There’s Alabama, and then there is everybody else

 It is a wonderful, COOL Monday morning. Hope you had a good weekend.

FYI. I will not be writing anything about the University of Georgia football program this morning. There is too much to say so I will dedicate all of  Tuesday’s entry to the Bulldogs.

But elsewhere,  what did we learn on the first Saturday in October?

1. There is Alabama and then there is everybody else:  A year ago it was clear that Florida and Alabama had separated themselves from the rest of the SEC. After Florida got its act together and beat Kentucky last week, I had people telling me that Florida was still in the same class with Alabama, the nation’s No. 1 team. I was told that Florida’s players were embarrassed by their beat down in last December’s SEC championship game in Atlanta. I was told that Florida couldn’t wait to march into Bryant-Denny Stadium and get some revenge.

Nope. Not even close. Alabama looked at the Florida threat and barely broke a sweat Saturday night. I still have people who are telling me that Alabama can’t go 12-0 for the third straight consecutive regular season? So I’ll ask you: Who is going to beat this team? Nobody in college football is playing with as much talent, power, coaching, and attitude as the Crimson Tide right now. Again, look at the Alabama schedule and tell me who is going to beat them? Auburn is a candidate but that game is in Tuscaloosa.

2. Florida will get another shot at Alabama: As tough as that beating was for the Gators, Florida coach Urban Meyer has the best possible teaching tool to keep his team engaged. They will get another shot at Alabama in the SEC championship game on Dec. 4 if they take care of business. We’re making some huge assumptions but here is what I see: Even though Florida has clearly slipped and is a work in progress, I don’t see anybody else in the SEC who can beat them.  South Carolina may have a shot but the Gamecocks play at Florida on Nov. 13. It’s hard to see the Gators losing that one if a division championship is on the line. Florida and Alabama played twice in 1999 with the Crimson Tide winning the regular season game 40-39 and the dominating the Gators in a rematch in the SEC championship game. That could happen again in 2010.

3. Les Miles’s luck is about to run out: One of my colleagues wrote that Les Miles doesn’t have nine lives. He has 99 lives. I agree. I have never seen a team with such a bad, poorly coached offense, continue to win games. LSU is 5-0 and ranked No. 9 in the coaches’ poll because the Tigers have a great defense (coached by John Chavis) and outstanding special teams (with Patrick Peterson).  They have been good enough to win five ugly football games and needed a huge dose of luck to beat Tennessee at home on Saturday (More on that in the next item). But now the Big Boy part of the schedule kicks in and LSU fans are rightfully concerned. LSU goes to Florida this week and still has Auburn (Oct. 23), Alabama (Nov. 6), and Arkansas (Nov. 27) left to play. This could still end very badly for the Man in the Hat.

4. Give the SEC officials credit. They got it right in the LSU-Tennessee game: I beat on the officials a bunch last season when it appeared they were getting one big call wrong almost every week. But they got it right at the end of the Tennessee-LSU game. I talked to Rogers Redding, the SEC supervisors of officials once on Saturday night and again on Sunday. If you missed it, find the clip and take a look. LSU trailed 14-10 and was driving in the closing seconds for what would be a winning touchdown. Mass chaos reigned on the LSU bench in the final 30 seconds (Haven’t we read this before?) and as a result the snap flew by quarterback Jordan Jefferson and the clock ran out. Tennessee was celebrating because they had just upset the No. 10 team in the nation on the road. But back in the secondary there were three flags. Tennessee’s defense had 13—that’s right—13 players on the field. LSU got an untimed down and scored to win 17-14.

 As painful as it was for Tennessee, the officials got it right. Tennessee got caught trying to sub too many players and trying to match LSU’s personnel when they should have stayed put, because LSU was self-destructing. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he didn’t have time to get his players on the field. But Redding read the rule to me and it is clear that there is not an ulimited amount of time to get defensive substitutions on the field. The Tennessee defense got set but unfortunately it was set with 13 players. The official can’t stand over the ball forever  or the clock would just run out. Then you have another set of issues.

I looked at the tape several times on Sunday and they got it right. Also, to those of you writing about the LSU player (T-Bob Hebert) snatching his helmet off during the fray:  Understand that since the excessive celebration call last year in the Georgia-LSU game, the SEC is not going to let something like that determine the outcome of a game. It did not impact play and is not going to get called in that situation.

 5. Oregon looks like the No. 2 team to me:  Oregon jumped over Boise State into the No. 3 spot in Sunday’s coaches poll. I think the Ducks should have jumped over Ohio State to No. 2. We’re talking a team that went to an SEC venue (Tennessee) on Sept. 11 and ran off 45 unanswered points to win 48-13. We’re talking about a team that fell behind 21-3 to No. 9 Stanford, which was seemingly imposing their will on the Ducks. But quicker than you could say “onsides kick” Oregon turned on the switch again and outscored Stanford 49-10 the rest of the way. I look at all that speed with running back LaMichael James and quarterback Darron Thomas. I see a really good coach in Chip Kelly. And I’ve decided that while  a bunch of people think No. 3 Boise might get cheated of a shot at the big game, it’s the Ducks who may really be the odd man out if No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State keep winning. With all due respect to Boise and Ohio State, the Oregon Ducks are the No. 2 team in the country. Alabama-Oregon in Glendale would be an incredible national championship game.

 Please follow me on Twitter:

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Programming Note: Among our guests on “The Barnhart and Durham Show” this morning will be SEC supervisor of officials Rogers Redding to break down the end of the Tennessee-LSU game. We will also be ready to hear from the Bulldog Nation who are not very happy today. Please join us starting at 10 a.m. www.790thezone.com.

369 comments Add your comment

Tide Rising

October 4th, 2010
3:24 pm

Beast of the East,

Just curious but was Addazio always meyer’s o coordinator as in going back to their days at utah? I know Meyer lost some good d coaches like Charley Strong but I don’t remember them losing any offensive coaches in the offseason. In regard to Brantley running the option it could be worse. It coudl be McElroy running it. Just kidding. Gmac is not an option qb but he surprisingly has an uncanny knack for knowing when to tuck it under and run and actually gets decent yardage. It aint pretty but it works.

Charlie Bama

October 4th, 2010
3:24 pm

[Sniff, sniff] Ok, thought so. I was already checking the bottom of my shoes for dog poop.

Stairway to the SEC cellar

October 4th, 2010
3:26 pm

For once I agree with Tony that there is Alabama and then there is everyone else.

Bama is great
UF, Auburn, and S. Carolina are good (though UF makes me wonder if I’ll regret saying it)
The rest of the SEC is mediocre (at best) to bad.

LSU isn’t nearly as good as their 5-0 and top 10 or 12 ranking in the polls suggests they are. Yeah, they could be good, but I think they’ve been playing down to other teams’ levels more than other teams have been playing up to theirs.

And Al E. Gator, those look like accurate projections. But I think the only game they are probably going to be favored in for the rest of the year is the Idsho State game. Vandy, Kentucky, and GT are winable games but honesly I think they beat 1 of those 3 mentioned and I don’t think they’ll beat Tennessee on Saturday either. If I’m wrong I’m wrong, but from what I’ve seen of them this year…looks to be a 4-8 season.

Army of the Gators

October 4th, 2010
3:27 pm

Congrats to Bama,they did a good job of what they needed to do.We had our chances in the red zone,and messed all that up.Couldn’t find a rhythm all night,hope to fix it this week.Only problem I have is play calling? Need to throw more vertical with the speed we have and Brantley’s ability.We could throw all night on Bama.Stop the damn dive plays,we have the speed outside,screens and such.I think its just poor play calling on Coach A part.Bama is a full complete team,should run the table. Anyway… GO GATORS.

Army of the Gators

October 4th, 2010
3:34 pm

To Atlanta GATOR:…IRAQ GATORS 18
IRAQ TIDE 6
Note: Turnovers were the key here also.. kind of funny
GO GATORS!

Get Outta Town

October 4th, 2010
3:38 pm

I also don’t see what the pollsters love about LSU. I actually think that their 18th ranking in ESPN’s power ranking poll is a more fitting spot for them than their 12th ranking in the AP poll.

The thing I’m more baffled by is the love affair people have with their QB Jordan Jefferson. Now I will admit, running the ball, he is at times electric and exciting to watch. But I don’t know why people get excited after that. He has a good arm but is at time a downright terrible decision maker throwing the ball. And Saturday against Tennessee wasn’t the 1st time he’s been on the field to QB at the end of the game and nobody knew what to do. I think that falls more on Les Miles than Jefferson but Jefferson needs to be accountable for not relaying information to the rest of his teammates and ultimately not getting a play off.

bamafan

October 4th, 2010
3:53 pm

Derek Dooley embarrassed himself and his mother when he threw his headset down and forgot to go to midfield to met Les Miles. Admittedly, it was an emotional moment, but still……….I still remember how horrified I was when Bama fumbled on first play from scrimmage in 2004 in Knoxville and everyone watching the game could read Mike Shula’s lips. I was saying the same word at home in my living room but I wasn’t on camera. I felt sorry for his mother even though she was deceased and I was ashamed as an Alabama fan.

As for LSU, Jarrett Lee leads the winning drive and is yanked for Jordan Jefferson when they get to the red zone?????

BAMA dude

October 4th, 2010
4:07 pm

Very interesting read from the Miami Herald…

A pick-six here. A fumbled hand-off there. A mishandled snap, or four, and next thing you know it’s 31-6.

The most significant discrepancy, though, was between Meyer and Saban.

Meyer is still one of the best coaches in the country, but there’s now a noticeable gap between him and Saban.

For some reason, Saban just looks smarter on a college sideline. It might have something to do with his ability to recruit the best talent in the country, but it’s clearly more than that. He’s an architect and a chess master.

Everything he couldn’t do in the NFL he does so well in this setting.

Saban owns college football right now, and probably will for as long as he wants to. Saturday’s violent dissection of the Gators was merely confirmation.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/03/1854901/saban-shows-skill-masters-ufs.html#ixzz11QG8dKjA

Urvain Mare

October 4th, 2010
4:08 pm

Would someone be good enough to retrieve my butt from Tuscaloosa? You may not be able to recognize it. In addition to the crack that was already there, it’s all chewed up now.

Beast from the East

October 4th, 2010
4:10 pm

Tide Rising,
We are in the second year with Addazzio calling the plays. I’m sure you just forgot that Dan Mullen as the offensive coordinator before (2005-2008). And yea, I do believe that Mullen was with him at his previous two jobs.

BAMA dude

October 4th, 2010
4:11 pm

Tide Rising, the Gators’ previous OC, Dan Mullen, is now the HC at Missy State. Addazio used to be the OL coach and got promoted when Mullen left.

Leslie O'Miles

October 4th, 2010
4:14 pm

Don’t mess with me or I’ll turn your best player into a personal foul and I’ll place an extra man on the field. I’m a leprechaun!

Ramma Bama

October 4th, 2010
4:30 pm

Saban’s gone way ahead of meyer. Better recruits, better staff, better decision making / coaching, etc. Bama’s going to rule the SEC for years. The rest of the teams will be looking up in amazement. Bama: title #14 in 2010—book it. Bama beats Ohio State big to win another title.

MikeP

October 4th, 2010
4:35 pm

Quote by T.B. “Again, look at the Alabama schedule and tell me who is going to beat them? Auburn is a candidate but that game is in Tuscaloosa.”

That the game is in Tuscaloosa is great for Auburn. The Tigers’ all-time record against UAT in Tuscaloosa is 7-1. That’s why the stadium there is known as Jordan-Hare West.

Runnwild

October 4th, 2010
4:41 pm

I think we are all being too hard on auburn guy! Since they have that great team on the plains we should all take a minute and pay homage to their great leader, like they do, the CAMster!

Runnwild

October 4th, 2010
4:52 pm

Hey Mike, how many games have the tigers won in Tuscaloosa since Saban arrived? This ain’t history son, this is the here and now. Tell you what, if talking could get a team in the NC game, auburn would be in it every year!

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 4th, 2010
4:59 pm

ARdawg

LOL!!! Yes, you idiot, Meyer is going to make you pay for years….what you have got, nothing? Just a tanked program that is 1-4 and 0-3 in the SEC east. Do not even try to come up with something when UGA is the worst of the worst.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 4th, 2010
5:00 pm

Auburn Dude…

USC has several titles, what does Auburn have? What 1958 and Auburn was on probation? Auburn, sucks, plain and simple, year after year going all the way back to Barfield. Auburn is close to being worse than UGA, and cannot win the big ones when they count.

Cheese Nip has been lucky, but that is getting ready to run out.

404

October 4th, 2010
5:01 pm

Kind of looks like the SEC has gone
from a 2-Team conference to a 1-Team conference.

There’s Bama, and ALL the pretenders.

Think ESPN over-paid.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

October 4th, 2010
5:01 pm

Gentlemen, everyone can cut the smack and just bring the number of titles to the table. Alabama I believe leads the way in the South, case closed.

GeneralNeyland96

October 4th, 2010
5:23 pm

Dooley shook Miles’ hand after the game was over…..the first time.

Derrick

October 4th, 2010
5:36 pm

Have to agree with this post from above (Well stated and I’m not a lsu or utn fan.)
*********************************************************************************************

TallPaul

October 4th, 2010
7:49 am
Tony,
I have to disagree with you about Hebert yanking his helmet and tossing it. The rule states that a player can’t take his helmet off on the field. LSU’s QB was down covering the ball and players were still running to it. My belief is that it should have been off setting penalties. Game over because the ball would not have been moved to the 6 inch line. Either enforce all the rules fairly or take them off the books. I don’t think that the helmet rule states that it should only be enforced as long as it dosen’t decide a game outcome.

Derrick

October 4th, 2010
5:43 pm

Bama can still be beat. They are playing better than anyone else right now but still have problems with their young DBs and wide open receivers for the other teams. Their pass rush isn’t anything great either. UF moved the ball ALOT on Bama but turned it over too much. Bamas LBs look good and their offense is good but stalled in the 2nd half against UF. I know the game was out of hand but Bama couldn’t even muster anything run or pass, and they were trying to pass too. They couldn’t handle uf’s pass rush and couldn’t run on them either. I don’t think it was all because of the score. I think uf’s defense was damn good and showed that Bama is not invincible. I can see SC, LSU OR AU beating Bama. Just will take plus 1 or more positive in the turnover margin for the underdog and Bama can lose.

Coach O

October 4th, 2010
5:49 pm

@Derrick

Bama isn’t perfect, but they are the standard against which all other CFB teams are currently measured.

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
5:58 pm

bamafan

You are the stereotypical bama fan for sure. Comparing my remarks to an 8 year old is really classy. But alas, you are not a Bama grad. Big difference between grads and fans.

Thanks for playing, fan.

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
6:00 pm

Auburn in it for the long haul this time

Well, here we are again, and this time, I’m sold on the Tigers.

So much so that I can very clearly see a scenario where that Alabama-Auburn game on Nov. 26 is for the Western Division championship.

Even if Auburn loses a game between now and then, winning against Alabama would give the Tigers the head-to-head tiebreaker and send them to Atlanta as the West representative.

What makes me think they can get to that point?

For one, Cameron Newton.

He gives the Tigers a dimension they didn’t have last season. For that matter, he gives them a dimension nobody else in the SEC has. With his ability to run and his big throwing arm, Newton makes Gus Malzahn’s offense much more difficult to defend than it was a year ago.

http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/28943/auburn-in-it-for-the-long-haul-this-time

Joe Nameth is a drunk

October 4th, 2010
6:01 pm

“but they are the standard against which all other CFB teams are currently measured.”

No they’re not. I highly doubt Oregon or Boise gives a crap about Bama. In fact, Oregon would LOVE to play Bama as would Boise.

Oregon would run all over that Bama defense.

Joe Nameth is a drunk

October 4th, 2010
6:04 pm

“There’s Bama, and ALL the pretenders.”

Give Bama tards an inch and they’ll steal a mile. There are currently 10 undefeated teams in the top ten. Two of those teams could take on Alabama and win. Possibly three.

Oregon
Boise State

SEC Fact Finder

October 4th, 2010
6:23 pm

Auburn Guy….I am not trying to be a smart **s, I really just noticed that. AU is a 6plus point dog to Kentucky,
Whay is up with that? I want Auburn to be undefeated when they go to Tuscaloosa so the game will have the same meaning as last years Al/ Fl game

Runnwild

October 4th, 2010
6:24 pm

Joe, I think your name says it all, you are drunk.

Coach Stricht

October 4th, 2010
6:41 pm

I’ve had to lock myself in my office. It’s like a zombie movie out there. This could be last entry.

Yankeegator

October 4th, 2010
6:42 pm

SEC here’s how u beat Bama. Run the ball with authority meaning get nasty 25-30 time’s. Take your shots down field to loosen up the D. On defense if u have the corner’s leave them on an island Bama rec can’t get off press coverage. Put everyone else in the box spy the backs and qb and u beat them. Don’t believe me look back at the UT,AU and the Texas game and the offensive stats from sat game for bama’s rec and rb’s. Tenn and Auburn ran it down bama throat and should hav won the game poor end of game coaching just like Ark not running the ball.

Coach Stricht

October 4th, 2010
6:42 pm

No, not my car!

Bama Bill

October 4th, 2010
6:54 pm

B A M A >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ROLL TIDE ROLL………………………………

Smacked Brown

October 4th, 2010
6:58 pm

Anybody wants some Muschamp now?

Delbert D.

October 4th, 2010
7:27 pm

College football is just weird this year. No Texas, Penn State or USC in the top 25. James Madison getting votes. In a possibly related development, the UN declared last week that it would be appointing a liaison/ambassador for extraterrestrials and has now covered that story up. I think the UN just Googled “Air Force officers strange lights missile silos failure” and overreacted.

jumbeauxtiger

October 4th, 2010
7:28 pm

The only reason the Vols were in the game is because LSU had 4 turnovers, they had none, LSU had 9 penalties and UT had 3. That said the Vols deserved to win and most Toiger fans will tell you the same thing.

LSU fans are furious and embarrassed. I did not hear one fan that called in on local BR sports radio that defended Miles.

This is the difference between Tiger fans and UGA fans. You would never know that LSU is 5-0 the way the fans feel today while some Georgia fans are still defending Richt after embarrassing losses to Ms State and Colorado.

jumbeauxtiger

October 4th, 2010
7:31 pm

Congrats to the Tide for a dominating win. I was impressed.

Coach Grohbo

October 4th, 2010
7:39 pm

Simple story in 2010:

There’s Alabama,

Then there’s everybody else,

Then there’s Georgia.

Delbert D.

October 4th, 2010
8:11 pm

jumbeauxtiger – Miles and clock management again. Does LSU have an Industrial Engineering program? Some consulting sessions would really help. Things like a) Time and Motion Studies (how many plays can be executed in 1 minute), b) Critical Decision Making (what to think/do when when there is 5 seconds available), and c) Urgency and Survival in the Red Zone (spikes, throwaways and getting out of bounds).

From Where I Sit

October 4th, 2010
8:27 pm

AL did a great job but they will see the Gators again for the SEC Championship Game. Not saying the Gators will win, but they will put up a better fight! Watch out Bama you got the ole ball coach this weekend in SC. They will be ready as the bye week helped them.

Gators win the East again in 2010!

Enough Said!

Tide4u2c

October 4th, 2010
8:34 pm

I still say Arkansas will end up behind Bama in second place when it is all over.Yes, they lost to Alabama but who does’nt? They will bounce back and out-do LSU and Auburn in the west.Arkansas played Bama tougher than Florida did.It will be Arkansas and Auburn battling it out in the west for second place behind Bama.But I think Arkansas ends up finishing in second place.

Eric

October 4th, 2010
8:37 pm

Oregon would dominate Alabama…if they go undefeated in the best conference in America (the Pac 10) then they deserve a chance at the NC. No doubt. Bama looks like they’re the only team that could hang with the Ducks.

AU Engineer

October 4th, 2010
9:06 pm

If those elephants don’t fix that running game Auburn is going to kill them. They want be able to stop Auburns running game or passing game. So I’m predicting a shootout in the ghetto, well sort of. Auburn will have a machine gun and the elephants, well they’ll have a six shooter with a bent barrel. Tell your fans don’t forget the empty Tide box, there’s plenty at the local Wal-Mart down the street from our newly renovated stadium in Tuscaloosa. Just having a little fun, it’s going to be a good Iron Bowl no matter what the records are. We look forward to it and hope you do as well. In the mean time Bama Elephants, keep on winning and The Auburn Tigers will do the same. Here’s looking at the chance of both schools going undefeated going into the Iron Bowl.
War Eagle and Go Dawgs!!

AU Engineer

October 4th, 2010
9:11 pm

By the way, I watched that Oregon-Stanford game and I must admit and I know I’ll take beating for saying this. Currently Oregon is the best all around team I have seen thus far. That’s not a knock against Auburn, Alabama or Ohio State, but man can those young men play!
War Eagle and Go Dawgs!!

5150 P.O.A.D

October 4th, 2010
9:34 pm

Tony I do give you crap for being too SEC heavy but I LOVE the B7D show on 790The Zone. You guys seen to have fun and talk ALL football.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 4th, 2010
9:35 pm

SORRY the B&D show on 790thezone.

jumbeauxtiger

October 4th, 2010
10:06 pm

Delbert D,

It wouldn’t help Miles. It’s hopeless with him and what’s frustrating is that the Tigers have 3 new offensive coaches this season. Geez, what are all of these guys doing.

It doesn’t help that Jefferson was in the game. What noone has mentioned is that the ball was hiked past him and he just falls on the ball and at the time it was the last play of the game!

Gen Neyland

October 4th, 2010
10:43 pm

jumbeauxtiger : A personal congrats to you. As people are focused on the last 23 seconds, I think the LSU and Tennessee fans paid a bit more attention to the other 59:37 that encompassed the what if’s and what the he#1’s, but that must be beside the point. Again, congrats.

SecGuy

October 4th, 2010
10:44 pm

I’m a Bama guy but the coronation is much too early. SC and Auburn and probably Florida back to back, are all capable of upsetting Bama. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Pouncey is still the center. He’s an opposing team’s best friend. I see a few simple changes that Florida could make that would upgrade their offense. Move Pouncey back to guard, stop running Brantley on option plays. That would eliminate at least a dozen out-of-synch plays per game. Why would Florida even recruit a QB like Brantley if they’re not going to change their offense? Strange.