All that to say, the proliferation of "countdown" features until the start of football season means I don't have to remind that game week officially starts tomorrow (Sunday).
In the meantime, let's revive an old chestnut by breaking out the old Crimson & White Roundtable. This week's set of questions comes from kleph at RBR.
Oh yeah: I'm bound to remind you that I'm participating (for now, anyway) in al.com's Blogger roundtable as well — here's my first post, in which I ramble on incoherently for a while and try to tie things together at the end (a lot like this blog, really).
Anyway, let's move on with questions and answers for this week.
1) What is your expectations for the coming season?
RBR had a nice post about this a few weeks back, and I agree with just about all of it (we're going to lose one, at least — I just haven't decided which one yet).
But it raises the larger issue about Alabama fans and "unrealistic" expectations, a nonsense phrase that took hold over the last decade because of all the coaching turnover (particularly after the firing of Mike Shula). Alabama fans — most of us anyway — aren't stupid enough to believe our guys can win the national title every year. Here are a set of reasonable expectations every Alabama fan has every season:• We expect to win more often than we lose, and our players to exhibit class and discipline on and off the field.
• We expect to contend for the division every season, and play in the conference championship more often than not.
• We expect to beat our rivals (Tennessee, LSU, Auburn) more often than not.
• We expect to be in the national-title conversation every few years.
That pretty much sums up 2010 for me.
2) What players to you most expect to stand out?
My answer is Trent Richardson, if only because I'm anxious to see what Jim McElwain has planned for the Ingram-Richardson package. Will he use them simultaneously, like Al Borges used Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams? And Trent's going to return kicks, too?
3) What do you think will be biggest difference between this team and the 2009 squad?
In a word: luck. It's no knock on the 2009 squad to say it got lucky, in addition to its ridiculous talent and quality coaching. Any team that finishes 14-0 has to avoid untimely penalties (you realize we went without a holding call for the last month of the season, right? ... Not one); stay mostly healthy; and get every bounce at every opportunity. These things will undoubtedly even out this fall. They just have to. So just get ready for it.
Roll Tide to you all.