for the first time in Alabama Football history, two running backs ran for over 150 yards each in the same game. Eddie and Trent both went over 160. Though, the numbers are a bit deceiving when you consider that they each had a couple of runs that went for over 50 apiece, Trent having one that went 71 yards. Safe to say, our interior line still isn't blowing people off the ball and I'm going to just blame that on all the experimentation and moving players around alot. We will see this week against Arkansas if there is really anything to worry about

Troy actually managed to do what I was hoping they would and scare Arkansas a bit. The Trojans scored 28 points against the piggies, so there's that.

Ohio State is nothing short of a disaster. Their QB only completed 2 passes in the entire game. Or was it 4? Hell, who cares? He completed more passes to players on the sidelines and fans in the stands than to his own teammates. Getting blown out by Miami with many big teams like Wisconsin still on the schedule does not bode well for the Suckeyes. Is it possible they could lose to Michigan this year? That hasn't happened since Woody Hayes was the coach has it? It doesn't seem like it anyways. They do get a couple of important players back from suspension this week, so maybe it won't be so bad

I expected Oklahoma to beat FSU, which they did, but man it pissed me off. Florida State HAD it right there at the end and couldn't hang on. Now the Sooners probably only have Oklahoma St standing in the way of a inevitable undefeated season. Maybe Texas will put up a fight. But again, to Hell with Texas. Why am I even talking about Texas?

Notre Dame got their first win under their belt, and as much as I hate to say it, in about 6 or 7 weeks we will probably be looking at the Irish alot differently than we are now. I think they are a good team and they will continue to improve

The Week That Will Be

This isn't really all that interesting a week for me, other than the Alabama-Arkansas game of course. I might have a hard time coming up with 10 games to pick. I think I'm gonna stick with 10 as my number for that

1. Michigan starts the day off at 11 am, hosting San Diego State. Michigan Coach Brady Hoke was previously at SDSU before he went to Ann Arbor. Alot of people are calling this game as an upset win for SDSU. The Aztecs have started off 3-0 for the first time in 30 years, and their QB Ryan Lindley is legit. And running back Ronnie Hillman is leading the nation, along with Trent Richardson, with 8 rushing touchdowns.

Other than that, though, I don't see SDSU beating Michigan. Michigan has won 11 straight non conference games and they should make it 12. It will be a fight though. 32-23 Michigan

2. Notre Dame and Pittsburgh also kickoff at 11 and as per usual, I will be rooting against the Irish. I have a slightly person reason to favor Pitt. Their QB, Tino Sunseri, is the son of Alabama Linebackers Coach Sal Sunseri, and the brother of Alabama freshman head hunter Vinnie. Roll Tino. I like the Panthers here, 41-31

3. Georgia is going to make a statement against Ole Miss. But really, just about anyone could right now. The Rebels appear to be the worst team in the SEC this year. Isaiah Crowell should run all over them and it really shouldn't be close. Only Georgia could screw this up. But they won't. They will win big, 42-16

4. Arkansas and Alabama. Alabama and Arkansas. God, I love this game. Every year it is something else. in 2008, a dirty play tore an ACL for Dont'a Hightower. I'm sure he will be ready for this game now that he is back to full strength as one of the best LBs in America. 2009 was Ryan Mallet's first game against us. He was quite awesome only completing 7 or 8 passes in a 35-7 whipping. Last year, he and everyone else associated with that place spent as much of their time as possible leading up to the game talking about how this was the day that they showed that they were legit. This was when they were going to BEAT Alabama. And then they lost. At home. To an Alabama team with a brand new secondary, in it's first true test on the road. After having a 20-7 lead. Again, AT HOME. Other than the big lead they jumped out to when they surprised our young secondary with a few big plays, what at ALL have they done against Alabama since 2007? They have scored, 14, 7, and 20 points in the last 3 games. And this year, they have two true freshman on the offensive line, a new quarterback, and they are playing with their 3rd string running back, Ronnie Wingo, after Knile Davis and Broderick Green have both gone down. Oh, and their best defensive player, Jake Bequette, was hurt today and won't play in the game either. If Alabama can gain any amount of momentum, or just remain as mistake free as possible, this game shouldn't be that tough. If Alabama jumps out to an early 10 or 14 point lead, you can bet on them more than covering the 13 point spread. Just being completely objective and honest, Arkansas really shouldn't stay in this game for very long. But as an Alabama fan who is always nervous and terrified as hell going into big games like this, I am expecting a close scary game. I'll pick somewhere in the middle of the two possibilities I have talked about. I think Alabama wins either way, but I'll pick the score to be 27-17. Including at least one heart attack for yours truly

And if you want to read some more of my thoughts about Arkansas in general, including a story of how I reacted after watching Alabama LOSE to them in 2006 CLICK HERE

5. Florida State and Clemson. I am still so happy with what Dabo Swinney was able to pull off last week, and it would be great if some of that momentum could carry over to this week. But I don't think it will. The Seminoles feel like they should've beaten the number one team in the country last week. I think they gave OU their best shot. This week, their best shot won't be necessary, but I think they will look to rebound. Clemson will still be hungover from that big win last week. FSU win 30-20

6. Auburn and Florida Atlantic. OK, Auburn. Here is your chance. FAU is the WORST TEAM IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL. They have scored 3 points this year. Total. They are 120th in the country out of 120 teams in total offense, averaging less than 100 yards a game. It's pretty ridiculous.

But Auburn ranks 117th in the country in total defense after allowing over 1,600 yards and 110 points in their first 3 games. So something has to give and which will it be? Will FAU's offense be able to move the ball down the field and score some points now that they will be playing against one of the worst defenses they will face? Or will Auburn's defense be able to play well and shut down a crappy weak offense? We will see. Auburn has nothing to worry about in this game as far as winning and losing, but I will say that if Auburn allows FAU to score 14 points or more, then they are probably worse than even I think. I'm gonna say they score at least one touchdown against AU and a field goal. AU's offense will have a field day, and Mike Dyer will again show why they coaches should just hand him the ball 40 times a game. Auburn wins, 51-10

7. Florida and Kentucky. Kentucky has been putrid thus far, and Florida has looked pretty good. Shouldn't be too difficult for Boom Muschamp to win this game. Maybe they will be looking forward to next week's game against Alabama. It wouldn't matter either way. 35-6 Florida

8. LSU plays West Virginia in a game that is being overhyped as hell. The game is in Morgantown, but that is really the only advantage that the Mountaineers have. LSU has the best defensive line in the country, and they will be all over quarterback Geno Smith. Smith is good, but he won't be on this day. I think LSU wipes the floor with them. 40-13

9. Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. The Aggies have been all over the news with the whole expansion talk, but I think Okie State is for real. Their QB, Brandon Weeden, is 28 years old and they have the best WR in the country in Justin Blackmon. This should be a very entertaining game, but I am picking the Cowboys 45-35

10. USC and Arizona St. As much as I have disliked USC over the years, it seems almost historically incorrect that the first year there will be a championship game in the Pac-whatever Conference, USC wouldn't be allowed to play in it. I think Matt Barkley is one of the top 5 QBs in the game and they have several really good young players that could lead them to alot of irrelevant wins this year, including this one, 31-20

Random SEC News And Notes

South Carolina Gets Notice Of Allegations from the NCAA on Monday. It looks pretty serious, but with the joke that is the NCAA, you can never be sure of what's going to happen.

Vanderbilt has intercepted 10 passes so far this year. That's crazy for only 3 games. They would be on pace for 40 if they kept that up over a 12 game schedule. To put that in perspective, Alabama led the SEC last year with 22, in 13 games.

Auburn is looking to turn Mike Dyer loose. Which is only logical. The dude is a beast

Arkansas's best defensive player, Jake Bequette, has a hamstring injury that will keep him out of the Alabama game

Jay Jacobs continues to blame Tommy Tuberville for anything he can. SEE HERE

Witnesses testify before a grand jury in the case of the bar fight involving Jordan Jefferson and other LSU players

Derek Dooley not a fan of expansion

Cool story about Florida DT Dominique Easley "dancing" his way to a good start

If you want some links to random news and notes click the link below:

Arkansas: Some Thoughts

God. The Arkansas game is finally here. Each year, from January to September I look forward to this game. This is always the first SEC game of the year for us and sets the tone for our season. All you have to do is look back to 2006 to see what can happen to an Alabama football season when it starts off by losing to the Hogs.

Did I just mention 2006? OK. Well, I guess this is where I tell the story of that day for me and how it was the second worst day in my life of being an Alabama fan. (The 2010 Iron Bowl was the worst)

I watched the game at a friend's house 20 miles from where I lived at the time. Much alcohol was consumed. Much more with each miss of a field goal or extra point by the leg of then freshman kicker Leigh Tiffin. Leigh would go on to become an All American for us, but this was his first major test and Shula did him no favors, putting him out there like that time and time again. Anyway, this is not going to digress into a rant about Shula. That could be really ugly.

Anyway, when the game was over...and I don't even remember what time it was during the day, but I was single at the time, and the way I handled an Alabama loss at the time was to pretty much just go home and go to bed. But anway, when the game was over, I went to leave my friend's house. I was extremely inebriated. This was the first time I had ever been to his house so I wasn't accustomed to the 12 inch drop from the living room floor to the porch. I was drunk. It was raining like all hell outside. And I was drunk. My friend had a porcelain frog on his porch. The thing was really pretty big. And being drunk, I misjudged the step, fell onto the frog, knee first, busting up my knee pretty badly

I laid there on my friend's porch for several minutes. In the rain. Bleeding. Drunk. And crying like a child. And Bama had just lost in ridiculous fashion. To a team who should never have the right to beat us

We can not win enough consecutive games against them to make up for that day, for me.

Arkansas fans kill me. Every year, they enter the season talking shit like they are the New England Patriots or something. Every year, they say this is the year that they beat Bama and contend. This is THE YEAR. And every year since Saban has taken over in Tuscaloosa, we have made them look foolish.

But that's the fun part. If you don't acknowledge reality, then you aren't bound by it's ramifications. And Arkansas fans clearly don't own up to any truth, as it relates to their team and it's place in the college football world

Arkansas is NOT an elite football program. Not in the SEC. Or anywhere else. They are NOT championship contenders

They never have been, and they never will be

But they believe they are. They think they are better than everyone else and they have absolutely no reason to think that. It's pretty comical to me

One quick serious note. If you want to really REALLY get mad at an Arkansas fan, go LOOK AT THIS.


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Week That Was And Will Be (Week 3)

The Week That Was

Of the games that I picked, I was only wrong about Auburn. Which is becoming a trend for most everyone. Seems to be the circle of life these days, to quote my rival blogger Ross Collings (WHOSE BLOG YOU CAN READ HERE) Step 1: Pick Auburn to lose. Step 2: Watch Auburn win. If you want to read more of what I think about what's going on with Auburn these days, go here: God Is An Auburn Fan

Like I said, I was right on all of my predictions, as far as winners and losers go, with the one exception. I even came close to nailing a couple scores perfectly.

I said that Alabama would beat Penn St 27-13. The actual score was 27-11. See my extended look back on this game here: Penn State: A Look Back

I said Michigan would pull out the victory in the end against Notre Dame, 34-28. I was correct in that they pulled it out in the end, and I only missed the actual score, 35-31, by a few points. This was one of the most exciting games I have ever seen. I can't tell you how much I love Denard Robinson. Great kid. What a player. And it might seem hypocritical to some, because we all know Saban can lose it on the sidelines, but after the way Brian Kelly acted towards his QB during the South Florida game, I really hope he loses as often as possible. Saban can get really pissed, and everyone saw when he smacked AJ McCarron on the ass, but I think there is a fine line in being a fiery coach like that, and just being an asshole and getting entirely too angry. The way Kelly was screaming and as red as his face got, it looked personal. He just rubs me the wrong way. Either way, Notre Dame can go to Hell.

I predicted that Tennessee would pull out a close victory over Cincinnati, 24-20. I had no idea that UT would absolutely open up a can and win the game by 20 points or whatever it was. Tyler Bray appears to be really becoming a great quarterback and their receivers, Rogers and Hunter, have already earned my hatred. Don't like saying it, but I think the Vols are a team on the rise. Not that I think they will win the East this year, but they could certainly beat a few teams along the way

I figured South Carolina would beat Georgia, but this was another game that didn't go exactly the way I thought. I thought SC would have their way in a rout, but this was an exciting game right down to the last second. What I take from this game, is the future of the SEC looks really bright with Isaiah Crowell and Jadeveon Clowney. Good Lord, these guys look awesome. That one play where Clowney busted through the line and just slung Murray to the ground, causing a fumble, was sick. He looks like an NFL player right now and he is a true freshman. Crowell looks to be this year's version of Marcus Lattimore. The Georgia running back is only going to get better as the year goes on. This league is definitely Running Back U right now, with guys like Lattimore, Richardson, and Dyer. Add a fourth name to that list.

Auburn continues to pull win after win out of their ass. You can read what I think about how Auburn is doing here: God Is An Auburn Fan

The Week That Will Be

Alabama doesn't play an overly interesting game tomorrow, but there are still a few games I am looking forward to

The first game of the day will kickoff at 11am. Auburn and Clemson. The Tigers and The Tigers. The game is in Clemson, so that's one plus for those of us who want to see Auburn lose. This is one of those games that Auburn should have lost last year, as they were down freaking 17-0 at one point. Clemson has a new quarterback also, and their running back from last year, Jamie Harper, is in the NFL now. Harper made the play of the game last year, so not having him is a negative for Clemson. But from what I hear, Andre Ellington is a very good back, and honestly, you don't need to be much more than average to gash this Auburn defense. On the other side of the ball, Clemson also no longer has their best player from the past couple seasons, Da'Quan Bowers. But they do have a few of the best young prospects in the country in linebackers Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward, and Lateek Townsend. I'm really not sure how much these guys have played so far but they arrived on campus with alot of fanfare. Fatass Spencer Region also plays for Clemson, and he should enjoy watching from the bench as the team he could've been playing for beats up on the team he will ride the pine for. Auburn will win this one in exciting fashion no doubt. 45-37

At 11:21, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss kick off in what will surely be the least interesting, most boring game of the day. I really like James Franklin, and I think he will do really well somewhere else down the road. He has Vandy off to a 2-0 start. Franklin said that this isn't the same old Vandy anymore. He's wrong, but I like that he feels that way, and I think his team will play hard for him. They haven't started off 3-0 since 2005, but I think this is the year they do it. Mark Richt thinks Houston Nutt is on the hot seat. This game could be the beginning of the end for him. Vandy should get this one with the help of my boy Larry Smith from Prattville. 20-13

Oh, if you need a reason to really like James Franklin, go read This

At Noon, Georgia plays Coastal Carolina. Yawn. 53-13 Dawgs

At 2:30, Tennessee travels to the Swamp to take their annual beating at the hand of the Florida Gators. Ah, but not so fast. This could be the year that Tennessee gets it done for the first time since 2003. Tyler Bray is really good and I stated before what I think of their receivers. Derek Dooley has Tennessee headed in the right direction. Still, I think the Gators are too talented. I've stated how much I like Will Muschamp and I think the game will come down to the performance of 4 men: William Green, Sharrif Floyd, Ronald Powell, and Dominique Easley. That is the Florida defensive line, who I think will do a well enough job of disrupting most of Tennessee's offensive endeavors. I think Tennessee will keep it respectable for awhile, but the Gators will pull away at the end, 34-20

At 5:00, South Carolina plays host to Navy. I've seen at least one site that is predicting Navy to put a scare into the Gamecocks, but I don't see it. Navy has the nation's leading rushing attack right now, but South Carolina is really good on defense, and freshman Jadeveon Clowney will have himself another big highlight sack or two. Lattimore will rush for at least another 150 yards and South Carolina should win this one fairly easily, 31-10

At 6:00 Kentucky faces Louisville at home. The Wildcats have been an embarrassment so far on offense. Morgan Newton only resembles Cam Newton in name and physical build. Other than that, he's not a legit SEC QB. Louisville, on the other hand, LOST TO FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL. So I'm really not sure which way to go with this one. I'm gonna stick with the SEC and say UK pulls out an ugly win, 17-10

The last two SEC games of the day both kickoff at 6:30

Alabama hosts North Texas. The last time Bama played North Texas, it was the 3rd game of the season. It was the week before the Arkansas game. The final score was 53-7. It was 2009. I already expect a repeat of 2009 in most every other way, so I'm gonna say this one sticks to the script as well. AJ McCarron has established himself as the leader of this team, in my opinion, but this will be another opportunity for Phillip Sims to get some game action and hopefully improve. Like I've said before, I believe Phillip will be outstanding down the road. He was just not as ready going into this season as AJ was, when it comes to being able to play with consistency and lead this team. Every chance Phillip has to play, he needs to make the most of it. Trent Richardson really needs to have a monster game this week, as well as next week against Arkansas, if he is going to show that he belongs in the Heisman talk and if he is going to be considered one of the best backs in the country. I expect him to get enough carries to run for 150 yards if he plays well enough. Also, the line will have to create more running lanes for him, and AJ will have to throw the ball well to keep the defense honest. I expect Eddie Lacy to look every bit that part of a superstar when he gets in the game though. I think we have the best running back duo in the country. Jalston Fowler will also get his chance to play in this one, and I expect a few big runs from him also. This is also the week that we get Darius Hanks back. We've yet to see him this year, and he could be our best receiver if Maze isn't. So he will help the cause as well. As far as Duron Carter...who in Hell knows. I'm not even gonna think much about him until I see him on the field. Bama will cruise, 59-3

I would LOVE it is Troy could somehow muster a close game and scare Arkansas a bit, who will no doubt be looking ahead to their ass beating in Tuscaloosa next week. Not a chance though. Arkansas 51-20

Outside Of The SEC

At 2:30, Notre Dame will play Michigan State and try with everything in them to not start the season 0-3. GOD, I want them to lose this game. I won't even lie. I've already stated earlier how I feel about Brian Kelly now, and everyone knows I hate Notre Dame. I think Notre Dame pulls this one out though, 27-20

At 6:30, it is time for the Ineligibowl! Ohio State travels to face Miami. The Buckeyes are ranked 17th in the country, but that is only because they are Ohio State. Miami gets their quarterback Jacory Harris back. With so many players missing from both teams, it is incredibly difficult to even begin to predict how this game will go. I think Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, who is a true freshman, will be great down the road so I'm hoping to see as much of him as possible in this game. This is based on absolutely nothing at all and, as just a complete guess, will probably be way off, but I'm going to predict a Miami victory 28-24

Probably the biggest game of the day nationally will be the Oklahoma-Florida State game which kicks off at 7:00. Oklahoma is ranked No. 1 in the country, and deservedly so. Their QB is probably gonna win the Heisman and this is the only big game they will play all year. Florida State has a great young QB in EJ Manuel who could use this game to propel himself into the national conversations. The guy is really good. Oklahoma beat FSU 47-17 last year in Norman, but everyone is predicting this game will be closer in Tallahassee this year. I still think Oklahoma will win pretty easily again. Sooners 35-24

Random News And Notes

LSU Coach Les Miles had my favorite quote of the week when he said his running backs must have "A hand reminiscent of ball security". That's poetry, folks. Pure and simple.

Jordan Jefferson had some of his shoes returned to him by the police earlier in the week. Still waiting to see what comes of all that

Auburn defensive lineman Nosa Egua has a song that he has listened to before every game since his junior year in high school: The Dixie Chicks' Not Ready To Make Nice. He says it just really gets him pumped up. That's awesome

SEC Commish Mike Slive said that he hopes Texas A&M will be able to officially join the SEC before next season, and that the SEC is already moving forward with plans to have a 13 team conference in 2012 and 2013

Florida Sophomore linebacker Dee Finley was arrested this week for driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest. They say he got violent with the officer and is being charged with a felony. But it's not his fault. Finley is from Auburn, AL, after all

Georgia's true freshman running back Isaiah Crowell was officially named the starter this week by Mark Richt. It was only a matter of time, as Crowell had 158 yards against South Carolina. This guy is gonna be one of the best

God Is An Auburn Fan

Over the course of the last 17 games that Auburn has played, there have been at least 7 or 8 times when I predicted a loss for the Tigers. I wasn't the only one. Most people saw the weak defense, and how they had to come back from large deficits time and time again. And most just figured they would HAVE to lose at some point. No way they could keep that up.

And most have been wrong.

If you go back to the Northwestern game at the end of the 2009 season, you will see a pattern of just downright improbably ridiculousness when it comes to how Auburn games have unfolded. They always seem to be down, but then they always win. Ever since that game.

There have been 7 or 8 different occasions where something crazy would happen in the game, and it would ALWAYS go their way. I mean, how many times can you get down by 10 or 20 points and still win? How many times can you see space between the ball and the stick when measuring whether AU got the first down or not...and then see the ref signal first down...? How many times does a Heisman Trophy winning running back, who NEVER fumbles, get caught from behind by a defensive lineman, fumble the ball...and then how many times have you ever seen a ball bounce in a straight line, down the sideline, for 30 yards, and out of the endzone. I could go on and on. And on. It's crazy

Never have I seen a team that could suck so bad, and play so well when it mattered, and still come out victorious.

Never had I seen a team that could have the worst defense in the SEC, and not get beaten. By anyone. ALL YEAR.

You can call it good coaching. You can call it perseverance, or playing hard. You can say, if you are an Auburn fan, that maybe they are just that good. I don't hold that last opinion. In fact, I feel like, even though they won the National Championship last year, they were probably the 3rd or 4th best team in the SEC. Time and time again they beat team after team, including a couple that were better than them. The lucky calls and breaks and freak plays always went their way.

Heading into this season, many fans like me were giddy at the prospect of Auburn finally getting what they deserve. When you look at the fact that they lost over 30 players from last years team, you HAD to think they would be awful this year.

And so far they HAVE been awful. In the first game against Utah State, they were down by 10 points with 3 minutes left in the game. Obviously it was over, right? Right? Not so fast.

I was watching the game with a friend, who is also a Bama fan. And whether you believe me or not, he could confirm this story, as could my wife and a few others who were around:

I told them that this is what would happen: Auburn will quickly score a touchdown. Then they will kick an onside kick, recover the kick, then score another touchdown, and win the game.

Because that's how they roll these days. (I really did call  that. I shit you not)

And then this past week, after seeing how bad they looked against a lowly opponent, most people felt that MSU would be ready to beat Auburn. Again, most people were wrong

How many times have you seen a QB throw a pass that goes right off the helmet of one player and straight into the waiting arms of a DB who takes it to the house?

How many times have you seen a team drive the length of the field with ease, and look like they are going to tie the game easily, sending it into overtime, only to be stopped LESS THAN AN INCH short on a boneheaded play call.

Over the last year, we have all seen this idea from many Auburn fans of God being on their side. Gene Chizik started it, after the Clemson game last year...which they should not have won...when he said after the game that it was a "God Thing"

Well, you know what? Maybe he was right

It's not hard to compete with linebackers, safeties, and linemen. You can stop the occasional running back or wide reciever. You can intercept a pass and win a game. You can easily beat a team when you are clearly so much better than them. Under normal cirumstances.

But you can NOT compete with the Lord Jesus Christ.

And if He wants to see his favorite football team continue to win games, even when they shouldn't, they will continue to do so.

Auburn 45 Clemson 37

Penn State: A Look Back

I predicted in this blog last week that Alabama would beat Penn State 27-13, which was only two Penn State points off of the actual final score of 27-11.

The game went pretty much exactly the way it did in 2010, and that was exactly what I expected. The Penn State offense wasn't able to ever consistently drive down the field against the Tide defense, which only has LSU as competition for the top spot in the country. I love defensive football at Alabama, so I'm a happy camper with the way our roster is set up right now.

I was also VERY pleased and proud of what I saw from AJ McCarron in his second game ever, and his first start on the road in a hostile environment against a legitimate opponent. Coach Saban said that AJ did the best job of all our players of improving from week one to week two, and I agree. AJ was poised, unshaken, never got rattled by anything that went on, didn't throw an interception or take a sack. A couple of his throws were absolutely beautiful, starting with his touchdown pass to Michael Williams, which was the first score of the game. When he first threw that pass, it scared me, because Williams was blanketed by three PSU defenders. And while you could contend that it was a dangerous pass to attempt, it was perfectly threaded into a window of only a few inches. It was awesome.

Now I know that down the road, opponents such as LSU, with great DB's, would have a better chance of picking off a pass like that, but hopefully, by the time we play LSU, I think AJ will have proven himself able to handle it.

I continue to be impressed as hell by Eddie Lacy. He is the BACKUP to Trent Richardson, but whenever he is in the game he is making the absolute most of his opportunities. Many Tide fans are even jumping on his bus and saying he could be better than Trent. I'm not gonna go there, because I love Trent Richardson. Trent is my favorite player on the team. Every time Trent is in the game, the defense has loaded the box and swarmed to him, leaving him little room. If you will notice, when Eddie is in the game, the D is more likely to defend the pass, because many times Eddie is in there to pass block for a passing play and they have to respect that. What will open things up for Trent is when AJ proves that he can dominate in the passing game, which I believe will happen, and then teams will have to try to defend both, instead of just loading up the box against Trent. Also, whenever Trent is in the game, and the box is loaded, we seem to be extremely stubborn in trying to just pound him up the middle where there is no room. Hey Coach McElwain: Did you see that play that LSU kept running last night? It's called a toss sweep. Look into it please

Either way, it was just another step along the way and I expect many more victories to go the same way. A big play here or there on offense, but mostly conservative. Dominant defense, leading to what many will see as boring games with the Tide methodically pulling away. But that's just fine with me. 2 down, 12 to go

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Week That Was And Will Be

I don't have as much time to blog lately as I did before, so what I'm going to start doing is probably just making this a weekly thing, and I will include everything I can think of from the week that was and will be in the one big weekly post.

The Week That Was

I did really well in the predictions department, as I correctly predicted all of the winners and losers with only one exception: Georgia. A couple of the scores, I came very close to nailing

I had high expectations for Georgia going into this year, and I didn't have enough respect for Boise State apparently. I was wrong about that game in every way, and I will never give Georgia credit for anything again until they earn it. They've let me down too many times. Of course, I should have expected that Georgia would completely shit all over themselves, but I had too much faith in Mark Richt. Georgia embarrassed themselves and the SEC, with their XFL looking uniforms (will they ever learn) in getting beatdown by Boise.

Alabama started the season without naming a starting quarterback, and after the first game nothing has changed. I know that I'm not the only one who is a little nervous about this situation. I also know that I am not the only one who thinks the job should go completely and entirely to AJ McCarron at this time, at least for this season. There is too much at stake, with all the talent on that roster, and the schedule, to mess it up by having uncertainty at that position. It's nothing against Phillip Sims, who everyone believes will be a great player down the road, but that's just it: DOWN THE ROAD. While Phillip needs experience, AJ is ready now. And we have a national championship to win, so AJ should have the job all to himself in my opinion. One thing that concerned me was that Trent Richardson didn't have the game I expected against Kent State. And it wasn't as if no Alabama running backs could run the ball. Eddie Lacy had a very good day, looking better than Trent on several occasions. I'm not too worried, and I do think Trent will still have a fantastic year, but it's something to wonder about. Is Eddie Lacy gonna take as many carries away from Trent as Trent did from Mark. I didn't think so before the season, but now I'm wanting more and more of Eddie Lacy. It's a good situation to have, of course, having at least two guys that you know can be counted on. But I want Trent to win the Heisman this year, and it's not going to come close to happening if he has anymore games where he only rushes for 37 yards. Now, as I say all this, he could come out tomorrow and run for 200 against Penn State. He wasn't far from that last year, when he had no trouble running all over Penn State's defense. So I am expecting him to right the ship this week and be back in the talk for the Heisman

Auburn, who entered the season with a 15 game winning streak, continued their streak by winning their 16th in a row against their opening day weak opponent, Utah State. And as the defending National Champions, with that streak, they fell OUT of the top 25 in the AP poll. You have to REALLY suck to pull that off. But it just goes to show what happens when you lose two of the best players you've ever had, plus over 30 other players who played alot, including 17 or 18 starters. With so many new faces, and young players, this is not even remotely the same team that won it all in January and everyone knows that. They were only ranked in the preseason poll based on the respect of being the champs. This is going to be a very tough season on the plains, and this could very well be the first team in the BCS era to win the National Championship and not even go to a bowl the next year.

LSU looked every bit the part of possibly the best team in the SEC in completely dominating Oregon in a 40-27 victory that wasn't even really as close as the final score. With all the distractions of players being suspended, it is a testament to the coaching ability of Les Miles that he was able to pull this team together and win the way they did. LSU typically has looked pretty bad in these opening games the last few years, and the fact that they looked so good against Oregon has to worry everyone else in the SEC. As an Alabama fan, I think they will be our biggest obstacle in getting back to Atlanta in December.

The Week That Will Be

There are several games tomorrow that everyone will want to see

Your unranked National Champions start it off at 11am against Mississippi State. The Bagman Bowl. The game is in Auburn, but I have seen some places where MSU is favored by almost 10 points. That is truly unbelievable to me. Personally, I think things could go badly enough for the Tigers, that they could lose by 20 or 30 points. I really think that could happen. I also think that they could stay in the game and get lucky in the end as they seem to always do and they could pull out the victory. I'm gonna go ahead and predict a victory for the Bulldogs, 38-24. But I won't be surprised if I'm wrong

Your 2011 National Champions kick off at 2:30 in Happy Valley against Penn State. Alabama is a 10 point favorite and many believe the game won't even be as close as that. If the game were in Tuscaloosa, on a dry field, I would agree that it would be a beatdown. But the game is going to be played on a muddy field, probably in the rain, in Pennsylvania. So whereas I think this game could be a comfortable massacre at home, something like 41-6, I will give respect to PSU's home field, and the weather conditions, and predict that Alabama will win a sloppy game 27-13

Also at 2:30, Tennessee takes on Cincinnati in Knoxville. UT fans have been bragging alot this week after putting an ass whipping on lowly Montana. They shouldn't get ahead of themselves, cause Cincinnati is a very good offensive team. Don't be surprised if the Vols lose this one, but I will predict a close Volunteer victory, 24-20

At 3:30, we will get to enjoy perhaps the biggest game in the SEC from a national perspective. South Carolina at Georgia. Even though the game is in Athens, I am have ZERO confidence in Mark Richt. Last year, Marcus Lattimore ran the ball 37 times for over 180 yards against Georgia, and I really don't see it being any different this year. South Carolina won that game 17-6, and I think it will be worse this time for the Bulldogs, and Mark Richt will be hating his life come Monday morning. Lattimore will rush for over 200 yards this time, and true freshman JaDeveon Clowney will sack Aaron Murray at least once. I like South Carolina in embarrassing fashion here. 36-13

Going outside of the SEC, I am also looking forward to the Notre Dame-Michigan game at 7:00. It is going to be the first night game ever played in Ann Arbor, which is really cool to me. I don't see how Michigan has played football for over 100 years without ever turning on the lights for a night game before. I also think Michigan fans will enjoy the outcome of the game. Last year, Michigan QB Denard Robinson ran for over 200 yards against Notre Dame and Michigan won a close game. I see this year being much of the same from a scoring standpoint. I think it will be very close and exciting, but I don't think Robinson will rush for as many yards, because I don't think the new coaching staff will run him as much. But I look for Michigan's defense to be much improved over the atrocious display they offended us with for much of last year, and I think this is the first week that will be on display. I'm not saying I think Michigan's D will dominate, because they are going to have to recruit really well and replace alot of these subpar players on that side of the ball before that really takes place. But I have alot of confidence in their new Defensive Coordinater Greg Mattison, who was previously with the Baltimore Ravens. I think he will dial up some confusing blitz packages that will put the Notre Dame QB, whether it is Tommy Rees or Dayne Crist, on his backside a time or 7. Michigan will pull this one out, I'll say 34-28

Random News And Notes

Florida Coach Will Muschamp is really really awesome. I've loved the dude ever since he was overheard by ESPN microphones, screaming "Let's knock these motherfuckers out" during the Auburn-Arkansas game in 2007 when he was AU's defensive coordinator. Now that he is the head coach at Florida, it has only taken him a few weeks to find more reasons to make me think he's awesome. Florida defensive lineman Shariff Floyd was suspended by the NCAA for two games over misuse of his pell grant money or whatever. Muschamp didn't waste time letting everyone know how he felt about the NCAA's decision.

You can read his outstanding response Here

SEC Expansion took a major turn this week, when it was announced that the SEC had voted 10-2 to accept Texas A&M into the conference. This came after being promised by every member of the Big 12 that they would not seek any legal action against the SEC and that they would allow A&M to go peacefully.

Not so fast, my friends.

Immediately following the SEC's vote, Baylor University, with the reported support of Kansas State and Iowa State, said that they would fight to block the move, breaking their promise.

I don't even know where to start on what I think about these crying ass bitches. Baylor needs to keep their hypocritical mouths shut, or people need to remind them that if they really cared about "Texas Football", they wouldn't have turned their backs on Rice, SMU, and Houston when they did what they had to do to get into the Big 12 in 1995 or whenever it was. This is all business, and while I'm being critical of how they are reacting to this, I do understand where they are coming from when you consider the news this week that Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech might consider going to the Pac 10, 12, 16 whatever. If all this happens, Baylor, KSU, ISU, etc, would be left without a major conference and would probably lose alot of money and prestige. So I get where they are coming from

Texas Coach Mack Brown proved himself to be an arrogant bastard in this situation last week when he said, "I feel sorry for the lesser schools who will be left without a place to go. We won't"

Really, Mack?

At first, when it was first brought to my attention that Texas A&M wanted to join the SEC, I didn't want them. I was opposed to the idea strongly. I wanted to keep the SEC the way it was. But seeing all the childish behavior from the other "Little 12" teams, I am proud to take them in and see them as one of our own.

Concering Iowa State, they might actually have a legitimate beef against the SEC. After all, we did take a National Championship winning coach away from them

In any case, welcome to the SEC, Aggies! And to HELL with Texas!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Week One Predictions

I know I'm a little late with this, as we've already had two SEC teams play their games

Thursday night, Mississippi St and Kentucky went in opposite directions. Both won, but while MSU abused their opponent, Memphis, in scoring 59 points, Kentucky embarrassed themselves by struggling to a 14-3 victory over Western Kentucky. Not since the "Pitchers Duel On The Plains", the 3-2 game between MSU and AU in 2007, has an SEC team looked so weak on offense.

But nevertheless, the SEC has started 2-0 so far.

I am looking at Saturday's games, and how I think they will play out

I will start with the two big games of the day, nationally speaking

Georgia vs Boise St

With credit due to my friend and fellow blogger, Ross Collings, (You can see his blog Here) I have many reasons why I am predicting a victory for the Bulldogs over the always overrated Broncos.

Georgia is a young team with alot to prove. You could make a parallel to Alabama playing Georgia in 2008. UGA, at that time, was expected to be the nationally competitive team. Not Alabama. And Alabama, with several key young players, took it to the overrated Georgia team that year. I really see something similar happening to Boise. Boise is a top 5 team going in, many people think Boise is the better team. But not me. I have alot of faith in UGA's returning QB Aaron Murray and I think their freshman running back Isaiah Crowell will burst onto the scene much in the way that Mark Ingram did in 2008 and Marcus Lattimore did in 2010.

Boise is 0-4 against the SEC since 2000. The last time they faced Georgia was in 2005. They were both ranked in the top 20 preseason. You can go Here to see how that worked out for Boise.

Gerogia's head coach, Mark Richt, is also on the proverbial hot seat and he HAS to win this game. And he knows it.

All in all, I see a result not quite as bad as 2005. But in Georgia's favor

Georgia 37
Boise 27

LSU vs Oregon

The Willie Lyles bowl.

LSU and Oregon go into this game both ranked in the top 5 and with high expectations. A month ago, I predicted that LSU would win this game, and not in a very difficult fashion.

Then several of their players, including starting QB Jordan Jefferson, were involved in a fight outside a bar. Jefferson, as well as a couple others, were arrested and have been suspended from the team. Also, their best WR Russell Shepherd, has been suspended for breaking NCAA rules. And many people are pointing to these distractions and reason to believe that LSU will fall apart and start the season off on a sour note

Not so fast.

LSU is still the better, more physical, team on both sides of the ball. And it was never the QB that was going to be the reason LSU was going to win. I may be slightly less confidant in them than I was a few weeks ago, but I still give this one to the Bayou Bengals

LSU 26
Oregon 20

And now onto the easier games to predict:

Auburn vs. Utah State

It's true that the Auburn Tigers bought...ahem...WON the 2010 BCS National Championship with one of the greatest players we will probably ever see in college football, Cam Newton. What alot of people don't take into account though is the fact that Auburn probably had the best offensive line in the nation last year, led by 4 year starters Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba. They also had over 30 seniors. All in all, they lost about 35 players from last year's team. So don't expect this one to look anything like the comeback kids of last year.

Either way, the Aggies shouldn't present a challenge here. I know that they played Oklahoma close last year, only losing by 7 points, but those games happen from time to time. I expect Auburn's new cast of talented young characters to be excited, and I expect a high scoring offensive show from them. Their defense will probably break a few times as well.

Auburn 51
Utah State 27

Tennessee vs. Montana

This game hardly deserves a mention, as nobody really cares about UT. But I do really like Derek Dooley. The fact that he recently banned his mother, Barbara Dooley, from appearing on the Paul Finebaum Radio show because he feels it hurts recruiting is hilarious and awesome in my book. It's unfortunate that Dooley is the coach at such a disgusting place, or I could truly root for him

Either way, not much to really go into with this game

Tennessee 47
Montana 13

Vanderbilt vs. Elon

Nothing to see here other than James Franklin, who has magically convinced recruits that Vandy is a program on the rise. And it will rise. For a week. Franklin starts his career out on the right foot

Vanderbilt 40
Elon 16

Arkansas vs. Missouri St

With or without their SEC leading rusher, Knile Davis, Arky will have no problem here. They will score early and often

Arkansas 66
Missouri St 10

Florida vs. Florida Atlantic

Another yawner. But we'll get to see what the new coaching staff can do against an inferior opponent. I'm a fan of Will Muschamp

Florida 63
FAU 16

South Carolina vs. East Carolina

The story here is that Steve Spurrier says he will start Conner Shaw over the 5 times suspended Stephen Garcia. Let's hope this doesn't drive Garcia to the bottle too early in the afternoon. Regardless, Garcia will also play I'm sure.

East Carolina's head coach is Ruffin McNeill, previously at Texas Tech, and they are expected to be fairly decent on offense at least. So they should put up a fight for awhile.

Personally, I'm looking forward to USC unleashing it's new toy, true freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is the number one rated freshman prospect in the nation, and I expect him to live up to that, getting his first sack in his first college game.

South Carolina 35
East Carolina 20

Ole Miss vs BYU

This is where I predict an SEC loss. I could really care less about Ole Miss. They have one of the best gameday atmospheres and some of the hottest girls you will find in the south, but that is just about the only category in which they can compete this year.

BYU 34
Ole Miss 13

All in all, it should be a good day for the SEC. Ole Miss will embarrass themselves, and nobody will care