Blog Archives

Never too early…

I mean it’s only 88 days away after all.  Quite frankly, I think I’m a little late in getting this posted.


PDF version can be found here.

Other Conferences available here.





Here’s Johnny


Dear Johnny,

Can we call you Johnny?  You’re the most important person in college football now, so we weren’t sure if we were still on a first name basis with one of the starting quarterbacks of this year’s Cotton Bowl or if we needed to show reverence by calling you Mr. Manziel.  Anyway, we just wanted to congratulate you on winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy.  It’s always a remarkable achievement, but for you to win it as a redshirt freshman is even more impressive.

It was a pleasure playing against you this season, and we hope you found us to be welcoming and accommodating during your visit to our house. Now, we don’t want to dampen your glory by bringing up paperwork, but we are looking forward to receiving your “thank you” note to add to our collection.  No rush, really.  We’re still waiting for one from Cam Newton, after all.  We hear he’s too busy counting his money from the bag man to pick up a pen.  We’re not even sure he can count that high, so it could be a while.  And you know, we even thought we might get one from Peyton Manning.  Had the frame all ready for it, but that Charles Woodson had to horn in and ruin everything.  We’re still a little bitter about that one, but we digress.

We look forward to hearing from you, and congratulations, again.


The Alabama Defense

P.S. We hope you will remember our hospitality when we come visit you next year in College Station.  We know Coach Saban will.  Roll Tide!

New Era Begins

Is this the road to #15 for my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide? At the very least, we may be looking at the 7th consecutive for the SEC (or 9th all time in the BCS era).  As much as it hurts my heart to say at the beginning of this new era for the SEC, welcome to the party Texas A&M and Missouri.  Don’t screw it up.  Make us proud.

2012 NFL Draft In Review

This was probably one of the more enjoyable drafts for me.  I tend towards the “draft who you need” side of things rather than drafting someone just because someone believes he deserves to be drafted at a certain position.  If you don’t need a QB, don’t draft one and don’t be pressured into drafting a guy just because someone tells you he should go #1 or even in the 1st round.  It was a remarkable showing for the SEC which led all conferences with 42 players selected and the only conference to have a player selected from every single school.  Alabama led all SEC schools (and all schools for that matter) with 8 players selected.  I did a bit of math on this.  253 players were selected over the 3 day draft.  The SEC accounted for 16.6% of those players.  Alabama accounted for 3.2% of those players, and further, Alabama accounted for 19% of the SEC players selected.  I’m not usually the first person to chant SEC! SEC! SEC!, but I gotta admit, that’s pretty impressive.

Here’s how the Indianapolis Colts handled things:

Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Conf.
1 1 Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck QB Stanford Pac-12
2 34 Indianapolis Colts Coby Fleener TE Stanford Pac-12
3 64 Indianapolis Colts Dwayne Allen TE Clemson ACC
3 92 Indianapolis Colts T. Y. Hilton WR Florida International Sun Belt
5 136 Indianapolis Colts Josh Chapman DT Alabama SEC
5 170 Indianapolis Colts Vick Ballard RB Mississippi State SEC
6 206 Indianapolis Colts LaVon Brazill WR Ohio MAC
7 208 Indianapolis Colts Justin Anderson G Georgia SEC
7 214 Indianapolis Colts Tim Fugger LB Vanderbilt SEC
7 253 Indianapolis Colts Chandler Harnish QB Northern Illinois MAC


If you haven’t seen it, check out the video reaction from Mr. Irrelevant.


Here’s how the Denver Broncos handled things:

Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Conf.
2 36 Denver Broncos Derek Wolfe DT Cincinnati Big East
2 57 Denver Broncos Brock Osweiler QB Arizona State Pac-12
3 67 Denver Broncos Ronnie Hillman RB San Diego State MWC
4 101 Denver Broncos Omar Bolden CB Arizona State Pac-12
4 108 Denver Broncos Philip Blake C Baylor Big 12
5 137 Denver Broncos Malik Jackson DE Tennessee SEC
6 188 Denver Broncos Danny Trevathan LB Kentucky SEC


Here’s the list of Alabama players drafted:

Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Conf.
1 3 Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson RB Alabama SEC
1 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark Barron S Alabama SEC
1 17 Cincinnati Bengals Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama SEC
1 25 New England Patriots Dont’a Hightower LB Alabama SEC
2 35 Baltimore Ravens Courtney Upshaw LB Alabama SEC
5 136 Indianapolis Colts Josh Chapman DT Alabama SEC
5 146 Kansas City Chiefs DeQuan Menzie CB Alabama SEC
7 247 Cleveland Browns Brad Smelley TE Alabama SEC


And, finally, here’s how the entire SEC faired:

Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Conf.
1 3 Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson RB Alabama SEC
1 6 Dallas Cowboys Morris Claiborne CB LSU SEC
1 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark Barron S Alabama SEC
1 10 Buffalo Bills Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina SEC
1 12 Philadelphia Eagles Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State SEC
1 14 St. Louis Rams Michael Brockers DT LSU SEC
1 17 Cincinnati Bengals Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama SEC
1 18 San Diego Chargers Melvin Ingram OLB South Carolina SEC
1 25 New England Patriots Dont’a Hightower LB Alabama SEC
2 35 Baltimore Ravens Courtney Upshaw LB Alabama SEC
2 41 Buffalo Bills Cordy Glenn G Georgia SEC
2 45 Chicago Bears Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina SEC
2 62 Green Bay Packers Casey Hayward CB Vanderbilt SEC
2 63 New York Giants Rueben Randle WR LSU SEC
3 73 San Diego Chargers Brandon Taylor S LSU SEC
3 90 New England Patriots Jake Bequette DE Arkansas SEC
4 99 Houston Texans Ben Jones C Georgia SEC
4 104 Carolina Panthers Joe Adams WR Arkansas SEC
4 112 Arizona Cardinals Bobby Massie OT Ole Miss SEC
4 114 Seattle Seahawks Jaye Howard DT Florida SEC
4 116 Cincinnati Bengals Orson Charles TE Georgia SEC
4 118 Minnesota Vikings Jarius Wright WR Arkansas SEC
4 123 Philadelphia Eagles Brandon Boykin CB Georgia SEC
4 124 Buffalo Bills Ron Brooks CB LSU SEC
4 131 New York Giants Brandon Mosley OT Auburn SEC
4 134 Minnesota Vikings Greg Childs WR Arkansas SEC
5 136 Indianapolis Colts Josh Chapman DT Alabama SEC
5 137 Denver Broncos Malik Jackson DE Tennessee SEC
5 146 Kansas City Chiefs DeQuan Menzie CB Alabama SEC
5 150 St. Louis Rams Rokevious Watkins G South Carolina SEC
5 159 Pittsburgh Steelers Chris Rainey RB Florida SEC
5 170 Indianapolis Colts Vick Ballard RB Mississippi State SEC
6 175 Minnesota Vikings Blair Walsh K Georgia SEC
6 181 Seattle Seahawks Winston Guy S Kentucky SEC
6 188 Denver Broncos Danny Trevathan LB Kentucky SEC
6 192 Atlanta Falcons Charles Mitchell S Mississippi State SEC
7 208 Indianapolis Colts Justin Anderson G Georgia SEC
7 214 Indianapolis Colts Tim Fugger LB Vanderbilt SEC
7 236 Baltimore Ravens DeAngelo Tyson DT Georgia SEC
7 242 New York Jets Antonio Allen S South Carolina SEC
7 247 Cleveland Browns Brad Smelley TE Alabama SEC
7 249 Atlanta Falcons Travian Robertson DT South Carolina SEC

Pick Me, Choose Me…

Tonight, Roger Goodell will walk to the podium at Radio City Music Hall and read Andrew Luck’s name as the 1st pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and thus will begin a night of making 32 lifelong dreams come true.  There is so much I love about the NFL draft that partially it’s hard for me to contain my excitement.  I eat, sleep, and breathe these 3 days because to me there’s just nothing like it.  In my opinion, no other major league sport does their amateur draft quite like the NFL.  And thinking about all of this led to thinking about the various sporting events (whether competitive or administrative) that are my favorites throughout the year.  Everyone has their favorites, and no one list is right or wrong.  Nevertheless, I present to you my top 5, in no particular order.  Who doesn’t love a list, right?!

  1. NFL Draft.  Let’s start with the one I’ve already mentioned.  Every year when I watch the draft, I get terribly sentimental.  When those men hear their names called and they come out of the green room holding the jersey and hat of their new teams, some with tears streaming down their faces, I can’t help but see the 8-year-old little boy inside each of them who dreamed about playing football in the NFL while tossing the football around in the backyard.  Years went by, obligations and responsibilities changed, and for some of them, being drafted means being able to provide for their families in ways they never imagined, but still inside every one of them is a little boy who dreamed big.
  2. Super Bowl Sunday.  I’m calling it Super Bowl Sunday, but truthfully, I love everything about the time between the conference championship games and Super Bowl Sunday.  I love the speculation from the minute the two teams are set about who will win, what each team’s strengths and weaknesses are, and which players are going to have to come up big for their team in order for them to win.  Flash forward to arguably one of the weirdest days in sports: Super Bowl Media Day on the Tuesday before the game.  If you want a press pass and have even the smallest connection to a news outlet, they’ll give you access.  Women walk around in wedding dresses asking the various players to marry them.  Players are asked to sing songs.  And if you can believe it, the questions asked are even crazier than that.  By the time we get to Super Bowl Sunday, we know virtually everything there is to know about every player from possible injuries to their great grandmother’s name.  Roll all of that into a 60 minute football game with commercial breaks costing well into the millions and you have an event that is surely not to be missed.
  3. March Madness.  I’m not talking about just the first two days when 32 games are played within a 36 hour period.  I start with Selection Sunday.  No other time in the entire year do I hang on every word that Greg Gumbel says.  And then to have live look ins for various schools waiting to hear their fate in seeding and location, just that one hour period is thrilling to watch.  Those kids get so excited to hear their school called, which takes me back to the sentimentality I feel during the NFL draft.  Then you move forward to the play in games, which, yes, I watch, then the 32 games on Thursday and Friday that I believe should be a national holiday, and it’s like we took off out of the starting gate and never looked back.  Some people grow tired by the time we get to the final weekend with the Final Four and the subsequent Championship game, but when you’re someone like me, you just can’t get enough.  One of my favorite sounds in the entire world is the squeaking of the shoes on the court.  I love the sound of the ball sliding through the net…that whoosh sound.  Heck, I even love the sound of the horn for substitutions, shot clock violations, time outs, and the end of each half.  And then there’s the upsets, the Cinderellas, who seemingly do the impossible who make you stop and say, “they don’t call it March Madness for nothing.”
  4. College Football Bowl Season.  Sure the names of the bowls have gotten a little out of hand, and people’s anger towards the BCS in general has diminished how much fun it is, but I still love that, in late December, I can turn on my TV every night of the week and watch a college football game…a real college football game…not those silly ones during the season that happen on random Tuesdays between two teams no one’s ever heard of except their respective alumni.  And I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve watched my fair share of FCS (Division 1-AA) playoff/championship games, too.  Now those kids…whew…those kids can play!  I remember several years ago when ESPN was promoting Bowl Season, they had a commercial with the holiday song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing in the background.  I couldn’t have agreed more.
  5. College World Series. So this is where it gets a little strange if you don’t know me.  I love college baseball…I LOVE COLLEGE BASEBALL!  Every single solitary thing about it, except maybe the new bats that don’t make the same sound the old aluminum bats did.  Sure it’s still a NCAA sport with all of its commercialism and exploitation of student athletes, but to me, it’s still the pure game before they get to MLB and money gets in the way.  I keep up with a few teams throughout the season, but when post season play begins, you can find me on my couch searching my on-screen guide for those games.  Once the 8 team field is set for the College World Series and all those seasons have finally led their way to Omaha, NE, I soak it up like a sponge.  Here’s the weird part.  When I watch the College World Series games on TV, sometimes I think I can smell the grass. (Stop laughing.)  I blame Field of Dreams. The thrill of the grass, et al.

Alright, so that’s my top 5.  Do you have a top 5?

Sweet Home Alabama

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Tomorrow at 7pm ET, Alabama will take the field to begin the 2010 football season, and I, per usual, will be a nervous wreck.  Last year was remarkable. If you had asked me this time a year ago how I thought the season would turn out, I would have said, “if we make it to the SEC championship game, we have a better shot at beating Florida than we did the year before.” Not one utterance of the words National Championship would have come out of my mouth.  No mention of going undefeated would have crossed my lips.  And certainly Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram wasn’t even a passing thought.  But that was last year.  This is this year.

I have a lot of friends who are of the die hard Alabama fan variety, and when I say that I mean those people who believe we’re going to win the national championship every year.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Every team needs fans like that.  I’m of the more realistic fan type.  Some people think that makes me pessimistic, but I call it cautiously optimistic.  Do I want to win every game we play? ABSOLUTELY.  Do I believe if they do their jobs 100% on every play for 60 minutes that we can win the game? FOR SURE.  Do I think that’s also true about a lot of teams in the country? YOU BET.  It is incredibly hard to win a national championship, and in my opinion, it’s even harder to win one when navigating through the SEC. Last year proved that to me.  I have friends who will tell you that until the last second ticked off that championship game, I still didn’t think we were going to win despite what the scoreboard said.

It bothers me probably a little more than it should when people talk about repeating or defending because that’s a lot of pressure on a bunch of kids who had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the 2009 championship.  I realize we have a lot of returning players from the championship team, but again, winning it all is INCREDIBLY HARD.  I think it is disrespectful and unfair to not allow the players on this year’s team to chart their own path, to set their own goals, and to find their own identity without being compared to what happened last year.  Every person who has attended the University of Alabama is a member of the Family.  Likewise, every person who has suited up in a crimson uniform is a part of our athletic history and have earned their place in the books.  So, too, has this 2010 team.

Don’t get me wrong, I would wholeheartedly welcome a national championship for the 2010 season.  In fact, I’d welcome a national championship every year just like those die hard fans, but make no mistake, if the 2010 team were to win the national championship, it will be their national championship and will have NOTHING to do with the 2009 team’s national championship.

With that said, Welcome to Alabama Football 2010.  And if you’re an opponent of ours this season, may God have mercy on your soul.


Defending A Title

The Road to Glendale, AZ begins here:

NOTE: The Alabama/Georgia State game has been moved from November 20th to November 18th.

2010 NFL Draft

From Sam Bradford to Tim Toone, the 2010 NFL Draft is in the books a whole day earlier than usual as 255 college football players saw their names flash across the screen and those childhood dreams they had in their backyards, school yards, and abandoned fields have amazingly come true.  They’ve worked hard to get to this point and while some went earlier or later than they should have, every one of them has an opportunity in front of them that cannot be taken lightly.  Best of luck to all of them because their biggest challenge to date will be in the coming months as they attend OTAs and Training Camp in an effort to turn their draft pick into a NFL contract on a 53 man roster for one of the 32 teams.

Specifically let me say “welcome to the family” to the following players selected by the Indianapolis Colts. Bill Polian is a smart, smart man when it comes to the draft, so I trust that each of these guys has been well thought through.

Likewise, congratulations to the following Alabama players who were selected. Best of luck in bringing the pride of the Crimson Tide to your respective NFL teams.