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For Wisconsin, a game against Alabama in Week 1 is a bit like engaging in a demolition derby – against a Ross Winans steam locomotive, rather than an old sedan.
Alabama has been, ever since Nick Saban’s arrival, a machine. It doesn’t always move fast, but it moves deliberately, it’s hard to stop and almost impossible to overpower. And while Alabama has made forays into what many observers like to call “modern football” – i.e., the hurry-up, no-huddle offenses and their variants – Alabama wins with brawn and depth.
Shortly after Barry Alvarez’s arrival in Madison, Wisc., the Badgers became somewhat of the Alabama of the Big Ten – Gene Stallings’ Alabama, that is. Wisconsin throws the ball only when a judge orders it. Otherwise, Wisconsin is content to bury its opponents under a pile of rubble, occasionally lobbing the ball to a receiver just to keep them interested. While Wisconsin finished the 2014 season with an impressive 11-3 record, the Badgers had their hands full with any team it couldn’t physically intimidate. Most notably, Wisconsin fell 59-0 to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
When Alabama football officially gets cranked back up for fall practice, the Jacob Coker Watch will start approximately 1 millisecond afterward.
Unfortunately for Coker, the expectations for him, which are already high, will simply continue to snowball over the course of the summer. And if Coker doesn’t come right out of the gate looking like some combination of Joe Namath, Peyton Manning, Y.A. Tittle, an M1A1 Abrams tank and Secretariat, the fan backlash could be the biggest thing since … well, since the last second of the 2013 Auburn game. There is no meltdown like that of an angry Alabama fan.Continue reading …
For a fan base that was on the edge of its seats Saturday, watching with great interest the battle at quarterback, A-Day didn’t tell them much. Thanks to A-Day rules which completely remove QB scrambles from the list of possible outcomes – anything wearing a black jersey is considered “sacked” if they so happen to get breathed upon by a defensive lineman – Blake Sims might as well have been a boat anchor. A-Day ended up being a poor barometer of Sims’ skill set, and the quarterback competition is no clearer now than it was prior to the game.Continue reading …
As it often seems to be the case, A-Day 2013 turned more into a discussion of what Alabama has left to do than what it has already accomplished.
Several questions were left unanswered after a game that was, frankly, sloppy and a bit disorganized. Alabama turned the ball over eight times and two other fumbles were recovered by the offense, while quarterbacks appeared ready to throw into any coverage rather than take a two-hand-touch sack.Continue reading …
There is always a debate as to the importance of A-Day from the perspective of what translates and doesn’t translate to the field in the fall. On one hand, both offenses and defenses are very vanilla. A good comparison would be postseason all-star games like the Senior Bowl, where, for the sake of simplicity in understanding, defenses are often limited to a certain combination of looks and coverages. The frenetic blitz packages designed by Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart rarely make an appearance in this game.Continue reading …
Delany might as well have held a press conference to assert that he “is in control here” and would shepherd college football’s latest attempt at a mock playoff system through various legal and ethical (read: what’s best for the Big Ten) loopholes.Continue reading …