Thoughts – Week 11

By: THS

You never accept losing.  You never proclaim moral victories.  You never make excuses.  You always take responsibility for your performance.

Auburn…

– But we’re going to break the rules.  I just can’t get upset with this team right now.  I did that enough after the LSU game.  Our guys have busted their butts all year.  It’s been a hell of a fight to turn the program back around.  I wish I could go on another diatribe about Chizik’s future, but this rollercoaster of a season has silenced any opinions.  Think about what we HAVE accomplished:

1.  Recruiting a top ten class (possible top five) and stockpiling talent from other states.
2.  Going to a bowl game.  7 wins and two close calls against Kentucky and Georgia.
3.  Last year, there was no feeling of optimism going into the Bama game.  It was like you could feel “36-0” in the air.  This year, I have no doubt we will at least be competitive.
4.  All critics have been silenced.  Most predictions that were against Auburn have been debunked.  Chizik is not really a “5-19” coach.
5.  Trooper and Luper’s “juvenile” ideas in recruiting are working.  It’s only going to get better with next year’s class.

– You really think we lost the Georgia game due to poor coaching?  What could they have done differently?  We simply don’t have the playmakers.  Fannin is a nobody.  Blame Rivals overrating him in high school; blame Tuberville’s staff for not developing him early in his career; or blame him for not focusing on improving his skills.  He just isn’t clutch.  He was never going to make that big catch, and you’re a fool if you thought he was.  That was an NFL/game changer catch, and Mario “This Year, I Break Out” Fannin was surely not going to make it.

– I actually was impressed with the adjustments Malzahn made.  We pitched the ball around a good bit.  The only criticism I had was not throwing the ball in the 5-10 yard frame.  We either went deep or dunked it to the flats.  That might not be Malzahn’s playcalling.  That might be Chris Todd.  God love him, but Chris Todd isn’t a championship caliber quarterback.  He’s doing more than he was predicted to.  At least remember that.

– The defense sucks.  It has continued to suck.  It will continue to suck.  You want proof it’s the players?  Go rewatch the tape.  We BLITZED tonight.  A lot.  I kept screaming about it every time we did it.  Did it ever work?  No.  It didn’t.  We were slow.  We didn’t time it.  We couldn’t shed blocks.  Is that Roof’s fault?  Yeah.  Some.  But it’s a lot easier to play defense when you have experienced playmakers that consistently get it done.  For example, Josh Bynes blew the hell out of that reverse they tried to run.  It’s too bad Josh Bynes also missed some easy tackles, missed a crucial interception, and missed his assignments throughout the entire game.

– My disposition changed about this coaching staff.  After the LSU game, I was very skeptical of their ability to take our team to the next level.  What happened last week gave me hope for the future.  So hope for the future I will.

– We play with heart, and when Gene Chizik speaks of “family,” I believe him.  I believe he has a knack for bringing his guys closer together.  I think this will pay off when it comes to keeping coaches around.  It’s already shown on the recruiting trail.

– About recruiting – have you noticed that guys are committing to us not because we’re a flash in the pan?  It’s not the trendy thing to do, and we haven’t done much to shock and awe the country.  They experience Auburn last summer, and that experience has led them to committing in November.  Michael Dyer and Trovon Reed are only the beginning.

– Blowing out Ole Miss showed me Chizik’s ability to keep his team focused and compete with a good football team.  I was hesitant to accept the WVU and Tennessee victories as legit high quality wins, but Ole Miss had a good defense.  Their offense had just started clicking against Arkansas.  We were able to win and look good doing it.

Notre Dame…

– I told you it’s time for a new coach.  Pitt is a good team.  And you lost.  Add another name to the list of teams with winning records that Charlie Weiss can’t defeat.

Georgia…

– I still think Mark Richt is on a downward spiral.  Georgia (much like Notre Dame) has recruited lights out over the past few years.  There’s no need to have a rebuilding year like this every few seasons.  The players aren’t being developed properly.

Alabama…

– Alright.  That was impressive.  I honestly thought the upset was going to happen.  I know it’s Miss St, and they are more talent depleted than we are.  However, Bama was coming off of a huge SEC West-clinching win against LSU, and Miss St has played tough in big time games.  31-3 and it wasn’t even that close.

LSU…

– Another example of why Les Miles won’t be around much longer.  You never give up.  I’m sorry you lost to the undefeated Bama team last weekend, but you blow out La Tech.  You convince your seniors/juniors that they need to perform well for the NFL draft.  You convince your young guys they need to impress voters so they can participate in the best bowl games available.  You convince your coaching staff that they need to gameplan and motivate so they can bring in better recruiting classes.

Texas…

– The undisputed, unanimous #1 team in the country.  40-0 at halftime against Baylor?  35-3 (if I remember correctly) at halftime against Oklahoma St?  This team is a force.  It’ll be tough for anyone to catch them.

Final thought…

– Please please PLEASE don’t get your hopes up.  We most likely won’t beat Bama.  However, I’m looking to see our team make a statement.  This has been a special year.  We were the misfits.  Supposedly, not one of our players could start for any other team.  That’s what Bama fans have told us.  That’s what Finebaum has preached.  That’s what the B’ham media has reported.  We’re a down in the dumps football team that didn’t have a chance from the start.  We’re a locomotive rushing straight for the landfill led by a “5-19” loser of a coach.  They’ve been wrong since the start.  I think we come out a fight our asses off against Bama.  We won’t win.  They’ll probably pull away in the 4th quarter, but we’ll be competitive.

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