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August 7, 2008

What I Want to See: Alabama

Georgia and Alabama seem to always play classics in Tuscaloosa: the Barker-Zeier duel of 1994, Bennett's kick in 2002, and the overtime Dawgpile last year. The past few games in Athens, um, not so classic. In 1995, Bama spoiled Hines Ward's debut at quarterback 31-0 and in 2003 I think we injured every quarterback on Bama's roster in a decisive win. I hope this year's game is a Bulldog romp, but here are the other things I want to see:

#1 - A sharp Matt Stafford. Saban doesn't return much experience in the front seven other than stud linebacker, Rolando McClaine. So, I expect the Tide to stack the box for Knowshon and bring blitzes from every angle. Saban's defenses are designed to get into opposing quarterback's head by disguising blitzes and exposing protection problems (remember D.J.'s series when Greene was hurt at LSU in 2003? It looked like a pack of hyenas running after a wounded antelope). After two years, Saban should have his blitz packages ready to go this year, even with inexperienced players. I want to see Stafford checking into the right plays and making smart decisions when pressured. Matt had several interceptions last year that made me understand his detractors. I want to see a mature, sharp Stafford against the Bama defense.

#2 - A dull John Parker Wilson. Wilson is easily the SEC player I understand the least. At times, he can look like Joe Montana. He was practically flawless against Tennessee last year and was fantastic in the first half of the Independence Bowl. But he also played so poorly at times, one wondered how he fetched a scholarship offer from an SEC school. In Athens, I want to see JPDub at his absolute worst. Flinging balls either out of bounds or in the dirt. I'd like to think Wilson is going to be steadier this year because he will have an offensive coordiantor who will have to be better than Major Applewhite and his line will be good. The trouble is that Bama returns no proven receivers and their primary back has been fragile. Either Wilson will become clutch this year or Bama's offense will continue to sputter and cough.

#3 - Bama Fan. I admit I have an affection for Bama fan. I understand opinions vary. We don't play them enough to truly hate them. They always seem hospitable. They've grown a thin veneer of genuine civility over the past few years which disguises their deep reservoir of crazed pride. At least you can have a reasonable conversation with Bama fan, something often impossible with UF or LSU fan who is far more vicious. And the ones you don't talk to are entertaining just to watch. (NOTE: I think the first link labeled "entertaining" is fine. But one of our readers says NSFW. ) Exhibit A:
#4 - Sundresses. For my money, the best looking coeds in America live in Athens, Tuscaloosa, or Oxford. I helped move my sister into the freshman dorm at Bama when I was twelve and my jaw was on the floor the entire time. I thought it impossible that so many good looking girls were in the same place at the same time. After my first week in Athens, I realized that not only was it possible, but the rule at UGA. A late September kickoff usually means it's not sweltering, but not cold enough to cover up with a sweater or jacket. In other words, prime sundress weather. I expect a frightening display of talent. Tailgating for this game should test marriages. There'll be a lot of wondering eyes.



The 31st Floor said...

NSFW that first Bama fan picture link. Luckily my employer could care less but would hate to see someone burned

Anonymous said...

Being a lifelong Bama fan I have always considered UGA one of the "good guys".


Anyone that hates UT, AU, and UF has got to be good people.

Anonymous said...

Quinton, I am mock horrified at the last sentences of your "sundresses" entry. Our tailgate boasts some of the prettiest, well dressed married ladies on campus. Harumph!

Anonymous said...

IF I weren't a Bama fan, I would pull for the Dawgs! I really respected Coach Dooley and loved to watch Herchel run the ball. Plus I think Richt is a classy, family oriented, christian guy that I could like. Roll Tide!

Anonymous said...

You obviously have not talked to many Bama fans if you say that you can carry on a civilized conversation. I used to live in Birmingham, and they are by far the most arrogant, impractical fans that I have ever been around. They are always talking about "The Bear" or how they have "Got Twelve?", but how many of those championships were around during color television?

All I am saying is, I absolutely hate Alabama as if they were a year to year rival.

Anonymous said...

Love Dawgs fans, they seem the most like Bama fans and Athens reminds me of a nicer Tuscaloosa.

As for the guy saying Bama fans bringing up Bear - trust me, Bama fans don't bring him up, other teams' fans do. Our rivals (mainly Auburn) have tried to make us feel bad for celebrating our beloved coach for so long that we feel like we somehow "can't" ever bring him up, lest we be "living in the past." I think it's complete crap. Yall still have fond memories of Herscel, why can't Bama fans be happy about having the best coach of all-time?
And, yeah, we haven't had too much to crow about since Gene Stallings, so it's a pretty nice feeling that, even after this terrible decade we've had, if college football were to end today, we'd be at the worst # 3 all time.

Anonymous said...

nice potshot at major applewhite. he's a good coordinator and given the opportunity to actually run his offense (not be trampled on by napolean saban) he'll be very successful. he has been in the past and will be in the future. i think john parker wilson was the problem with bama's offense last year, not major.

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