Apologies for the lack of postage over the weekend -- there was the race, followed by the job change, which has gone over well thus far (the paper's at the press and everything's cool, so far as I know). I know you've missed me opining about Alabama's narrow victory over Kentucky, as well as that ... Vandy ... thing (perhaps you heard).
As penance, here's this week's Crimson & White Roundtable, which I'm now participating in as a full-fledged Alabama fan. This week's host is 3rd Saturday in Blogtober. Also, keep an eye out at WarBlogle.com, where I'll be guest-blogging this week.
1. What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? Are we overrated? Underrated? Just right?
Frankly, at this point, there's not a whole lot I can say. I don't like being the second-ranked team in the nation, but there's simply no way around it. Long as the boys keep winning, they're staying up there. So ... I guess it's fine. Whatever.
2. What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most? What aspect of the game was Alabama dominated in that shocked you the most?
I heard a writer who attended Saturday's game raving about Julio Jones -- after seeing him in person, he says he's frightened at what the kid might look like next season or the season after that. And ya know what? He's got a point. A collegiate weight program will do incredible things for this kid, who already looks like he's from another planet.
As for where our guys were "dominated," like Palin and Biden, I can't address that question specifically. But I was surprised at the number of penalties, many of them preventable.
I recall one blogger -- and I can't remember which one, so I apologize -- grousing because some of us have cautiously reminded everyone that the team hasn't faced true adversity just yet. Well, a game like this is kind of where I was driving. Some games, no matter how good you are, your game plan doesn't work to perfection; sometimes you have to deal with BS penalties that take away key first-down plays; sometimes you fumble the ball inside the other team's 20 and get burned on a big play or two. Well, how will your team respond when that happens?
In our case, our team responded OK. We'll see what happens in two weeks -- you just know something weird will happen when Houston Nutt brings Ole Miss here.
(Hold on -- we're combining questions 3&4 ...)
3. Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.
4. We’re six games into the Process: Year 2, and the team has made vast improvements since last season. Who, in your opinion, has made the biggest jump since last year?
On offense, I'll go with Glen Coffee. During his first two seasons at Alabama, Coffee could best be described as "a nice back who does some nice things," and that'd be about it. But something happened this offseason. Maybe he saw the improvement being made by guys like Upchurch and Mark Ingram. Maybe he suddenly matured as an upperclassman. I have no idea what happened, but the dude became an every-down gamebreaker, enough that some very smart people have discussed him as a dark-horse Heisman candidate.
(Now, if he doesn't shed those fumbling woes, we'll re-visit this discussion. But right now I think it's important that we have it.)
Defensively, you could pick from a number of different guys for player of the half-season. Rashad Johnson, Rolando McClain, Terrence Cody. But what about Bobby Greenwood? Do you realize he was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week? No kidding! Bobby Bleeping Greenwood! I mean, I know good programs take a big leap in Year 2, but ... seriously -- Bobby Greenwood?!!!
5. Profess your feelings for Jim McElwain. Prose, poetry, in song, or in any other way you see fit.
Two ways I can profess how I feel about the man.
First, there's the obvious stat: 81-0 in the first quarter. The guy's putting together outstanding game plans, and they're obviously being well-executed.
Second, there's this: my friend Zach -- an Auburn homer from Opelika -- texted me on Saturday to let me know that my team is "the best-coached team in America ... and I love your OC."
When fans of your archrival are saying things like that, you know you're into something good.