This team, man.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been so simultaneously disgusted and proud of a group. It’s error prone, incredibly dumb at times, remarkably limited offensively and dynamic as hell in the passing game, easy to dislike and easy to love, tough as hell one play and soft as baby shit on the very next snap, so young at key spots and way too veteran at others to play like they do — yet through it all, they just keep winning.
The reasons are pretty simple, and four-fold: 1. The best kicking game in America, 2. The best defensive adjustments in America — perhaps the best defense in the country. The Tide have now held Lane Kiffin and Bobby Petrino to a total of six second-half points. 3. Despite not wanting to do it, Tommy Rees eventually comes around each week to the fact that this offense will only go as far as Jalen Milroe’s arm will carry it. A conservative guy that has to dial up YOLO plays has to be killing him. And, 4. it just doesn’t quit. Sure, it may come out of the blocks ugly, but they do scrap.
It’s also the quietest Top 10 team in the country. There are a lot of storylines this year to write about: UGA’s run for a three-peat, a dominant trio in the Big 10, the West Coast offensive explosion, the resurgence of Texas and Oklahoma, the emergence of Colorado, and so many others.
Yet, here we are, the midpoint in the season, and the Tide is about where most figured it would be after a rugged opening schedule: 5-1, after staring down the No. 7 SOS in the country. And by far it is the quietest Top 10 team in the nation. And I kind of like being under the radar for a change, y’all.
What a rugged week, huh? So many frauds exposed, and next week the real sorting begins.
So, without further ado, here is the Week 7Blog Poll; a few very brief remarks follow. Usual caveats: The criteria are nebulous, far-ranging, and capricious — strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away results, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, can you cover a spread (Vegas is pretty smart about how good a team is), head-to-head where possible or prudent, and my own lying eyeballs.
Really Good in Defeat: Texas A&M’s DL, 3rd down defense, and balanced offense can give teams fits — I’m glad they’re misusing Evan and Ainais, TBH. You really only see one more likely loss for the Ags. LSU’s offense is scary-good. The defense is like making tea out of a hobo’s boxer shorts. Texas outgained OU by 1.6 yards per play, completed 85% of their passes, moved the chains all day on third down, harassed Gabriel for the better part of three quarters...then defensively imploded in the final minute. I doubt they lose again this season, TBH.
You guys gonna’ ever play someone? Lookin’ at you Oregon, Washington, Michigan
Probably picked up a decent win...finally: Welcome to the show, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Solid Body of Work Gang: Meet the UNC Tarheels, Duke Blue Devils, Utah Utes, Ole Miss Rebels, Luhvl Cardinals, Oregon State Beavers, Wazzu Cougars and UCLA Bruins.
Getting Better under the Radar: Who thought we’d see the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide here?
Midmajor Brick Fight Club: All of the midmajor dynamos have one thing in common — they are filthy defensive teams that absolutely whip you at the point of attack: Air Force, Wyoming and James Madison have occasionally played with fire, but they claw to wins with toughness.
Go think about what you’ve done: USC is going to get 100 points dumped on them by Washington, should they meet. And all of those complaints about Marcus Freemen? His Notre Dame teams coming up short week-to-week with inconsistent play? Jeff Brohm’s Cards worked him over like a Uygher in an iPhone factory.
Take a deep breathe, compose yourself, and get ready for the first of many sorting weeks next Saturday.
Is Alabama a Top 10 team?
This poll is closed
Borderline, either way