I'm wayyyy late to the C&W Roundtable party, and I'm OK with that. Perhaps my answers will entertain somebody for the next week while I'm away. We shall see.
Without further adieu ...
1. what team will be the biggest surprise in the sec in ’08?? the biggest disappointment??
I'm curious about Bobby Petrino's Arkansas team -- they're always more talented than I give them credit for, plus you never know what you're getting in a new system. Not to mention, all their biggest games -- save their trip to Auburn on Oct. 11 -- are in the state of Arkansas. And as we've learned over the years, weird things happen in the state of Arkansas.
For a disappointment, I pick Mark Richt's Georgia team, and I only mean "disappointment" in the "won't win the national championship" sense. Too tough a schedule, guys, and everybody's gunning for you. Sorry.
2. we appear to know who our qb is going to be for the season barring something crazy, but not all offensive skill positions are so certain. as the season progresses, who do you see stepping up to be this squad's most productive rb?? and wr??
I wouldn't be surprised to see Roy Upchurch stepping into the role of every-down running back -- he's got all the tools, and you could see him having a breakout game in a "Shaun Alexander in '96" role. At receiver, my pick is Earl Alexander, possibly because I have a soft spot for all rangy receivers from Phenix City.
3. obviously "the saban" is lord and savior, and created the heavens and the earth, but if you were forced to trade saban for another active coach, who would it be and why??
I'm partial to guys like Mack Brown and Mark Richt, if only because they seem like genuinely nice people who also can coach good football. Richt's offensive philosophy appeals to me inparticular, if only because his "every 6 or 7 plays, we're throwing the ball deep and good luck stopping us" philosophy close resembles my own style on NCAA '08. Also, Richt forsook his personality as a "nice guy" at the end of last year, as evidenced by the famed "rush the field" incident against Florida and the black jerseys against Auburn -- basically, he told his guys to turn up the thug. Does that dissuade me, even a little?
Yeah, a little. We don't need any more lawlessness around Tuscaloosa.
4. some people view bama fans as insane. while "insane" is an awfully strong word, many bama fans have a disturbing obsession with their team. what is the most significant/unique/valuable/weird piece of bama paraphernalia you have and why??
My own mementos are quite ordinary: souvenir cups, scorecards, shakers from various road games that turned into big wins.
One I'm particularly proud of: before the 2001 Auburn game, the AU students received all-orange shakers (part of the relentlessly nauseating "All Auburn, All Orange" promotion). I retrieved one and brought it back with me to Tuscaloosa. I still keep it around -- it's fairly obnoxious, but a nice reminder of the day.
(Of course, I'd trade all of it to get some new ones. Please? Pretty please?)