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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

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

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