Bowl Round Games
|1st Game Deadline
(Appalachian State -8.5)
San Josť State @
(San Josť State -3.5)
Arkansas State @
(Louisiana Tech -2.0)
Western Kentucky @
(Western Kentucky -3.0)
(Utah State -7.0)
Boise State @
(Boise State -8.0)
Georgia Southern @
(Bowling Green -7.5)
Middle Tennessee @
(Western Michigan -3.0)
San Diego State @
Miami (FL) @
(Washington State -3.0)
(Virginia Tech -13.5)
Central Michigan @
North Carolina @
(Colorado State -3.0)
NC State @
(Mississippi State -5.5)
Texas A&M @
(Texas A&M -1.0)
(Florida State -7.5)
Michigan State @
Notre Dame @
(Ohio State -7.0)
Oklahoma State @
(Ole Miss -7.5)
Penn State @
Kansas State @
West Virginia @
(Arizona State -0.0)
Tie Breaker: How many total yards of offense will Alabama get against Michigan State?
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|Sunday Morning CRS Coach's Corner: Game 7
Over 102,000 fans were in the stands yesterday and millions more were watching it on television and what a big game and a huge win for the Crimson Tide. No one got cheated of not seeing a very exciting and tough played game.For the Bama fans, I think that was a big touche from them to TA&M for the Johnny Football years but for the Aggie fans I think they were just wanting some payback for the 59-0 loss last year.
The game started with Bama hitting on all cylinders and jumping out to a good lead but before the half could end, the Aggies had wrestled the momentum from Bama and closed the gap of the score. Ole momentum played a big role in this game as it was swapped back and forth until the second half of the fourth quarter and Bama took control of the game with their defense shutting the door on the Aggies. There were some huge plays by the secondary in this game that Bama fans have been waiting on for a long time, interceptions for touchdowns. It was the big difference maker in the game.
This game was a complete victory for the Tide as both the offense and the defense played big roles in the win. Coker, Henry, and the receivers gave the defense of TA&M all they wanted but the secondary played a major role in the scoring as well with four interceptions for touchdowns. It's been a long time since a Bama team shared the scoring as they did yesterday. Also, I think a lot of maturity was gained by some of the players such as Coker and the secondary. A coach can only teach them so much and I don't think there is a better coach in the game than game experience. The Xs and Os will get them on the field but the execution of those Xs and Os in the game is what teaches them to become good players as every team they play is different and you have to learn to adjust to each team played.
There were some mistakes by the team that were costly and there was an injury that affected the team as it did last year. The biggest mistake was the long punt return and I know everyone is going after Bobby Williams. I wish everyone that is after Bobby Williams would just check the number on the jerseys of the players on the special teams. These are not bench warmers, they are the starting players on the offensive and defensive teams. On the long punt return, look at the player that missed his tackle as the player turned up field to go untouched to the endzone, it was Derrick Henry. Derrick has played on the special teams since he arrived and is considered one of the better players on that unit but he missed a touchdown saving tackle. That's the point I'm trying to make when us fans are criticizing the coaches. Sure the coaches make mistakes but they aren't the blame for everything that happens on the field and the players aren't either, it's called team play and that is who the blame is on, not a single player or coach. We all like to blame Lane Kiffen for the plays that don't work but I can promise you there is not a play in the playbook that won't work if the players execute it as designed. Now there will be some times when I might question a coach on a certain play that is called but I'm sure he knows more about that than I do.
On the injury that hurt the team yesterday it's about the same thing that happened last year at Ole Miss. At that time Bama's offense was playing well, especially the running game with Kenyon Drake being the running back that was having the most success. Bama was having a lot of success that day until two players went down, Drake and Ryan. After they went down, Bama had a lead, the running game died and Bama lost the game. Yesterday it wasn't Drake that had the hot hand it was Henry but Ryan was the common denominator in both cases, he was the boss of the offensive line. The offensive line became a picture of disarray after Ryan left the game with penalties, players lined up wrong, and the blocking of the line was very different as Henry really had to struggle for 2-3 yards where he had been running for 7-8 yards per carry. It changed the game as Bama almost lost the lead when the ability to run the ball left the game. Those are the times when I question the coaches on the type of plays that are being called. Hopefully the replacements for Ryan will have some good practice this week but experience is hard to replace because it has to be earned on the field and not out of a book.
Anyway there are more challenges ahead for the team in the coming weeks and it won't be easy. Tennessee and LSU are the next two games with an open date before LSU which should give the team a few days for healing purposes and after that we go to Starkville to play Miss State which is usually a tough physical game. Tennessee will come in here next Saturday with a vengeance on their minds, They don't like Alabama and Alabama doesn't like them. It will be important that Bama is mentally ready because they historically don't play as well after a big game. Tennessee is a better team than their record shows and again, they don't like Alabama. Bama's road for a national championship isn't an easy one so it's going to take all of the players to do this, not just the starters each week. Those players on the scout team that provide the practice competition for the starters are just as important and needed. That's why I say it's a team effort and not a player or coach effort, it takes them all, 125 players and the coaching staff, and the blame for things that go wrong falls in the team category.
Hopefully some of you will be in the stands next Saturday making a lot of noise for the team. We got a good example yesterday of how noise can really affect a team's play. RTR!!
|Re: Alabama Softball Sweeps Day One of Fall Brawl
Coach Murphy reminds me of CNS as his recruiting ranks right up there in the sport of softball. Bama has 6 freshmen on the roster this year and I thought they were very impressive today, especially Reagan Dykes, a new catcher from Collins, Mississippi.
She put on a clinic today behind the plate as she has been coached very well in her high school days. The real beauty of her performance today though was her bat as she had a home run and 2 doubles in 4 at bats. She is very athletic with a cannon for an arm.
I think the team looked better at the plate today than they did last year. There wasn't that much swinging for the fence but just putting the bat on the ball. Defensively it will be interesting as to who will play shortstop this year as Denae Hays graduated. This is a huge void to fill and Chandler Dare played there the first game and did a pretty good job. She's a little quicker than Denae was but I don't think her arm is as strong.
CPM really does the girls a favor as he switches them all around at different positions in the fall games to find their weaknesses in their defensive skills. Bama has 19 on the roster this year, the most I have ever seen. This should help next season if the injury bug pops up like it has in recent years.
Sidney Littlejohn started the game as the pitcher today and looked like pitcher she was before her injury last year. She had foot surgery in the off season and she showed no post surgery complications today. She gave up 2 hits and one run in the 4 innings she pitched. Madi Moore, the left handed freshman from Winfield, pitched the last three innings and I can see a lot of promise for her. She throws a little harder than Littlejohn does and spins the ball well. It will be interesting to see how much improvement she will have between now and next spring. She has a little bit of a control problem but I think that is mostly from her trying to do too much too quick.
Tomorrow is a new day and it will be interesting to see how they play on back to back days.
|Coach Avery Johnson says, "You better buckle up"
Mrs. J and I attended a short basketball scrimmage this afternoon and I have to agree with what CAG said, you are going for a fast ride with this team so you better buckle up.The CAJ brand of basketball is something that the Bama fans have never seen before, it is very fast.
They opened the scrimmage with some 3,4, and 5 man weaves and I thought it was a good way to loosen the players up but little did I know that would be their pace of play. They practice with a 20 second time clock and then they practiced with a 10 second time clock and I only heard the time clock expire twice during the practice.
This team is loaded with shooters but they really attacked the goal on missed shots, something we aren't used to seeing. Cag is really coaching as he was right in the middle of everything and stopping plays when players were out of position showing them what they did wrong. My favorite correction that he made was with Jimmie Taylor. Taylor got the ball underneath, faked to his left and then moved to his right toward the baseline and forced up a shot that missed badly, something that we saw more than once last year. Coach stopped played and then demonstrated to him what he had done wrong in forcing up a low percentage shot when he could have moved back to his left and put up a higher percentage shot with his right hand. Taylor looked like a different player today, lots of energy and he even had two free throws and made them both.
I really liked the way the coaches worked with the players, many times they stopped play to get the players where they should be. The one player that stood out to me was Donta Hall, a 6'9" freshman forward from Luverne, Alabama. He really makes his presence known under the basket plus he is very quick breaking toward the basket. He could be that big man that's been needed so badly to help out Kessens and Taylor.
CAG spoke to us after the scrimmage and wanted to clear the air about one subject that has been floating around for a while. In a very strong voice he told the crowd that CAJ is here to stay for as long as Bama will keep him. He is building a new home here in T-town and his wife is now located in Tuscaloosa waiting for the home to be finished. By the way, AJ Jr. is called Little A by the players.
Today got their season off to a good start with the fans. There was between 400-500 there and everyone was really excited. I went to the ticket office last week to select my new seats for this year, due to the new seating arrangement for the students, and I asked the lady in Tide Pride how well ticket sales were going. She said it's been fantastic, almost unbelievable compared to past years. I asked her what did she have available that I could maybe upgrade my seats to and she said she had nothing. Folks, that is unbelievable for this short period of time that CAJ has been here. It only proves how hungry the fans are for some good basketball again
Anyway, CAJ has made some very big promises for this year and from what I saw today, I think he will fulfill those promises. He told the crowd that the team's goal is make the Big Dance every year and go all the way to the Final Four. With what he has recruited already and the recruits he is now chasing for the years ahead, I feel very good about his goals but I also understand that Rome wasn't built overnight either.
I hope some of you get a chance to see a game at Coleman or the one in Birmingham this year, it really feels good to have hope for something special in basketball again. RTR!!
|Sunday Morning CRS Coach's Corner: Game 6
The weather last night was much better than last weeks game against Georgia but the opponent was about as nasty as the weather was last week against Georgia. The game wasn't for the lighthearted for most of it as the two heavyweights seemed to be sparring with each other waiting for the knockout punch to happen which didn't come though until the fourth quarter. Needless to say, I thought the play that changed the outcome of the game came out of nowhere, Les Miles style, and surprised everyone watching, a fake punt. The element of surprise can be very rewarding sometimes but it can be a heartbreaking experience as well, just ask Arkansas.
I think most folks thought Bama would come out swinging last night after the big win in Athens last weekend. Surely us Bama fans have learned by now about their games after a big win usually aren't so pretty. It isn't very often that the team looks sharp after a big win and last night was no exception but let's give Arkansas some credit, they came here to win the game as Bama did and played that way.
Offensively the team was a total opposite of how well they played against Georgia. Henry, running the ball, looked very average for most of the game as the offensive line wasn't doing much to help his chances of making a big run. The receivers weren't making their catches and the quarterback made a few bad decisions as well with one of them being very costly that led to a touchdown by Arkansas that put Bama behind in the game. Let's also add in the missed field goals and we're pretty much talking about how the team had looked prior to the Georgia game. The one bright spot last night though was the resurgence of our punter. Scott looked the best he has looked all season and hopefully he's made the turn and there are brighter days ahead for him.
Defensively, the team played very tough, something that has improved with each game. To me the defense will be the reason of Bama making the playoffs or not because of the up and down play of the offense.
Arkansas made the big gamble last night and it pretty much cost them the game but Bama did something after the stop of the fake punt that we haven't seen them do in a long time, they took control of the game and I mean in a big way. Bama was not the same team after the big stop as they played with so much more intensity on both sides of the ball which we led to the touchdowns that sealed the victory for them. They played like they did against Georgia, to win the game rather than not to lose the game.
It wasn't easy last night but how many conference games are easy in the SEC and it only gets tougher for Bama in their games ahead. Going to Texas A&M next Saturday will be much tougher than the game last night. Johnny Manziel laid the ground work in his days at A&M that has turned this game into a pretty big rivalry between the two and I'm sure A&M has had this game circled on their schedule. The history of Bear Bryant and Gene Stallings at Bama only adds to the reason for each team to win next Saturday.
The remaining schedule looks very tough for the team and with Florida improving so much, it only adds to the difficulty of winning the SEC to make it to the playoffs. Bama is going to need more big plays as they did with the fake punt and a lot of luck to make it to the playoffs. The sad part about playing Texas A&M though is we have LSU following them.
No one said it would ever be easy in the Southeastern Conference and I think that is exactly right. RTR!!!
|Game notes: Ark. vs Bama
First: Congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the victory. It was a hard game to watch from an offensive stand point, but they did come out victorious.
Offense: The Bama offense put up 396 yards of total offense, 262 passing and 134 rushing. As far a negative plays they had 2 sacks, 6 tackles for losses and 2 interceptions. You can also put the tipped punt as a negative play even though it didnít really hurt Bama. As far as big negative plays one of the interceptions led to the first touchdown for Ark. Bama had 4 three and outs and one was the result of an interception. They only had 3 runs of 10+ yards and 7 pass plays for 10+ yards. Bama did do a better job converting on 3rd down as they were 7 for 16. In the red zone they got there at least 5 times. They had 2 touchdowns and 2 field goals but also missed a field goal. They scored 1 touchdown outside the red zone. There just wasnít consistent play by the offense a lot of the day. They had 2 good opening drives and then sputtered before getting started late in the 3rd quarter. I know field position wasnít great, but Bama needs to do a better job in these situations. With the late field position they had and the 2 early drives they left too many points on the field. One of my big questions is why canít Bama run the ball with authority on the first drive with some consistency? On the first drive they ran the ball 6 times with one a scramble by the QB. On the other 5 runs Bama went: no gain, 1 yard, no gain, 5 yards, -2 yards.
QB: This was a game of three quarterbacks. First he was outstanding, then horrible, then pretty good. I donít think he made the best decisions at times during the game. I know in the red zone, when Bama settled for the field goal, he tried to throw the ball to Howard. Ridley was wide open in the middle and could have walked in for the score. There were a couple of forced balls when I am not sure he couldnít have come off to a different rec. He did do a good job scrambling at times. You can look at the stats and it shows he completed 73% of his passes, but probably 6 of those were the little pop pass/jet sweep type passes.
RB: They didnít have a lot of room to run. Bama only had 3 runs of 10 plus yards and one of those was a scramble by the QB. It did look like Drake was running with more confidence.
REC: Six different players caught passes. Again, Ridley was the big target. At times the blocking was very good on the wide rec screens and the pop pass. However there were times they threw too early to cut the defender who had time to get up and be involved in the play. On one play there was indecision on who was supposed to get the wide rec screen and it almost led to an interception.
OL: Too me this was where there was the biggest problem. They didnít get the push necessary at times. There were I donít know how many missed blocks. There were bad angles taken getting to the next level. There for a while I thought #51 Ellis may make all conference just for this game. The QB was getting pressure with only four rushers and it looked like they didnít do much more than twist stunts. This also goes to the question ask earlier, why canít Bama run early in the game. I will say there were many people in the box with the tight formations. I also believe some of the blocking assignments were busted.
Defense: They played outstanding. The defense allowed Bama to stay in the game and come back and win. I know they busted the coverage for the first TD, but they were put in a bad position by the offense. They only gave up 220 total yards in the game. They held the running back, which was averaging over 130 yards a game, to 26 yards on 12 carries. They only rushed for 44 yards with was what supposed to be one of the most dominant OL in the country. The defense only had 6 total negative plays, 3 sacks, 2 tackles for losses and 1 interception which was turned into points. The only other big mistake was the loss of contain when they made the QB scramble and they threw the 54 yard TD pass. They caused 5 three and outs, 1 four and out, and 1 two and out. Arkansas could never really get anything going as they averaged only 3.8 yards per play. They gave up 5 pass plays for 10 plus yard and no running plays for over 10 yards. The longest run of the day was an 8 yard scramble by the QB.
DL: They dominated the LOS. The Ark line couldnít get a push and every yard gained by them was hard. The biggest problem was the loss of contain a couple of times.
LB: I thought they played outstanding. They made some of the biggest hits all day. Also, RR got them lined up the way they were supposed to be.
DB: I thought they played very well. Bama gave up 176 yards passing. Now you look at this and say 54 of those yards came on 1 play. This is true, but this is where they lost contain and then you have to ask those DBís to cover for an extended period of time which is extremely hard. I looked at something else and I guess I should call it coverage stats. Good coverage caused 11 plays to be altered. These led to 2 sacks, 2 throw ways, one of which I thought should have been grounding because I donít think he was outside the tackle box, 5 scrambles, and a PBU. Of course on one of the scramble he did break contain and throw the TD. The first TD was a busted coverage by the secondary, I think C Jones.
Penalties: Bama had 6 penalties and 3 of those were by C Robinson. Probably the biggest was his unsportsman like conduct which put the ball on the 12 yard line for the first TD after the interception. As far as Ridleyís penalty, I didnít see anything he did that others havenít done. I donít know if something happened that I didnít see.
Special teams: Pretty solid most of the night. The missed field goals I still say looks like an alignment problem. He is hitting the ball well. Coverages were good as well as the returns. The biggest mistake, but didnít hurt Bama was the onside kick that wasnít really attacked, but waited on. I also notice Nvsewander always seems to be in the mix on the special teams.
Finally: More than anything the offensive line play has to be cleaned up. They showed at times they could get the job done.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
15 and counting
|The Battle Between The Hedges
In all my years of being a Bama fan and following the team on their many travels, I had never been to Sanford Stadium in Athens, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. I had watched many of them though on television and listened to the broadcasters of the game talk about teams playing Georgia between the hedges and how the hedges seemed to have a factor on the outcome of the game. The stadium itself seemed antiquated to me but I guess I'm somewhat spoiled by the glamour and excitement that the new Bryant Denny offers us Bama fans. Even their stadium announcer seemed to be broadcasting the game as a play by play version, somewhat like they do in high school, rather than the short 1st and 10 or offsides Bama version that we hear most stadium announcers do. The other side of what I expected at the game was to see Georgia's team mascot, their bulldog Ugga. He seems to always get the cameraman's attention at some point in the game and gets lots of attention but if the cameraman got to see him last night he pretty much had to climb into his doghouse to see him because Ugga hardly came out of there.
It was a wet/soggy night as the hurricane offshore in the Atlantic came to pay us a visit with plenty of rain. There was no thunder or lightning with the rain and just a light breeze and it seemed to make no difference to the hearty Bama fans rooting their team on. As the game started it seemed that all of those around us were very cautious in what Bama team might show up and with it raining, it could be a long night in Athens. With Alabama scoring first, it seemed to set the tone with the fans in our area as they came alive and so did the Bama team. This, to me, was the first game this season that the team played up to their abilities. They started a little slow, as there was some confusion by the players as to where to line up in the play or silly penalties. In the second quarter though Bama looked like the championship teams of recent years as defense was playing solid and the offense began to execute in a championship way. This type of play would continue to the end of the game, something that the team hasn't experienced since the Auburn game of last year.
The question now is how does the team respond to such a big victory. Will they come out in practice Tuesday and pick up where they left off in last night or will they get caught up in watching ESPN and others talking about how good they are now and forget how hard they had to play to win last night. It will be a tough week for the coaches and the leaders of the team to keep the team in focus of last nights achievement and work to improve them even more this week. One game doesn't make a season, just ask Ole Miss.
I'm glad I finally got to go to Athens to finally watch a Georgia game between the hedges last night even though I was disappointed with a few things. Maybe if it had not been raining and we could have walked the campus it would have added to the trip. There's a lot of history behind some of these SEC schools and the only one That I have left now to see is the Swamp at Florida. At least we didn't get the water hoses turned on us last night like another school that we all know about in Alabama but maybe the rain had something to do with that not happening. No, just kidding about that. The Georgia fans were very nice to us and I actually got a hug from one of their fans as we were leaving the stadium. This lady was standing there waiting for her husband and she had this very sad look on her face. I stopped and told her that I hated to see her look so sad as us Bama fans have gone through some of the same recently and it is no fun. She hugged my neck and thanked me for caring and introduced me to her husband as he walked up. We shook hands and my night was then complete , I had made two new friends. RTR!!!
|Game notes: Bama vs UG
First: Congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the victory. This was a great game plan put together by both the offense and defenseís staffs and the players did an outstanding job executing.
Offense: The Bama offensive had a very balanced attack and totaled 379 yards of offense. The offense had 190 passing yards and 189 rushing yards. The offense did have 7 three and outs and one of those was caused by a fumble on a short 3rd down play. There were 5 runs for 10 plus yards and 6 passes for 10 plus yards. In the red zone they scored a touchdown and a field goal. I believe the field goal was a result of penalties and should have come away with a touchdown the way they were moving the ball. Two touchdowns came from outside the red zone on the running play by Henry and the long TD pass to Ridley. As far as negative plays, Bama had 5 tackles for losses and two fumbles lost. To be honest this was not bad under the playing conditions with the rain. One great thing I noticed about the offense is that they were able to run the ball effectively left or right in this game. The biggest concern for the offense was the 3rd down conversion rate where they were 1 for 12.
QB: I thought this was Cokerís best game for a few reasons. First, he finally threw the perfect deep ball. I am not sure the other deep ball in the 4th quarter was not a bad adjustment by the rec instead of a bad throw. Second, the check down and found the open rec. Third he didnít try to force the ball. Now he may not have made all the best throws at times, but the right decisions were made by Coker. Fourth when on one of the few times he had to scramble he kept his eyes downfield and made the throw to an open rec. He also showed other teams that he can run the ball just enough to keep you honest.
RB: Henry had a good game. Some people are not going to like this but it looks like he is waiting for the hole instead of attacking the point of attack sometimes. Whatever the case he is a load when he goes downhill and forces the issue. His pass protection has been outstanding this year. At times Drake did well, but hurt the team trying to bounce plays. I know he is trying to make something happen, plus he is playing against UG but sometimes you have to take the short gain.
REC: There were not as many recs utilized this game as others. However, Ridley had a huge day. He averaged 24 yards per catch. Only 4 recs had catches, but I will say Drake was used as a decoy for others to have a couple of big receptions. As I said earlier I am not sure that was a bad deep ball in the 4th quarter as much as it was a bad ball adjustment by the rec. I would like to see the rec do a little better job blocking at times. Howard did not have a catch this game, but he did do a better job blocking. The one dropped ball was a tough catch since the ball was thrown a little behind and the wet conditions. I still think he should have had it. Also, the rec did a very good job catching the ball with their hands under the conditions. Many times in this situation the players try to cradle the ball and let it get into their body for the catch.
OL: I thought this was one of their best, if not their best game of the year. They had a push from the opening drive. They didnít give up a sack and the QB had time to find secondary recs if needed. For most of the night the running backs were not hit until the other side of the LOS. On the 30 yard td run by Henry, I donít think anyone laid a hand on him.
Defense: I thought the defense played a great game. Probably the greatest part of the day was when UG started the first three drives in great field position and went 3 and out each time. They gave up 299 yards and we all know 83 came on the long run when the defense didnít react properly. By this time the game was out of hand but it will be a great teaching moment when film comes around. The defense had 2 sacks, 6 tackles for losses, 3 interceptions one for a TD, a fumble recovery, and a blocked punt for a TD. As far as the interception returned for a touchdown you could see the defensive players pivot and start looking for people to block. So, they accounted for 14 points in the game. Overall UG had 9 three and outs and 1 one and out. Saban talks about affecting the QB and the defense did. I have at least 6 times where the QB had to scramble or throw the ball away. This is also a combination of coverage affecting the QB where he had no place to go with the ball. They did give up one throw when the QB was affected, but it had to be a heck of a catch and put them back in field goal range. As far as plays over 10 yards, they had 3 runs and 4 passes that went for more than 10.
DL: They played a great game by neutralizing the OL of UG. They put pressure on the QB and made the running back gain every yard except on 1 play. Again they batted down passes. The announcers said coming in they led the NCAA with 13 batted balls. I added three more and I may have missed one.
LB: I thought they played well. It was also a time where Hamilton got more of a role on the defense. I also noticed, and they have done this before, they put Ragland down like they use to do with Hightower and used him as a rush end.
DB: I thought they played a very good game. Many people donít understand the offense has the advantage in games like these because they know where they are going with their routes. I noticed Bama was putting Cyrus Jones on Mitchell a lot which meant they had to flip their corners at times. There were a couple of times the DBís were beat, but UG didnít get the ball to them. One the first play of the game by UG they ran a double mover against MH but didnít connect.
Penalties: Bama had 8 penalties and the worst of them was when Bama was in the red zone and had to come away with a field goal. The false starts need to be addressed especially by wide recs. I do think the personal foul on hitting the center was a questionable call.
Special teams: With these conditions, the special teams played well all day. First, kicking the ball is difficult in these games. I thought Scott did a great job fielding the ball and punting it. Coverage teams were solid all day. Cyrus Jones did a great job fielding the ball especially on the one where it bounced and he saved yards for Bama. AG looks like he has regained his confidence and struck the ball well all day.
Finally: I thought this was the best game Bama has played this year. Also, they out played, out classed and were tougher than UG. Hopefully they will continue to improve and continue the run for the playoffs and National Championship.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
15 and counting
|Is Avery Johnson the new Nick Saban at Bama
I don't know if any of you have been following the hard work that he has done with his recruiting since he was hired recently but this man is relentless. I only know one coach to compare him to and it happens to be his best friend on campus, Coach Nick Saban.
When CNS came to Bama and his team got kicked around that first year, he immediately put together the best recruiting program in the NCAA. Well CAJ seems to be smarter than the average Joe because he wasted no time in introducing himself to CNS and hasn't left his side since he signed his contract. CNS schooled his staff of coaches on how to be the best recruiting assistants in college football and it looks like Coach Johnson is using the CNS logic to the nth degree.
There was something that happened at our REC meeting Tuesday night that I just had to share with all of you. Three years ago when Coach Grant was struggling so much with his program I sent an email to one of the officers of our REC asking why the REC doesn't invite CAG as a guest speaker one month. There are a lot of highly recognized members in our club that can make things happen and I thought the coach needed some big time help. I received an email back stating that our REC was basically about football and the speakers had already been selected for that year. Oh well, I thought it was worth the effort but I got their message. Before our guest speaker, Houston Nutt, spoke the other night our president of the club spoke for a few minutes and gave us a heads up as to who some our guest speakers would be this year. As to my amazement, he stated that the club usually invites a couple or three out town guests each year but this year that wouldn't be the case as our new basketball head coach Avery Johnson would speak twice this year. My jaw did drop but I was excited to hear the news.
Now the point that I'm making with this news is that this is exactly how Nick Saban operates, he doesn't take no for an answer and he deals only with the big guns in getting what he wants accomplished. This summer CAJ went with CNS on all of his Crimson Caravan luncheons and this wasn't just by accident. I feel that CNS can see a lot of himself in Coach Johnson and just loves the drive in him so that is why he is so available to him.
If this is the case and I feel it is, Bama basketball will grow back to the higher level that we are all wishing for much quicker than what most of the experts expected. There will be some bumps in the road as it is with all sports and all teams but Nick Saban has proven that perseverance, hard work, and dedication is the most solid foundation possible to build any program or your own life on. Coach Avery Johnson seems to be more than just a smart man and I think he picked the best mentor possible for himself and he has been using his guidance extremely well. His bandwagon started out with a lot of ifs and buts when he arrived but not anymore, all he needs is some quality wins this year because he is getting the quality players, something that rarely happens with Alabama basketball.
|Houston Nutt, a funny man
It's strange how you can dislike someone until you meet them and you find out that maybe they aren't so bad after all.
Tonight Houston Nutt, ex football coach, was the guest speaker at our Red Elephant Club (REC) meeting and I must say, he had everyone laughing. The introduction got everything off to a good start as Kirk McNair had dug up every bit of information that he could find on Nutt from his high school days to his present job as a sports analyst for CBS.
He was introduced to the sports world by his father Houston Nutt SR who himself was a very good athlete. His father graduated from Fordyce High School in 1951 and then attended the University of Kentucky on a basketball scholarship playing for Adolph Rupp. He transferred to Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) where he played for Henry Iba. Upon graduation from Oklahoma A&M in 1956, he began a 31 year coaching and teaching career at the Arkansas School for the Deaf. At the school of deaf is where his father taught him about all about sports.
Nutt was actually recruited by Bear Bryant and had a wonderful story about it. He detailed every moment of how his recruitment and how overwhelmed he was when Bear came to his home for a visit. The one part of the story that stood out was how much Bear enjoyed the meal that his mother had prepared and before leaving, Bear wanted the recipe for the peach cobbler that she had prepared.
He had many stories about some of his players that we all are very famillier with McFadden being one of the most talked about. He was also asked which game stood out the most that his team had lost and the one that they had won. The Tennessee game, where a fumble at the end beat them, was the game that hurt the most but the game that stood out the most that they won, was anytime that they could beat Bama which wasn't very often.
There were many stories about the rigors of being a coach and how he so admired Nick Saban for his work ethics and how he coaches his players for the game itself but most of all for their life after football.
He was asked about the ineligible receiver rule that everyone is complaining about these days and he explained that he is an offense minded coach but the rule, the way it is being enforced now, is totally wrong. He said the same as so many coaches have said, it's impossible to defense the play the way the officials are ruling on it. Naturally that brought a big round of applause.
After the meeting I had a chance to meet him and chat with him for a few minutes and I couldn't help but think about all of the nasty things that I had said and thought about him in the past when he was coaching against Bama. He seemed to be a very nice guy and no doubt he is but when you're coaching against Bama, there's not many good things that can be thought or said about you. RTR!!!
|Sunday Morning Coach's Corner: Game 4
Yesterday's game wasn't what the fans wanted to see from Bama's standpoint but it was another win. Bama has historically been a team to play down to the lesser teams after a big game and yesterday was no exception. The offense seemed to be in a trance for most of the game but the defense did all of the exciting things by totally shutting down the La Monroe offense.
Offensively, Bama is struggling as the line play is horrendous and the receivers are nowhere near the receiving corp of last year which can be undstood because Amari Cooper is gone. The line play of the offense does not compliment the ability of the running backs on the team and until they improve, this will permit the opposing defenses to better play the passing game. There has been some moments where the running backs made some big runs but not on a consistent basis. The receivers really need to step it up. Most of them came to Bama highly rated but they aren't running good routes and drop way too many passes and that shouldn't be happening with 4 and 5 star players. The QBs seem to still struggle but I think the bad line blocking is having a lot to do with that. They are having to operate under way too much pressure from the defensive line and until that improves, the QBs will struggle and in other words, the whole offense has a lot of improving to do.
We all knew the defense would or should be the marque of this years team and so far that has been the case. There are times the secondary has looked very questionable as some of the teams have had good success with the short quick passes and so far it has been a bend but don't break defense. Yesterday that seemed to change as they played more of a smash mouth defense and had something to prove. La Monroe is not a UGA or LSU but still I thought the team played with more intensity than they have been playing and the results seemed to show that.
In the kicking department and the special teams, there still are problems there. Scott is still struggling some and I'm hoping these shanked punts go away. I watched him in pregame warm ups and he just doesn't seem to have the pop on the ball that he had last year. He would be booming them 60-65 yards with a nice spiral then but the ball looks different this year with more wobble to it. Griffith has had better success since the season started and that is good news. He is kicking the ball into the endzone on kickoffs and making some field goals. There has been some comments made by some observers that Bateman is placing the ball down for him where his is kicking the laces of the ball and that isn't good, the ball will dfo carazy things when that happens. Bateman was out early in the pregame warm ups with the snapper and they worked for quit some time on taking the snap and placing the ball. Hopefully his good kicking will continue. The special teams still look a little scary on their coverage so hopefully Griffith will continue to put the ball in the end zone on the kick offs.
So off we go to Georgia next Saturday and they have been awaiting this game. They haven't forgotten the playoff game a couple of years ago they lost to Bama at the very end of the game and I expect an all out war from them. Whatever mistakes Bama has been making in the previous games, they better improve them this week. Bama can and should win this game because they are Bama but the players have got to realize this and play like this if it is to happen.
Well here's my 2 cents worth of the game yesterday so maybe some of you have some opinions to add to this. RTR!!!!
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|Date: ||Sept. 3, 2016|
|Time: ||7:00 PM CT|
|Location: ||AT&T Stadium|
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