Tuesday, October 12, 2010

wednesday roundtable: on the rebound

Much like this past Saturday, this week's edition of the "Crimson & White Roundtable" is sort of a new feeling for me: since I started blogging back in '05, I was hesitant to join in as part of the 'Bamasphere, which included jumping in as part of the roundtable ... until '08, which was around the time Alabama started winning all the time.
All that to say, this is the first time I've done a roundtable after a loss, as far as I can find. Hopefully it won't have an affect on the lousy quality of my responses. Judge for yourself.

1) What will Alabama have to do in order to regroup after the loss to South Carolina and prepare for Ole Miss?
I'm so glad you asked. You may recall that, two days ago, I drew a rather convoluted comparison between Saturday's loss and Rocky's beating at the hands of Clubber Lang. Not everybody digs on Rocky, I realize.
So here's something that may be slightly more relate-able for more people: pickup basketball. Most of us have played pickup basketball at one point or another, and most of us have seen a situation where one team takes over the court and can't lose, keeps taking on all comers — bigger teams, younger teams, teams with one dominant player and so forth — and becomes the bane of everyone's existence.
But, at some point, that team does have to lose, right? And it usually happens like this: they're tired from having to play every game for an hour; the other team is fresh (they just got there) and sharp; the shots they were making before suddenly won't fall; and eventually, they just kind of want to get off the floor and take a break.
So that's where we are right now. And we need to take a swig of water and go back to take over the court.

2) How does the Crimson Tide match up against the Rebels going into Saturday?
On this issue I have slightly less insight: I haven't watched a down of Ole Miss all season, aside from the final play vs. Jax State that was so amazing, I won't even bring up the fact that JSU had 3 linemen downfield on a pass that definitely was completed beyond the line of scrimmage.
Anyway, because Houston Nutt is prominently involved, I can say three things will definitely happen:
• Ole Miss will run the ball, repeatedly.
• Houston will talk like a televangelist.
• Something insane will happen. Possibly, several insane things will happen.

Whether we're good enough to withstand that, I guess we'll see.

3) What is the biggest area of improvement you'd like Alabama make in this game?
Defense. All of it.
You want more specific? Fine. As of right now, this team cannot control the line of scrimmage defensively. Whether that means more blitzing to affect the quarterback, more people at the line to control the run, or possibly sharpening everyone's chinstrap buckles to cause the other team to bleed, something has to happen. This team cannot continue to allow itself to be shoved around at the line of scrimmage, because it's making the rest of the defense seem much more vulnerable.
Also, I'm not sure what happened, but we're not a sure tackling team like we have been the last three seasons. And when you're facing a team that will almost assuredly put its quarterback (Jeremiah Masoli, the ultimate X factor) in situations that will force our defense to make sure 1-on-1 tackles in pressure situations ... that's, um, a little troublesome.

4) What are your thoughts on the Ole Miss mascot debate?
Um ...

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