I Came, I Saw, I Iron Bowled. Thoughts from The best game in History

Source: Auburntigers.com

What The Hell Did I Watch?

I thought that this game would be a classic, I thought that Alabama would win the game. That didn’t happen. This did instead:

To be able to watch that first hand, and seeing Chris Davis run toward yours truly to win the game. Epic. It’s not only the best iron Bowl in history, It’s the greatest ending in the history of college football. Incredible. Just incredible.

So without further ado,  my take on the game that I was honored to be at:

Auburn ran the football when they wanted to early and often.

296 yards on the ground. Tre Mason, 164 yards. Nick Marshall 99 yards. Many believed Alabama would stop what many said prior to the game that was a basic read option. Prior to the game, Auburn players said that they believed they would have success on The Tide front seven. Did they ever. The Tigers literally ran it when they wanted to, and dominated the lines of scrimmage.

Nick Saban believed his offense could get 1 yard on 4th and 1.

You have the right to believe that Alabama should have attempted a field goal up 7 on 4th and 1 late in fourth quarter. They didn’t. Why? because he felt that his team., his Alabama team, with his offensive line, his running backs could get one yard and ice the game. Auburn stuffed it. Could Alabama kicked the field goal and ultimately ended the game? Sure. But Nick Saban believed that his team could get one yard. Auburn had other plans.

Ellis Johnson should get a TON of credit.

Is The Tigers 4-2-5 scheme ready from a personnel standpoint for first year coordinator Ellis Johnson moving forward?. No. But he has 9-10 guys on the defensive line that are as good as anyone in the SEC. Give credit to the likes of Gabe Wright, Nosa Eugae, Dee Ford, Eljah Daniel, Carl Lawson, etc for not sacking AJ McCarron, but getting him off his “spot” making his night very uncomfortable. Alabama could go deep, (was looking more from the Tide going vertical) but for one reason or another that didn’t happen.

Alabama didn’t control the lines of scrimmage.

Many thought that the Tide offensive and defensive lines had improved over the course of the season. They have. They just played a better Offensive and Defensive line on Saturday. The Tide were good enough to win no question (T.J. Yeldon  141 yards, 1 TD), but for four quarters, Auburn controlled the lines of scrimmage.

Amari Cooper is unstoppable

When Healthy, I’m taking #9 over any wide out in the country. He’s a beast. Elite speed, and an elite route runner. He couldn’t be covered all night, that 99 yarder tells you everything. 6 rec, 178 yards, 1 TD. Pretty darn good.

I have even more respect for AJ McCarron

36-3 as a starter. 3 National Championships. 90 plus percent winning percentage. McCarron has been special at Alabama, and over the years he has continued to gain more respect from me. Well done #10 on a great career.

Missed opportunities for Alabama

If Cade Foster makes a field goal or two, the game is over. End of story. But give credit to Auburn, and the Jordan-Hare Stadium electric crowd as well. They influenced a kicker that has been spot on all season.

The Final Play

Adam Griffith kicked that 57 yarder as good as anyone could have kicked it. With wind behind him. It looked good. What did Auburn do? put Chris Davis who three weeks earlier returned a punt against Tennessee in the back of the end zone just in case. Not only did he get a running start when the kick was short, but he got GREAT blocking by his teammates initially on the return,  with Gus Malzahn and his staff understanding that  Alabama had there field goal blockers or as they say “big guys” on the field. They took advantage, and the rest is history.

Quick Hitters:

—If Florida State and Ohio State win their conference title games, They play for the BCS National Title. End of Story. Never in the history of the BCS has  two remaining teams in power conferences NOT played for the National Championship, with everyone else having one loss. Yes Auburn’s resume is better than Florida State and Ohio State, but they do have one loss. If both the Noles and Buckeyes win, the SEC streak of title appearances will be over.

—Who in the world will win the Heisman?

—A special job well done to former Alabama A&M Head Coach Anthony Jones. The University fired Jones Sunday after just his  third losing season in 12 years. Jones won at A&M with sub par resources and graduated his players. It’s safe to say he won’t be out of a head coaching job anytime soon, wouldn’t be surprised if he lands another coaching gig right in the SWAC if he wants it. A good man, that deserves to be recognized for what he did on “The Hill” considering some terrible circumstances during his tenure.

A conference championship preview later this week…

And I leave you with something pretty cool and fun on the Iron Bowl….

Have a great week everyone!

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It’s Big Game Saturday! Rumblings from this weeks HUGE Matchups

(Source: bleacherreport.com)

This Week’s Big Ones:

(5) Notre Dame (7-0) Vs (8) Oklahoma (5-1)

The Sooners to me looked shaky at best in their opener against UTEP.. and it all came to a head in their home loss to Kansas State. The Irish are in the top five and Irish fans have a reserved sense of excitement. The reserve is because this is the Irish biggest test to date. QB Everett Golson will get the start after a concussion sidelined him over the last two weeks or so… The Irish D is elite, they have  playmakers on offense, and a guy on special teams that has yet to break out but could Saturday in Devonte Neal.

In my opinion: The Sooners have really picked it up over the last two weeks, especially on offense, as evident of their 60 plus output against Texas. Notre Dame could win this game if they have some early success by way of turnovers, a quick score or two or even a special teams play by Devonte Neal. I just think that the Sooners and Landry Jones will have success in the air against a young Irish secondary to come away with the win… But it’s Notre Dame, and the hype machine could go into overdrive with a victory.

(Source:gamedayr.com)

(2) Florida (7-0) Vs (11) Georgia (6-1)

There will be a lot of fans having a good time at the World Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party that you can’t call the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. The Gators have really took on the personality of their coach Will Muschamp… run the ball, play great Defense and ask very little of a young QB (Jeff Driskel). Georgia on the other hand went through the motions last week at Kentucky, with the Cats running for over 200 yards in Lexington.

In My opinion: I love Florida. I love their coach. They will play for a BCS Title, sooner, rather than later. Just not this season. I like Georgia in this one, I think they will be up for this one, and force the Gators out of their running game comfort zone, and force Jeff Driskel to throw the football in situations he has not had to thus far in the season.

(Source: usatoday.com)

(11) Mississippi St 7-0 Vs (1) Alabama 7-0

The media folks are saying that this is the biggest test to date for the Crimson Tide. But haven’t they said that a few times this season? Last week it was supposed to be Tennessee, and while the Vols had chances to make the game interesting, they couldn’t capitalize on opportunities in Knoxville. So here we are, the Tide number one and facing an upstart Mississippi State team that’s undefeated under Dan Mullen, and riding a wave of confidence. The Bulldogs though had a tough test on the road at Troy early in the year and even the Auburn Tigers had chances to beat them in Starkville. And don’t forget Tennessee pushing the Bulldogs to the limit two weeks ago as well.  Still, Dan Mullen is saying this is a championship game for his program, and rightfully so. Win this game and they will build a statue in Starkville Sunday morning.

In my opinion:   I think the Bulldogs have one of if not the best secondary in the SEC led by Jonathan Banks, I just think that Tyler Russell will be forced into same mistakes in this one. The Bulldogs will have to play the very best game in the Dan Mullen era to have a chance . Even though I think Alabama hasn’t had as many tests as they did during last years National Title run, I do think they win this game going away, setting up that HUGE game with LSU next week in Death Valley.

Other streams of consciousness:

—If you don’t know if Kansas State’s for real, watch this Saturday. The Wildcats defense is legit, which will slow Tommy Tuberville’s bunch from Texas Tech.

—And if you don’t think Tuberville isn’t one of the very best coaches in America, I hope you realize it now. He has literally transformed the Red Raiders into a pass happy team, into a pass happy team that has teeth in their defense.

–Louisville beats Munchie Legaux and Cincinnati this Friday. The Cards have a little bit of everything, and to me is the best team in the Big East.

–Let’s show some love to the MAC conference. And more importantly, the MAC Western Division.  Northern Illinois, Ball State, Toledo, Kent St, Ohio,  and Bowling Green are a combined 37-9 this season, with Frank Solich’s bunch at Ohio ranked in top 25 and in the BCS standings.

—I don’t know why I laugh at this… enjoy below:

—How many points does Oregon score this week against Colorado? Over or under 256?

—My dance of the month below:

—ON another note, Pablo Sandoval. BEAST MODE.

—If you haven’t been to a Magic City Classic in your life, make the trek to Birmingham Alabama to do so. Great food, great bands, and a great game between Alabama A&M and Alabama St. I’ll be there this Saturday…And the bands are AWESOME:

— On the reality TV front…the Real Housewives of Miami have been great, kinda luke warm on Basketball Wives LA, miss the Kardasians, and miss the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders show. I can’t wait till the Beverly Hills and the Atlanta ladies return to Bravo. AND the reunion shows for New Jersey were epic, with the New York reunion VERY solid. Great work Bravo and Andy Cohen.

That’s it for this week, enjoy the games, enjoy the weekend, and I’ll chat back with you next week!  PEACE!

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST MONTH OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL

(Source:college-football.si.com)

Happy Thursday all! Been awhile since I’ve posted, But with such a great week of college football in the rear view mirror, It’s time to talk the rest of the year and the past month of the season.

GENO SMITH. BEAST MODE

I barely remember Andre Ware and that high flying offense at Houston,  I do remember Ty Detmer and Tommy Chang and the numbers they threw up at BYU and Hawaii respectively, But Geno Smith out in Morgantown is shall I say.. off THA chain (that mean’s good for all you post 90’s folks). The numbers… 1,996 yards, 20 TD’s.. O INTERCEPTIONS. His team passed a minor test against Baylor where he threw for 8 TD’s at home, and then went on the road and beat Texas in Austin, not an easy place to play. He is the front runner for the Heisman, and it’s not even close. It’s up to him to close the show the rest of the way.

(Source: naplesnews.com)

PUMP THE BRAKES ON ONE LOSS TEAMS, AND THE UNDEFEATED’S.
Nine teams in last week’s AP Top 25 loss football games last Saturday, one of those teams, LSU. Yes the offense hasn’t looked great, and yes the penalties have racked up this season. BUT, the only difference between last years one loss team and this year’s one loss team. TURNOVERS. What would fans be saying if Odell Beckham would have held onto that deep ball late in the second half? It would have been a score (or at least a Field Goal) and the game would have been tight till the end.

What about Georgia. Jump off the bandwagon all you want, But the Bulldogs, the Gamecocks and Florida all have elite qualities to them, with Tennessee, Yes Tennessee not too far behind (more on the Vols later) If you were to play the Georgia/South Carolina game 10 times, the outcome would be split, with maybe one or two blowouts like last Saturday’s score. As elite as Steve Spurrier has his program right now,  they do travel to Death Valley this Saturday to face some P-oed Bayou Bengals. We will know more about some undefeated teams (outside of #1 Alabama) and those one loss teams after the day on Saturday.

(Source:bleacherreport.com)

Some BIG ONES ON SATURDAY

(3) South Carolina (6-0) Vs (9) LSU (5-1)

Two of the Very best teams in America set to battle in Baton Rouge. Fans can say what they want about the Tigers, they are elite.  The Gamecocks have shown every bit of being top shelf as well. I think being at home, with so much emotion, and the most sound they may play all year will be the difference for LSU. I like the Tigers in this one, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they win by a pair of TD’s.

Tennessee (3-2) Vs (19) Mississippi St (5-0)

I like Dan Mullen, but I like Tyler Bray and that offense a little better. The match up between the Bulldogs secondary and the Vols receiving corps will be fun to watch. Should be an exciting game in Starkville Saturday night. and if you haven’t visited Starkville for a game, below is what you’ll hear..CONSTANTLY.

UPSET ALERT

BYU over Oregon ST- The Beavers without Sean Mannon at QB, spells doom for Mike Riley’s bunch. If they win, who’s laughing at that #10 AP ranking now?

(Source: al.com)

SHOUT OUT TO SOME BULLDOGS AND LIONS!

Gotta send some love to two local programs I cover here in Huntsville… Alabama A&M is 6-0 heading into their Homecoming game with Alcorn State, and The UNA Lions are 5-1 on the season as they host Valdosta State. Head coach Anthony Jones and UNA head man Bobby Wallace are working toward some special seasons in the North Alabama area.

YOU MAY BE WONDERING…

Why I haven’t said anything about those Auburn Tigers and that 1-4 start to the season. Trust me, I will, just want to see the program travel to face Ole Miss in Oxford before I chat about the program in next week’s blog.  Stay tuned

(Source:gradedstakes.com)

LETS TAKE A TRIP

So I had the chance to head back to  my home state of Kentucky last weekend to watch a day at the races at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Along with my wife, and a bunch of close friends we ate, drank, and were very merry, (OK so I drank the most bourbon and gin, and ate the most food, but who’s counting)..

It was also the second straight year that we enjoyed a cocktail hour with Garden and Gun Magazine before the races:To check their publication out on everything Southern, copy and paste the link below..

http://gardenandgun.com/

Also met Barbara Bing Vice President and Publisher of Garden and Gun, who was gracious and a very cool lady to talk to about the magazine, and the great state of Kentucky and Alabama. Just a great weekend to meet some fantastic people in the Bluegrass State. Thanks again for everything Barbara!

REALITY TV

There are no words for what the Real Housewives Reunions of New Jersey have done to me. They are can’t look away TV. I love Reality shows, as crazy as they are, and the ladies on that cast have had my mouth open from start to finish. and after two parts, they have a third part of their season reunion left! The New York Housewives have been drama filled in their own right as well…

FALL TV LINEUPS

I like: Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Boardwalk Empire, 666 Park Avenue, Nashville, among others.. More to come as I clean out the DVR.
Everyone enjoy the weekend, Enjoy the games, and TV.. See ya next week!