Leadership and Tennessee Week

When the Mike Shula regime was crumbling last season, I wrote all the time about the importance of leadership in the program. It is nice to get a glimpse of how Saban’s leadership is working with the players. Where did we get the glimpse, from of all places Paul Gattis and the Huntsville Times.

Yes. I’m shocked too.

Here’s the key quote from the story on Saban and his impact on Alabama: “He’s more of an aggressive-type guy,” Antoine Caldwell said. “When somebody’s slouching in their chair, when he walks in the room, they’re going to sit up. “It’s just this presence that he brings to whatever he’s doing.”

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And with Tennessee Week here, what how has Saban responded to it? Unlike coaches from the past, it is a low-key, no-frills approach. here won’t be any orange jerseys on scout team players at University of Alabama football practices this week. “Rocky Top” won’t be blaring from loudspeakers at the practice field or in the locker room.

That’s important for keeping the players from getting too tight. Anyone remember how Johnny Majors seemed to choke at the Alabama games? He had great talent, but often the teams would collapse because Majors was so focused on winning the game, the talent didn’t play to its potential. It has happened to several Alabama teams as well. Under Stallings and Dubose, there were periods where the team just didn’t respond. Hey, if I heard Rocky Top all week, I’d be sick too.

I can’t tell you how much I hate Rocky Top. Mainly because one time several years ago I picked Alabama to face Tennessee while I was learning how to play NCAA Football on the Gamecube. I got so sick of hearing that stupid song.

Anyway, there is one version of the song I enjoy listening to this Rocky Top parody played on the Finebaum show.

One last Tennessee item. Here’s Fulmer’s comments from his weekly media event.

From the high school files, Hoover High is under an AHSAA investigation. Apparently, investigators were examining if a transfer was proper. I’ve seen these types of investigations before, and I’ve never seen the AHSAA do anything about it—even in cases with obvious problems. If something happens now, it will be about as hypocritical as the NCAA; it would be looking to make an example.

LSU considers itself a national title contender, according to the AP. I always knew Miles was a little…well, never mind. Anyway, here’s an AP preview of the LSU-Auburn game if you care: