Alright, folks. It is that time of the week again, so let's do another round of Roll Bama Roll mailbag. We're tried out the round table format last time, with Bammer and Erik sharing their thoughts, and we'll be continuing that format with Bammer this week.
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Now on to the questions!
Given the situation Grant is facing in the upcoming season due to transfers, does Grant get a pass on what is sure to be a total dumpster fire of a season? If no, who are some possible replacements - Gary
Slice: Does Grant get a pass? In a word - no. For better or worse, this season will still be just as much of a make-or-break proposal for Grant. Either make the NCAA tournament, or freshen up the old resume. The stakes haven't changed, even if the odds have grown longer.
As far as replacements, from a pure coaching perspective, Bruce Pearl has to be at the top of the list. He obviously comes with some baggage, and I don't think there's a Bama fan in the world that would want upgrades hoopy ball play if it came at the expense of NCAA investigators making their way to campus. The next obvious suggestion would be Shaka Smart, but there may be concern that you'd be getting a Anthony Grant retread if you went that direction.
bammer- There's a deeper question here — Is Coach Grant responsible for the off-season transfers/ troubles?" Obviously, you can't predict a kid being involved in kidnapping. That said, if the answer is "yes" to the above question then an NCAA appearance may be the only thing that keeps CAG around for one more year. I like Coach Grant and I think he's an excellent coach, but I'm just not sure his style is right for Alabama.
So the Hypothetical Tuesday question is, if the 2013 season is truly a dumpster fire, who replaces Coach Grant? My vote would also be for Pearl but as Slice pointed and others have as well, his history with the NCAA places him somewhere near the #3-5 guy on the list. Who would be the #1 guy? I have no freaking clue. I just don't know if Alabama basketball is big enough to compete for the prominent coaching names available. If UCLA couldn't lure a coach like Shaka Smart, what makes us believe Alabama would be able to? So a guy like Bruce Pearl, even with his NCAA baggage, may be our best/ only choice.
Whomever we choose, IMO, we must move away from the defense first approach we've seen under CAG. It just doesn't seem to be working.
Answer the following: We will win the national championship if X happens. We will lose 4 games if Y happens. - Hardy
Slice: Optimism alert! I'll start with the second one. We will lose 4 games if strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran loses his mind and starts kneecapping guys in the weight room. Seriously, in my mind, there is literally no way this team loses four games unless there is a plague of injuries.
I'm similarly optimistic about winning a championship. There are only two things that truly concern me - AJ staying healthy, and the offensive line staying healthy. If those two things happen, Bama three-peats. I think the hand-wringing over the rebuilt defense is overwrought, and I have very few concerns about that side of the ball.
We will win the national championship if the Offensive Line plays at a high level and we don't see a major drop off at Corner Back. Everyone likes to point to the D-line as a possible weakness but I actually see that group as one of the strengths heading into the season. We have the QB, RB's, WR's, Safeties, and LB's...It's up to the CB's and OL's to make it happen. If we get past A&M and LSU #16 is a very real possibility.
We will lose 4 games if we have any major injuries at CB and I mean losing 2 guys for the season. Can Belue step up and fill the shoes of Dee Milliner? Will Geno Smith live up to the hype? Who is the #3 CB? Our defensive backs struggled at times last year and if we truly want a chance at a 3-peat that unit must play at a high level.
But honestly, even if injuries wreck our DB's or OL, I don't see four losses on our schedule. We are just too deep at every position to see a major drop off in talent.
MAYBE if AJ goes down the team would fall apart. To have four losses you are looking at A&M, LSU, ???? and ????. Ole Miss...Auburn? Arkansas? MSU? Certainly not Tennessee.
Well, that will wrap up this week's Roll Bama Roll mailbag. Feel free to give your responses in the comments and/or let me know why I'm completely right/wrong about my responses. And remember to send in your questions for future editions of Roll Bama Roll mailbag to RBRmailbag@gmail.com.