Saturday, September 15, 2007
Well, here we are again. EVERYBODY knows we had the Razorbacks beaten last year (in spite of McFadden & Co. & poor Bama coaching decisions which shall remain nameless here) but inexplicably let the game get away. This is also bizarrely historical, harkening back to the 90's. Twice in three years (home & home rotation), Arkansas beat us at home on late or last-play touchdowns which left the Bryant-Denny crowd speechless. I honestly don't think that will happen this year. I believe that with an actual strategy in place, we match up with the Hawgs pretty well.
Coach Saban hasn't unleashed Major Applewhite's offense, so we haven't shown nearly all we can do offensively. The defense, loaded with true freshmen, has been surprisingly effective, for the most part. Other than a few big scares (which were fortunately nullified by legitimate Vandy penalties-- watch the tape), we've been consistent. We'll have to step it up a notch to stop the Arkansas running backs and the newly-installed trick plays.
Speaking of trick plays, how about our special-teams return guys...? And I like to think that Terry Grant will soon be in the same category as McFadden and Jones.
I think Bama was so close last year that leadership makes the difference.
Prediction: ALABAMA 28 Arkansas 14
Florida and tennesee meet in their annual hate match this week, as well. Vols looked vulnerable against the Golden Bears and got whacked. The Gators aren't Cal.
FLORIDA 45 tennessee 16
The tigers try to rebound from last week's snafu with a welcome opponent in Mississippi State. USF was surprisingly ready and snuck up on the plainsmen. Earlier in the week, the Bulldogs' defense matched up well with LSU, stopping those tigers the entire first half. Henig and their offense killed any real chances they had with the crippling turnovers. NOBODY's defense should be on the field that long, and the game was a lot closer than the lopsided score.
Still, the cow college is a little better than MSU. This one goes to the plainsmen. Or the war eagles. Or the tigers. Whatever.
alabama polytechnic:28 Mississippi State:14
Kentucky hosts Louisville this evening in a bluegrass shootout. Looks to be a high-scoring and interesting contest. TOSS-UP
Everyone else in the SEC has weak non-conference opponents, but I will be keeping my eye on the Georgia-West Carolina game after ours is done. We get the 'Dawgs next week.