About Me

My photo
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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alabama-Michigan Preview And Predictions!

The Cowboys Classic. In Jerry World. In Dallas. This game has everything you would want in big time college football to start the 2012 season

Kevin Norwood has had a picture of Cowboys Stadium on his phone for the past several months that he says he looks at every day. Norwood's mind and heart will also be in two places this week, as his family on the Mississippi coast is dealing with the hurricane

Chance Warmack is a Detroit native, even though he moved to Atlanta as a kid. He has plenty of family up there that are Michigan fans. Desmond Howard is one of his all time favorite athletes

Dee Hart was originally committed to Michigan before switching to Alabama. If he were on the other sideline, he would probably be their starter Saturday. Hopefully he will get a few big carries in this game. I'd love to see him score a TD against the team he was originally planning on playing for

The last time Alabama and Michigan played each other, it was in the 2000 Orange Bowl, following the 1999 season. Tom Brady was Michigan's QB in that game. Shaun Alexander had a hell of a game, but Brady prevailed

It has been over 12 years since these teams have played. And starting the season against each other, in the first game, in the regular season, is extremely weird. And special

This is one of those games, y'all. Two of the top 5 greatest programs of all time facing each other to open up seasons in which they both have high hopes. Michigan is coming off an 11 win first season for Head Coach Brady Hoke, after suffering through 3 years of sorry ass Rich Rodriguez.

We still owe Rich's wife Rita for hating Tuscaloosa and making him turn down the Alabama job in December of 06 before the modern day version of the Bear got on that plane with Coach Moore

Michigan's starting running back might or might not be their returning star Fitz Touissaint. He was listed as the starter atop the depth chart released Monday, which led everyone to assume that meant he would be playing Saturday, despite being suspended recently for getting a DUI. But Michigan says he is still not cleared to play and that decision will come later, though Hoke said he has a pretty good idea what he's gonna go. I believe the guy will play. Hoke knows how big this game would be if they could win it

Their best defensive lineman, Frank Clark, is also up in the same air whether or not he will play, after being suspended for an arrest following a home invasion a few months ago

Who do these guys think they play for, Auburn or something?

I think Clark will play too. Again, same reason. This game is HUGE

Michigan is the highest ranked team in the Big 10 entering the season, but they are not even the favorites to win their conference. That would be Wisconsin. I don't even think they are second best to Wisconsin. I think they are going to have stiff competition from Nebraska and Ohio State as well. Michigan is overrated because they won 11 games with a first year coach, who does have them headed in the right direction, and because they have one of the most fun players to watch in the country in Denard Robinson

But we are the SEC. I mean, right now we, Alabama, WE are the SEC!

When you look at the last few years of other conferences' top teams going against the SEC, unsuccessfully, it all comes down to the line of scrimmage. And that's what it comes down to in this game. Very simply

There are many other areas than that which I could analyze and which I have in my extensive team previews of both Alabama and Michigan in other posts, but I will settle the entire debate with just this one point

Alabama returns 4 starters on the offensive line, 3 of which could be first round draft picks. The new starter is left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, who very well could end up being better than all the others. Michigan returns ZERO starters on the defensive line

Alabama returns an absolute stud in the middle of the defensive line in 600 lb bench pressing Aussie Jesse Williams, and three above average former 4 star prospects, in Quinton Dial, Ed Stinson, and Jeoffrey Pagan rotating in and out at one End position with Damion Square holding down the other side of Jesse. Michigan only returns one starter on the offensive line and will probably be starting at least one true freshman

Alabama will completely and totally DOMINATE in every shape, form, and fashion at the point of attack. Michigan has a good offense for the Big Ten. A really good offense. But that shit won't fly against the best of the best of the best conference in the USA. AJ McCarron will have as much time as he needs to find any one of our many talented wideouts, and the running game should be very impressive from the start

Denard Robinson has enough talent and spark by himself, and Alabama does have just enough youth on defense, that I could see a busted play or two leading to Shoelace breaking a big run or two that could lead to a TD or two for the Wolverines. But Robinson won't do much in the passing game, other than float a pass or two that Robert Lester and Co. will be waiting to intercept and he won't run enough to catch up with Alabama's ability to do pretty much whatever they want in this game. If you will remember, Alabama, with the young defense of 2010, held the greatest player of all damn time, Cam Newton, to just 1.8 yards per carry in the Iron Bowl that year. He didn't beat us on the ground. He did it with his arm. Like Robinson will have to do. Like he hasn't shown he can

We all saw the woodshed that Bama took Michigan St to a couple years ago. Michigan St has beaten Michigan the last 4 years in a row, including a 28-14 beating last year when they shut Robinson down. That defense ain't got SHIT on the one Robinson is about to face. 28-14 is about what I would be willing to call for this game, but I think it could be damn near as bad as the Capital One Bowl was for the Spartans if Michigan lets it get away from them too quickly.

I know I am gumpin' at an all time level right now, I'm drinking the kool aid in unhealthy amounts here, but I truly believe what I am about to say.

As crazy as it might sound to some from around the country, and to some of the haters out there, I see this game being something like 17-7 or 13-10 at the half. But I think Bama will pull away in dominant fashion in the second half.

Tom Brady got the best of the Tide in the last meeting between us. This time, another Brady, last name Hoke, will not be on the prevailing side of the field.

It has been 1,335 days since Alabama lost to a Non-SEC opponent. And it ain't about to happen Saturday.

41-17 Bama. Roll Damn Tide

Alabama Depth Chart: DEFENSIVE LINE

2012 Depth Chart

Defensive End

1. Damion Square, Sr.

  • Square came to Alabama in the class of 2008 from Houston, Tx as a 4 star prospect who could've gone most anywhere in the country. He chose Bama over Texas A&M and has been a starter the last couple seasons. He's a very quotable guy and is proving to be one of our leaders this year. His twitter handle is @squareboy92 and he is a good one to follow
          A few nuggets:

"Whenever I get my hands on the QB, I try to make it as ugly as possible"
"We don't want you to ever see the endzone. By any means necessary. That's our mindset"

1. Ed Stinson, Jr.

  • Stinson was part of the class of 2009 class. Out of Miami, FL, he was only a 3 star prospect, and was originally committed to Florida St before switching to Alabama. He has been a solid backup for the last couple seasons and now gets his turn to shine on the other side from Square

2. Jeoffrey Pagan, So.

  • Pagan was a huge recruit in the class of 2011. He is from Ashville, NC, and was expected to end up at Clemson, but spurned them at the end of the process and chose the Tide. He saw the field as a true freshman last year, and has been singled out many times by Square as a young guy who is expected to be the next big star after the older guys move on. I expect Pagan to have a year, this year, much like Marcel Dareus in 2009. He and Stinson will rotate in and out and I expect Pagan to be more the big play impact guy that will go into the 2013 season as one of the best in the SEC

2. Quinton Dial, Sr.

  • While Dial is listed on the depth chart that Alabama released today behind Square on that side, I think he is more likely to rotate in with the previous 3 guys more often, and Square is most likely to stay on the field the most of any of these 4 guys. Dial originally signed with Alabama in 2009 out of Clay-Chalkville High School, but failed to qualify and had to go JUCO. He came back to Alabama last year and looks to be an above average player. I wish he had a couple more years, cause he could be a star, but alas, this will be his one big shot to play as much as possible. I think he's a draftable prospect, but he certainly could've done with having another year than he does have

Nose Tackle

1. Jesse Williams, Sr.

2. Brandon Ivory, So.

  • Ivory was a lightly recruited prospect from the cesspool of Memphis in 2010. But he was freaking huge, at 6-3, 330, and Saban saw him as the future clog in the middle. He has been the understudy of Williams all fall and will most likely replace him next season

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week One Preview And Predictions

Each week throughout the season, I will pick a few games to preview and then predict who I think will win. I won't always be picking what the national media might call the BIG games. I will be picking the games that are more important to me and the ones I would be more interested in.

After the weekend, I will do a look back on the games I predicted and admit to any dumbass predictions I made and/or brag about how right I was with certain teams and games

Week one gets started on Thursday night with a couple of games on TV. Texas A&M plays La Tech and Washington State plays BYU. I could care less about either of those games, though I'd pick A&M and BYU as the winners

1. South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt  I will most certainly be DVR'ing this one to watch when I get home from work that night.

SC is gonna be the favored team, probably by about 10 points even though the game is at Vandy. Last year, SC won by 18 at home, but that was before Jordan Rodgers became Vandy's starting QB. Stephen Garcia threw 4 INT's in that game. There is no Stephen Garcia, though Conner Shaw is an upgrade in my opinion, and Rodgers, who is the younger brother of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, is firmly set as Vandy's QB. Vandy plays better at home, and things are on the uptick in Nashville. I really respect James Franklin and the way he is running things, making sure everyone knows that Vandy ain't afraid of anyone and they can beat anyone. That's ignorant, of course, but it makes for a better team than they could be and he's a good coach. I met him at SEC Media Days last year and told him I respected the way he was coaching from what I had heard about him so far and asked him how many games he thought Vandy would win that year. His response: "Well, every one of them of course". Love it. And would LOVE for Vandy to get the big W and make Steve Spurrier thoroughly abuse his visor. Would be hilarious

All that said, I'm still gonna go with South Carolina to win the game. I think Jadeveon Clowney will wreak absolute havoc on Rodgers and destroy any offensive plans they have in mind. South Carolina always manages to play like garbage when they shouldn't so it won't be a blowout

I'll take South Carolina to nail the spread and win this game, 23-13

2. Tennessee vs. NC State on Friday night could be alot of fun. I'd LOVE to see the Vols and their jackass QB Tyler Bray start the season off with a loss to a freaking ACC team.

NC State counters with Mike Glennon, who is returning for his final season at NC State. Glennon was a 5 star prospect out of high school who threw for over 3,000 yards last season and 31 TD's. It's too bad it was at NC State cause I didn't even know those stats until I just looked them up

Glennon could definitely cause problems for UT's secondary, considering he is 6-6 232 and with NFL first round talent.  Bray has the potential to be a star, but I don't think he has it between the ears. So I give the QB advantage to the Wolfpack.

Both teams have many holes on both sides of the ball that can be exploited by each and it's really not even worth breaking down each spot. I think either team could win this game, I think it could be an exciting game that goes back and forth and will come down to the last couple of minutes. Those types of games haven't been good to Derek Dooley thus far in his career

But I think Tennessee starts the season out on the right foot with a win, 31-27

3. Auburn vs. Clemson

This game kicks off an hour before the Bama game, so at least we will all get to watch the first hour of this game, before turning over to the Bama game. It's stupid to have these games at the same time, cause everyone knows as Alabama and Auburn fans, we like to watch each other's games, and especially big ones like these. Oh well.

Last year, Auburn jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and were up 21-7. I was smelling blowout at that point and was really shocked at how well Auburn was playing considering they had almost lost to Mississippi St and Utah St in the previous weeks and had looked horrible at this point. But Clemson came back and ended up making it a blowout in the other direction, thanks mostly to freshman sensation WR Sammy Watkins, who had 10 receptions for 150 something yards I think

Clemson returns a QB in Tahj Boyd that can give a young, learning AU defense fits. Boyd threw for 3,800 yards last season and 33 TD's. The concern is that Clemson is supposedly going to be without the player who DOMINATED Auburn last year, Sammy Watkins. My personal opinion is that Dabo Swinney, who is a former Bama player and still loves Bama, will find a way to allow Watkins to play. It will get said that Watkins has done the necessary things to get back on the team blah blah blah and he will play. Just my opinion. Though it is looking at this point that Dabo is sticking to the suspension and they will indeed be without Watkins.

The funny thing is, Auburn fans are laughing and bragging that they don't have to worry about Watkins and they are overlooking the fact that he isn't the only star wideout on that team. DeAndre Hopkins had 70 catches for almost 1,000 yards last season and Martavis Bryant is another big play WR that Clemson will use to make up for the missing Watkins.

The loss of Watkins though is, in my opinion, equaled out at least by Auburn's own loss. Reese Dismukes, their returning starter at Center was arrest Friday night for public intoxication and has been suspended, as it wasn't the first time he has shown poor judgment and immaturity. Dismukes is an All America candidate, and EASILY Auburn's best lineman and being without him, especially on short notice like this, with a new QB having to take snaps from a brand new guy....well, we all saw in the 2005 Iron Bowl what can happen when your star center goes out of the game and you have to shuffle the line around, as AU might do in this case. Brodie Croyle had nowhere to run, and even though Frazier is an athletic guy, I think there will be some mis-snaps and general screw ups between him and this line, that is also probably gonna be starting 2 freshmen at the tackle positions. While Watkins is a huge loss in playmaking ability for Clemson, I think they have other guys that can step in and replace that production. AU will have far more trouble replacing Dismukes on short notice and the lack of continuity will cost them dearly. I don't look for the passing game to have much spark in this game, and they don't have a bruising tough running back like Michael Dyer on the roster

Clemson also returns ALL-ACC RB Andre Ellington, who ran for almost 1,200 yards last season. Auburn's defense should be improved over last season, but I still have a hard time seeing them holding Clemson under 30 points in this game

For all the masturbating that AU fans are doing over their new defensive coordinator Bryan Van Gorder and laughing about Clemson giving up 70 points to WVU in the bowl game, they aren't thinking about the fact that Clemson has a new badass DC as well, Brent Venables from Oklahoma who they wanted before BVG came to town. Clemson returns 6 starters on D and they will also be improved. I don't see AU's offense with a new QB, Kiehl Frazier, who we are not even sure can complete a pass yet, and without their stud RB Mike Dyer who totally destroyed a future NFL career by being an idiot, being able to score more than 20 in this game. If Auburn wins, I will be surprised. And I am not saying any of this as a Bama fan. As you can see, I am honestly analyzing things from a personnel standpoint. I also think Swinney is a better coach than Chizik, who has shown so far that he is nothing more than an 8-5 coach without Supernova Newton.

One advantage I do see for AU is their defensive line vs Clemson's o line. Clemson is only returning 2 starters, though one is ALL-ACC, and Corey Lemonier is one of the top players in the country at DE. It's good that Boyd is athletic because he will have to run from Lemonier on a regular basis, but the rest of AU's d line is plenty talented too. The rest of AU's defense may be young and lacking in talent, outside of Chris Davis and Daren Bates, but the d line is probably only behind Alabama and LSU in the SEC so that will be Clemson's challenge.

I'm gonna go straight with the points I stated the teams could score above and say that Clemson wins, 30-20

These are really the only games of much significance in the first week this season, other than the Alabama-Michigan game in Dallas, which is the biggest by far

You can read my full Alabama-Michigan preview in my separate post on that one game.

For the sake of predicting enough games for the record, I will quickly predict a couple of winners of other games

4. Boise St vs. Michigan St: Michigan State. Kellen Moore FINALLY ain't walking through that door

5. Notre Dame vs. Navy: Notre Dame. Even though you can't trust them and they've lost to Navy recently

6. Kentucky vs. Louisville.  Louisville. Easily

The Alabama-Michigan game will be previewed in a separate post of it's own in the next couple days


2012 Depth Chart
Norwood making the Honey Badger his bitch

Wide Receiver

1. Kenny Bell, Jr./Kevin Norwood, Jr.
2. DeAndrew White, So./Amari Cooper, Fr./Marvin Shinn, rFr
3. Christion Jones, So./Danny Woodson, Jr.

We are so loaded with great young talent at this position. Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks were both good players for us for several years, and they will be missed, but this group is the most talented, top to bottom, at Alabama in a very long time. All of the guys listed above would be starters at 7 or 8 SEC school.

Bell and Norwood could start for anyone in the SEC and as far as I'm concerned, by the end of the year, there may not be many guys better than Kevin Norwood in the SEC. While Norwood is a leaping freak with great hands who will catch almost anything thrown his direction, Bell is more the speedster that is a home run threat. Norwood is more likely to jump over his opponent, as seen above, to make a possession grab, while Bell is likely to end up behind his defender on his way to the endzone

Kenny Bell
Amari Cooper is the young guy to watch this year. He is only a true freshman, and has been hampered with a toe injury the last week, but that is minor and he is supposed to be fine, maybe by now, but at least by the Michigan game. Saban has personally mentioned him several times and it has gotten out that he has really looked great in practices and in the scrimmages. There are people who think he could be our best receiver, talent wise, so he's a guy to watch nationally as well down the road

Amari Cooper, the next big thing

DeAndrew White and Marvin Shinn are both tall guys who can go up and get it. I've always been a fan of White's, and Shinn has been awesome so far in fall camp as well.  Christion Jones has a good chance to replace Maze as our return man

Our 3rd receiver slot after Bell and Norwood is going to be a fight between 3 or 4 guys who are equally able to take it, and the best way I can put it is to say that all you have to do is look back to 5 or 6 years ago and remember guys like DJ Hall, Matt Caddel, Keith Brown, etc. While they were all serviceable guys from 05-07, None of those guys would be in the top 3 of this group, and Hall set records at Bama

I don't think I'm going overboard either. This group of completely FULL of legit elite talent, and with the QB to get them the ball, I think we are going to see alot more deep passing this year than we have seen at Bama.

"I think we have maybe the best chemistry we have had in a long time between the quarterback and receivers" - Nick Saban

Tight End

1. Michael Williams, Sr./Jalston Fowler, Sr.
2. Malcome Faciane, rFr/Brian Vogler, So.
3. Harrison Jones, So./Brent Calloway, rFr

Michael Williams is a solid player, and perhaps the only TE in the SEC that I would take over him might be Phillip Lutzenkirchen at Auburn. He's one of the leaders of the team as well. A great guy on and off the field and totally deserving of all his success. Fowler is a suprise here, but he has been moved around lately, and yes, he has played some TE this fall. Saban wants to have him as involved as possible. He has LeRon McClain type talent in the rushing and passing game and is too good to keep off the field. While Vogler has been here a year longer, it has appeared at times that Faciane has been playing right behind Williams in practice. Harrison Jones and Brent Calloway are solid backups who will both contribute this year and down the road

The Future

1. Cyrus Jones. 5 stars. No. 6 in the nation. Class of 2012
2. Ardarius Stewart. 4 stars. No. 10 in the nation. Class of 2013
3. Raheem Falkins. 3 stars. No. 50 in the nation. Class of 2013
4. OJ Howard. 5 stars. No. 1 in the nation. Class of 2013

Monday, August 27, 2012

Alabama Depth Chart: OFFENSIVE LINE

Barrett Jones, one of the greatest of all time
2012 Depth Chart

Left Tackle

1. Cyrus Kouandjio, So
2. Kellen Williams, Jr

Left Guard

1. Chance Warmack, Sr.
2. Alphonse Taylor, Fr


1. Barrett Jones, Sr
DJ Fluker, Size 22 shoes. Scariest Man Alive
2. Ryan Kelly, rFr

Right Guard

1. Anthony Steen, Jr.
2. Arie Kouandjio, So

Right Tackle

1. DJ Fluker, Jr.
2. Austin Shepherd, So.

Cyrus Kouandjio, the future All American
The best offensive line in all of college football will be wearing Crimson and White this fall. 

Barrett Jones is the leader of the unit. All he's done since he came to Alabama was start at RG as a freshman and earn Freshman All America honors, win a National Championship, and pave the way for a Heisman winning RB, Mark Ingram. Then he moved to LT last year and won the Outland Trophy, as the best lineman in the country. This year, he moves to Center, which people have said since he came to Alabama is his most natural position. That's amazing. He could be the best in the country at any position across the line. Don't be surprised if he wins the Remington Trophy, which goes to the nation's best Center. He will go down as one of the all time greats at Bama

DJ Fluker is the baddest looking dude on the team I think, at 6-7, 340. He wears size 22 shoes. Rated out of high school as the No. 1 OT in the country in the class of 2009, he has definitely lived up to the hype. He is one of the best run blockers in the country and just absolutely mauls people. Nick Saban said that he is the most physical player he has ever coached anywhere and said he reminds him of Flozell Adams, who he coached at Michigan State

Cyrus Kouandjio is the newcomer of the group. He was rated as the No. 1 OT in the nation in the class of 2011, and caused a stir on national signing day when he announced live on ESPN that he would be going to Auburn. Then he said he needed a few days to think about it, at which point he changed his mind and sent in his letter of intent to attend Alabama. The AU fan reaction was awesome, as we all know. Cyrus played in 8 games last year as a true freshman before tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the season. He is the next great one

Chance Warmack is the lesser known of the big 3, including Jones and Fluker, but he is going into his 3rd season as a starter and could be a first round draft pick in next year's draft with a big year. He could've gone to the NFL after last season, but chose to come back

Anthony Steen is said to be one of the strongest guys on the team and he has really become a steady veteran over the last couple seasons. In 2010, he was forced into action in the Iron Bowl and I remember Nick Fairley embarrassing the hell out of him on several occasions. But that wouldn't happen at this point

Ryan Kelly is the heir apparent to Jones, it seems now, and he was rated as the No. 1 center coming out of high school in the class of 2010.

You see a trend here when it comes to recruiting on the offensive line? Saban gets the best of the best and then gets the most out of them on top of that. 

Jeff Stoutland has been an outstanding addition to the coaching staff as our o-line coach, he coaches with alot of passion, and tries to give equal attention to the vets as well as the freshmen and walk ons. I love the guy

Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke said a couple weeks ago that as a defensive coach, watching this line, this is as good an offensive line as he has seen in college football

The Future

1. Leon Brown. 4 stars. JUCO class of 2013. He will step right in at RT for Fluker in my opinion
2. Grant Hill. 4 stars. No. 4 in the nation. Class of 2013
3. Bradley Bozeman. 3 stars. No. 30 in the nation. Class of 2013

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Alabama Depth Chart: RUNNING BACK

2012 Depth Chart

1. Eddie Lacy, Jr.
2. TJ Yeldon, Fr.
3. Jalston Fowler, Jr.
4. Dee Hart, rFr
5. Kenyan Drake, Fr.

Eddie Lacy returns as the expected next in line behind the last two All Americans in Ingram and Richardson. I love Eddie, think he's a great player, and hope that he picks up where Trent left off. He is my wife's favorite player and she gets mad at me for my pessimism, but I think his health issues are going to hamper him from completing the season as THAT guy. 

I think the true freshman stud Yeldon will be the immediate backup right away. In fact, he was taking the first team reps while Eddie was out with a sprained ankle or knee or something this last week in practice. I think it won't be long before Yeldon passes Lacy and becomes our go-to tailback sooner rather than later

Yeldon is a special talent, much like Ingram, Richardson, and Lacy. Yeldon was the MVP of the spring game, as an early enrollee. I mean, this guy should've still been in high school, getting ready for his senior prom and all that, but instead he graduated early and enrolled at Bama in January and got a GREAT head start. By all accounts, he is a good kid with alot of smarts and motivation and I just think he will be the main man for the next 3 years, starting with this one. 

Jalston Fowler is a huge, bruising Jerome Bettis type who could start for a number of SEC teams. Saban has openly praised him throughout fall practice and said that Fowler will be on the field and get the ball as much as possible, even if that means lining him up at TE or H-back, or even fullback in the I-Formation. These are things that have been worked on in practice the last couple weeks. I would die of joy if we came out in the Michigan game with Lacy and Yeldon on the field in the I, and Fowler with them in the TE position in motion or something. 

Dee Hart was rumored to be considering a transfer over the summer, but those rumors have faded and he appears to be set at Bama. He has done really well in practice as well, and is an awesome receiver out of the backfield. He had 5 receptions in the last scrimmage. This guy was a 5 star prospect who could've gone anywhere in the country, and in fact shunned Michigan to play for Bama instead. So I hope he gets on the field at some point in the first game

The other true freshman stud this season is Kenyan Drake. Drake is being totally overlooked because of Yeldon, but don't be surprised if he plays also and makes a push. The kid isn't much of a drop off from any of the other guys, if he is even a drop off at all. He has been as impressive as anyone in practice.

My God in HEAVEN, what an embarrassment of riches we have in our backfield this year, and for the next several at least

Running the ball is never going to be an issue with Saban in charge. Our yards per carry as a team has increased every year under Saban, from 4.0 in 07, to 4.8 in 08, 5.0 in 09, 5.1 on 10, and 5.5 last year

Don't expect that trend to take a downturn anytime soon.

This five headed monster we have is going to guarantee that we ALWAYS have a great running back on the field, with fresh legs, who is ready to punish the opposing defense. When the other team is gasping for air towards the end of the game, we will have fresh runners to plug in and run all over and around them

God, I love this group of guys so much. We just have so much talent, and of every different types

Pick your poison, Nick. With the best offensive line in the country this season, and one of the best in Bama history, we will be damn near unstoppable on the ground. It should be an overwhelming, dominating, JOY to behold

The Future

1. Altee Tenpenny. 4 stars. No. 11 in the nation. Class of 2013
2. Tyren Jones. 4 Stars. No. 19 in the nation. Class of 2013

This train ain't stopping any damn time soon, y'all. Choo choo

Alabama Depth Chart: QUARTERBACK

2012 Depth Chart

1. AJ McCarron, Jr.
2. Alec Morris, Fr.
3. Phillip Ely, rFr.
4. Blake Sims, rSo.

McCarron returns as the unquestioned leader. The MVP of the BCS Title game. AJ and Saban are like brothers, according to DJ Fluker, and are completely on the same page in every way. Saban has hinted recently, over and over, that he wants to open up the passing game this season more than we've seen before and that he trusts AJ as much if not more than any QB he's had before. 

AJ is my personal favorite player on the team, and I think he is about to have the best statistical year in the history of Bama QB's. The single season passing records are all easily within reach, he wasn't far from them last year. Expect him to pass for around 3,000 yards, 20 TDs with less than 7 INTs, and compete for ALL SEC honors with Arkansas's Tyler Wilson and Georgia's Aaron Murray.

AJ threw the least amount of INTs of any starting QB in the SEC with 5. 

ZERO QB's in the history of the SEC who have thrown more than 200 passes in a season have had a lower INT ratio than AJ had last year. 

He completed 67% of his passes.

He passed for over 2,600 yards

New Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier wasn't on the job long before he commented on how impressed he was with AJ, saying he can make all the throws and has a very very high ceiling.

I think we will see AJ playing on Sundays in the future. I just hope he stays for his senior season. I'm selfish, I know

Phillip Ely redshirted last year and is said to be a very smart Greg McElroy type of game managing QB. At this point, all accounts are that he is AJ's direct backup. 

But I put him 3rd on my depth chart because I think Morris, even as a true freshman this year, will pass him by and see playing time as AJ's backup later on in the season. Morris came into fall camp READY and completely showed out in the first practices, appearing to be alot better and more prepared than expected. He's huge at 6-5, 230 lbs. If AJ leaves early for the NFL after this season, Morris will probably compete next year with Cooper Bateman. An injury to AJ this year would be a really big concern for us without a guy behind him that has played. 

We all know Phillip Sims split for UVA. I didn't care for Sims anyway. His Twitter account showed him to be an immature idiot and I wasn't very impressed with him being a part of Alabama in the first place, so good riddance. 

Blake Sims is really an unknown. He has a decent arm, but is more of an athlete than passer, and has gone back and forth between practicing at QB and RB. Not sure where his future is, but he's a talented guy, that's for sure

The Future 

1. Cooper Bateman, 5 stars, No. 2 in the nation, class of 2013 
2. Parker McLeod, 3 stars, No. 62 in the nation, class of 2013

Friday, August 24, 2012

Scouting Michigan (The Defense)

Greg Mattison with FS Thomas Gordon
On defense, Michigan went from 106th in the country in 2010, allowing 35 points a game to 6th in the country in 2011, allowing somewhere around 17. That is due to their defense coordinator Greg Mattison, who was there for his first year in 2011. That is a HUGE jump and Mattison really deserves a hell of alot of credit for such a turnaround

Today, I will go position by position and tell you what to expect to see Alabama's offense going up against on Sept. 1


Michigan will be having to replace their ENTIRE D-Line this year. They will be starting ALL NEW STARTERS against Alabama. Every player on their line will be starting their FIRST GAME against the best offensive line in the nation

That is not a good recipe for success

This is all assuming that their best D Lineman, Frank Clark, doesn't play in the game. He was arrested for DUI recently and Hoke is stating that he will be suspended for at least the 1st game.

Both defensive ends that could be the starters, Craig Roh and Brennan Breyer, are lightweights compared to who they will be facing on the Alabama line. Roh is about 270 and Breyer is about 230. They will each face a 6-6+ 330+ giant in Cyrus Kouandjio and DJ Fluker

There really isn't much reason to expect this line to get after AJ very much. Our running game will have to worry more about the linebackers than the defensive line


As much of a liability the D-Line will be against Bama, these guys should make alot of the tackles in the game. This will be the strength of Michigan's defense. Kenny Demens is the returning vet in the middle. He's a really good player. Most of the other guys they played at these positions last year were freshmen and sophomores, but several of those guys have bright futures.

The other two projected starters are Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan and Mattison has spoken highly of these guys as potential vocal leaders. To play LB for Mattison you have to be vocal and play with passion. Does that sound familiar, Bama fans? 

I think they will be fine at this position and really awesome in the next couple years with Mattison


The secondary is an area that Michigan has had a little trouble recruiting over the last few year, but with that said, this should be an improved area of the team, and another strength that will make up for the line

The starting tandem of JT Floyd and Blake Countess are pretty decent. Not SEC level, but should be above average in the Big Ten. Floyd had a shaky start last year and allowed alot of big plays. He isn't very good in man coverage, and that will be the area he has to improve upon this year

Countess on the other hand, should be considered for All-Big Ten honors this year. He is their best pure cover corner. The only knock on him has been his size, cause he's a small guy and wasn't very good tackling bigger players last year. That would be a huge problem for him against Bama, but he is said to have bulked up and gotten tougher over the offseason

Jordan Kovacs. You will hear this name alot Saturday
Michigan also returns both starters at the Safety position. Jordan Kovacs is the leader of the defense. Their best defensive player. Kovacs will be the name you hear most often in on the tackles and breaking up passes, if AJ is off the mark, or even if he isn't. Kovacs is better at blitzing and tackling than he is at covering though, but he is one of the smartest guys on the team. He seems like kind of a Vinnie Sunseri type. Thomas Gordon is the Free Safety. He isn't as tall as Michigan fans would like for him to be, but he is good against the run as well

Overall, the secondary and linebackers should be a challenge for Bama. In the Big Ten, they will be among the top units. In the SEC though, they would be behind 4 or 5 teams in talent level

Either way, this defense should be a good early test for the passing game, which Saban has said we are going to open up more of this year

I trust AJ will have a good game, with the protection he should get from our line against theirs

Demarcus Walker, Y'all!!!!!

The No. 6 Defensive Lineman in the country, according to scout.com, and No. 3 according to ESPNU, DeMarcus Walker announced tonight that he would be playing his college football in Tuscaloosa. Walker is a 5 star prospect from the state of Florida and was expected by many down there to go with the Gators

He made his announcement live on ESPN at 4:30 this afternoon, but one Florida news site, who I won't even link on here cause they don't deserve it, found out ahead of time where he was going and they were so mad about it that they broke the news an hour early. Well, they can go to Hell

Auburn was also in the running for Walker, so of course it's always good to get a recruit that they were after and wanted

His announcement on ESPN

Highlights from his high school, Sandalwood

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Carson Tinker Granted Scholarship!!!!! (Plus Practice Notes And Stuff)

Carson Tinker Granted Scholarship

Carson Tinker, y'all!!!! It is about damn TIME! Carson is one of the best guys we have at that university, and this has been a long time coming for a guy that has worked his ass off and given everything to the team. A totally team first guy, and everyone knows about his personal loss in the tornado, when his girlfriend was ripped out of his arms and killed. Carson said that it was an answered prayer and when asked how he responded to it, he said that he gave Nick Saban a hug, but he thought that made Saban feel a little awkward. LOL. Roll Carson!!

Practice Starts Back!
I know. I get entirely too excited about this stuff. But after the team took TWO DAYS off, it seems like forever since I've had something to really write about

Jalston Fowler is looking more and more like he is gonna be SUCH a huge part of this offense. He is so versatile. He could be a fullback, but has enough speed to be the go to tailback if necessary. He has also practiced alot at TE and H-Back. Saban said today that Jalston is gonna run the ball alot this year, no matter what position he is in, so I expect to see him busting heads on a regular basis. Jerome Bettis 2.0 

As far as the RB group as a whole, Saban said that all the guys were gonna play this year and have a role. That includes Fowler, Eddie Lacy, TJ Yeldon, Dee Hart, AND Kenyan Drake. People are overlooking Drake, but he has done really well in practice so far and, like Yeldon, is also a true freshman. 

Saban said they are ALL gonna play


Eddie Lacy with his ankle wrapped today.
As far as injuries go, Lacy, Amari Cooper, and backup center Ryan Kelly are out for the rest of this week, but Saban said they all will be fine next week. We shall see. I'm mainly skeptical about Lacy, as I have stated before. I really don't believe he will stay healthy enough to tote the rock as much as Trent Richardson did. So I think this is the reason we are developing all of the RB's and why they are all being prepared to play. Long story short, I think we are gonna be very good at this position, regardless of what Lacy does. Average RB's could do well enough to get by with the offensive line we have 

Ranzell Watkins is looking like a walk-on that could have a role similar to what we saw from Will Lowery the last couple years. Smart player who will probably contribute in the secondary

Eddie Williams remains at safety, so at this point I am going to assume this is a permanent move. He looked like Julio Jones at WR, but oh well, I'm sure he'll be great at S. He was rated as one of the top 5 safeties in the nation coming out of high school, after all

Today, they started preparations for the first 3 opponents. The 3rd opponent is a pansy who we have made our bitch since Saban arrived, so I'm not worried about any of the first 3 games

Saban said that AJ will continue to be our holder on FG's. Said he is the best holder we have, so...


"School starts tomorrow. That's really important to these guys. That's why they come here" - Nick Saban, pretending the academics is THE REASON top recruits choose Bama. LOL. Obviously, that's not to say we AREN'T one of the best places in the country academically. The proof of that is RIGHT HERE

"It's like tackling a moving train" - Dee Milliner, on Jalston Fowler. I'm telling you. Fowler is going to be a BEAST this year

"September 1st is judgment day. I'm coming to give them Michigan DB's hell" - Amari Cooper. GOD. I love this dude so much already. Can't wait

"How important is it to you to be exceptional?" - Saban's overall message to the team this year. I like that

"Kid can do everything" - Fowler, on TJ Yeldon. I can not STOP about how excited I am about TJ. Suck it, Barners. Suck it long and suck it hard

"Nobody is selfish. Every day I come into the sports complex, I feel good cause I'm around good people. The personality is just upbeat and positive. That's the first thing you always wanna be around when you play this sport, because it's a team sport" - Chance Warmack. 

Players On Their Opinions Of Each Other

"He just has that Texas swag. Everybody gets along with D Square. He has no ememies. He's just a good guy to be around. He's just smooth. He's debonair, if you want to say that"  - Michael Williams, on his opinion that Damion Square is the coolest guy on the team

Williams and Barrett Jones both said that WR Christion Jones is the funniest guy on the team. He can do impressions of everyone and does them all the time, apparently. I'd love to hear that

Barrett Jones was everyone's pick for the smartest guy on the team. He has two degrees already, so who could object?

When asked who was the toughest guy on the team, Chance Warmack said that EVERYONE is tough on that team. Great answer. Barrett Jones said that you wouldn't want to run into DJ Fluker in a dark alley. At 6-6 330 lbs, and size 22 shoes, he is an intimidating S.O.B.

Brent Calloway and Christion Jones are the singers on the team. Williams says that Malcome Faciane "Tries to sing". LOL

The dancers on the team are DeAndrew White and Blake Sims

Jesse Williams is without question the strongest since he was on film benching 600 pounds last month

Bradley Sylve, Amari Cooper, and Kenny Bell were all voted as the fastest

Other Random Stuff

Nick Saban said today that he likes to play air guitar on his boat while listening to The Eagles, Hootie And The Blowfish, and Michael Jackson. Awesome

Saban also said that he used the Tyrann Mathieu situation as a teaching tool for his players. A case study in how NOT to be a dumbass, basically

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit picks Alabama to win the SEC, but does NOT have us in the BCS National Championship Game. I agree with the first part, but EVERYONE knows the SEC champ will be in the national title game. I mean, come ON! Can't really complain about being ranked so highly by everyone though. We will be every year while Saban in around

Yahoo Sports says that Alabama has the best coaching staff in the country. Of course, we already knew this. You can read what they have to say HERE

UMGoBlog  posted on twitter last night that Dee Hart was considering tranferring from Alabama. They need to mind their own business and worry about protecting Denard without a halfway decent offensive line and stop trying to start shit. Dee is not transferring, and if he is, he hasn't told anyone, so UMGoBlog can go to Hell

A Bunch Of Links To Stories About Michigan, if you are interested

Nick Saban Press Conference After Practice Today

DJ Fluker Is No Gentle Giant GREAT stuff here from the Decatur Daily

Tide LOADED With Depth On The Defensive Line - oanow.com

AJ McCarron And His Sense Of Humor Raymond Anthony McCarron, Jr. has become my favorite player on the team by FAR. L O V E him. Like man-love, almost gay, love. It's kinda creepy. And weird. Very weird. I know I need help.

Not sure which one I'm more jealous of. Roll Tide

Credit to al.com, TideSportsLiving Crimson, Andrew Gribble, oanow.com Roll Tide Daily and Laken Litman for all the info on our favorite team. These are all great people to follow

A Few Stories To Pass The Time (IS IT NEXT SATURDAY YET???)

Alabama Defense 101 - al.com

Saban's Influence Felt Across All Levels Of Football- TideSports

This is a pretty cool story about Kirk Heidelberg, who was an assistant for Saban at Toledo for only one year, but still uses what he learned from Saban in his job coaching in the German Football League

Former Saban Assistants Keep Tight Circle- TideSports

Saban Assistants By The Numbers - TideSports

A Total of 15 former Saban assistants are now coordinators in college or the NFL. 12 former assistants are current head coaches. Here are some of their stories. Saban builds men, y'all!!

Tide Works On Depth Issues - TideSports

No Crimson Tide Pop Tarts For You - Roll Tide Daily

Kelloggs has partnered with five schools - Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia - to put their logos on pop tarts. Why not Alabama? I WOULD BY SOME ALABAMA POP TARTS AND YOU WOULD TOO!!!!!

The Opponent - Michigan

Here are a few stories about Michigan that y'all might find interesting, leading up to the game

Oklahoma School BANS Michigan clothing

No shit. Check this out

Monday, August 20, 2012

AP Voter Puts Michigan No. 1 (With Quotes/My Responses)


"I think they had all summer to get ready for Alabama, and I think there will be a little bit of a hangover with Alabama"

That is the quote I will start with. This is from Bob Asmussen, of the Champagne News Gazette in Illinois. He has voted Michigan No. 1, being the only one in the whole country to think that highly of the Wolverines. Alabama is favored by about 12 points right now over Michigan, but he has Alabama 3rd in his poll

It sucks that Michigan had all summer to get ready for us, and we had to sit around not preparing at all and just waiting to get blindsided

Nico Johnson says that he has never seen more intensity in the fall scrimmages in his entire time at Bama than he sees right now. Alot of guys on this team remember the 2010 hangover and complacency and are using that as motivation to not let it happen again

Despite that, it sucks that they are gonna just go through the motions and not even really try. Another advantage for Michigan, clearly, since Michigan will be motivated and Alabama will not

"When I look at Alabama, I'm not looking at the Alabama offense. Remember, Trent Richardson isn't there. McCarron is just OK, not great"

When I look at Michigan, I also remember that Mike Hart isn't there. Neither is Tom Brady. Or Braylon Edwards. Or Jake Long. Players move on. And they are replaced.

It really sucks that all we have to work with is Eddie Lacy, who would've started for about 10 or 11 of the other teams in the SEC last year. I know we'll do poorly with Jalston Fowler, who has received MUCH praise this offseason for his improvement from last year. And he was already a beast last year. TJ Yeldon, the number 1 player coming out of high school in the state of Alabama, a running back that Auburn fans were comparing to Bo Jackson before he flipped his commitment to Alabama, enrolled early, and at a time when he should've still been a senior in high school, led the Alabama offense (that sucks) in rushing and receiving and was the MVP of the spring game. Man, it's just terrible how badly this offense sucks without Trent Richardson. I mean, we all saw how badly it sucked last year without Mark Ingram, WHO WON THE HEISMAN! We were completely lost when Trent had to fill in. Oh, and then there is Dee Hart, who led the most recent scrimmage in receptions, and Kenyan Drake, another freshman who people are overlooking, but who could easily get some playing time this season. Michigan's RB situation includes a starter that might not even play against Bama because of a DUI arrest, and then a couple running backs behind him who aren't as good as most of the guys I just mentioned

AJ McCarron is just "OK". I hate that the guy leading our team is the same guy that led the SEC in passing efficiency, completing 67% of his passes, while throwing for 2,600 yards and only 5 INTs. He somehow managed to be unfairly named the MVP of the BCS National Championship Game, a game in which it was all put on his shoulders and he played his best game ever. Man, that guy isn't that good at all. Don't know how we'll complete enough passes to score against Michigan's D, who is replacing their entire defensive line and will be playing against the BEST offensive line in the country. Thank God, we'll at least be able to protect AJ, so he has plenty of time to survey the defense and try his best with his limited abilities to hopefully find someone to throw it to.

"If you look at their history, the Crimson Tide don't win back to back titles"

1964, 1965.....1978, 1979....

In the history of the AP poll, Alabama has 8 AP titles. Half of those were in back to back fashion

I'm not really gonna go into this one any further than that

"I mean, Alabama isn't going to score 60 on anybody, so I think Michigan will hold them off"

I see his point here. Cause if we have a hangover like 2010, that he is referring to, then it'll be hard to score 60 on ANYBODY like we scored 62 on Duke that year and 63 on Georgia State. Yeah, we are totally incapable of scoring 60 points on ANYBODY

"I know they got hit a little hard on the offensive line, but there's probably some offensive linemen lying around. I'm not worried about that part. And on defense, I know they got hit a little bit, but I know there's players there"

This was in reference to Michigan after he said the following:

"People forget that Alabama got absolutely clubbed on defense", referring to all the guys we lost

Expert analysis here. I'm really scared of all those players that Michigan has lying around that are gonna just easily replace the guys they lost, compared to the fact that we don't even HAVE anyone to replace the guys we lost. What are we gonna do, let some fans try out for those vacated spots? Cause we clearly don't have any players prepared to step up. It's impossible that we might

We should probably just go ahead and concede this loss, and chalk it up to the fact that Brady Hoke is a great coach with a great coaching staff, as Asmussen points out. Cause it's not like we have a great coach or a great coaching staff

Michigan will easily win. It's obvious

Credit to AnnArbor.com for the quotes

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alabama- Michigan History Renewed Video

Saw this outstanding video this morning and thought I'd share it with everyone. We are 13 days away, y'all!!!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Final Scrimmage Stats And Notes

Coach speaking to the media following the scrimmage this afternoon, which was interrupted for about 30 minutes by rain and lightning. When asked if the rain hindered any progress, he said, "I didn't see anybody trip over a rain drop or a rain drop hit them in the leg" LOL

There are a couple of injuries to report though. Amari Cooper has what Saban called a minor foot injury and is day to day

Eddie Lacy(Of course) sprained his ankle AND his knee

Andrew Gribble had a tweet that says it all: "With Lacy banged up, TJ Yeldon led all rushers". Get used to hearing that one

Saban singled out AJ McCarron (When does he NOT?) as having a great scrimmage, along with Yeldon, and Kevin Norwood. I think these three guys will end up being the core of our offense at some point in the season if Lacy can't stay healthy, and EVEN IF HE CAN. Y'all know how much I like Yeldon.

The backup QB's threw several INT's that Saban called "ill-advised throws" and said they both obviously have a long way to go, though Phillip Ely did throw a 47 yard TD pass at one point. Please stay healthy, AJ

Saban was really pleased with all of the 1's and thought they did really well, but stressed that the rest of the team is very young. You never like hearing a coach want to point that out, but Saban is known for trying to temper expectations regardless. He said the key is getting alot of the younger guys to play "winning football", but he said some of the young guys definitely get it

Safety Nick Perry has had a good camp overall and Saban said that was critical to our depth at that position with the losses of Travell Dixon and Jarrick Williams. Perry has always been a good player off the bench, since he first arrived from Prattville. He has just always had other guys ahead of him. He could probably start for half of the SEC so it's good to hear that he is stepping up in his role. We will need him

The team is off Sunday and Monday, so hopefully the bumps and bruises will all heal up and everyone will be fine


AJ McCarron passed for 242 yards and 2 TDs

TJ Yeldon rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries

Kenyan Drake, who we don't need to overlook, rushed for 37 yards on 10 carries

Jalston Fowler had 6 carries for 35 yards

Dee Hart had 5 receptions for 30 yards

Kevin Norwood had 3 catches for 76 yards

Marvin Shinn had 2 catches for 85 yards

CJ Mosley led the defense with 6 tackles, a sack, and an INT. Just CJ being CJ

DeAndrew White had 2 for 63

Damn, AJ was airing it out huh?


The AP poll came out today. Alabama was ranked 2nd, behind the USC Trojans. I think USC is overrated as hell, but whatever. I'd rather be 2nd than 1st to start the season. With a big win over Michigan in week one, we will probably take over the top spot anyway though. Naturally, Barners all day long response to the poll is that we should do away with preseason polls, they don't matter, it's where you finish not where you start, blah, blah, blah. Auburn starts unranked, of course. Alabama will play TWO top 10 teams in the first 3 games, Michigan and Arkansas. 

All but 3 AP voters had Alabama in the top 3. The lowest they were placed was 9th, by Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News in Calofirnia. To be fair, I read an article about the guy and he seems to really study and put alot of thought into what he is doing, so he is entitled to that vote. But he is a flaky bastard. In 2009, he had voted Alabama 18th in the preseason poll, and after Alabama whipped up in Virginia Tech in the first game, he immediately was one of the only people to vote them No. 1 the very next week. So expect the same from him after the Michigan game

President Obama recently singled out Michigan QB Denard Robinson as one of his favorite players in college football. Robinson got to meet the president and Obama told him that they had to make the most of this season and he was rooting for them. SO OBAMA IS AGAINST US, Y'ALL!!!!

Former LSU DB Tyrann Mathieu has checked himself into a drug rehab. Here is hoping that he gets his shit together personally for his future. I know what it's like to battle alcohol and drug problems and I'm not judging the kid for that. Hopefully, he'll be successful in the future in whatever he sets out to do


LEADER OF THE LINE - This is a great article from ESPN about Barrett Jones, one of my all time favorite players

ALABAMA O-line Focused On Chemistry From al.com, DJ Fluker responds to Michigan Coach Brady Hoke's saying that Alabama's O-Line is one of the best he has ever faced

VIDEO: Best Case/Worst Case For Alabama Edward Aschoff from ESPN discusses Alabama's chances this year

Chris Herron Speaks To Team About Substance Abuse - TideSports. Good stuff