(Note: Do not listen to this song if you're feeling lousy about yourself. You will feel worse. Just trust me.)
An omen for this weekend at LSU? I doubt it. But we'll keep our fingers crossed, regardless.
— Your standard preview links, courtesy RBR, BSR and the Crimson Elephant.
— The talk for the last two weeks, obviously, has been the Alabama offense, or lack of it. Crimson Daddy offered some thoughts from a self-scouting of the Tide this week (briefly breaking up the string of "OMG TENNESSEE RULZ!!!1" posts at 3SiB). For his part, coach Saban promised changes in Alabama's red zone approach, perhaps changes that include "don't throw two f*cking fade passes when it's 2nd-and-1 at the 4-yard line" (by the way, Jim? ... Noel Mazzone called to say he thought those play-calls were awesome).
— In that same vein, here are your expected "Julio Jones needs to be more involved" links: Dennis Dodd says Alabama needs him to get rolling (thanks Dennis); Chris Low basically says the same thing; and Patrick Peterson runs his yap about covering Jones. My favorite quote:
(Julio) is a talented guy, but we're probably the best secondary in the country."
— Other than Peterson, this week has been relatively quiet between Alabama & LSU, with both sides expressing mutual admiration. Of course, that hasn't stopped LSU students and their predictably lame "let's call their cell phones and tell them they suck!" pregame tactic, which is tired and didn't even work that well to begin with.
Tower of Bammer does have some fun with LSU, polling real dogs for some trash talk.
— A few other links related to actual football: PMR (who triumphantly returned recently) studies Alabama's kick coverage, and notes we've actually improved a little since September.
Meanwhile, Scarbinsky & Mark Ingram have a Heisman nomination: Rolando McClain.
— A storyline one state over this week has been Mark Richt's status as a "hotseat" candidate. In a rare moment of prescience, Capstone Report pens an excellent letter to the UGA faithful (apparently, he can be thoughtful and rational as long as the subject doesn't involve Auburn).
My thoughts on Richt are myriad. I can boil them down to two:
• UGA brass will, of course, have to consider the big picture of the Richt tenure before making any kind of decision related to the head coach: specifically, the last 9 seasons at UGA are among the best in school history (as we noted in our examination of the decade). In terms of rivalries under Richt, the 'Dawgs are 6-3 vs. Tennessee, 8-1 vs. South Carolina, 5-3 vs. Auburn and 7-1 vs. Georgia Tech (still to be played, obviously). Also remember during this time period: Richt has represented the program well off the field, hasn't run afoul of the NCAA and has managed to throw the media off his scent in terms of the players he recruits (thugs, with only a few exceptions). The bugaboo on the field, obviously, is still Florida — the Gators submarined three separate UGA runs at a championship ('02, '03 and '05) and won two of their own in the same time period, thrashing Georgia in the process.
• As important as the past, however, is the present & immediate future: at this moment, it appears Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia Tech (and possibly Auburn) have passed Richt's program at UGA, both in terms of recruiting and national relevance. Even more disconcerting, this story that came out this week, identifying UGA's recruits as the biggest busts in the nation. The problem isn't talent, which means the problem must be ... you know. And so the question surface, if not at the end of this season (and remember, Georgia still has to play Auburn and Tech, two teams that look infinitely better than them right now) then possibly after the next (assuming things don't change): cut ties with the guy now, or give him a chance to right the ship? As Capstone says, if you trust him to right the ship, then by all means, keep him. If you don't trust him completely, go the Shula route — get rid of him now and start making plans for the future. There's no other way.
— Just to twist the knife in UGA fans a little more, I'm posting this link to a Barnhart column, in which he envisions the possibility of GEORGIA TECH playing for the BCS title.
You're welcome, Peter.
— Wait, we have basketball! Alabama opened its season Wednesday with a thrashing of Montevallo. Bama Hoops has its thoughts on the debut.
It's likely we'll have a little more hoop later this weekend — Whit's due to post some basketball-related thoughts at some point, and hopefully throughout the season.
Until then, Roll Tide.