"For us to practice on the teams we're playing down the road, we have to spend time preparing for that, too," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "Whatever team it is that we're trying to prepare for that particular day -- we worked on two different teams today -- so you have to spend a significant amount of time trying to get ready for that, too. "I think that really adds interest for the players in practice, because they're doing something different. But that also takes time on our part."
Next up on the docket? Five straight SEC opponents. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban is preparing for them all, starting with a pair of opponents on Tuesday, the first day Alabama practiced since beating Ole Miss 33-14 on Saturday night. "There's a lot of catching up to do," Saban said. "For us to practice on the teams we're playing down the road, we have to spend time preparing for that, too. Whatever team it is that we're trying to prepare for that particular day -- we worked on two different teams today -- so you have to spend a significant amount of time trying to get ready for that, too."
"There are a lot of fundamental things we would like to improve this week," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "Tackling on defense was not as good as it has been. Also, inconsistencies in the passing game and the running game, too many negative plays and red zone efficiency."
"We really had high hopes that Amari Cooper would one day sort of find himself and do the things like he does in practice all the time in the game," Saban said Saturday. "I think that happened today. "That's a guy that can be an explosive player for us and help us out down the road."
In Saban's system, if you can't learn what you need to learn, he won't let you on the field, regardless of your talent. "When a young guy comes in and can pick up the offense quickly and then can start dominating the offense and start making plays early on when he first gets here ... you can kind of see he's going to progress to be a player, a fit for our team," said Christion Jones, who didn't play much as a freshman last year as he learned the system.
"With all the young players, it's can you trust and believe in what you're being coached to do. Rather than just go play fast like a horse with blinders, whether you're playing on special teams, whether you're carrying the ball, no matter what you're doing," Saban said. "That's the biggest challenge. I had a fit about that today in the special teams meeting, not just him but just all the young guys. We're coaching one thing and they're doing something else. ... We teach them how to do it every day. You get in the game and they go rat trap."
"The big question here is, if everyone in the organization is not doing everything they can do to help the team be all it can be, then we need to change the way we're doing things, change the way we think, change our attitude about what we're doing, whether it's how we play our position, how we coach our position, how we coach the team, how we motivate the team. When you walk off the field at the end of the game, do you feel like you really beat the other guy? Was your energy, your enthusiasm, your sense of urgency, your excitement where it needs to be for you to be the best player you can be. "I think that there's been plenty of times we've shown when we do things with the right energy level, we do it pretty well. But that hasn't been as consistent as we'd like for it to be."
From afar, skeptics aren’t ready to concede that dominance, especially here lately. They contend that it’s a league that’s top-heavy and a league that has ridden Alabama’s coattails for the past few years. The Crimson Tide have won two of the past three national championships and are ranked No. 1 in both polls again this season. There’s little debate that Alabama is the class of the SEC. Since the start of the 2008 season -- Nick Saban’s second in charge in Tuscaloosa -- the Crimson Tide have compiled a 49-4 regular-season record, a 32-5 record in all games against SEC opponents and a 7-1 record against nationally ranked opponents outside the SEC. Pardon the pun, but it’s the kind of roll that begs an obvious question: Is Alabama on the verge of taking off and leaving everybody else in the SEC in its crimson dust?
He is an artist. A real artist. He knows this. He would love to be LSUFreek full-time. He would love to be able to create his own images and not have to use clips from old movies or TV shows. He would love to do sculpture, molding images of these coaches out of clay. He thinks he could have fun with that. But all this takes money. "And blogging don't pay," he says. So he remains something organic and perhaps something more sincere in this digital world: An invisible sensation dancing in the shadows of the Internet.
On Saturday, for the second time in less than a year, Holgorsen's offense put up 70 on an opponent, but what made this particular performance remarkable was that his team needed every one of those points, because they were playing Baylor, which runs a variation of a similar offense, which meant you had two offensive-minded coaches2 going up against a pair of defenses that had largely been relegated to hierarchical afterthoughts. I would say it resembled a video game, but it was probably less realistic than that: I feel like video games have advanced to the point that a Cover 3 actually works much of the time against bomb-chucking yahoos, and you couldn't say the same thing about this game.
10. LSU's pass protection: Les Miles' QB has been sacked 11 times this season, which is as many times as his vaunted defense has taken down the opponents quarterback. Towson had four sacks against LSU in a game that was surprisingly competitive. In the opener against North Texas, Zach Mettenberger was knocked out by the Mean Green after getting blasted. Scarier still, the Tigers haven't faced any defense close to as talented as the one it will visit this weekend at Florida or the next week when it meets South Carolina. Miles' team has struggled replacing its' best lineman, LT Chris Faulk by shuffling things around. The new RT is true freshman Vadal Alexander. Their most experienced lineman, sixth-year senior Josh Dworaczyk, who had shifted from LG out to LT, had fits with Auburn DE Corey Lemonier and that prompted more shifting.
New research suggests that students study less and party more when their football team wins—and a successful season on the gridiron significantly reduces the grades of male students relative to females. According to a study published in the October issue of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, male nonathletes were more likely than females to increase their alcohol consumption and partying, and decrease their study time, in response to the success of the team. Women also reported that their behavior was affected by football wins, most likely impairing their academic performance. But they didn’t suffer such great consequences in the classroom, the study found, as their declines were masked by grade curves.