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Your Late Tuesday Links and Such

RealFootball365 has it's priorities straight:

So where does the Crimson Tide go from here? Focus on blocking and Houston. Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

Darren Mustin is disappointed in the defense:

The failings in coverage were the most glaring errors by the Crimson Tide, but linebacker Darren Mustin said the whole defense must take responsibility for them. He pointed to an analogy that either head coach Nick Saban or defensive coordinator Kevin Steele -- Mustin couldn't remember which -- made in the preseason.

"He was like, '99 percent of the team's doing what it's supposed to do,' " Mustin said. "'But if 99 percent of ATMs worked in America, a whole bunch of people are going to go without money. If 99 percent of babies are delivered to the right parents, a whole bunch of babies are going to the wrong parents.'

"It's just, you've got to get 100 percent. You can't have 99. You've got to get it all."

Two things on that:

1) He's exactly right. With this defense as thin and inexperienced as it is, they have to be damn near perfect on every play to be completely effective, and we've seen what happens when they aren't.

2) Don't those sound like the kind of comments we kept hearing from the defense last season while the offense floundered? We kept hearing the defensive players talk about how they need to step up and play better to win whenever they were asked about the offense's troubles. Just kind of struck me as off that they're already talking that way.

Ken Rogers of The Dothan Eagle has a good column about the season thus far, and the direction of the Tide:

In retrospect, it's pretty clear Alabama wasn't as good as it looked two weeks ago. Admit it, you were looking at the schedule, counting wins. What had been seven or eight in the preseason looked like 10 or 11 or, gulp, even more after the victory over Arkansas.

That doesn't make losses less painful, or even less acceptable. But when you're trying to compete against top SEC teams and a Florida State, the squads with the most playmakers generally end up winning. The schedule should ease up just a bit. Houston, Ole Miss and Tennessee are next, before an open date. Each of those games has its own minefields, but each is winnable, too. I don't see a quarterback with a Matthew Stafford arm. I don't see defenses as fast or speedy as the Seminoles. There are opportunities, but no guarantees.

It is at this stage of the season when a team can pick a direction. It can pull together and improve; or things can disintegrate if players can't trust teammates to execute their assignments.

An astute reader sent us this link to an ESPN article detailing all the top notch high school talent being produced right here in Alabama:

For the third consecutive year, the state of Alabama continues to impress us with quality personnel from top to bottom. In fact, I am not so sure outside of Texas, California and Florida that Alabama isn't the best state we have seen in terms of speed and athleticism at all positions.

I didn't watch the Auburn/Florida game since I was too depressed to watch anything football related after the Florida State loss, so I missed all the brouhaha over Urban Meyer's last second timeout. Anyway, the M Zone has a post up about it so if, like me, you didn't watch the game and want to read up on it, go visit them.

And finally, of all the partisan reactions to the many upsets this weekend, Peter's has to be the best. After his Longhorns were bested again by Kansas State he dropped them from his BlogPoll ballot entirely and justified it with this quip:

Where's Texas, you ask? I'm not sure - I haven't seen them all weekend.
The preceding link was a thinly veiled excuse to post a picture of the Texas Pom Squad. You're welcome.