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.