20 August 2008
| Hey Jenny Slater
has a preseason BlogPoll roundtable ready for us. Let's get it cranking with 6 good questions from HJS:
1. In his "visiting lecturers" series posted on Every Day Should Be Saturday over the past few months, Orson Swindle asked each participant to explain which country, during which historical period, their team most resembles. Let's bring everything up to the present day and ponder: Which current sovereign nation is your team? Or to look at it another way, how does your team fit into the "world" of college football?
Alabama is the US in a few months. We were a great and proud team who ran a bit astray after a philanderers (Mike Dubose/Mike Price) didn't do such a great job of managing the program. Then, we hired a well meaning but less than bright guy who probably did more harm than good (Mike Shula). After a long and bitter battle, we chose a new leader who can help lead us back. How that will turn out is yet to be determined.
2. Every preseason roundup has to have some discussion of who's overrated, but let's go beyond that. Which team do you think is poised to crap the bed in the biggest way this season relative to high expectations, and which game do you think will begin their slide into ignominy?
LSU and Auburn are both fatally flawed teams in the top 10. They will both break in brand new quarterbacks in the rough and tumble SEC. That's an exceptionally difficult thing to do - the speed of college football is just faster than high school. Technically, they both could start transfers - from Harvard and Texas Tech, respectively. That's not that much better. I'll be shocked if both these teams wind up in the top 10 at the end of thse season.
3. On the flip side of that coin, which team do you think is going to burst out of nowhere to become 2008's biggest overachiever -- this year's version of Kansas '07, as it were -- and what's going to be the big upset that makes us all finally sit up and take notice of them?
BYU is our BCS crasher this year. They've got a relatively soft schedule (an early season matchup at Washington is about as tough as it gets) and they're loaded on offense and their defense has enough to keep them in games.
4. Here's an "I'll hang up and listen" question. I put Ohio State and Oklahoma #1 and #2, respectively, despite their recent high-profile BCS face-plants. Where did you rank those two teams, and did those BCS issues have anything to do with it?
We've got them and 5 and 3 respectively. And, we wanted to rank them lower, but it's hard to do - they're both exceptionally talented teams. In a world where they didn't spit the bit so frequently of late, we'd probably have them 1 and 2. Both these teams have something to prove in my mind.
5. Last season was a statistical outlier in countless ways, not the least of which was the fact that we ended up with a two-loss team as national champion. Do you think anyone plays a strong enough schedule to get MNC consideration as a two-loss team this year? Conversely, do you see anybody managing to sail into the national-championship game undefeated?
Georgia's schedule is much tougher this year than LSU's last year, so I think a two loss UGA could
possibly get in to the BCS game, but it depends on so many other factors. Let's make some assumptions. First, let's say that the USC-Ohio State winner goes undefeated. Then, let's say that the Big 12 champ (whoever it winds up being) has one loss. I can see UGA leapfrogging them. However, Georgia (or any other team) can't lose two and jump a BCS undefeated.
I can see any of the top 5 sailing into the title game sans losses. Wouldn't be shocked by any of them.
6. OK, time for some Olympic fever. Which athlete from the Beijing Olympics -- any sport, any country, with the exception of USA basketball since those guys are already pros -- would you most want to add to your team's roster this season? No worries about age, eligibility, or even gender; we'll worry about that crap later.
Are there experienced linebackers in the Olympics?
The Chinese women's gymnastics team would fit in best - they're also way to young. But we'd get the most use out of Michael Phelps. Yes, sadly, I'm jumping on that bandwagon. This team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory more than once last season (LSU and Georgia for instance) and the Tide needs someone who knows how to win. They need leadership - and need it now. Hopefully John Parker Wilson can step up here in his senior campaign. We'll see.