Alabama wasn't so terrible in 2008, either. Maybe if you only watched the Tulane and Utah games, you might not be too impressed, but if you watched ‘em all, you were. Alabama established an intimidating, physical team identity early on and rode it to a 12-0 regular season and the kind of performance in the SEC championship game that made losing nothing to be ashamed of.
So how does this team compare to last year's squad. We'll work the same mumbo-jumbo here as we did in Florida vs Florida, examining Alabama's 2008 regular-season stats and comparing ‘em to this year's. Once again, we'll set the context with a look at the schedule.
Florida wasn't so bad in 2008. They did win a national championship, after all. With Tim Tebow and every man in the defensive two-deep returning, a lot of folks expected the 2009 version of the Gators to reach legendary status. But have they? Are they even better than the 2008 Florida team? As good?
We don't know, but we're going to chew the idea over a bit, anyway, taking a look at some of the stats that matter. We'll compare Florida's stats for the 2009 season to Florida's stats for the 2008 regular season. (Regular season 2008 stats make a better comparison point, as opposed to stats including the Alabama and Oklahoma games, which tend to skew things a bit, and for which comparable games this season have yet to occur - if they will ever do so.)
The Alabama football team has practice number two of the week on Tuesday afternoon. Once again the Tide was inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility, though the Tide was in full pads today.
Here's what you need to know:
Let the hype begin!
Check that . . . as honored as we at BSR would be to actually begin the hype for this week's game, it has already started elsewhere.
Still, in the spirit of looking forward to what may be an all-time classic, here's last year's Florida From The Couch, a reminder of what was itself a pretty darn good ballgame.
It's SEC Championship Game week and the Alabama football team held its first practice on Monday afternoon. The players were in shells, as is usually the case on Monday, and the practice was held inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. There was some rain earlier in the day, but my guess is that the team will practice inside all week due to the game Saturday being played inside.
Here's what you need to know:
It shouldn't be too surprising that Alabama came out of the tunnel without focus for this game. The Tide, which thrives on routine, was playing on six days rest. Memories of six straight losses to a particular team become ancient and irrelevant awfully quickly when you schooled that team 36-0 the year before, and have beaten them like a drum in recruiting three years running. It may not be forgivable, but it's certainly understandable that the Tide appeared to be thinking about next Saturday's Game of the Millenium a wee bit in the first quarter on Friday.
But then Auburn got their attention. The Tigers kept playing hard, but a 14-point lead was not enough against a focused Tide.
JaMychal Green was having a very good night. With 10 seconds left, Green had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots against 15th ranked Michigan in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. That would have been plenty.
But he wasn't done.
Alabama and Michigan were knotted at 66 with just under 35 seconds left. The Tide played for the last shot. Michigan's unusual 1-3-1 zone confounded the Tide all night, turning the ball over 19 times. This trip down, Bama was able to drop it in to Senario Hillman at the 6 second mark. He missed an awkward layup.
JaMychal Green was not done.
Here are a few great Bama drives. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive encyclopedia, and the time frame examined is my own memory, so if we're missing one of your favorites, please let us know in the comments.
1965 - Alabama 17, Ole Miss 16
Steve Sloan kept Alabama's second consecutive national championship season alive with an 89-yard touchdown drive in the waning moments to top Ole Miss. After the Rebels took a 16-7 fourth quarter lead, Bama's David Ray kicked a 37-yard field goal, the Tide D held, and Alabama took over on its own 11 with 7:33 remaining. Sloan capped the drive with a 9-yard run.
There's a new post up over at the War Eagle Reader today. They do a great job on that site, and today's entry is no exception. The argument made there is that Alabama was out-coached and out-performed by Auburn Friday. Additionally, they make the argument that last year's whipping was a fluke - this series will be competitive long term.
First, let me say I was exceptionally impressed with Gus Malzahn and company yesterday. I looked at my buddy halfway through the first quarter and told him I couldn't wait for Gus to get a head coaching job - anywhere else. By the end of the first half, Auburn had run so many trick plays, the straight plays were the tricks.
But, let's be honest... no comments