What We Learned This Weekend

1. Alabama isn’t as good as we thought. I don’t like Kentucky much at all. This should be a rebuilding year for them. That makes it more than a bit concerning to me that they played the Tide as close as they did. Any team can have a bad day – just ask USC or Ohio State. My concern with Alabama, though, is that Kentucky was able to set the tone on both sides of the ball at times, and they were able to completely neutralize the passing game. That doesn’t bode well for a team that still has two or three tough games ahead. I know that they beat up on Georgia, but I don’t like them, either. My comfortable prediction – Alabama won’t finish the year in the top five.

2. The Big 12 is the best conference in the country. By far. Shut up SEC fans – I don’t want to hear from you. The Big 12 is loaded. Oklahoma and Mizzou have yet to take even a minor misstep. Texas Tech found their mojo in a big way this week. I have doubts about Texas that I think will come to fruition against Oklahoma this week, but so far they have been more than solid. Oklahoma State is clearly on the rise. Colorado and Kansas have issues, but both can do damage. I love the Big Ten, but there is no better group to watch, or bet on, than the Big 12.

3. Last weekend was an anomaly on the USC front. I can’t even begin to explain what happened against Oregon State, but I am confident that it won’t happen again. The team that shredded Oregon bore no resemblance at all to the one that lost to the Beavers. I might yet be proven wrong, but I now think that that game will be a momentary blip on a ferocious year.

4. Butch Davis is a very good coach. In only his second year, he has made North Carolina a legitmate team. In their last four games they have thrashed Rutgers and UConn, beat Miami, and narrowly lost to Virginia Tech. That’s a good month for any team, never mind one that has been as bad as the Tar Heels have been for as long as they have.

5. Okay, okay, okay. I admit it. The Titans are good. And the Giants, too. Just don’t ask me to like either of them much. Or trust them, for that matter.

6. I really, really misjudged the Redskins. I wrote them off before the year, and felt very smug in the decision after the first game. Since then, though, they have been the best team in the league. They have won four in a row against potental playoff teams. Most impressively, they have won consecutive road games against division rivals. That’s saying something in the best division in the league. Jim Zorn has to be high on the coach of the year list.

7. Seattle is doomed. Did you see a single redeemable thing they did today? There wasn’t one. Bad team, and awful at traveling. I can’t wait until their long trips to Florida – they have two left. I can’t help but think that the stupid situation around their coaching – Holmgren as a lame duck with Mora waiting in the wings – is damaging them.

8. The Lions are incredibly terrible. I don’t see how benching Jon Kitna is going to help, though. It’s not his fault that the team is so poorly assembled and ineptly coached.

9. The Falcons are making my head hurt. Every instinct I have is that they should be a year or two away from legitimacy. Yet here they sit at 3-2, with a win against a supposedly decent team this week, and a QB who is mostly solid. I respect the work they are doing, but I still won’t touch them until they beat a solid team playing well. That’s not the Pack at this point in my mind.

10. Norv Turner is a terrible, awful coach who immediately needs to find a job that has nothing to do with football. He is making a mess of the Chargers like only a few people on this planet could.

11. Matt Schaub just won serious job securty and he didn’t even play this week. There had been all sorts of calls in Houston for Sage Rosenfels, but his last three minutes of that Indy gamewere so indescribably bad that no fan of that team will want to see him ever again.

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  1. I can agree with your last statement that Alabama will not finish in the top 5, but to make that assumption based on Kentucky setting the tone on both sides of the ball is just not true. Here comes my crimson colored glasses, but that is what makes college football so much fun.

    Rushing totals UK- 35 yards
    UA- 282 yards

    Passing totals UK- 241 yards
    UA- 106 yards

    Total yards UK- 276 yards
    UA- 388 yards

    Time of Poss UK- 24:14 minutes
    UA- 35:45 minutes

    You throw in two missed field goals, 92 yards of penalties, and 2 lost fumbles you get a close score.

    Where is the domination on both sides of the ball?

  2. Al,

    I agree that Alabama was generally better overall. My concern still stands, though. Coming in, I thought that Bama should have been significantly better. The penalties and the lack of a passing game were, in large part, because Kentucy looked Alabama in the eye and didn’t blink. Since Alabama got out to the huge lead against Georgia they haven’t had the swagger they had to get out to that lead in the first place, and that’s a concern. I give Kentucky credit for making that happen. As for the other side of the ball, I think that UK was able to pass more than they should have been able to, and were able to get yards when they needed them. I expected much more from the Tide, and I give Kentucky credit for that.

  3. Kentucky only hit 3 big plays the whole game. I agree with Alabama’s passing game. It looks like we only looked at Julio and no where else. That will change with the bye week.

    The penalties were a bit ridiculous, and the CBS television time outs were out of hand. I don’t know what can be done about that, but it seemed like every time there was a change of possession they went to a long commercial break. I thought ESPN time outs were long, they don’t even compare to CBS. It breaks any momentum you might have.

    The game started a 2:30 PM and went past 6:00 PM without overtime. I know television drives college football, but the fans at the game are getting screwed. I think it is about time the fans get a break in the cost of going to the games. If they are getting so much money from television why can’t the fans get some sort of discount ticketing? You throw in the price of gas, concessions (I have gotten where I don’t buy anything), and tailgating it is a very expensive day. Just had to get that off my chest.

  4. T.O:

    Now you show up on another website blasting the Tide. What’s up with that, and why another site? Are you an independent writer or do you have something to actually do with Maddux?

    If you personally don’t like Nick Saban, just admit it.

  5. I just work with Maddux on this blog, and I write in other places, too.

    Don’t worry too much about my issues with the Tide. Over the course of the year I’ll likely make fans of most teams mad at some point – it goes with the territory.

    And yes, I think Nick Saban is the worst kind of scum, but I’d have basically the same opinion of this team whether he was there or not. I really admire Mark Richt, yet I have been very hard on his team all year.

    Thanks for reading my stuff.

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