For the first time, I will not be writing to you from the friendly confines of Tuscaloosa. With graduating and starting life as a real adult, I have relocated to Columbus, GA. In other words, its a good mix of Auburn fans and Georgia fans who all hate each other and Alabama. I am truly in the heart of enemy territory.
So, I must fight with all that I have. On with the Auburn hating!
Auburn running back Roc Thomas is possibly looking to join one of the top programs from the FCS ranks. Reports today surfaced suggesting Thomas is looking to transfer to Jacksonville State, although another report says he has yet to ask Auburn for a request to transfer.
To start, remember when Roc Thomas was one of the top recruits in the state and how much fans of the Barn crowed when Thomas decided to go to the east side of the state? Well, we see how that one is turning out. It looks like no one knows for sure if he's actually transferring, but where there's smoke, there's fire...
Credit to Auburn's PR team though for having the news leak during the middle of the news frenzy that is Baylor.
Some stadiums have rowdiness, but a general lack of fan understanding of the game, so the intensity is misplaced, usually directed at the officials. Think Mississippi State.
There are a few places where fans are out of control mean, even before the game, notably Georgia and Auburn.
As for stadiums where the fans are most enthusiastic regardless of the chances of success by their teams against Alabama, I would say the top three are South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Tennessee.
But the toughest places to play are where the toughest teams await.
This one is a fun offseason article that's entire premise is calling a bleacher report list dumb. The author mostly talks about how we assume that the loudest stadiums give the most advantage, but in all reality, the good teams are what made the stadium loud.
And yes, Auburn fans are mean. I went for one Iron Bowl back in the Shula years, and vowed never to return to that Godforsaken stadium.
Has this replaced Alabama-LSU as the best heavyweight bout in the SEC? Maybe not yet, but give it time. Ole Miss had the Tide's number the last two seasons, representing the stiffest competition to the Nick Saban dynasty. This year should be a similarly heated battle despite the laundry list of former players now in NFL minicamps. Alabama's defense is loaded once again thanks to the return of safety Eddie Jackson and defensive ends Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams.
Ole Miss has become a thorn in Nick Saban's side. For whatever reason, they've just had the Tide's number the last two years. In Saban's time here, only LSU has beaten the Tide two seasons in a row. If the Rebels pull it out again this year, we could be looking at new levels of cactus-swinging.
Personally, I don't see it happening again. I just can't imagine Saban losing to a team three years in a row. It's unprecedented. But, then again, I never thought Alabama would lose to Ole Miss the last two times either.
Ridley isn't a hog when it comes to production. He's not Tyler Boyd or Tyler Lockett -- guys who will account for anywhere from one-third to one-half of their offense's receiving stats. In that way, he's different from a lot of guys on this list. However, Ridley is that perfect piece for offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Just when you think you have to stop the Tide's powerful running game, Kiffin will call up a play action to hit Ridley deep. Or when you stack the box, Alabama will hit Ridley with a screen and let him gobble up yards after the catch. He's the guy that busts the defense wide open. Kiffin loves that type of explosive playmaker.
Calvin Ridley is an interesting choice for "most irreplaceable." Though an amazing player, Alabama still has a plethora of receiving weapons in ArDarius Stewart, Robert Foster, O.J. Howard, Cam Sims, and incoming transfer Gehrig Dieter. Personally, I think I would have to vote either Jonathan Allen or Marlon Humphrey as the most irreplaceable. Who would you pick?
Sixth seed Alabama (49-12) will host No. 11 seed Washington (39-13) in the first game of the best-two-of-three series at 8 p.m. CDT Friday (ESPN2). The second game will be at 4:30 Saturday (ESPN) and the third, if necessary, will start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).
This is the ninth Super Regional round held in Tuscaloosa, with Alabama winning seven of the previous eight home Super Regional contests. Over those eight series, Alabama has outscored its opponents 102-45.
The eight Super Regional winners will head to Oklahoma City next week for the 2016 Women’s College World Series. Games at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium begin on Thursday, June 2.
Our ladies' softball team is in good shape. Two wins against the Huskies, and they'll be in the World Series. Roll Tide.
The book on Alabama hitting is an open book. Mississippi State started a pitcher who had never started a Southeastern Conference game in the SEC Tournament against the Crimson Tide on Wednesday, and he throttled Bama batters. Florida, which had played into the wee hours Thursday morning before losing to LSU, came back with another pitcher making his first against an SEC team and the Gators prevailed, 5-4.
Thus, Alabama exited the SEC Tournament at Hoover with a 1-2 record and only the faintest of hopes for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament when the selections are announced Monday.
The men, on the other hand, are struggling. Apparently unknown and unproven pitchers are a bit of an achilles heel for the Tide. Almost like the football team with opposing quarterbacks...
The men have a slight chance to make it into the NCAA tournament, but the chances look to be on the slim side. Keep your eyes peeled on Monday