Before we get into the news of the day I'd like to take a moment and thank each and everyone of our loyal RBR readers for all your support. Yesterday Roll 'Bama Roll ranked as the #6 SBN College Blog on the entire SBN platform and we owe every bit of that success to you. This place wouldn't be nearly as fun without you guys and I am very grateful for each and everyone of you.
I'd also like to take a moment to say a much needed thank you to Todd, Nico, Kleph and OTS for building RBR to what it is today. Without those guys, and the effort they put forth in building this site, there is no way RBR would be one of the premier college football blogs on the interwebs.
Thanks again and Roll Tide.
This week, we'll play Alabama, which is a great thing, but then we hit the pause button again for yet another bye week. That's a four week stretch in the home stretch of the season, and LSU will play precisely one game that anyone could possibly have any interest in. That's a full month revolving around one solitary game. Now, I grant you it's a big game. Alabama is a big deal.
But if you wonder why the players, coaches, and fans treat LSU football as a one-game season, it's because the schedule is made in such a way as to put an exclamation point on this game's solitary importance.
I have to agree with the ATVS boys on this one but with a slight 'Bama twist. The season so far for Alabama has been a bit of a borefest. Since the A&M game, we seem as a fan base a tad bored. I think a lot of that has to do with how great Alabama has played but also in the terrible stretch of games of Colorado St, Ole Miss, Georgia St, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. Out of those six games, only CSU and Ole Miss were competitive after the 1st quarter.
I don't think we are bored with winning but I think the season would be more exciting if the LSU, Ole Miss, A&M, VT, MSU and Auburn games were spread out differently..
Fact: Since hiring the Short Lord of the Sith in 2007, this series is 4-3 in the Tide's favor by an average score of22-18. And that's including the 21-0 BCS title game result. Anybody without a hound's tooth tribal armband tat would have concede that the match-ups in this rivalry have been about as even as possible in recent seasons, with the winner typically being the team that finds a way to make a couple of key plays in the fourth quarter.
This is an interesting post pinned by ATVS. I can't really disagree with any of their points, especially this one. Alabama has certainly not "owned" LSU. Since 2004 only two games have been decided by 10+. I'm having a hard time nailing down my own feelings on this game but my gut says 'Bama wins by about 10-13.
BTW, the spread is up to 11.5
"I am getting a lot of pressure to go to LSU," Jones said. "At the same time, I am getting pressure to go to Alabama, even from LSU fans. It really isn't affecting me either way. I just want to take my mom to both schools so she can see the atmosphere before I make my decision. She is a big factor in my decision."
Um, why would LSU fans be telling a top 100 safety to go Alabama? Secret Tide fans, maybe?
Beckham and Landry drew some of Alabama coach Nick Saban's strongest words of praise Monday. "The combination of these two guys are as good a receivers as we've played against all year long," Saban said. "Not the same style as the Texas A&M guys, but very quick, very athletic. "These two guys, to me, are the most challenging group that we've played against all year long." LSU coach Les Miles talked confidently about his receivers' chances Saturday against the Crimson Tide's defensive backs.
"We like the matchup," Miles said, according to a transcript posted on NOLA.com. "We think that we kind of give them some challenges on the perimeter. We got a quarterback, first of all, that can make the throw and several receivers that can get open in space. "Again, who we're playing, they are a very good team, but we think there is a matchup there that benefits us.
If there is one match-up in this game that brings your gump to a pause it has to be the LSU passing attack. We HAVE to be able to stop the LSU running game with our front 7 and allow for predictable third downs. If we are forced to bring a safety into the box that will allow for play action pass and I'm not comfortable with the thought of our young corners in that situation....
2. Can Alabama get off to a fast start? Over its last four games, the Crimson Tide has had an average lead of 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and been ahead, on average, better than 31-0 by halftime
This to me is a key for the game. I'm hearing from LSU fans that this team may have some confidence issues and if we are able to jump on top early and get them doubting themselves, that could spell doom for LSU's hope of an upset ..
"It was good for us to see a different color jersey," said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. "It was also good to get into a game environment with the lights and the fans." The Tide defense forced 36 turnovers and limited West Alabama to only 27.7 percent shooting from the field. On the other end, Myers and sophomore Nikki Hegstetter (12 points) paced an Alabama offense that saw 10 different players score.
Roll Coach Kristy Curry!
That may not be exactly the way that Alabama would like an exhibition game against a Division II opponent described, but it is what happened. Releford finally made the difference but played 42 minutes — including the entire second half — which could hardly have been the UA strategy going in.
"Hopefully," a perplexed UA coach Anthony Grant said after last night's 65-64 win over West Georgia, "that is the worst we can play.
I'm hearing a mix bag of reviews from the game. At first the final score has to be concerning. It's one thing to struggle with a team in the first half but you expect your team to pull away from a D-II school early in the 2nd. On the other hand, I hear a lot of young players got some quality minutes and many have hopes this team will improve.
I think we'll find out a lot about this team when the season officially opens this Friday against Oklahoma.
Releford knocked down 11-of-12 free throws for the game, but connected on 10-of-10 free throws in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime. Junior forward Nick Jacobs had 12 points and nine rebounds while freshman forward Jimmie Taylor had seven blocks to go along with six boards.
Releford tied at the game at 55-55 by hitting two free-throws with just over two seconds left in the second half to send the game to overtime. The Tide sealed the game by scoring seven of their 10 points in overtime from the free-throw line. West Georgia had three players in double digits, and were led by sophomore guard Zach Taulien's 12.
"We just had a production call today for elements of our game this week and Todd Blackledge, our color analyst that I work with, has a rule we don't talk about the Heisman on our show until Nov. 1st, so we're talking about Heisman on our show this week. "
So he had his five candidates and he was saying who they were and he hadn't listed AJ yet. I almost blurted out, 'Don't forget AJ.' I just get frustrated that people aren't giving that kid more credit. But he did. AJ was his fifth guy."
Unless Oregon and FSU both lose and JFF has a meltdown at some point, I don't see AJ winning the Heisman but I do believe he should at the very least be invited to New York.
On third downs this season LSU converts 57.6 percent of the time, ranking second nationally. On the other hand Alabama is holding opponents to a 29.6 percent conversion rate, which ranks seventh nationally. In this strength against strength matchup, Alabama knows getting third down stops will be a big factor.
Another key to the game...I'm starting to get that nervous, excited feeling I haven't felt since Ole Miss...
"Hell of a player, hell of a running back," center Evan Dietrich-Smith said of Lacy, per PackersNews.com. "You make sure he touches the ball and we have to block good for him. The more and more he gets going, the better he is and the less defenses want to play against us. That's just how it goes."
I got to watch a few minutes of the first half and watching Lacy run brought back some great memories of the 2012 season. The guy is deceptively fast and is so hard to bring down. I was laughing watching Bears defenders trying to bring him down with arm tackles...