Archive for ‘football’

January 19, 2009

How ’bout them Cardinals, huh?

Arizona won the NFC championship today, once against demonstrating that “Brotherly Love” is highly, er, overrated. Now, we’re watching the Steelers-Raven in the AFC title game — a hard-hitting defensive slugfest so far.

Man, what a great day for football. Anyone who would miss these games is a chump.

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November 29, 2008

Roll Tide!

FINAL
ALABAMA 36, AUBURN 0
You’ll excuse me if I failed to blog the last three touchdowns. I’ve been basking in the glow!

RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER! The shutout against Auburn was sweet — Alabama allowed only 8 first downs and 170 yards — but perhaps the sweetest thing was in the 4th quarter, after Saban pulled all the starters, and backup quarterback Greg McElroy threw a 34-yard TD. Now the No. 1 Tide is 12-0, undefeated going into the SEC championship game against No. 3 Florida and, as the CBS announcers agree, will probably still be the underdog!

13:15 3rd Quarter: TOUCHDOWN! Alabama recovers a fumble and, on first down, John Parker Wilson throws a 39-yard TD pass to Nikita Stover. Extra point blocked. Alabama 16, Auburn 0.

HALFTIME — Alabama blocks a 40-yard Auburn field goal attempt. Glenn Coffee is on the sideline with what appears to be a minor ankle injury. I understand that Nick Saban doesn’t want to risk aggravating the injury if he can win without Coffee but . . . I’m not sure if that’s possible. We need him healthy.
10:28, 2nd QTRTOUCHDOWN! Glenn Coffee breaks an off-tackle run down the right sideline for 41 yards. The TD run was set up by Wilson’s 3rd-and-11 pass to Julio Jones. Alabama 10, Auburn 0.

End of the 1st QTR: Leigh Tiffin’s FG caps a long drive. Alabama 3, Auburn 0.
Alabama now leads the time of possession 8:40-5:55, and that kind of 14-yard drive is just what we need to run down the Auburn defense.
1:51 1ST QTR: John Parker Wilson runs a QB sneak for a first down on 4th-and-1 at the Auburn 29.
6:19, 1st QTR — Glenn Coffee runs for Alabama’s first first down.
7:36, 1st QTR — Auburn starts at midfield, can’t make a first down, punts. Alabama again starts deep in its own territory. Lousy field possession. Need to make something happen, O.
9:55, 1st QTR — Auburn got two first downs, then had to punt, now Alabama goes 3-and-out.

PREVIOUSLY: While we wait for the Iron Bowl kickoff, now would be a good time to read my column about the game.

UPDATE: Ooooh, Tech upsets Georgia, 45-42!

November 26, 2008

A Tide of tradition

My latest American Spectator column:

Saturday afternoon, my phone will ring and I’ll answer by hollering, “Roll, Tide!” My brother Kirby will return the greeting and we’ll talk football for a few minutes before kickoff. Then, every time our team scores, the ritual phone calls will be repeated. It’s a family tradition.
Logically, there is no reason why the University of Alabama should have the top-rated team in college football. They don’t have a player in the running for the Heisman Trophy, and eight of the Top 10 teams in the Associated Press poll — including Utah and Boise State — outrank Alabama in total offense (where the Tide rates 30th).
Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson has thrown for 1,775 yards, but that doesn’t even put him among the Top 30 passers in NCAA Division I, and certainly Wilson can’t compare to Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell (4,438 yards) or Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford (3,710 yards). Nor does Alabama (23rd in team rushing) have a big-name running back. Glenn Coffee’s 1,091 yards this season put him only at No. 25 on the list of leading rushers.
As a statistical proposition, then, Alabama’s status as No. 1 would be indefensible, were it not for the one statistic that matters most — that zero in the “L” column.
Logic and statistics be damned! The Crimson Tide is 11-0 going into Saturday’s game against arch-rival Auburn, and every ‘Bama fan is dreaming of the team’s 13th national championship.

Please read the whole thing. And beat Auburn!

November 16, 2008

Bring on Auburn!

The No. 1 Crimson Tide is now 11-0, and has two weeks to get ready for their Nov. 29 showdown with Auburn:

Javier Arenas ran back a punt 80 yards for one touchdown and set up a score with another long return, helping No. 1 Alabama roll to a 32-7 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) didn’t need a dominant offensive performance to turn back a team that had given ‘Bama fits the past two years.
Kareem Jackson blocked a punt in the end zone for a safety and Leigh Tiffin kicked three field goals to help keep Alabama on track for a perfect regular season leading up to a showdown with No. 3 Florida in the SEC championship game.

Looking ahead to the SEC title game is a very bad idea. Right now, the Tide needs to focus every ounce of their energy on getting read to stomp Auburn, which has beaten Alabama five years running.

A little history lesson for anyone who doesn’t understand how important beating Auburn is to Tide fans: In 1989, Bill Curry had ‘Bama at 10-0 going into the Auburn game and lost 30-20. It was the third year in a row Curry had lost to Auburn, and after that game, some hard-core fool threw a brick through Curry’s office window.

BEAT AUBURN!

UPDATE: While researching the background on that brick-through-the-window story, I came across this quote from Bill Curry, who was (and is) a fine man:

“You can put that crimson jersey on anybody — he may not be a great athlete — and he will play his heart out. He becomes somebody else on Saturday. You can work the team harder than the norm, and nobody will quit. A kid can’t quit and go home to Dothan and say to his dad, ‘I just quit the Crimson Tide.’ “

That is the value of tradition. It’s like the Marines.

November 16, 2008

Obama favors NCAA football playoff

Subversive terrorist-loving socialist:

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Obama addresses a subject college football fans have debated for many years, and says he will use his influence to create such a system.
“If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear decisive winner. We should be creating a playoff system,” he tells CBS’ Steve Kroft in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.
According to Obama’s proposed system, eight teams would play over three rounds to settle the national champion. “It would add three extra weeks to the season,” he said at the conclusion of a wide-ranging interview. “You could trim back on the regular season. I don’t know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I’m going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Not a lot of “serious” college football fans in Chicago, I guess. And I suppose he’ll have ACORN “volunteers” picking the playoff teams . . .

October 26, 2008

Roll Tide!

FINAL – Alabama 29, Tennessee 9
Not a bad game, but not a great one either. The defense was strong, but Alabama didn’t really drive the ball consistently on offense. The Crimson Tide is now 8-0, and that’s nothing to complain about, but they’re really going to have to play better Nov. 8 at LSU. Next week, ‘Bama hosts Arkansas State for homecoming — and let’s hope there’s no shocking upset.

4th Quarter — 7:26 — Tennessee goes 63 yards in six plays for a touchdown. Two-point conversion attempt fails. Two 15-yard pass interference penalties hurt ‘Bama on that drive. Alabama 29, Tennessee 9

9:43 — TOUCHDOWN! — Now ‘Bama’s really wearing out the Tennessee defense. Strong running by Glenn Coffee and Roy Upchurch key an 80-yard drive for the Tide (with another big penalty against Tennessee). Upchurch runs 4 years for the TD. Alabama 29, Tennessee 3

14:14 — Tennessee gets a first down, but then a penalty sets them back. Punt. Alabama takes over at their 20.

3rd Quarter — 1:38 — TOUCHDOWN! — Now that’s what I’m talking about. Alabama goes 79 yards in 12 plays, burns more than six minutes off the clock. The key play was Wilson’s third-down pass that got a first down at the Tennessee 36. Then five carries by Roy Upchurch pounded it down to the 1-yard-line, where Wilson carried for the TD. A two-point conversion attempt failed. Alabama 22, Tennessee 3

8:03 — Three downs and punt for Tennessee again, and Alabama starts from their own 21. Man, a good solid drive would be an excellent idea now.

10:28 — ‘Bama picks up a first down, then faces a 4th-and-1 at the Tennessee 13, decides to bring on Leigh Tiffin for the field goal. Alabama 16, Tennessee 3.

13:44 — Three downs and punt for Tennessee, Alabama returns the punt down to the 33.

HALFTIME — Tennessee put together a drive all the way to the Alabama 14 before two costly penalties set them back, and a field-goal attempt was blocked. So we dodged a bullet. But at halftime, Tennessee’s leading in time-of-possession (16:06 to 13:54), and if it keeps up like that, the Tide defense will start getting tired. ‘Bama really, really needs to get its running game on track.

2nd Quarter: 3:10 — TOUCHDOWN! — Finally, John Parker Wilson gets the passing game going with two quick connections to Julio Jones. On 4th-and-1 from the Tennessee 3, Glenn Coffee carries for the touchdown. (And that 66-yard drive puts ‘Bama ahead once more in time-of-possession.) Alabama 13, Tennessee 3.

5:44 — Tennessee can’t move the ball, misses a field-goal attempt, Alabama takes over at its own 34.

6:40 — Three running plays net 9 yards, so that at least Alabama doesn’t have to punt from the end zone. But what a lousy punt! Tennessee takes over at the Alabama 32.

9:25 — Tennessee puts together a drive, but stalls at midfield. Punt pins down Alabama at its own 3 yard line. Tennessee now leads in time-of-possession. The Crimson Tide offense needs to put together a good drive here.

14:39 — Tennessee’s defense is hitting hard, Alabama can’t move the ball. Punt. Dang it.

1st Quarter: 0:21 — Stopped ’em again — 3 downs and out for the Vols. No complaints about the defense — Tennessee’s only got 11 total yards in the first quarter — but Alabama simply must establish its ground game and put together a sustained drive.

1:37 — Alabama kicks a field goal. We’re still relying too much on the passing game, not driving it like we should. Alabama 6, Tennessee 3.

3:37 — Tennessee goes 3-and-out, shanks a punt, Alabama takes over at midfield. Now, let’s drive it, boys.

6:28 — Alabama goes three downs and out. So far, nine of our 13 plays from scrimmage have been passes. This bodes ill.

Dang. We stopped Tennessee and forced them to punt, then Javier Arenas fumbled the ball and set the Vols up at the ‘Bama 10. A turnover by special teams wastes a solid defensive effort. We managed to keep them out of the endzone, but they got a field goal. Alabama 3, Tennessee 3.

Alabama takes the opening kickoff and drives 50 yards down to the Tennessee 21 before settling for a field goal. Alabama 3, Tennessee 0

PREVIOUSLY:
Tonight, 7:45 p.m. ET, Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, ESPN. Tennessee (3-4) is having an off-year, but the Vols will be psyched up for the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide (7-0), which last week lost 362-pound nosetackle Terrence Cody, a potential all-conference player who had become the anchor of the Alabama defense. Fortunately, Cody’s knee was only sprained, but he’ll still miss this week’s game. That means John Parker Wilson and the Tide offense will need to take it up a notch, control the ball and mount some clock-chewing drives in order to relieve the pressure on the ‘Bama defense.

Being a Southerner means understanding that politics is not as important as football. America can survive an Obama presidency, but if Alabama loses, the terrorists win.

September 21, 2008

Alabama 49, Arkansas 14

UPDATED & BUMPED: Butch Bornt, who describes himself as president of the “Restraining Order Wing of the Sela Ward Fan Club,” e-mails to remind us that the Hollywood hottie was a Crimson Tide cheerleader back in the day (center in this photo):

Meanwhile, Instapundit is getting e-mail taunts after his Vols lost 30-6 to Florida. An amazing thing, when you think about it. We are at war with murderous jihadis, the economy teeters on the verge of collapse and polls show that Barack Obama may be the next president of the United States, but if you’re an SEC football fan, your mood is far more dependent on how your team did on Saturday.

I’m prepared to predict that Tennessee fans will be profoundly depressed after Oct. 25. (If you want to avoid that downer, Professor, I’ll be happy to take those tickets off your hands.)

In addition to football, the SEC is also a powerhouse of blog taunting. Which reminds me, why hasn’t UGA alum Mary Katharine Ham started taunting me about next week’s game yet? Doesn’t the Weekly Standard allow football taunting?

PREVIOUSLY:
Roll, Tide, Roll!

Alabama (4-0) led 35-7 at halftime, and six of the Crimson Tide’s seven touchdowns covered at least 25 yards.

Giving up two touchdowns is bad — the defense has already allowed three touchdowns this season — but I’ll take it for a conference opener. Imagine those poor Arkansas fans having to hear the mighty Million Dollar Band play this song seven times in one game!

Yea, Alabama!

Yea, Alabama! Drown ’em Tide!
Every ‘Bama man’s behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That’s a shame!
For Bama’s pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on, men!
Remember the Rose Bowl we’ll win then.
So roll on to victory,
Hit your stride,
You’re Dixie’s football pride, Crimson Tide!

Hey, now,what’s that whining sound I hear coming from over ’round Athens, Georgia? Sounds like some ‘Dawgs who know they’re about to get stomped by a herd of wild elephants!

Georgia is ranked No. 3, but some folks in Athens say the Bulldogs should be No. 2. That’s right. And ‘Bama’s gonna beat the No. 2 out of them ‘Dawgs

UPDATE: Compare and contrast the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia:

‘Nuff said.