10 November 2011
The disappointment from the LSU certainly isn't gone, but we have to start putting that behind us. There are still important games on the schedule, and if Bama wants to have any chance at another shot against LSU, the Tide must win, and win impressively. Up first is Mississippi State. Bama has, according to Coach Saban, had a solid week of practice.
Here's what you need to know:
While the staff is listing both Barrett Jones (ankle) and Dre Kirkpatrick (assault victim) as "day to day", I would be surprised if we saw either guy this weekend. In fact, I doubt we'll see either guy until the Tide heads to Auburn.
That means that we are likely to see Alfred McCullough at left tackle, with Anthony Steen at right guard. Defensively, Dee Milliner will be the primary corner that replaces Dre, and Phelon Jones will be the extra guy in the nickel defense.
Eddie Lacy is doing what he has been doing for the last month; practicing lightly with an eye at doing what he can on Saturday. He likely won't be totally healthy until Bama plays in its bowl game.
Dee Hart has been absent at practice this week after dressing out for the first time in his career on Saturday. Coach Saban indicated on Wednesday that he is dealing with some personal issues and will not return until those are taken care of. I wish I had more details to give you on that, but that's all there is. There is no reason at this time to assume that Hart won't be back.
Otherwise Bama is doing what it can to rebound. According to Coach Saban, this has been a good week of practice. It doesn't look like Bama is sitting back and licking its wounds. Instead, it looks like Bama is angry and ready to come out fighting for that slim championship chance that might still be out there.
The Tide will practice again on Thursday and Friday, with both practices completely closed to the media. We'll let you know if we hear anything.
On another note, and I'll be as brief as possible here... What happens with the Penn State football program is the business of the people in central Pennsylvania. It is, quite frankly, none of my business. What is my business, and the business of all of us, is making sure that citizens of this country are held accountable when the law is broken.
A tragedy has occurred in Pennsylvania. That tragedy has absolutely nothing to do with either Joe Paterno or Penn State football. That tragedy is that the lives of countless young men have been altered forever. That tragedy is made worse by the fact that no action was taken in their defense.
The legacy of a football coach is a blip on the radar screen of what is actually important in this situation. I applaud the board of trustees at Penn State for realizing that. Joe Paterno is one of the best coaches that sports as a whole has ever seen. But at the end of the day, he is just a man. It truly stinks for the hundreds of thousands of Penn State fans that Joe won't get to go out on his own terms. But at the end of the day, ensuring that something like this never happens again is far, far more important than the protection of a legacy.
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