Apologies for the first post and all of the formatting errors.
To the authors of Roll Bama Roll, thanks for all of your work on the site. In particular, I appreciate Kleph's season ending piece "A Few Thoughts on Alabama's 2010 Regular Season". In the same spirit, I have created what I am calling the "Crimson Tide State of the Union / Annual Report". You can say it's just me venting my spleen to feel better. Fine, but these are the things I have looked at that I think need to be asked, addressed.
Moving forward from 2010:
* Where is the gargantuan, takeover a game, impose our will, offensive line play? Saban created and Miles has sustained that at LSU. We had it in 08 and 09. Four years into our Dear Leaders glorious reign, I expected every lineman we field to look like Fluker and Carpenter. Is this in the pipeline? Painful reminder, we had Trent and Mark in the same backfield yet we were not a run first, grind it out team. Think about that as you reflect on the Iron Bowl.
* When I lived in Florida during the late 90's early 00s, the insider take on some of the "bad" seasons (9-2, 8-3) for the Gators had to do with locker rooms so stocked with NFL talent that the players were a bit complacent and mentally "checked out". I call this NFL'it is. Was this an issue on this team?
* Am I wrong in asking whether or not we were outcoached this season? As a complete football imbecile, I may not know what I am talking about, but shouldn't we have been doing more to help out Milliner? Am I crazy, but wouldn't McCullough have been a tad better against Fairly? Real crazy, but what would have happened if when Fluker came back, we left McCullough at RT, moved Warmack to right guard and then put Fluker at left guard? Carp and Fluker drive blocking on the left side wouldn't have worked? Again, this is all armchair ranting, but the point is that we didn't get desperate enough with personnel.
* Two ways to look at the 2010 team:
- Glass ½ full view - Our team just went 9-3 having lost 10 starters from the previous year (6 playing in the NFL). Thus, the young defense that caused much of the season's consternation received valuable experience that will allow young players to progress.
-Glass ½ empty view - This 9-3 team has 7 players going to the NFL this spring.
* We have heard ad-nauseam about the secondary troubles. However, how much better does the secondary get when coupled with a good pass rush (something missing until the first half of the Iron Bowl)? The NFL seems to bear this out as no team has a complete secondary. In fact, you can argue that true shut down corners no longer exist. The teams with the best defense all put the QB on the ground, a lot. Hello JaDaveon Clowney and Alfy Hill. We need you.
* Non-football related issues - I think of the Tide as something akin to Augusta National . We are a cut above and often, this makes us different and unique. I say that to make the next comments about non-team related things that need to be mentioned:
- I am not a prude or immune from some outbursts of profanity. However, I am disgusted by some behavior from the Iron Bowl.
* A photo of some Bama fans giving the AU team bus the bird.
* "Auburn ain't Shit" buttons
* Crying about Cam Newton
First, I agree with the sentiments. But, I don't agree with expressing it publicly. We are better than this. The fact is we enjoy a reputation as class fans. Some say we are annoying as we have a continuous expectation to win and then discuss our tradition of winning, but we are never considered boorish. I need to remind all that we have been winning rings for a long time. We are not Auburn or Florida. Let's not act like them, ever. Another way to look at this is to ask if you would wear that button or shoot the bird if you were standing with CNS or coach Stallings or, gulp, coach Bryant. OK, I'm becoming old cranky guy.
- In the spirit of the above comment on profanity and excuse making, I am tired with the techno-fag music that precedes every kickoff. Again, when AU and Clemson want to do this, fine, we know who they are. Can't we find something better (unique) to pump up the crowd? Is this really the best our stadium ops people can be? Again, I love the quote "We have a high standard" and I think our stadium music needs to step it up.
- I never want to see any more ESPN "Rollin With The Tide", Trent and his magic bench-press, Nick Saban statue, etc. fluff crap. I understand the marketing angle from these events. But, in my completely unqualified opinion, it gives the appearance of a team that is enamored with its press clippings rather than working on the next accomplishment. I can be swayed on changing my opinion as these types of things may be necessary for growing the program and I am just out of touch, old, etc. Fine. But admit it, all of the hype from August and September seems a bit galling right now.
* In closing, we have to ask whether this going to go down as a good, not great 10-3 team or an underachieving 10-3 or 9-4 team? You can play the "a few plays here or there" game and have the Tide at 11-1 (LSU and AU). But you can also have them at 7-5 (Arky and Ole Miss). My take is that this is a good 9-3 team that left too much meat on the bone. Next year will be the final measurement for this year. To paraphrase Dear Leader, "we had a high standard and did not play up to it." Let's hope that 2011 shows the year-to-year marked improvement we saw from 07 to 08 to 09.