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Presenting Your New Savior, Michelle Southerland (Alabama Crimson Tide Preview)

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 11, 2007

Ray Perkins.

Bill Curry.

Gene Stallings.

Mike Dubose.

Mike Price (went to a strip club).

Dennis Franchonie.

Mike Shula.

Michelle Southerland (oops, they didn’t include playing of “Brown Eyed Girl” in her contract, so she didn’t work out).

And now, Nick Saban.

In the 25 years since Bear Bryant coached his last game against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the 1982 Liberty Bowl, the Alabama faithful has gone end over end to find the next Bear Bryant, whether it was someone inside the fraternity of Bear Bryant or someone who happened to be down on their luck after a bad Christmas album.

Since 1982, the Tide has gone 180-105, won three conference championships, and
one f*cking national championship.

Not to mention that the program has been on probation more than Pacman Jones and Chris Henry combined.

With that being said about the joke that is Alabama football since the death of Paul W. Bryant, let Dr. Hancock preview “Year One” of the Saban Era.

On offense, the Tide returns junior quarterback John Parker Wilson, who threw for 2,707 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Tide, one of the best showings for an Alabama quarterback in recent memory. Not only that, the Tide return key receivers Keith Brown, who ranks among all-time Alabama wide receivers in the top 10 in catches and yards, and D.J. Hall, who set a school record with 1,056 yards in receptions last season. More of the same should be expected from both Brown and Hall as they return for one more season at the Capstone.

The running game is, for lack of better terms, a bit shaky as Alabama lost tailback Kenneth Darby and fullbacks Le’Ron McClain and Tim Castille to graduation. More than likely, according to various sources, the returning leader in rushing, Jimmy Johns, will start at tailback, which gives the running game some veteran leadership.

‘Bama’s defense in 2006 was among one of the best in the land, allowing 297.7 yards per game, good for 18th in the country and the thing that saved their ass many times during the 2006 season. To repeat this performance, they’re going to have to rely on the play of defensive ends Wallace Gilberry and Bobby Greenwood and converted offensive lineman Brian Motley, who is taking over at nose tackle.

Final analysis: When Saban was hired as the man in T-Town, fans in the Tide Nation hailed it as the second coming of That Dead Coach Whose Name Is On The Stadium, giving him an eight-year, $32 million contract to do the same thing he did in Baton Rouge: win a national championship and restore the glory to Tuscaloosa. With one of college football’s hottest young assistants in former Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, who is in the same role he was in at Rice as offensive coordinator and championship-starved fan base, the Tide should be mentioned in the same breath as Florida and LSU in the near future. But not this year, folks.

Projected record: 8-4 (5-3 SEC)

2007 Alabama Crimson Tide

Sept. 1st Western Carolina

Sept. 8th @ Vanderbilt

Sept. 15 Arkansas

Sept. 22nd Georgia

Sept. 29th @ Florida State

Oct. 6th Houston

Oct. 13th @ Ole Miss

Oct. 20th Tennessee

Nov. 3rd LSU

Nov. 10th @ Mississippi State

Nov. 17th Louisiana-Monroe

Nov. 24th @ Auburn


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