Put into perspective what Nick Saban has meant to the program, with the in-credible success under his watch.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Who are the players, like Derrick Henry and Reggie Ragland, who need to perform well for Bama to have another great season?
In a town that literally has his name everywhere, it’s incredible to think that some-body could come along and at least be in the same discussion as Coach Bryant. But that’s exactly what has happened with Coach Saban. Much like Bryant’s arrival in the late 50s, Saban came in at a time when Alabama fans desperately need a reason to believe the Tide could be great again – and then exceeded their expectations. In a day and age when there is so much parity, it’s pretty amazing what Saban has done to not only bring Alabama back – but to keep them in the national discussion for so many years.
[su_spacer size=”40″] What is your take on Georgia?
While Derrick Henry and Reggie Ragland are obviously key pieces to the puzzle, the biggest question was – and still is – the quarterback position. Jake Coker probably needs to win a big game, in an environment like Athens, to truly solidify the spot for the back-half of the season – at least from the fans perspective. I think another really key player is JK Scott. A year ago, he was an unbelievable weapon as a freshman punter. He’s struggled this year. If he’s able to return to form, and flip field position virtually every kick – as he did a year ago – it will be tough for opposing offenses to drive the length of the field against Alabama.
[su_spacer size=”40″] What are some of your memories from Alabama-Georgia games?
Georgia and LSU have been the two most impressive teams in the league thus far, in my opinion. The solid play they are getting at quarterback, combined with the obviously tremendous run game, makes them really dangerous. And I know that the bar has been set pretty high in Athens for a defense to receive “Junkyard Dawg” status, but this group looks pretty salty to me.
[su_spacer size=”40″] What does Bama need to do to win?
As a teenager, I’ll never forget that season-opener in 1985, when Georgia appeared to steal one away with a last-minute blocked punt – only to see Mike Shula engineer a miraculous drive, and hit Al Bell with the game-winner. But I also remember the sting of 2002, when Georgia came to Tuscaloosa and got one late. Two of the top memories, though, would be the 2008 game in Athens (I think that game solidified everybody’s belief that Nick Saban was building a national power in Tuscaloosa once again.), and obviously, that incredible SEC Championship game in 2012 (because both sides, deep- down, knew that game was not only for a league title, but in all likelihood the BCS Championship, as well.).
[su_spacer size=”40″] Who is your pick to play in the SEC Championship Game?
I don’t think there is any doubt Alabama has to play mistake-free football to win. There have been far too many penalties, to date. And the Ole Miss game was amazingly close – given the fact that Alabama was minus-five in turnovers that night. Anything resembling that performance by the Tide, and it will be a long afternoon between the hedges. If Alabama can protect the football, and finish drives, they’ve got an opportunity to get out of there with a win.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Who are your four picks for the playoff?
In terms of the league championship game, a loss would likely eliminate Alabama from the SEC picture. I think a win would be enough to give this team serious momentum going forward, and allow them to be very much involved in the division race. Regardless of the outcome, I think Georgia is the favorite to get to Atlanta from the East. And if it’s not Alabama, LSU appears to be the most dangerous squad from the West – although I obviously have great respect for Ole Miss.
[su_spacer size=”40″] What changes would you like to see for college football?
TCU has some magic going for them in close games. I’ll take the Horned Frogs, the SEC Champion, Ohio State, and UCLA.
I’m not a big proponent of major changes in the rules of college football, because I think the numbers indicate the game may be in the best shape it has ever been. However, I would like to see enforcement of the rules that are already in place – most notably calling a lineman, who is more than three yards down field, an ineligible receiver.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Make sure to check out Bulldawg Illustrated’s latest print edition: Saban vs Richt – Only one man will be smiling after this one, digital issue available for free online click HERE.