The Crimson and White Roundtable

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable Roundup: Tennessee Edition

1. Alabama returned to the win column against Ole Miss, but did the Crimson Tide's performance show the needed signs of improvement we were hoping to see?

The outcome of the Ole Miss game offered a mix bad for Alabama fans hoping for a second-half, pre-bye week resurgence according to the roundtable.

"We looked as good Saturday night defensively as we have all season. Offensively ... yeesh," intoned DBH Dance Party. But Tower of Bammer wasn't even keen on the first part of that equation: "It feels like Alabama has the worst-looking good [not great] pass defense in the country, dang, we just got spoiled I guess."

While there were numerous observations of sub-par play, several of the respondents specifically singled out the coaching staff for criticism. "I’ve never been a big fan of Jim McElwain’s playcalling, and this season it just seems to be even more questionable," said Third Saturday in Blogtober (3SIB).

2. Tennessee has clearly taken a step back this season with nary a win against a conference foe but are the Volunteers still a legitimate threat in any phase of the game?

On the face of it, Tennessee is a mess. The passing game and running games are toothless behind "a patchwork offensive line comprised mostly of true freshmen," notes 3SIB and that's the good news when you consider the defensive side of the ball.

Still, nobody said these guys lack heart, observed DBH Dance Party. "They absolutely won't back up from anybody," he warned. "To beat them you have to punch them out. It's that simple."

And, as always, nothing can be taken for granted with The Third Saturday in October. "Can’t get run over by the rivalry factor tractor, like almost happened in the Opelikas last year too," warned Tower of Bammer.

3. What does Alabama have to achieve in this game to set the tone going into the bye week and prepare for the final month of the season?

The key priority, according to DBH Dance Party, is dominance on the line of scrimmage, particularly on offense. "For the past two seasons, this is a team that has made its living cramming the football down other people's throats. To survive the last month of the season, our boys must return to that mentality."

But all of the roundup agreed getting to the bye week unscathed was the priority for Saturday.

"Team has a banged up feeling, seen better days," observed Tower of Bammer. "Could be experiencing that same midseason skidmark." 3SIB was even more succinct: " Just. Win. … and don’t get hurt."

4. When you need to get your hate on for the Volunteers, what tried and true method do you rely on?

Tower of Bammer, as you might expect, has a special routine to get into the proper mood and 3SIB just looks over to the posts of his fellow bloggers to remind him of his priorities. As for DBH Dance Party... music may have charms to soothe the savage breast it can also serve to feed the fires of fury quite well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable: 2010 Season, Week 8

  1. Alabama returned to the win column against Ole Miss, but did the Crimson Tide's performance show the needed signs of improvement we were hoping to see?
  2. Tennessee has clearly taken a step back this season with nary a win against a conference foe but are the Volunteers still a legitimate threat in any phase of the game?
  3. What does Alabama have to achieve in this game to set the tone going into the bye week and prepare for the final month of the season?
  4. When you need to get your hate on for the Volunteers, what tried and true method do you rely on?
3rd Saturday in Blogtober 22/10
Tower of Bammer 21/10
DBH Dance Party 20/10

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable Roundup: Ole Miss Edition

1) What will Alabama have to do in order to regroup after the loss to South Carolina and prepare for Ole Miss?

After the loss in Columbia, this Alabama squad's array of shortcomings were impossible to ignore any longer. Issues that had been chalked up to circumstances over the first half of the season were now revealed as serious problems. Both Picture Me Rollin and Roll Bama Roll agreed that the scope of the concerns requires a comprehensive solution.

"It’s hard to put a finger on one particular thing that needs to be fixed," said Picture Me Rollin. "And thus it falls to the leaders of this team to step forward and push where needed.

The consequences of failing to do that, says Roll Bama Roll, are not pleasant to envision:

"So as nice as it is to think that all we needed was a wake up call and all of a sudden we're going to get our act together and start whipping hell out of everyone in our path, until I see it on Saturday, quite frankly, I'm shaking in my boots over what a suddenly potent Ole Miss offense could do to us."

DBH Dance Party goes deep into well for analogies, evoking Rocky and pick up basketball, before chalking the loss up to inevitable forces beyond our control. The key, he insists, is benefiting from the respite it offers and returning strong.

Third Saturday in Blogtober (3SIB) is succinct on how the Crimson Tide has to respond this Saturday -- at least on offense. "Run. The. Ball." While Tower of Bammer hears the name Houston Nutt and things of one word "Trickeration" then urges Alabama to prepare for it.

2) How does the Crimson Tide match up against the Rebels Black Bears going into Saturday?

Most of the roundtable had to admit to a certain degree of ignorance over the details of Ole Miss this season due to not seeing very many of their games. "They have an athletic quarterback and that gave Alabama’s defense trouble last week," said Picture Me Rollin. "But beyond that, I’m just not schooled enough in what they run or have to work with."

3SIB sees an advantage when Alabama's offense lines up against Ole Miss' defense but isn't as upbeat about the matchup on the other side of the ball. But, even there, the disparity of talent lies in the Tide's favor. Roll Bama Roll is a bit more dour, noting "we don't match up too well against them because, if we continue to play like we have on defense, we don't match up well against anyone right now."

Tower of Bammer offered a terse dismissal of Ole Miss as a whole but warned "do not doubt the value of a bye week." While DBH Dance Party says a Houston Nutt-led team is certain to rush and a game involving the man is likely to have "insane things" happen.

3) What is the biggest area of improvement you’d like Alabama make in this game?

Half the roundtable -- 3SIB and Tower of Bammer -- advocated improvement on the offensive side of the ball and half -- DBH Dance Party and Roll Bama Roll -- said the defense must step up. The exception was Picture Me Rollin who took a more general view and said there must be an overall urged an advancement in "focus and intensity" as well as execution.

On the offense, the biggest change, according to Tower of Bammer, has to come with Greg McElroy. "The Rhodes scholar needs to shut down his frontal lobe and summon his inner-gun-slinging-retard." 3SIB said the running game has to return and wants to see both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson "go over the century mark and get a couple TDs each."

On the defense, DBH Dance Party wants to see the Crimson Tide's line step up. "This team cannot continue to allow itself to be shoved around at the line of scrimmage, because it's making the rest of the defense seem much more vulnerable." Roll Bama Roll concurred noting that rushing the passer must improve.

"The fact that we have been so consistently bullied at the point of attack is just alien to watch after we've been so dominant the last few years, and I really don't even know why."

4) What are your thoughts on the Ole Miss mascot debate?

Picture Me Rollin sees the mascot issue as a canard, diverting attention from the real issue plaguing Ole Miss. "The elitist attitude of maintaining the Southern Aristocracy has got to die out before it makes any difference what their mascot is." While Roll Bama Roll was unenthusiastically neutral. "Its none of my business to begin with, so whatevs man. Whatevs."

3SIB, on the other had, offered one of the more creative alternatives not considered by the university: "just make Houston Nutt the mascot. He’s as animated as any of the actual choices."

The issue forced Tower of Bammer to make a difficult confession; "As a fan-fiction writing nerd, I would’ve changed my fan allegiance if Admiral Akbar had won out." DBH Dance Party's response suggests a similar battle for his affections.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable: 2010 Season, Week 7

  1. What will Alabama have to do in order to regroup after the loss to South Carolina and prepare for Ole Miss?
  2. How does the Crimson Tide match up against the Rebels going into Saturday?
  3. What is the biggest area of improvement you’d like Alabama make in this game?
  4. What are your thoughts on the Ole Miss mascot debate?
Tower of Bammer 15/10
Roll Bama Roll 14/10
Picture Me Rollin 14/10
Third Saturday in Blogtober 13/10
DBH Dance Party 12/10

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable Roundup: South Carolina Edition

1. Did the decisive win over Florida answer all the questions about this Alabama team? Why or why not?

The demolition of a highly-regarded Florida Gator team last Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium was a defining win for the Alabama Crimson Tide, according to the roundtable. The bigger questions is where does this team go now.

"Now comes the question about attitude and commitment," notes Capstone Report. "Those questions will be answered during this critical stretch of October."

While the defense showed improvement in almost every phase against Florida, there are still opportunities for them to take advantage of, says Roll Bama Roll. "The one question that still remains is can we start getting some stops in the backfield instead of letting 5 yard losses turn into 1 yard gains because of poor tackling."

DBH Dance Party
is even more dour in his assessment noting that the Florida offense outgained the Tide over the course of the game, particularly in the second half: "Not exactly putting a stamp on things."

Lastly, Tower of Bammer takes the opportunity to appease your inner 12-year-old by taking advantage of the linguistic similarity between South Carolina mascot and male genitalia.

2. What is the biggest concern going into the game with South Carolina next Saturday?

The fact that South Carolina has emerged as a power in the hard-fought SEC is testament enough to the challenge this game presents to Alabama, according to the roundtable. To do that means they play tough and will take advantages of any mistakes, making the margin of error for opponents razor thin.

"They are rested and looking for a signature win," Tower of Bammer writes. "The Cock faithful are looking at this as their chance to get a leg up on Florida in the east and punch their way back into the top ten."

Both Roll Bama Roll and Capstone Report say that if Steve Spurrier has some self control and commits himself to establishing the run, the Gamecocks may have greater offensive success than most observers suppose.

"SC has shown a commitment to the run with Marcus Lattimore," Roll Bama Roll says. "Even though they are middle of the pack in the SEC in rushing offense."

But the potency of the passing attack can never be overlooked in a Spurrier-coached team, admonishes DBH Dance Party: "Even if Steven Garcia is a massive head case and Steve Spurrier's ego inevitably gets in the way of his team being a true championship contender, for one week, there's no telling what might happen."

3. Should we expect the running game to have the kind of success it did last year against the Gamecocks?

Tower of Bammer is extremely positive on the prospects of the rushing attack against the Gamecocks. "Game plan all you want, I’m convinced that this is the best duo ever seen in SEC history." The rest of the round table is more sanguine in their assessment. As Capstone Report observes, the emergence of the passing game will likely eclipse the running attack this year. Roll Bama Roll agrees, noting that a reprise Ingram's performance from last season is highly unlikely, "Not because we couldn't, but because we shouldn't need to." DBH Dance Party puts himself on cliche alert by noting that the key to both phases of Alabama's offense is the performance of the line -- which he feels pretty positive about.

4. Last year someone should have told Steve Spurrier the end zone fade wasn’t going to work. What piece of advice should someone give the Old Ball Coach this year?

The roundtable agrees, Steve Spurrier's prowess in creating dynamic offenses is unimpeachable. "He's the same guy who basically dragged the SEC into the modern era of football 20 years ago," observes DBH Dance Party. Despite that well-earned reputation, the roundtable caution Ole Ball Coach in terms of his execution. Or, more bluntly, urge him to "stop being an idiot with your quarterbacks" as Capstone report puts it (Tower of Bammer is even more colorful in their phrasing of the same).

Roll Bama Roll, meanwhile, suggests the game may have passed the man by in their succinct recommendation: "The golf course is where your heart is. Follow it."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable: 2010 Season, Week 6

  1. Did the decisive win over Florida answer all the questions about this Alabama team? Why or why not?
  2. What is the biggest concern going into the game with South Carolina next Saturday?
  3. Should we expect the running game to have the kind of success it did last year against the Gamecocks?
  4. Last year someone should have told Steve Spurrier the end zone fade wasn't going to work. What piece of advice should someone give the Old Ball Coach this year?
Capstone Report 08/10
Roll Bama Roll 07/10
Tower of Bammer 06/10
DBH Dance Party 06/10

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Crimson & White Roundtable Roundup: Florida Edition

1. What is the biggest lesson we learned in the win over Arkansas last Saturday?

The number one lesson learned last week in Fayetteville -- perseverance.

"These are the champs," DBH Dance Party writes. "And they can rise to the occasion when it matters most, even if it's on the road in a game where very little has gone right for most of three quarters."

Capstone Report insists the outcome of the game is evidence how much Nick Saban's approach has altered Alabama's attitude -- both at a team and a fanbase. Even when challenged "the team can come from behind to win a game against a quality opponent." Picture Me Rollin then notes that this type of resiliency was something that was not in evidence very often in seasons not so far in the past but has happened with regularity since Coach Saban's arrival.

Tower of Bammer then breaks the romantic mood by insisting it was all about the halftime adjustments.

2. What is the biggest concern going into the game with Florida next Saturday?

Most of the Roundtable insists that Alabama's ability to execute on defense will be the difference on Saturday night. Getting off the field will be critical according to Capstone Report. "That means forcing and then winning third down," he argues. "It also means being fundamentally sound." Picture Me Rollin agrees on the importance of details in this contest, " It’s going to come down to who makes the fewest mistakes."

DBH Dance Party runs counter to the consensus somewhat insisting that the weight will be on the shoulders of Alabama's offense. "Arkansas' defense certainly helped a great deal," he writes. "Florida's defense will likely do no such favors." Tower of Bammer smells a trap -- that the Gators have forced Alabama to prep for not one but two inexperienced QBs.

3. Will this contest be a preview of this year’s SECCG? Why or why not?

Tower of Bammer is adamant on this issue saying flat out "This is the SEC Championship preview." The rest of the roundtable is a bit more circumspect.

Capstone Report says the fact that Florida and Alabama are the clear elite of the conference makes it likely but the uncertainty factor LSU brings to the table (tons of talent, tons of problems) make prognostication difficult. And, DBH Dance Party notes, Auburn is looking more legitimate every passing week.

Picture Me Rolling notes that the importance of this game has to be evaluated in terms of the next game on the schedule as well -- South Carolina. If the Crimson Tide survives the next fortnight things line up much more favorably for the stretch run.

4. What part of this week’s gameday experience are you most looking forward to?

Tower of Bammer forecasts copious amounts of hate flowing through the streets of Tuscaloosa and revels in it's most mundane possible manifestations. Drinking is also likely to ensue. Capstone Report puts emotion aside and seeks the sweet embrace of reason to understanding the possible outcome of the contest.

For Picture Me Rollin it's a personal Homecoming Game as his two closest pals from The Capstone will be on hand and the fact it's a huge matchup only makes it sweeter. DBH Dance Party seems less enthusiastic to watch the game with his siblings but is also expecting a great one.