Shane: Tide’s outlook for 2009

Crimson Tide will win it all in 2009
By Shane from Centerpoint

I’ve been hearing the talk since the moment Nick Saban’s feet hit the ground in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The issue is not if but when Saban will lead Alabama to its thirteenth national championship. Most of the national pundits are in agreement that the Crimson Tide will probably accomplish the task by Saban’s fourth or fifth year. The experts may be right, but I believe Alabama is currently so talented and deep that it will win college football’s biggest prize at the end of this next season. Yes, that’s right! Bama will win the national championship in 2009.

Listen, I wouldn’t make statements like those above without stating specific reasons to back my opinion. Here are several:

First, and foremost, I know that Tide head coach Nick Saban is simply one of the best football coaches to walk the sidelines in the modern era. I’ve personally watched him guide two programs (Alabama and LSU) that compete in the toughest conference in the nation to elite national status very quickly. His record speaks for itself. In my opinion, with Saban at the helm, Alabama’s chances to win the national crown are doubled.

Secondly, I think that the quarterback position will be much improved with probable starter Greg McElroy behind center. He is a better athlete than former starter John P. Wilson, and there is no comparing the two in passing ability. Greg is a better player. He has excellent footwork, can read the entire field while going through his progressions, and has surprising accuracy with his delivery. I believe he will reach the three thousand yard mark and throw at least twenty-five touchdowns, with fewer than five interceptions in 2009.

Another potential weapon at the quarterback position will be a young talented athlete from the state of Florida, Star Jackson. Jackson has a rifle arm and tailback speed to match. He could push for playing time.

Admittedly, Alabama did lose some great players to the NFL along the line of scrimmage, but big linemen have become the Tide’s best asset. This team is loaded with great talent on both sides of the ball, with two-deep depth at every position – three-deep in some areas. A top-ten recruiting class followed by back-to-back “number 1’s” has Alabama ready to dominate in the trenches.

Everybody that studies the game closely knows that defense truly wins championships. Saban, like Southern Cal’s Pete Carroll, signs the best defensive players in the country year in and year out. Combined with his knowledge of defense and ability to coach it, Alabama will have successful results consistently on that side of the ball.

One huge factor that weighs heavily in my decision to go ahead and predict the Crimson Tide’s “run to number one” is their relatively easy schedule. When I take into account that Bama ripped off an undefeated (12-0) regular season last year with most of the difficult games on the road, I think it’s reasonable to assume that this year will be much easier from a schedule standpoint.

LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, and South Carolina all come to Bryant-Denny in 2009. The season opener against Virginia Tech will take place in Alabama’s home away from home, the Georgia Dome. However, the road schedule does provide one “trap” game when the Tide travels to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. The rest of the road slate looks favorable, with only two more western division road games against lower-tier opponents.

I cannot overlook one other key component of Nick Saban’s 2009 team. He has quietly assembled one of the finest groups of offensive skill players to ever wear the crimson jersey. The running game, featuring Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, will be lethal. Lead by Julio Jones, the speed and talent of the wide-outs is comparable to the very best college football has to offer.

I’ll finish by saying — before anybody out there throws the first stone — remember the pundits have called for the exact same thing I’m predicting (Alabama’s National Championship in 2009) to happen by 2010 or 2011. I just happen to believe that Nick Saban is way ahead of schedule in “the process”. Time will tell.
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62 Comments

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  1. 1
    julio

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again…if McElroy was even a half a percent better qb than JPW then Saban would have started him last year. Therefore, I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that the qb play will be “much improved” over last year. (The projected stats are hilarious!!) If you truly believe that, then you’re also saying that Saban was an idiot to start JPW over McElroy. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. We’ll see how “improved” Bama’s qb play will be on Sept. 5th against Va Tech in your self pro-claimed home away from home Ga Dome (where Bama had a .500 record last year).

    All that being said, I do believe Bama will be strong next year. You’ll miss Andre a lot more than you think you will, and if the Sugar Bowl didn’t show you that you’re blind. You ain’t beatin’ Florida unless Tebow blows out a knee, and I still think Ole Miss will win the West next year. I still see a 9-3 or even 10-2 season, though, which is pretty strong.

    P.S. I congratulate Shane on not only omitting specific references to Auburn (for the 1st time in several years), but also the back-handed swipe with the reference to “western division road games against lower-tier opponents.” That’s how you properly insult someone. Well Done!!!

  2. 2
    capstonereport

    Julio, interested in writing an Auburn outlook or providing some clues that SEC fans should look at for to predict how things will go on the Plains?

    As for Alabama, I agree with Julio that the offensive line losses are going to be a big concern. I think we’ll know a lot more during the Spring with how the QB situation will sort itself out and the fall camp will tell us what the line will do.

    I’m also high on Ole Miss due to the QB, but I’ll have to see how the Ole Miss offensive and defensive lines sort out.

  3. 3
    woodie

    i dont look for draft dodger saban to have a real good year in 09. i say 8 at the very best 9 wins. lil
    hitler will throw to many fits this year for the team to win the west. lsu,auburn ole miss will all finish ahead of the kent st protester. this will be saban’s last year at bama he will be going back home to west va next season. until next time make sure your gun is always loaded.

  4. 4
    julio

    Cappy, I’d be happy to. It might be a couple of days before I can get around to it. I gotta say that trying to predict how Auburn is gonna do next year is gonna be awfully hard. There’s a whole lot of variables that could go either way.

  5. 5
    bamasux

    Wow! I didn’t see that one coming. Shane, you never cease to surprise me.

    Auburn has one bad year in 10, and bammer has one good year in ten, and suddenly, bammers about to win the NC, and Auburn is lower tier.

    For the record, I hope you are just trying to push buttons, much like paul does on his program. You would have to be a certified idiot to actually believe half of what you write.

  6. 6
    BamaHate

    Hey Shane,
    I will laugh at this post after the lower tier West schools put a beating on the Bamer redneck nation this year. The best team in the West is Ole Miss, like it or not. Right now BAMA is a 9-3 team at best with a loss to Ole Miss, LSU, and if you do play Florida again, that will be another loss. Keep daydreamin and posting your fantasies.

    What will be really funny is if Rocky Top beats Bama. Then Lane Kiffin will really talk.

    Later

  7. 8
    OMNIPRESENT

    Lets just see when it happens, I personally dont think uat has it in em,for one I dont believe Nick is “THE ONE” he backed into it NC @ LSU. So lets play and see…

  8. 9
    leebenp

    FACT: Alabama’s worst 10 year span in the last 30 years was Auburn’s best 10 year span….coincidence….I think not.

  9. 11
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    People……………..Why the crap are you acting shocked that Shane would predict another Bama title in 09 ???? Heck, the dude freekin picks Bammer to win it EVEY YEAR !!!!!!!!!!! Why should this year be any different. “The Tide is High and Shula is the Man” anyone ?????????????? This is typical Bammer nonsense. Bama will not have as good of a year this year as they had last year. McElroy cant hold Wilsons jock, and the world will soon see that. And not to mention the loss of 2 All-American O-lineman. Along with a great running back. Dream on Shane. That, or take another hit of crack. Yes, you may beat Auburn again. But to win it all, that means you have to beat the best Florida team in 30 years. It AINT HAPPENING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. 13
    OMNIPRESENT

    I thought on my way home from work….
    You have BIG FLIPPIN DREAMS if you think there is an undefeated team in uat nect year! BI sorry to call it but he called and QUOTE “*Alabama vs. opponent (bowl game). It doesn’t matter who the Tide plays because they will be on a roll after they finish-off the Bulldogs and Tigers. BAMA 10 – 3

    P.S. I do not think Alabama will represent the West in the championship game – LSU will.” end quote!

    CAn Shane say SUPERMAN MATTERS him and I ll call MEYER Lex Luthor SO he got ….
    SUPERFRIENDED!!! hahahahahahahahah
    THATS FUNNY!!! hahahahahahah Im gonna laff at that in my sleep!

  11. 14
    OMNIPRESENT

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHH read that last one again! hehehe I did leave out but implied, that was his 08 PRediction!

    WAR POLYTECH SHANE!!!

  12. 15
    Jason from Tuscaloosa

    We have a lot of holes to fill up front and under center. We will have to develop another WR to play oposite of JJ. The future is bright, but I haven’t reached for my sunglasses yet. ’08 was more than expected.

  13. 17
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO, PEOPLE! As a loyal BAMMER I sincerely HOPE that Shane is right. Personally, I simply don’t see it for 2009. Our defense should be strong enough for us to contend and possibly win the West, but offensively it will be a weekly wait-and-see. Sure, we have talent on offense but I can’t help but think that Shane has watched McElroy’s TD pass in the 4th qtr. against Auburn “one-too-many-times.” Anytime you have a new starter at QB THERE ARE GROWING PAINS! Alabama should be very strong next season, possibly strong enough to win the SEC, but there are too many questions concerning the QB position & the offensive line.

  14. 18
    tmc1

    Yep… Yuck it up.
    Shane told you guys last year EVERYTHING tha would be happening on the plains and you guys told him he was crazy then.
    I will say this. Shane is a lot closer to right than most of you realize.
    This team is loaded. Especially with lineman.
    McElroy has been over looked. And he is VERY good.

  15. 19
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    tmc……….Hes says that every year too. “Auburns imploding”….EVERY YEAR ! 1 out of 10 is just playing the odds. St Clair, Ive said it before, and Ill say it again, you are the most level headed Bammer on this site.

  16. 20
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    And tmc. I believe a title SHOT isnt far away. Just not this year.

  17. 21
    bamasux

    Bamaman….I check out dozens of college football web sites weekly. That’s not an obsession with any one team, other than Auburn, but just getting a feel for what’s going on with other teams.
    Is it naive to think the other big team in the state affects my team? And vice versa?
    Trust me, I don’t go to bed at night secretly longing to be a bammer. If that had been the case, I would have gone to school there and become a fan. Then again, that’s not a prerequisite is it?

  18. 22
    LARRY C

    shane is a typical bama fan that lives his life for football only. most people that do this have very low IQ’S. I look for bama to win about 8 games in 09. the rumors of probation will start in july. demlib shorty saban will leave the crapstone at the end of the 09 season. the pressure of probation will be to much for the midget to handle. more later

  19. 23
    BamaBrando

    Julio, JPW is 2 years older that McElroy. Having an experienced senior quarterback is an advantage in college football. If McElroy starts, he will have to grow with experience. But once he has more of it, it will be easier to judge him then. But to automatically assume he is not going to be better than JPW because he couldn’t beat out the senior QB as a sophomore is pretty dumb assessment on your part. I thought you would know better. Your Auburn bias shines through once again on matters concerning Bama.

    Larry C: Have you ever been I.Q. tested? I am a Bama fan, and I graduated HS two years early. I was tested and had scored 131 on an I.Q. test at my school. If yours is half of that I would be surprised. But you being on a Bama site trying to troll is pretty funny though. You keep on trying real hard, I will give you that. With a lot of practice you may even get good at it.

  20. 24
    julio

    Brando, experience is one of the factors (probably the biggest factor) that you consider when determining which of two different qb’s is “better”. I never said there’s no chance that McElroy won’t eventually become a better qb over time than JPW was. What I said was that he was not last year, and he’s not right now. Again, if he was already better than JPW, Saban wouuld have started him last year. Therefore, it’s stupid to say that Bama’s qb play will immediately be “much improved” as Shane said it would be. Example – Kodi Burns is about 10 times the athlete that Brandon Cox ever was. I think we can all agree that Cox and JPW are pretty comparable. Was Auburn’s qb play “much improved” last year?? P.S. We’ll see how much “better” McElroy is when Va Tech is blitzing on every other down against that wealth of experience Bama has on the O-Line. Remember the Sugar Bowl.

  21. 25
    bamasux

    Somehow the standard has changed from last year to the upcoming year. I vividly remember shane’s Auburn prediction with the inexperienced Kodi Burns at QB last year. He even went so far as to say that inexperience at QB was probably the single biggest hinderance to success in the SEC. He was pretty much right (although their were MANY factors which contributed to the train wreck last year.)
    Funny what a difference bammer bias and a year makes!!
    Not to mention next year’s offensive line we got a “sneak peek” of at the sugar bowl.

  22. 26
    Bamaman

    Julio, that is fine, let em blitz, that means somebody isn’t covered, and we actually have receivers that can catch short quick passes. We can stop that urge to blitz every other down. What are yall gonna do?

  23. 28
    julio

    BM, that philosophy worked wonders for you in the Sugar Bowl without Andre. And that was against Utah. I’m sure it will be even more successful against Va Tech when you’re missing both Andre and Caldwell. Oh wait, I forgot…Bama’s got DJ Fluker now. Yeah, he’ll step right in as a true freshman and make you forget all about one of the greatest offensive linemen in the SEC in the last 10 years. Oh well, it’s not like Va Tech is known for their defense. All they did last year was finish in the top 10 in both total and scoring defense. They only return 9 starters on defense, though.

  24. 29
    bamasux

    Julio that was just a straight beat down. Who are we to let the facts get in the way of wishful thinking. Go easy on the bammers, their bubbles will get burst soon enough.

  25. 30
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Heres the deal…………Peyton manning could leave the Colts , start next year at Alabama, and the first game that was lost…………Well……….They would turn on him like a mafia informer. Why ? Because he lost. Bama thinks that every game they lost in the last three years was on JPW. They are on crack.

  26. 31
    JW

    Bamaman i think we heard the same shit out of these plainsmen retards last year.I told everyone last season Bama would go undefeated.. well not this year we will not.But Bama will win west again that is for sure.Saban is the man and will always be until he retires.Just look at his record that will tell you what he is all about.And that is winning football games.So really N.C.is a real possibility in next two years..Think about it plainsmen.

  27. 32
    Gerald Ball

    julio:

    Virginia Tech may well do to Alabama what Utah did on defense. However, if you think that Virginia Tech is going to score 31 points on Alabama, especially score 3 TDs in the first 10 minutes, you haven’t watched much Virginia Tech football. Let’s just say that Virginia Tech wasn’t good enough on offense to score 31 points against Alabama back in the late 1990s when they had Michael Vick throwing to two future NFL starters at WR. If Virginia Tech had Utah’s offense last season, they go undefeated during the regular season easily.

    Really, the QB won’t matter much at Alabama anyway. Who was Saban’s best QB anyway? The guy who put up the best numbers was Rohan Davey. The guy who won the most games was Matt Mauck. I don’t think that the College Football Hall of Fame is in either guy’s future. Saban is always going to win with defense and the running game, and anything that they get from the QB position will be extra.

    That formula’s gotten Saban a national title, two SEC titles, and a 12-0 regular season so far, and at two different programs that both required major rebuilding jobs. LSU hadn’t done squat in decades, especially on the national scene, before Saban got there, and you know the mess that Alabama was. So even if Alabama takes a step back next season (and for Saban, a step back is 9-4) you know he is going to win a lot of games.

  28. 33
    WJB07AU

    Bama will go 10-2 in 2009. That’s my prediction. They are loaded on both sides of the line, which always bodes well for breaking in a new QB. However, an inexperienced QB will not navigate through the SEC undefeated. Bama has a lot of strengths, but the most glaring weakness is a greenhorn signal caller.

    As for Auburn, it won’t be a repeat of 2008. I predict 7 to 8 wins in a rebuilding year.

  29. 34
    Bamaman

    Julio, you and Bamasgreat are two dipshits. All you can do is come on big brothers website and spout wishful thinking that a top ten team beats Bama, in the meanwhile your loser program is praying for enough wins to break the papa john bowl with Mr. 5 and 19. Julio, last time I checked we are returning 9 starters on defense which was better than Vir Tech’s D last year and will be better than their’s again this year, but who am I to let facts get in the way. Meanwhile, delusional Ballplay will once again start his countdown of every team beating Bama, he did a great job last year btw. So tell me you three Bama obsessed Auburn inbreds, what is the record on the farm going to be this year 4 and 8 or 5 and 7?

    Bamasgreat, one thing is for sure, if we get our bubbles bursted it won’t be by you bunch of wuss’s. You will have to pray somebody else can do it for you. Btw did I mention 36-0?

  30. 35
    LARRY C

    bamabrando i graduated high school at 17 years old. graduated from college with a 4 year degree at the age of 20. my IQ 3 years ago was 143.

  31. 36
    LARRY C

    bammerbando one more thing

    i have a great job. i live in DC. i

    work for our great government. i know

    where people live,work, i know things before it happens. its a great job it will be better when obama is gone. he has no say on what i do. got to go,i have people to investigate.

  32. 43
    bamasux

    Just wondering why this was overlooked by the politicians (Republicans included).

    At the top right hand corner of Page 17 of the New York Post of January 24th, 2009, was a short column entitled “Replacing Michelle” in the National Review “The Week” column. I found this interesting, so here it is as it appeared:

    “Some employees are simply irreplaceable. Take Michelle Obama: The University of Chicago Medical center hired her in 2002 to run “programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting.”

    In 2005 the hospital raised her salary from $120,000 to $317,000 – nearly twice what her husband made as a Senator.

    Oh did we mention that her husband had just become a US Senator? He sure had and he requested a $1 Million earmark for the UC Medical Center. Way to network Michelle!

    But now that Mrs. Obama has resigned, the hospital says her position will remain unfilled. How can that be, if the work she did was vital enough to be worth $317,000?

    We can think of only one explanation: Senator Roland Burris’ wife wasn’t interested.

    Note: Let me add that Michelle’s position was a part-time, 20-hour-a-week job.

  33. 44
    Bengal Tiger

    Nick Saban = “Above expectation” year followed by “disappointing” year followed by “Above expectation” year followed by “disappointing” year etc. etc. etc.

    Of course the Tide is improving in the personnel department, but inexperience at quarterback is a killer in the SEC.

  34. 45
    julio

    Gerald, I totally agree that Va Tech will not have near the offense that Utah did. They will be solid on offense, though, and absolutely stellar on defense. IMO, Bud Foster is the greatest defensive mind in College Football. No disrespect to Saban, Carrol, and Muschamp, but Foster is playing with fairly average talent and is consistently fielding top 10 defenses. He’s even had the top ranked defense in the country twice in the last 5 or 6 years. How this guy has not been picked up as a head coach yet is beyond me.

  35. 46
    BamaBrando

    Larry C you are a liar and a joke of a human being. You do not work for the government, and your I.Q. is not 140. You are not a vietnam vet. If you know so much, come and investigate me sometime. You are more than likely some 15-18 year old PUNK using your parents computer to be a TROLL on a Bama site.

    And Omni: No I am not feeling dumb. This wasn’t directed at you. That was my IQ test when I was in HS. I didn’t stop learning anything after that. I have college degrees also. (True story: I turned down a scholarship to Auburn) Do you work for the government too? This idiot Larry C here really thinks everyone is believing his BS, and I will call him on it, just like you. But after reading his ignorant rantings on here, he wants us to believe: his IQ is over 140, he is a Vietnam vet, and he works for the government. Yet he is here obsessing on a Bama site. Much like you do. If you guys are so smart, the internet has really made you guys look stupid.

  36. 50
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO, BALLPLAY! The “deep throat” of Watergate passed away sometime last year. Maybe his ghost has come back to haunt us as “Larry C.”

  37. 51
    LARRY C

    bammer have you made it to the 7th

    grade yet? bammers,sex offenders,drunks,

    all have one thing in common they

    love the dead bear.

  38. 52
    EINSTEIN

    I haven’t read any comments from Alabama’s SEC competition – on this board – that shows me they have one ounce of confidence in their particular team. Go figure? I guess Auburn and Tennessee are only concerned with chasing down the Tide. Some things never change.

  39. 53
    bamasux

    Einstein—-If your definition of having confidence means proclaiming your team will win a national championship every year, you may be right. Personally, I think the Iron Bowl this year will decide which team goes 9-3 and which goes 8-4. Home field advantage goes to Auburn.

  40. 54
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO, LARRY C! Dude, all of the stuff that has been posted on this site concerning YOU, well, A LOT OF IT you brought it on YOURSELF. As for making it to the 7th Grade, that occurred in 1978. Finished that in 1979 and moved on to the 8th! You’re just a BAMA HATER, and you know what? It REALLY DOESN’T MATTER TO ME! You can cheer for whoever you want to! Judging from one of your posts some time ago, I assume you’re an LSU fan. That would explain your hatred toward Nick Saban. You’ve ranted & raved about Saban while he was a student at Kent State. You’ve called him a communist and questioned his politics. Now, let me ask you a question: IF THE COLONIALS HAD NOT QUESTIONED THE ACTIONS OF KING GEORGE, WHAT COUNTRY WOULD YOU BE LIVING IN NOW? When you completely accept the actions of a government without questioning the motives & intentions of those in power, guess what? YOU’RE ALREADY CONQUERED!

  41. 56
    OMNIPRESENT

    Brandy anyone can say anything on the internet,Ya know? Its like this there are 27 million folks outta Jobs and almost half of those have degrees. I chose the public work sector which provides people like you and CAP a place to Rant or Lie. Google this NEC Engineer when thats done Google Cisco Engineer… when your done OPEN A COMMAND PROMPT type Trace route and all those hops are supplied by one of the 2 ….hmmmmmm
    NO lines Here Bro! Have a Nice Day!

  42. 57
    9inarow

    First of all to all you idiots that think the O-line you saw in the Sugar Bowl is the one you will see in september, it ain’t. This years line will be dominating as well. The defense is going to be so nasty, I don’t even want to go into detail. We will have fresh legs constantly running the football, the best reciever catching the football, and don’t forget about Javier. It’s really not gonna matter who the QB is, because all we gotta do is score 17 points and it’s over. We’re gonna spank VT, blow out Arkansas again, dominate UT, beat LSU, and shut out Auburn again. The only tough game will be Ole Miss, but our D will win that one too.

  43. 58
    9inarow

    Then we will beat tebow and the Gators, and then Texas for the Title. I seriously believ Bama might win multiple NC’s, possibly in a row, because Coach Saban is so relentless and the fanbase is too, and that matters. I’m glad I’m a Bama fan because college football is about to be owned by us for a while! You just thought you hated Alabama, but you’re about to find out what hate really is. ROLL TIDE BEEEEEEYATCH

  44. 59
    LARRY C

    I THINK BAMMERBANDO IS A KID THAT

    LIVES IN MOMMY’S BASEMENT. YOU SHOULD

    COME OUT SOMETIME AND GET A LIFE

    lil one. NO ONE BELIEVES THE TRASH YOU

    WRITE ANYWAY. RIP

  45. 60
    Kreskin

    Yeah, I think I’m done with this site. The S/N ratio is no good. I’ll be over on Bleacher Report if y’all wanna stop by and say hey.

  46. 61
    Skyking

    WOW all of you AUBIES need to worry about your team and get off of the Bama site. Do you not have a site to visit?
    Oh that’s right you have to have power in Auburn to run a web site and the hamsters in VET department can’t run on those little wheels 24X7!

    Bama will post NC number 13 way before you guys post number 2. Oh yeah, the basketball thing is over as well. Grant and Bama are going to kick your ASS!

    “Auburn – always the bridesmaid, never the bride”

    RTR

  47. 62
    Bob

    What dictates a “good year”?

    If such requires ten wins in a season, then UA has turned in 4 good years, AU has 2.

    RTR

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