Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wednesday roundtable: it just feels bigger, doesn't it?

I just finished watching the 10 p.m. newscast and saw Joe Paterno giving his weekly news conference ... and about halfway through it dawned on me: Wow ... he's talking about Alabama. I hadn't really thought about it until just now, but that's really cool; even if Paterno is something of a patriarchal punchline at this point, it feels like a bigger game when he's in the building. And he'll be in our building this Saturday. Think about that for just a minute.

Anyway, since it's mid-week, it must be time for the roundtable. I'll have some answers posted for these questions, and (most likely) the questions at al.com, as well.

1) What is the most important thing we learned about the 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide in the wake of the San Jose State game?
Scarbinksy actually covered this well in his Sunday column, but it's worth repeating: well-coached football teams don't let lousy football teams think they have a chance. Not one second. San Jose really only sustained one drive the whole game, and Alabama quickly buried them before they even began to think they might have a shot. And really, given the quality of the opponent, that was the only element of concern: would this football team have the same businesslike attitude its shown in the last two seasons? And they did. And it showed in the final result.

2) What is the biggest area of concern given the upcoming contest with the Penn State?
For us or for them? Since we don't have a coach who's at risk for being laid out and possibly killed on any given play, I have to pick something else ... so why not the tight end position? Penn State's bound to spend all week figuring how to take Alabama's running game and its best receiver, which should leave room for the tight end ... only we don't really know if our tight ends are capable of picking up the slack.
(Actually, I have no idea. I'm just basing this off a day's worth of conversation with my granddaddy, in which he said, "Sure would like to have (Colin) Peek for another year" about 600 times.)

3) Which Alabama player is most likely to have a breakout performance against the Nittany Lions?
For symmetry's sake, I'm hoping one of our outside backers rushes the passer like a deranged henchman Saturday and brings back memories of the great Derrick Thomas. If he's wearing 55, so much the better.

4) What part of the gameday experience are you most looking forward to on Saturday?
Other than the pig on the grill? It's always neat anytime you play a team from a different part of the country who's not quite used to the Southern football experience — I remember playing UCLA in 2001, and the fans of theirs who made the trip spent most of that Saturday making the same face most of the characters in "Jurassic Park" make on their first trip through the park. Penn State folks, I'm sure, are quite passionate about their football and see their fair share of great atmospheres around their own conference and area. But I'm guessing the younger ones haven't seen an SEC campus on gameday at full throttle.
(Assuming, of course, it's not already at full throttle now. Dammit, I have to work the rest of this week.)

1 comment:

Peter said...

as far as the linebackers go, I think today's Tuscaloosa News article and the quote by Dontae Hightower might give you a hint as to how jacked up the linebacking core will be. Seems like someone's been talking a little smack about whose linebackers are better, and ours have decided to have a chip on their shoulders. Might be creating a subplot, but it was something interesting to think about.