Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday: Alabama, Auburn, Florida - Pre-season football stuff

The pre-season football selections, debates and articles are rolling in now, so football news is going to be pretty plentiful around the SEC. The summer is getting old, and the minds of sports fans are turning to the possibilities and promise of another SEC battle royal.

First stop: The plains of Auburn University.


Kevin Donahue of says that Ryan Ferguson (aka Gatorpilot) managed to pull off the extraordinarily rare -- anger both Alabama and Auburn fans with one article.

From The Bleachers' Will Collier welcomes back Tony Barnhart of the AJC. He also notes Steve Megargee's column on providing a look at Auburn's 2007 season.

Joe Cribbs Car Wash has lots of linkage to Auburn news around the web. He also has this preview of Auburn SEC football opponent, Mississippi State. Here is a taste:

Like fans everywhere, save at Ole Miss and many at 'Bama (who understandably like the reassurance that Mal Moore at least got that decision right), I wish it were otherwise. Croom seems like a decent guy, and every positive story about race coming out of the South (particularly in an area as important to it as college football) is still a blessing. If he had to do it over again, he might pull it off. But from the JCCW's viewpoint, right now? It's inevitable. It's over. It's cruel. It is, in short, SEC football.
And now on to Auburn's implacable foe and rival, Alabama.


Alabama fans are some of the most passionate on the web, and they have a surfeit of excellent blogs. So many deserve inclusion, but I set a limit of 4 blogs per team per post.

As usual, our first stop will be to the SB Nation blog Roll 'Bama Roll. RBR has an exchange with Kentucky SB nation blog A Sea of Blue with dueling takes on Kentucky's SEC season.

Bama Nation has a great editorial that struck home to me. It is interesting to note that the University of Kentucky (my school of obsession) and the University of Alabama have shared not one but two football coaches -- the legendary Bear Bryant and Bill Curry.

Bama Nation's editorial plays the "what if" game with Curry and Bobby Bowden -- "What if Alabama had hired Bobby Bowden instead of Bill Curry?". It is an interesting read.

A relatively new (like us) Alabama blog, Outside the Sidelines, has so many outstanding posts this week, is is impossible to know where to begin. This blog does a technical and statistical analysis of Alabama football, and is deeply detailed. OTS is recommended for any college football fan who loves detailed statistical analysis. Here is a sample:
If you recall from making posts on Pythagorean Wins, I have been doing the same thing for months in regard to college football. I've been making the argument that games against the Sisters of the Poor (Western Carolina, etc.) should not be used in Pythagorean projections because the talent disparities between the teams are so great, and one team is effectively guaranteed a win. The bigger opponent can basically name the score on the Sister of the Poor in question, and that massive blowout win inflates that team's Pythagorean projection to make it look like they should have more games than they did.
Really excellent stuff. Just keep scrolling.

Finally, Eight in the Box has a police blotter report on three Tide players arrested this week for various and sundry illegal acts. TideDruid also has coverage.

Next, to Gator Country.


The Gator Blog has a post up this week wondering who will be this year's Tennessee, i.e. the program highly ranked in the pre-season that winds up tanking. His money is on Michigan, but I'm not convinced he shouldn't be looking closer to home.

Orange and Blue Hue has some pre-season predictions about the Gator football team written for them by Tom at Madduxsports notes that the Gators are not the team they were last year:
This season the Gators will have a tough time repeating due to heavy losses to their defensive units. The front seven is completely new and several of the outstanding young defensive line players Urban Meyer signed expect to get significant playing time. The story is the same for the line-backing corps: 3 new untested players with very little depth behind the starters.
The entire analysis is interesting, and you may be surprised where the Gators figure into the SEC picture in Madduxsports' view.



Have to put you in MY links... you have a lot of the bloggers. Keep up the good work