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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|Greg McElroy Entertains the REC
Our officers of the REC do a wonderful in providing our group with quality speakers for the most part and last night was no exception, Greg McElroy did a wonderful job. Kirk McNair usually provides the introductions and there is no one that can beat him at doing this, no matter who the speaker is. Last night Kirk had dug up some good stuff on Greg for his introduction but when he accused Greg of having picked Auburn to win the National Championship on ESPN at one time that set the pace for the rest of the evening.
Greg did a wonderful job in going back to his youth days and telling how he became a quarterback at Alabama. We all know him as a highly rated QB coming from Texas but actually he was born in California and later moved to Texas as his father worked in the professional ranks of sports and his job took him there. Greg said he was was actually a baseball lover as he grew up and not so much football because of his size. He was playing football but thought his chances at being good at it was slim due to his size and was really trying to become good enough to play baseball in college. He actually played against L.A. Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw his senior year in high school and and saw a total of three pitches in his turn at bat against him, one, two and three strikes you are out. The biggest thing that happened to him in high school though was the summer before the 10th grade, he grew from 5' 8" to 6' 2". This changed his whole attitude about becoming a college quarterback. He was the third string QB in the 10th and 11th grade and in the spring practices he got most of the work because the number two QB was playing baseball.
In his senior year Greg was the number one QB and was getting lots of attention nationally and was looking at Texas Tech to attend but as luck would have it for the Bama Nation, his mother liked Alabama. One of Greg's problems during the recruiting process was his family pretty much just knew professional sports and not college sports because of his dad's job. When they stepped onto the campus of the University of Alabama, that all changed as they got a good look see at what college football was all about and that is why mother liked Alabama so much.
Greg also took us into the world of his job with ESPN. He went into all the detail of how he prepares for his daily shows as well as how they all prep for televised football games. I will say, they really earn their money because the homework that is required for the telecasts is huge.
In the end he broke down Bama's team for 2017 and likes the team very much. He explained though that even with great football players, there are certain things that have to happen and that was leadership and the buying into the "Process" as we hear so much about. He explained that most folks don't rally understand the "Process" as they think it is the end result, winning national championships but it isn't. He explained that the "Process" is merely taking care of what is happening now, at that moment. How well do you handle those situations creates a learning process that carries over to the end result, national championships. That is why the Leadership Council is so important for the team, they have the power to run players off the field during practice and if they don't want to do what the coaches are asking of them, they do just that. They are a huge role in discipline for the team, it's not all CNS and the coaches.
Anyway, I learned a lot about a great player from the University of Alabama, one that all the fans can be proud of, on and off the field. Greg explained that his whole life changed when his mother came running into his bedroom that day to tell him that Nick Saban had just accepted the job at Alabama. Now, there was a lot more meaning to what he had to prepare himself for at Alabama if Nick Saban was going to be his coach. We all know the rest of the story and what a story it is. He said that Roll Tide is now known and heard all over the world and as Greg described it, it's like a second language to those people.
|What did A Day Prove?
If there was one thing proven yesterday, it was the love of Bama football by it's fans. There was an estimated crowd of 70,000 plus and I have to agree with that. I don't think that at any one time were they all in the stadium at once as the fans filtered in and out for most of the game but the bottom level was full and a good crowd in the upper levels on the East and West sides. CNS had asked for a good show from the fans and I think they responded.
The big question though is what did the football team show from it's performance yesterday? I didn't get a chance to sit and watch the whole game but I did watch the replay last night and I had to check the replay and make sure that I wasn't watching last year's A day. I say this in jest because I thought the two games were very similar with lots of good defense and a mediocre offense with less than average kicking game that is not including Scott and his punting but Griffith and his kicking game. Remember last year, everyone wanted to run him off, very similar to what I have been reading from some this morning. Having lost our committed kicker to Florida and his success in their spring game probably had a lot to do with that. I say, be patient as we did last year.
I read Cecil Hurt's column this morning and he had a quote from Nick Saban yesterday that I thought was very interesting as most things CNS says after the
"Don't draw conclusions," he cautioned after Alabama wrapped up its annual A-Day game, a 7-3 Crimson team victory that probably would have unsettled a fan base that hasn't grown accustomed to seeing low-scoring spring scrimmages turn into championship offenses in the fall.
Why shouldn't we draw conclusions?
"Because you'll be wrong," he said.
There's a lot that you can read into what he said and I'm think he's reminding us that it was just a practice game and many things will change between now and August so don't go and try to commit suicide over what you think you saw yesterday, just be patient.
It was pretty obvious, same as last year, as to what will be the core of this team, the defense. That isn't anything new with Bama football as Bear Bryant laid that foundation for many years ago and that is what most Bama fans now regard as a must to have a championship team.That seems to be in place with the beast of a player named Tim Williams heading that up with his play and Rueben Foster with his play and leadership.
Now we get to where all the talk and opinions are and that is who will be the quarterback next season? Again, remember last year, we were having that same discussion. As I watched the quarterbacks yesterday I couldn't see a nickels worth a difference in them except for one, Jalen Hurts. He was highly touted when recruited as being something similar to what Bama faced in the championship game against Clemson quarterback Watson. After watching Watson in that game, I think everyone agreed that he is the real deal, the best that the team had played against since Johnny Football. Yesterday Hurts did show some Watson type abilities but not near as polished and effective as what Watson showed Bama back in January. Again though, this was a practice and in all fairness to each of the quarterbacks I think they can all play better in a real game. I thought Hurts' performance was the better of the quarterbacks and my reason is his abilities to make something out of nothing against a good defense. He passed for the only touchdown of the game on a play that seemed to be hopeless with a good catch from Keif the receiver. There were other plays he made that I thought would/could have been long gainers but the practice whistles protects the quarterbacks and stops the plays early.
My thinking on who the starter will be all depends on which one does the best work in the off season and I give Hurts a slight advantage on who that one will be. Jalen's dad is a coach and from what I hear a good one. I have no doubt that he and his son will be very busy in the off season trying to improve Jalen's play and here is where I give him the slight edge on possibly getting the starting job or becoming the starter before the season is over. The other quarterbacks have all been here for a season now and I really don't see that much change in any of them, as far as what they do in practice. If I had to pick the one from that three, it would be Bateman.
That's my feel for what I saw and how I feel and it's no more than an opinion. I'm sure all of you have a feel for what you all saw yesterday and it's probably much different than mine but that's what makes the game so interesting to all of us, our opinions. I can't wait for August to get here, is #17 in the near future?
It was a beautiful day with sunshine and mild temps, perfect for spring football. The players were very energized and eager to hit somebody and it showed on both sides of the ball.
As is the case in most spring scrimmages the defense looked to be ahead of the offense but I'm not taking anything away from the offense but giving the defense some praise. They looked like they just picked up where they left off in the National Championship Game. The offense was doing what most offenses do in the spring, a lot of experimenting with players.
I was very impressed with the defense as they were swarming the QBs and stuffing most of the running plays for short gains. This is not taking anything away from the QBS and running backs but the defense is just that good. One thing is for certain, when the offense can get where they can handle the defense, there are some teams in big trouble when they come to play Bama. By the way, Tony Brown did practice with the 2nd unit and was very active when he was in there.
The QBs didn't do a lot, there were a few nice long passes for big gains and a couple for touchdowns but the emphasis today seemed to be on the short passes and there is work needed there. The passing game looked really ragged as there were many dropped passes and lots of just badly thrown passes. The battle of the QBs didn't happen today and I think it was by design of the coaches with their play selection. I will say though, Jalen Hurts took a lot of snaps today, maybe more than any of the other QBs. His style of play is nothing like the other QBS as he's more of the run option type quarterback and he has some good wheels. I think he will be given a good look at some future playing time. The other QBs had a normal practice day as none of them stood out to me and that is normal for this time of the year. I did notice that work is needed at the center position, the deep snaps to the QB looked like hand grenades being thrown, just lobbed. This sometimes caused the QB to get very rushed by the defensive line as they were almost beating the ball to the QB. Also, the team is strictly playing a no huddle offense as they did at the end of last season.
The running game had it's moments during the game but mostly against the 2 defense. All of you that are wondering about Scarbrough, well don't because he will get the job done. He had the play of the day on offense with a run of 97 yards for a touchdown. He faked a couple of defensive players out at the line of scrimmage then ran over one in the secondary and did the Derrick Henry trick then, just flat out ran everybody to the end zone. As I stated in another thread, he has lots of abilities but he's got to learn how and when to use them and that takes a little time. Harris played with a lot of enery as well but he's like Scarbrough, he's going through a learning curve as well but both should be okay come the start of the season. All they need is lots of practice.
The defense just showed out and was having a lot of fun on the field. Ruben Foster had the play of the day on the defensive side with a pick 6 of about 50 yards. The secondary was doing a good job on the receivers, it was tough trying to catch the ball in the secondary.
Now the ugly. The kicking game wasn't as good as I was hoping. Scott made some decent punts and Patrick made some field goals but he missed some too. In all fairness though there was a stiff wind circling on the field. The bad ugly was the kickoffs. I don't think there was one kickoff that made it to the end zone and I'm hoping it was just a bad day for the kicker. I'm not even sure who was doing the kickoffs but it's something that needs to get better before the season begins.
I did see one injury, Richie Petitbon was carted of the field with a leg or ankle injury to his right leg.
A Day should be a fun day for everybody and I just hope the weather is good and a big crowd shows up. Get the wife and kids and head for Tuscaloosa on the 16th, the tickets are very affordable, it's all free.
|Alabama Basketball Review of 2015/2016 Season
I have been meaning to post this for 2 weeks but kept putting it off. The transfers of Coleman & Kessens are a good reason to go ahead and post my observations.
I was going to suggest the transfer of Kessens since he was just filling space. Coleman has shown potential but he goes from red hot to ice cold. His ball handling can be solid & other times he is reckless, hurries too much, & turns the ball over too much at times. I was still unsure of what to say about his future at UA but he has now decided himself. Obasohan & Edwards have graduated, so we need at least 1 more excellent ball handling point guard. Returning guards include Dazon Ingram, Brandon Austin, Avery Johnson, Jr. & Lawson Schaffer, a walk-on. I find Schaffer intriguing & am interested in seeing if he does anything next year.
Besides Kessens, it's time to make a decision on Jimmy Taylor. He will be a senior and again he has potential but can't be consistent. His 36% FT shooting renders him almost useless late in a game since he will be a target for fouls if we are leading or if he is fouled while trying to score but we need big men so we may be stuck with him.
Shannon Hale & Riley Norris must step up next year, especially Norris. Norris must be more aggressive shooting the ball, from the perimeter & driving the ball. Hale must also be more assertive shooting the ball, he is a good ball handler, has good size, and a soft touch shooting the ball.
The big unknowns are Donta Hall and our new recruits. Plus, who else might we be able to recruit & can they contribute immediately? If Donta Hall can cut down on fouling & play 26-32 minutes a game it would be a major addition for the Tide. His rebounding & shot blocking are potentially huge for us.
The major areas of concern will sound familiar: rebounding, free throw shooting, ball handling (turnovers), and fouling too much. The perimeter shooting was improved but inconsistent. I'm anxious to see Year 2 of the CAJ Era. We achieved a 4-2 or 4-3 record in the regular season against Top 25 teams, compared to the 22 consecutive losses by Grant, so there are bright spots & proof of some improvement. Now, we have to get players to fit CAJ's offense & develop them. We still need at least 2 more years of rebuilding, maybe three.
I would like to hear from other posters with observations, comments or ideas.
|Re: Alabama vs Georgia in Basketball
I did not like our odds of beating Georgia on their home floor on Senior Night. What I did not expect was us to play so poorly. Georgia out rebounded us 48-26. We have Taylor, Hall, Kessens and Hale who are all over 6-8 and none of them can rebound. Riley Norris is under sized to play forward in the SEC and he is our leading rebounder. Not just for this game but the year. Taylor and Hall are constantly out of position and not blocking out. Kessens and Hale are lazy and not aggressive. We need big guys that play like Norris.
Free throw shooting gets us again. 10-18 on the game for 55%. Church league junior high players shoot free throws better than we do. It has been a problem all year.
The first half we looked slow. We were not moving and our spacing was bad. We live by the 3 point shot. Even on a night when you hit 11 three's you still need points in the paint and points off turnovers.
Frustrating why to end the regular season and our draw in the SEC Tournament does not look favorable.
|Re: "North Dakota State ends Alabama's lengthy winning streak"
It's always fun when the team is winning but there comes a time when it's not so much fun, they lose. In yesterdays first game, you could use the old adage of "the hand writing on the wall" to describe of what was to happen in the second game of the day. Bama lost that game 2-1 but the score wasn't indicative of how bad the team played.
Bama won their first game yesterday in the fashion of another blowout which had been the pattern for them in all of their games played so far this weekend. They beat La Monroe 12-4 in the first game but the score doesn't indicate the type of game Bama played. They had 5 errors for the game with 4 coming in one inning. They also had a double play in two innings that bailed out pitcher Maddi Moore from giving up a big inning in each. On each of the double plays that they had, a runner was tagged out at home plate for the final out of the inning.
North Dakota State is not an SEC caliber team but they are a well coached team with lots of spirit even when they are losing big. Their spirit seemed to be the difference yesterday in their win over Bama, as Bama was flat and NDS was as loose as a goose and having some fun. Maybe it was the warm weather that had them so at ease because it's still very cold in North Dakota.
Anyway, Bama loses a game that they should have lost and now we will see how the team responds to today with another game against Louisiana Monroe, a team that they should beat easily. Bama has a lot of potential with their team this year but they are also very young with a lot to be learned to make it back to Oklahoma City again this year. Yesterday was a quick reminder to the team that you play at 100% percent regardless of your opponent because the underdog has one big advantage, they have nothing to lose and everything to win.
|The College Football War of Player Recruiting
The recruiting game/war has really reached a peak with the flip-flopping of players that seems to have most fans irritated and wondering where and how does it all end. I would include coaches into that equation but I'm not sure as to how coaches really feel about all of this.
For the fans, it seems to be a game of promises/commitments by the players that really have no merit and would remind you of a soap opera as to who's bed are they sleeping in tonight. For the coaches, I'm not sure as to how they really feel about the flip-flopping game as they will gain some and will lose some during the process. Many of us fans were raised in an era when you were judged by being a man of your word but not so much so in this era of young adults playing sports it seems. I think we can all blame the sports media and sports agents for most of what is happening now. Many of these young men are put on a pedestal and are being taught how to market themselves to the highest bidder and I'm not saying it is cash money but could be in some cases. News networks such as ESPN has skyrocketed in the past few years with all the player ratings, glamorous all star games, and most of all the National Signing Day festivities. It has become a circus for the media outlets and the players are loving it and should we really blame them for the recruiting tactics that so many of us have learned to despise. You can't leave out the so called agents that work with the high school coaches in marketing of some of their players. I think this is more prevalent in basketball than football but it is still a major tool in deciding where some of the better players end up going to school and that includes high school as well.
Is all of the marketing ploys fair to the schools and the coaches? I'm not happy with it but I'm not so sure the coaches really dislike it that much. The flip-flopping of players has really become popular in the past few years and the coaches are losing some and they are gaining some so to me it's hard to say how they might really feel about it all. Alabama, who has been so successful in the recruiting wars, has lost and gained quite a few players in the flip-flopping game over the years but yet has continued to win national championships so I don't look for Bama to complain too much about what has become the trend of the players in changing their minds.
All of this is just another chapter in the life of college football which I think is the most popular sport being played today. Alabama has been atop the college football world since the hiring of Nick Saban and there are a lot of folks that want something to change to get Alabama off the top. Bama is in the top five of recruiting every year and number one in the past few years so it is understandable where most coaches would like to level up the playing field, recruiting.
So do I think there will be some changes in the recruiting wars by the NCAA to stop the flip-flopping of players, no and if anything it may become even more chaotic. Recruiting is where it all starts in building championship teams and to get teams on a level field with Alabama, recruiting is the key to that so sit back and see where all of this goes.
|Burrows Sets Career Saves Mark as Baseball Takes Down Troy, 2-1
Alabama hit the road for the first time this year and beat a good Troy team 2-1. Bama improves to 7-1 while Troy (7-2) picks up only their 2nd loss of the season. Six pitchers took the mound only allowing 1 earned run. Thomas Burrows set the all time saves mark for a career and he is not done yet. He is among the best relievers in the nation if not the best. MLB scouts are very aware of this big lefty.
Off to Cary, NC for tournament play against Notre Dame, Niagara, NC State and Brown.
Another strong pitching performance from the Alabama arms led the Crimson Tide to a 2-1 win over Troy on Tuesday evening at Riddle-Pace Field. Junior closer Thomas Burrows earned his 22nd career stop to set the Alabama all-time mark for career saves as the Tide claimed its first ever win at Troy and improved to 7-1 overall on the season.Click here for link
Holding a 2-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the eighth, Alabama called on its combination of Matt Foster and Burrows to seal the victory. Foster worked 0.2 of an inning before Burrows entered for the final 1.1 innings to earn the 22nd of his career, setting the Alabama all-time mark for career saves. Burrows retired all four batters he faced and has yet to give up a hit this season in his five appearances (four saves). The left-hander also added three strikeouts to his season total, including the final two outs of the game.
The Crimson Tide arms leading to Foster and Burrows excelled as well in Tuesday's contest. Starter Jon Keller tossed 4.0 innings of one-run baseball, allowing four hits and issuing one walk while striking out two Trojans. Mike Oczypok and Tyler Adams followed Keller, combining for 2.0 innings of scoreless baseball and allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out one.
|Donta Hall, is he the next Bama Mr. Basketball?
As you watch the big man lumber around the court in his usual slow paced walk during the shoot arounds before their games, you have to wonder just how good of a player can he really become. He looks a little awkward as he walks around with his head looking downward and cutting his eyes from side to side to those around him with an occasional smile to some, but you have to wonder just what he is thinking and then with a burst of speed and agility he slam dunks another basketball.
This is Donta Hall, a 6'9" player from a small town in southern Alabama called Luverne. Some folks have heard of Luverne but most folks can't tell you where it is and it is the same with Donta, most fans know his name now but not many knew of him before coming to Alabama. I attended the first practice in the fall of last year and he immediately caught my eye with his enthusiasm on the court. He didn't act like a freshman as far as being bashful and waiting for coaches to tell him what to do. I told my wife then that this young man has the potential to be something special for the team but let's see how he handles it in the days ahead.
The season started with him not getting much playing time and I expected that because playing for a small school in high school and playing in division one basketball is quite contrasting and he would have to work himself into a playing slot. If there was one thing that I thought he needed was a lot of work on his defensive skills. He likes to grab with his hands rather than using his feet to position himself to defend and he then gets some quick silly fouls that limits his playing time. He has improved some with that but he still has a ways to go. The one thing that he does really well is shot blocking. He has really come on strong with his shot blocking abilities which has made teams alter their game plans more than once. He and Taylor have really been a force the second half of the season. Another improvement in his game has been his offensive game. He has shown better hands than either Taylor and Kessens and has given team the inside weapon that has been needed for so long. Taylor has improved some and Kessens still plays really passive and neither has stepped up to become the big man that Bama needs. He doesn't dribble the ball well just yet but that should improve with good coaching and time.
Yesterday, I think Donta made a big statement as to who the big man will be for Alabama basketball in the future. He played with so much energy and had the crowd on their feet with more noise in Coleman than I have heard in years. This is what this basketball team has needed, players that can get the fans out of their seats. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking anything away from Obasohan, he has been a God send for this team with his play but he is a senior and and will be gone next year. Bama will need a fan motivator for next year's team and there are new high profile players coming on the team with great potential but I think Donta can be the player that everybody wants to see with his powerful brand of basketball. He needs to have a good off season to improve his footwork and defensive skills but he has promise of being a true team leader, something that all good teams must have.
|Re: Softball: Alabama vs Tennessee
The 7th inning had a lot of fireworks in it. The home plate started dancing around on the umpire with some of his calls and then the home plate umpire called a Bama runner out at third on a blooper that was dropped by the left fielder and then her throw to third for a force out. Bama had runners at first and second on the blooper with one out. The throw to third by the left fielder was late but the home plate umpire, who had to cover third, called the runner out. That is when it got real nasty. I haven't figured out yet why CPM wasn't tossed from the game. The best part was when Lafaele got her winning hit though, it was a shot to right center to the wall with a runner at third and two out. Lafaele had not reached first base yet and the home plate umpire was already to third base leaving the stadium in a big hurry and he didn't check up until he reached the gate leaving the stadium down the left field line. There was a big crowd at the game so the crowd noise was very big as well. I am sure glad we didn't have to listen to their team sing Rocky Top.
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|Date: ||Sept. 3, 2016|
|Time: ||7:00 PM CT|
|Location: ||AT&T Stadium|
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