25 September 2009
Ugh - the last few weeks my contributions here have been a disaster. I apologize for that. I have picks from last week... that weren't posted. I should have had this up yesterday (so that nxojkt and Crump could gloat about picking South Carolina). I did not. Sorry fellas.
Anyway, I can't find the results from week one right now... so we wander in the wilderness and we'll just hammer through this weeks picks after the jump...
|Cal at Oregon||Cal||Oregon||Cal||Cal|
|Miami at Va Tech||Va Tech||Va Tech||Miami||Va Tech|
|TCU at Clemson||Clemson||TCU||TCU||Clemson|
|Arizona St. at Georgia||Georgia||Georgia||Georgia||Georgia|
|Southern Miss at Kansas||Kansas||Southern Miss||Kansas||Kansas|
Now, the one we care deeply about...
A lot of Bama fans are concerned about Arkansas's ability to pass the ball. I think a lot of fans have forgotten that Alabama is coached by Nick Saban, and that he and Kirby Smart are both defensive backs coaches. While Ryan Mallett is a very good quarterback, Alabama will have a scheme to slow him down.
And unfortunately for the Hogs, their defense is not good enough to slow down the Bama offense. I don't think it will be a blow-out like 2008, but Alabama should win this game convincingly. I'm guessing somewhere between 15-20 points.
If Georgia can wear Arkansas down, Alabama can and will do the same thing. The question is whether Ryan Mallet and company can hang in there for three quarters. I say yes, kind of. Petrino's bunch will put up some on a secondary that has already given up a handful of big plays to far inferior air attacks, but McElroy, Ingram and Richardson et al. will score more and keep Bama ahead the whole way. The Tide will roll big in the fourth quarter and cover the spread.
CrumpEven though the Virginia Tech win was a nice feather in our hounds tooth cap, the real season begins Saturday. This is a classic offensive genius vs defensive genius battle as the Razorbacks come a calling. Ryan Mallet seems to be living up to the hype as Arkansas is piling up the yards and the points so far this season. While I expect the Hog offense to have some success on Saturday, they have not yet faced a defense like the one that calls Bryant Denny Stadium home.
The Bama offense will look to win the time of possession battle in order to keep Mallet his boys off the field as much as possible, so look for a heavy dose of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. If the Tide can have some success running early it will open things up for Greg McElroy and the Tide receiving corp and if the Georgia game is any indication, that shouldn't be a problem.
As I hopped on the plane to Fayetteville last year, I was concerned. Deeply. I was worried that Petrino's new scheme would worry our secondary. I was concerned about the back who had looked pretty good early on. I was concerned that there was some semblance of defense they could put together. I was terrified Northwest Arkansas wouldn't be any fun.
I was wrong on all counts. The offense this year is better, but the defense is more of the same. Mallet hasn't been tested by a team as talented as the Tide, and that'll be an interesting confrontation. But at the end of the day, we'll stop them more than they stop us. And that means a win for us.
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