Alabama put on a display of second-half dominance against LSU, and now gets set for the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Here are some notes and thoughts from the past week and a look ahead to Saturday:
Key to the MSU game:
Show up on time, with uniforms and pads. Yes, MSU hung 41 on the Aggies. Yes, it’s in Starkville. Yes, using the term “trap game” is federally mandated for sports commentators looking to get attention. But come on. Is there any reason to think that the Bama team that has flexed muscles on top of muscles that are on top of muscles will do anything but dominate? Could Bama lose? Sure. Will they? Nope.
The Verne and Gary Funtime Happy Parade Cavalcade of Delight:
Thanks for introducing us to the “Adjusted Sack Rate,” a stat so wonky even the CBS graphics folks could not figure out a way to make it into a complicated, unreadable graphic that blocked out an important play.
Nick’s halftime complaint:
Seeing Tracy Wolfson interview Nick after halftime instead of before was a different twist. He seemed almost jolly. Normally, he looks at Tracy as if to say, “Can you hurry up so I can get the Barry Krauss interview out of the way and then go yell at people for something?” Kudos to A.D. Bill Battle for installing the Sharper Image Halftime Massage Chair for Saban. Seems to work wonders.
Who was that guy?:
Who was the short dude jumping into AJ McCarron’s arms at the end of the game? Combine that with the post-game lovefest, and it’s pretty clear our dear Darth Saban has a bit of a soft spot for McCarron, AKA the best quarterback in the country. If nothing else, here’s hoping Saban’s gushing warrants McCarron a trip to the Downtown Athletic Club in December as a Heisman finalist. Like Jay Barker before him, McCarron deserves a courtesy invite as a nod to his body of work.
Manufactured stat of the day:
Odell Beckham had 182 total returns yards in the game. The band Blink-182 band had a hit song with “All the Small Things.” While hitting nearly 200 yards in return yards seems awesome, it’s pretty much a small thing when you get manhandled at every other aspect of the game.
Palmetto Trash Talk:
I was in Clemson last week on a business trip. While talking with some folks, they noticed my Alabama Croakies around my neck. “Oh, a Bama fan!” one man said, as he opened a nearby exit door for me. Several other Clemson fans chimed in, taking shots at Bama. “Really?” I said. Another gentleman chimed in. “We probably don’t want to pick this fight, fellas.” Wise choice. It kept me from having to bring up that their lone national title was some three decades ago. With a Bama boy at the helm.
I nailed it:
Baylor rolling over Oklahoma. Is Baylor good? Yes. Is Oklahoma? Meh. Bob Stoops has done a masterful job his entire career at being the head coach of a historically good program. That’s going to catch up eventually. Which brings us to…
I did not see this coming:
Vandy over Florida. Ron Zook has to be chuckling just a smidge. Texas’ Coach in Waiting Will Muschamp needs to turn this ship around quickly unless he wants to stand in line for jobs with Mark Richt and Bob Stoops.
This week I predict:
Bama rolls easily over MSU, let’s say 42-10. Good for the Bulldogs for putting a presentable team on the field, but this Bama team has a different feel, and it’s not one of a letdown game. Too much older leadership will ensure they bring their A-game.