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The Crimson and White Roundtable Has Finally Found a Home

I've decided to step down as the administator of the Crimson and White Roundtable since I routinely find myself too busy and/or scatterbrained to run it properly beyond the increasingly infrequent three or four week in a row clips, so Tide Druid has agreed to take it over and is already doing a better job than I ever did by soliciting and obtaining a fancy logo:


So without further ado, here are his questions and my answers:

1) Due to that colossal victory over a Top 10 team in Clemson, Alabama has shot up in the polls (13th in AP and 17th in Coaches). What are your feelings on Alabama's current position in the polls? (Too High? Too Low? Just Right?) Expound on this if you can.

I'm a little hesitant to say we're just about right. I was of the firm belief that we should be a high to mid teens team at the end of the season and, even though I bumped us up to 12 on my blogpoll ballot, I don't really think this game proved all that much and we're coasting on a post blowout high more than any actual evidence that the Tide is really that physically dominant. Clemson rolled over after about ten minutes and really didn't put up much resistance, which you know the better teams that we'll face like UGA and LSU simply won't do. Looking at the Clemson sidelines, they were hanging their heads, arguing with each other, and just generally acted like a beaten team before the half, and even a kick return TD to open the second half couldn't light a fire under them. The Tide went out and played their game and didn't let something like that affect the way they handled themselves, which is a huge positive since last year's team would have quickly started melting down at that point, but there is still plenty to improve on (no downfield passing threat to speak of, left a couple of TDs on the field early and settled for FGs, etc) and until we completely dominate the next four weeks (Tulane, WKU, Arky, and even UK should be pushovers after the way they played last weekend) instead of playing down to the level of competition like we've always done the past decade or so and then really play a physical and efficient game against a very good UGA team, I'm still skeptical about Saturday's performance.

2) We're all a little shocked at how much Alabama dominated that game on Saturday. What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most?

The ground game. We haven't seen that kind of between the tackle power running since Ken Darby's junior year, and what's even more astounding is that we had <i>two</i> backs making those plays. Coffee and Ingram were both just shy of 100 yard games, and Alabama avoided a negative play until the end of the fourth quarter. That is just absolutely astounding. Even more interesting and surprising to me was the sudden emergence of Roy Upchurch. I think we had all written him off with all the other RB talent having just arrived or coming in, but he's apparently gotten his act together and is being trusted to contribute from the backfield. He and Terry Grant lined up in two back shotgun sets, and interestingly Upchurch was the guy catching the passes, finishing second behind Nick Walker in yards and tying with Julio for most catches with four. That's what we all expected from Grant (especially after his A-Day performance), but apparently this new offense puts such a premium on pass catching backs and running routes out of the backfield that they all are viable options. And on that note, I was shocked and disappointed in the lack of time for and production from Grant. I don't think he's necessarily disappeared from the offense, but I do think he's a role player now, and we just didn't need him on Saturday. I like the kid and I thought he did a tremendous job last season despite some bad circumstances, and I'd like to see him breaking off some yardage again.

3) Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.

Offense has to be JPW. He did what he was both supposed to do and was capable of doing, namely managing the game, minimizing mistakes, and being as efficient as you could ever ask from a QB. A delay of game penalty is the only real knock we can put on him, but with clock changes and it being the first game of the season, I have to think that was a one time deal. On defense, The Legend of Terrence Cody has brought an entirely new dimension to the Tide defense, so you have to take him with honorable mention to Josh Chapman.  Having the kind of size and talent they provide at NG that we simply didn't have last year made a huge difference in our defense, namely that we were able to get a good push and pressure in the backfield without having to bring the house like we did last year (with dubious results).