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Alabama’s victory over Western Kentucky was as close to perfect in every way as one could ask for.
That’s because it was also as sloppy as chili-covered pizza.
Alabama doesn’t arrange its annual schedule by accident. A tough opponent in the first week is there to make the team focus up in fall camp and put some pressure on right out of the gate. Week 2 is typically against a decent opponent, usually overmatched in depth, and the wins are often sloppy and filled with things to work on in practice the following week before the SEC schedule opens up full-bore.
In that regard, Nick Saban got exactly what he wanted against Western Kentucky: Alabama won the game, was in peril for all of about 10 minutes of clock time, but committed enough mistakes that it will keep the players busy focusing on their own improvement and not on trying to avenge two consecutive losses to Ole Miss.
Alabama trailed 3-0 thanks to a rough first quarter that, hopefully, consolidated all of Alabama’s freshman mistakes into a single, 15-minute block of time. The Crimson Tide then opened up both barrels and blasted the Trojans right out of the discussion of national title contenders.Continue reading …
One of the side effects to consistently signing classes that are stocked top-to-bottom with talent is that it gets difficult to project who will end up playing and who will finish the season with “RS” posted next to his name.
While nothing is certain until fall camp is over, here’s a look at the incoming freshmen and transfer signees on the 2014 Alabama football team, and a quick assessment of which players are most likely to play or not play during the upcoming season.Continue reading …
While every team suffers losses from one year to the next, the hit to the roster Alabama took following the 2013 season – not just from graduation, but underclassmen opting for early entry into the NFL Draft – looks manageable for 2014.
The real question will be replacing upcoming losses following the 2014 season.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that Alabama could have eight senior starters on its 2014 offense, with another two players virtual locks to leave early for the NFL Draft in April 2015. Running back T.J. Yeldon and wideout Amari Cooper will be juniors in 2014, and if either returns for his senior season, it would be an upset somewhere on par with Louisiana-Monroe winning a rematch of its 2007 game against the Crimson Tide.Continue reading …