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."
The Jumbo Package | 07.23.14
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