This offseason has been a confusing one for me. People have been screaming at me to just get some things through my head, but I've not yet seen the logic behind some of their conjectures. So here's a little list of things that I don't understand and that keep bugging me.
- The Alabama Hype - Alabama's going to have a good defense. Any Nick Saban coached team must be respected as defenders. My trouble is on offense. The Tide lost two of the best offensive lineman in the country off last year's team. It's difficult to replace one of those guys, much less two. And those losses are at the most critical line spots, left tackle and center. Just look at the two games Smith didn't play in last year and what happened to Bama's production - Tulane, 172 yards of total offense, and Utah, 208 yards of total offense. Add to that a new quarterback, and I don't think the sum of those subtractions equals the number 5 team in the country.
- "Sliders" or Mini-hamburgers - Why would I want three small things when I can get one big thing, roughly equivalent in size to the three small things, for a lower price?
- The Credibility of Preseason Polls - This has been covered a thousand times by much better writers than me, but I'd just like to mention one game that beautifully illustrates my confusion. An LSU friend of mine recently argued that all you need to judge the credibility of preseaon polls is to look at the LSU-Auburn game last year. Both teams were in the top 10 in the country and ESPN Gameday was there. LSU finished the regular season 7-5. Auburn was an ugly 5-7 and didn't even get invited to the PapaJohns.com Bowl. In retrospect, it was a highly-ranked average team against a highly-ranked bad team. Why do we keep doing this? To sell newspapers? Who is buying newspapers?
- The New SEC Digital Network Deal - There's been a load of discussion on this in the blogosphere. The Senator and David Hale had some rational and sound thoughts about the new video restrictions on highlights and replays of SEC games under the new online media rights deal, which have subsequently been revised. My concern is if the delivery platform will be reliable. The online deal is with XOS Technologies who, through JumpTV, has administered GXtra. During my time as a GXtra subscriber, I'm not sure if I spent more time fuming over the technical difficulties or actually following the game. Whatever the SEC online media center looks like, it better run better than GXtra or every SEC fan, not just the reporters on the beat, will be squawking loudly.
- What the Braves are Doing. This is usually the time of the year when I figure out if I am going to keep following the Braves through the start of football season or cut them loose. For a while I thought it was going to be easy, but the past couple of series have given me a little bit of hope for the wild card. They've got the arms, but if the increased offense is relying on Adam LaRoche, I'm concerned.