Tuesday, September 21, 2010

wednesday roundtable: on the razor's edge (get it?)

With each passing hour, I'm becoming more and more convinced that we're not getting out of Fayetteville unscathed. No kidding, at this point, I'm thinking the game might turn into an Arena League affair. And I'm not sure we need to be involved in one of those, on the road in the SEC. I'm trying to think of anything that will take my mind off it.

This actually won't help, but here goes anyway: this week's version of the Crimson & White Roundtable. As always, feel free to disagree or quibble with me in the comments section or visit me on Twitter.

God help us all.

1) What is the most important thing we learned about the Alabama team in the wake of the Duke game?
Actually, I don't think we learned a frigging thing in Saturday's game. Alabama has an offense capable of scoring points in bunches (we already knew that) and a young defense prone to prolonged lapses (we knew that, too). Otherwise, um ... well, kickoff coverage is better. And it appears we've got capable kick returners in Julio and Trent Richardson. And none of our kickers have yet to attempt a pressure kick, which is terrifying going into the land where Leigh Tiffin once melted down like the U.S. economy.

2) What is the biggest area of concern in respect to Alabama's performance in the upcoming game against Arkansas?
Well, our defense can't rush the passer, can't stop the run effectively, struggles to defend the pass and has trouble making sure tackles. Other than that? No concerns. None whatsoever.
Except this one, and RBR posted an extensive thought on this yesterday: teams like Arkansas are built specifically to take on SEC foes like Alabama. So it's a little disconcerting, given those problems we listed above.

3) Which is more dangerous: Ryan Mallett and the Razorback offense or the Arkansas defense?
I'm going outside the box and saying it's a concern just to go to Arkansas under any circumstances. As I said yesterday, strange things tend to happen in the state of Arkansas. When you combine everything we talked about above with the strangeness that typically takes place west of the Mississippi, along with the fact that this Arkansas program needs desperately to prove it belongs among the SEC's elite ... um, that's a little dangerous, yes.

4) How important is the Arkansas game for Alabama's prospects both in the SEC West and the conference as a whole?
It's probably more important for Arkansas than it is for us, but let's take a shot: Alabama still has to face Florida, South Carolina (on the road!) and LSU (also on the road). It'd be nice to not have that slate facing us if we're already down a game in the conference.
(Yeah ... this didn't help at all. Sorry.)

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