"It's important to me," Battle said of the student attendance issue. "It's certainly important to our players and coaches that our students are engaged," he said. "It hurts their feelings when they don't come or they come late or leave early. I don't know what the answer is, but I think we better start figuring out all the questions and engage the students to try to do that."
Flame war: engaged. This has been a touchy subject among the commentors on this blog, but I think we can all agree: it is completely unacceptable for a team of this caliber to be playing in a stadium that is not packed to capacity every single game. I don't know what the solution is, but I'm glad to hear that Mr. Battle is taking the issue head on and hopefully we can get a resolution that will be acceptable for all parties involved.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama -- Yeldon was phenomenal as a freshman, rushing for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns as a backup to Eddie Lacy. Well, Lacy's 204 carries and 1,322 yards have now gone to the NFL, which means Yeldon should become the feature back in Alabama's run-heavy system. A truckload of talented freshman runners will no doubt vie for some of Lacy's carries, but Yeldon's experience should win the day, especially in the early going. Look for Yeldon to easily top what Lacy did last year.
Not sure that I agree with this one. T.J. should probably get 30-60 more carries this year than last, but I would think his YPC average would digress a bit as well (6.33 last year). I do expect him to surpass Lacy's yardage from last year, but I don't look for him to come close to Richardson '11 (1,679) or Ingram '09 (1,658).
Vogler admitted that he's trying to take a page or two out of redshirt freshman Chris Black's playbook when it pertains to route running. "To see him at 100 percent, he's an unbelievable player," Vogler said of Black, who missed all of 2012 with an injured shoulder. "He's so quick. Honestly, when you watch him running routes, you try and take what he does to separate from somebody and try to put it in your game."
Them Bammers is fieldin' illegal aliens, PAAAAWWWL. As good as Bama has been for the last 5 years, and as good as the recruiting rankings have been over that span, the suggestion that the Tide could field the conference's best wide receiver corps would normally be a laughable proposition. If Chris Black lives up to the hype, though, and one or two more consistent threats emerge alongside Amari Cooper, we could be looking at the best corps in the conference, and in the conversation for best in the country, if not in '13, then at least by '14.
After the Crimson Tide's practice Wednesday, Kelly was asked how the competition at left guard and right tackle is going. "I can't honestly speak on that, because ... Cristobal told me yesterday, he asked if I was ready to play tackle," said Kelly, who will be a third-year sophomore this fall.
We all know that, at the end of the day, Saban will put the best 5 guys on the field. At this point, I would be floored if that lineup doesn't include Kelly at center. Spring is the time for experimentation, though, and it seems that nearly every possible permutation will be given a trial run.
Auburn's football program altered grades to ensure eligibility, offered "several thousand dollars" to entice would-be draft picks to return for their senior seasons and knowingly violated NCAA recruiting rules, several ex-Tigers told former New York Times and Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts, whose report appeared on her Web site, Roopstigo.com.
I wouldn't hold my breath expecting anything to come of all of this, but one can always hope. In the meantime, I'm going to pretend that the sky will be falling on the farm and celebrate accordingly.