Shane: Survival of the fittest

By Shane from Centerpoint

Make no bones about it, SEC powerhouses Alabama and Florida are getting their opponents’ best shots. Coaching staffs from middle-of-the-pack conference foes are burning the midnight oil attempting to dethrone the divisional “bell-cows”, showing the nation that life in the SEC truly is a weekly battle to survive.

Want proof? In spite of the 3-3 record, Tennessee came to Bryant-Denny stadium ready to play. Head coach Kiffin’s game plan was strong and solid. And even though he has a tendency to whine and act childish off the field, he seems to understand how to coach football.

Lane Kiffin’s offensive knowledge and Monty Kiffin’s defensive prowess combined to give Alabama its toughest contest so far this year. The result was a classic, hard-fought, defensive battle in which the Crimson Tide held a narrow lead from start to finish.

Inevitably, the final result of this gridiron war rested on the foot of each team’s kicker. Alabama place-kicker Leigh Tiffin made four clutch field goals, with two long-range 50-yard bombs. He handled the pressure like a champion. Without “tape” he answered the call.

On the other hand, Tennessee’s junior kicker Daniel Lincoln didn’t put his best foot forward. Lincoln hit one, missed one, and had defensive tackle Mount Cody blot out the sun to block two more. True, his quad strain might’ve played a part in his lack of distance, but his offensive line’s poor blocking during his attempts cost the Vols the game.

Terrence Cody put all of his 350 pounds and his heart into those two blocks, driving low and hard over his man, then rising up to launch his 6’5” frame into the path of the ball. Great players make great plays. If Cody hadn’t blocked it, Julio Jones would have (he had jumped ten feet into the air behind Cody). That kick was doomed.

Cody’s last–second block sealed the deal for Alabama. It was all over but the shouting. Game – set – match.

In the end the Crimson Tide got the “W”, continuing to advance on an undefeated path toward a showdown with the Florida Gators.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee “hunting dogs” tucked their tail, and headed back to Knoxville with their second moral–victory trophy of the year (the first was their close loss to Florida earlier this year).

Speaking of Tennessee’s other nemesis and SEC “bell-cow”, the Florida Gators traveled up to Starkville to face Mississippi State and twenty–thousand cowbells.

Gator coach Urban Meyer was challenged for four quarters by his former offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen. Coach Mullen has little depth and talent to work with, yet his team played like Florida was their bowl game.

Actually, it appears that Florida quarterback Tim Tebow’s Heisman trophy hopes for the 2009 season were trashed when he threw two unnecessary interceptions that were returned for touchdowns – by the same guy. In fact Tebow has turned the ball over more in the past two games than he had in his entire career.

Does his performance indicate that he still has lingering effects from his original head injury? Was his LSU return date too early? Truthfully, Tim just doesn’t seem quite as sharp.

However, when you play in Urban Meyer’s offense – which uses the quarterback like a fullback twenty times a game – you should expect to get beat up.

Eventually – much like Alabama – Florida had enough talent and was good enough on defense to forge a victory over an enthusiastic, hard-playing group of Bulldog players. State played about as well as they could’ve expected to play.

Were Florida and Alabama dominant in their victories Saturday? Not really, but both remain undefeated. That’s all that truly matters when every game is a play-off.

Will they face tougher competition before the supposed “Dual in the Dome” in the ultimate prizefight for the championship? You can bet the house they will!

Each team has four more chances to take the bull by the horns and advance forward in the BCS tournament. To date, both stand strong as proof that only the best survive in the SEC.
—Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.

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42 Comments

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  1. 1
    CrimsonBrother

    Wait a Freaking Minute, I just saw MOUNT CODY BLOCK another 3 point try by TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!!!!

    This time MOUNT CODY BLOCKED a 3 point try all the way up in INDIANA. LOL LOL

    HOW YOU DOING TODAY INDIANA VOL??????

    3 IN A ROW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ROLL TIDE CRIMSON BROTHERS !!!!!!!!!!

    21 SOUTHEASTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS

  2. 2
    CrimsonBrother

    “It’s the offense (JIM McELWAIN), STUPID”! This old phrase fits perfectly.

    1. About this time last year I was putting up the red flags on Mr. McElwain (Bama offensive coordinator).

    2. Last time I checked Mark Ingram made his name off scoring TD’S inside the 10 yard line last year.

    3. Last time I checked when MOUNT CODY was at fullback inside the 5 yard line BAMA has scored every TIME!!!

    4. Last time I checked Bama has also been very successful faking the run and hitting the fullback for a TD inside the 5 or 10.

    5. Last time I checked the Wildcat was unstoppable the past two Saturdays. But McElwain stoped using it this past Saturday , after being successful.

    6. Jim McElwain has always been BAMA’S biggest detriment of winning an SEC CHAMPIONSHIP and of course a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Because not many teams have BAMA’S talent across the board on defense or offense.

    7. I wonder if Jim McElwain studies the “line’s” of BAMA’S football games too much?

    8. I wonder if Jim McElwain is just another WACKO from the WEST COAST?

    9. I wonder if Jim McElwain is just “STUPID”!

    10. Throwing the ball up for GRABS (inside the 10) is a very overrated play. The success rate is very low.

    ROLL TIDE CRIMSON BROTHERS !!!!!!!

    21 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  3. 4
    Indiana Vol

    The look on the faces of the CRIMSON TURD MORON NATION was priceless when the Vols were kicking the FG.

    Enjoy the win, Bammer SCUM; the days of Bammer beating Tennessee are OVER!

    GO GATORS, beat Nicky Satan and the CRIMSON TURD in the SEC CG!

  4. 5
    capstonereport

    I have a couple of thoughts about this.

    The throws inside the red zone are I think designed to get McElroy and Julio some confidence and chemistry together. I think the underneath throws to Julio in the game were a concerted effort to get that rhythm.

    Tennessee’s defense with a deep safety presents a couple of opportunities. First, you have difficulty getting the ball down field, but the seams open up, which is great for throws to the tight end. (I think we missed Peek.) The defense asks for short passes on slants, etc.

    I think some of the play calling was done to prove Alabama could get the passing game going, and that prevented Ingram and Richardson, etc. from getting more carries. Sometimes you NEED to run three or four times in a row, and sometimes you need to pass three or four times in a row. I think the desire to prove diversity too heavily influenced the game plan.

    On the QB issue, McElroy has a couple of problems. He is letting the pass rush get in his head. I’m betting he was told that he had to get rid of the ball faster. This is ordinarily good advice, but this combined with advice to take care of the ball has created a timid QB. Say what you want about Romo or Favre and their turnovers, but the QBs make plays and usually put their teams into a position to win a game. McElroy needs to take care of the ball, but mistakes happen and a good QB understands that a pass is a risk/reward calculation.

    Just my thoughts….Alan

  5. 6
    CrimsonBrother

    Indiana Vol,

    Don’t be a sore LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Auburn is a JOKE,

    Did you wipe your tears away with one of those Trooper Taylor Towels after LSU took your manhood away, again? lol

    I was going to leave the COW COLLEGE people alone today after that AZZ WHOPPING LSU put on that great coach GENE CHIZIK.

    I kinda feel sorry for the COW COLLEGE!!

    ROLL TIDE CRIMSON BROTHERS !!!!!!!!!

    21 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  6. 9
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    Crimson Brother…..You are retarded. I am done with you.

    IndyVol…You do know you lost Saturday, right ?

  7. 11
    CrimsonBlood81

    Indiana Vol — yeah you really are out of the loop living up there. Remember “Loss” while you “thought about the faces” of the Crimson faithful. Middle fingers ablazing.

  8. 12
    BamaBino

    The late great Jim Croce’s words describe Indiana Vol’s face.”A jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.”

  9. 13
    Tidefan63

    I think Cap has it right. All I know is I didnt feel good about this game when it was over. LSU will prove to be a tougher foe so the coaching staff better come up with something quick.

    Auburn is a Joke, your alright by me. I enjoy reading your post!

  10. 14
    Lame Kiffin is 0-1 against Daddy Saban!

    IndianaVIle,

    NO WIN OVER ALABAMA OR FLORIDA FOR YOU (again) THIS YEAR!

    3 in a row!

    Just remember Mike Shula had a close loss to UT in 2003. He also had moral victories over Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Auburn!

    Mike Shula version 2 has moral victories over UCLA, Florida, and Alabama!

    2 more years until you Viles are searching for another coach!

  11. 16
    The BAMMER From St. Clair

    YO! “INDY VOL,” WE WON, WE WON, WE WON! Learn to live with it, you’ll sleep better. As for our offensive output this past Saturday we NEED TO REMEMBER that Monte Kiffin is a great DC. I have to agree with Alan of Capstone Report that the pass rush is in GMAC’s head. He seems to be “pulling the trigger” too fast, not progressing through ALL of his reads. YOU HAVE TO EXPECT THIS WITH A FIRST YEAR STARTER. I have complete confidence that he will overcome this because Coach McElwain has a reputation as a good teacher. “CRIMSON BROTHER,” I get a big kick out of most of your posts, but ITS EASY TO BLAME THE OC. Have no fear. We’re 8-0. We have plenty of time to get ready for LSU. One other note about UT; if I’m not mistaken, they had 2 weeks to prepare for us.

  12. 17
    zionhippy2

    the reason bama beat the vols saturday is there was 2 refs who took money from someone in the bama athletic
    office. the ncaa has already been sent the tape of the game. this will pretty much slam the door on the football team at bama for years. like the ncaa said the tide has cheated more than any school in the nation.

  13. 18
    zionhippy2

    the problem with auburn this year is that the team has quit.they may beat furman but thats it. i have been around football for 46 out of my 56 years here on earth.i played in pee wee,junior high,
    high school,4 years at auburn. 11 years in the pros. i know when a player is giving his all.

  14. 19
    AUROX

    The TN headphones going out for the first bama drive was pretty suspicious.

    Would any of you bammers been suspicious if this had happened at Neyland? Be honest.

  15. 20
    CrimsonBlood81

    I don’t think either team would want their headsets to be taken away from them. That’s honesty.

    OC’s and DC’s from both teams would not want this to happen all due to some bullshit conspiracy theory. Word has it that it was a simple breaker that blew that needed to be reset at Bryant-Denny. Knowing Lame Kiffin though — I sense next year that the headset issue isn’t going away — I sense “payback” from vol nation.

  16. 21
    E.G. White

    Zionhippy you’ve never touched a football in your pathetic lying faggot life. So STFU you little incestual bastard!

  17. 24
    AUROX

    Soooooooo……we must have beaten UT because we have better coaches?! Listen, UT’s “moral victory” doesn’t mean shat, but the exposed offensive shortcomings of bama better get corrected before lsu. If that game were played today, lsu would win by 2 touchdowns, and I think the mullet nation knows it!

  18. 25
    elephantstomp

    LSU will not score 2 TDs on us. We will beat LSU, especially after a week off. That win over Auburn doesn’t mean shit. They might as well just left their D on the sideline because it would have been the same for the LSU offense. Ingram will outscore LSU. RTR

  19. 26
    zionhippy2

    E G WHITE YOU KISS MY AZZ YOU S O B. I KNOW MORE ABOUT FOOTBALL THAN YOUR LIL
    PEE BRAIN WILL EVER KNOW. GO BACK READING YOUR FAVORITE FAGG MAGAZINE. YOU
    PERVERTS SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH FOR ALL THE MURDERS OF YOUNG KIDS. IF I EVER GET A CHANCE I WILL DO IT.

  20. 27
    zionhippy2

    BY THE WAY BASTARD WHITE I HOPE YOU GET AIDS AND DIE A VERY SLOW PAINFUL DEATH. MAYBE YOU WILL GET THE SWINE FLU AND DIE EITHER WAY THE WORLD WILL BETTER WITHOUT YOU IN IT.

  21. 28
    AUROX

    Elephantstomp….I didn’t think much of lsu at the beginning of the season, and rightly so. But they have gotten progressively better since game 1. We’ll soon see if the tide just needed rest. LSU is much better than TN…….

  22. 29
    Ty from T-town

    There is nothing off about an off-week:

    Shane, the sun finally came out in T-town. Coach Saban, is apparently not one to waste such a beautiful day.
    It was back to business on that side of Hackberry; but that is not why I write.

    It seems that our ole buddy Larry Vision,
    has finally hit the wall.
    Once they moved the trial out of Birmingham, the Fed’s tipped their hand.

    It’s not that complicated.
    Some times; people are just guilty.
    There is occasionally an ass-load of well documented evidence that stands as proof of a man’s innocence, but not this time.

    The once questionable but admirable thoughts of dome stadiums, aquariums and indoor golf courses; is now just the crazy ramblings of Jefferson County’s latest mistake.
    The county’s lack of judgement in their leadership, has now left a once powerful southern city; nothing more than the brunt of national jokes.

    This is a good time to get back in the game.

    This is an off-week.

  23. 31
    zionhippy2

    it will be impossible for lsu to beat the toothless jailbirds in ttown.saban will pay the refs so much money there is no way that cheater u will lose. i know 2 refs that won’t work anymore games this year for sure. my friend that is also a ref in the sec said these two guys made over 100 grand
    on the side from 2 coaches in the sec this.saban is one the other is in the east having the worse season since he has been a head coach,

  24. 33
    zionhippy2

    carl are you living in a cave with bin laden? the refs have been paid big time money this year by someone from the crapstone. i know this for a fact. i don’t care if you don’t like it but its the truth. i graduated from bama many years ago. bear bought players thats a fact also because i was there.

  25. 34
    AUROX

    Hippy…..the coach I think you are talking about from the east is richt. If he’s paying refs, he must be paying them to call against him. If you remember, he got shafted in the game against LSU on a bogus excessive celebration call.
    You wouldn’t happen to be full of shit would you? Or, maybe I misunderstood you.

  26. 35
    AUROX

    F-it….at this point I’ll take anything.

    Here’s to 7-3 going into Georgia. Split the last 2, and 8-4 is decent for a rebuilding effort.

  27. 36
    elephantstomp

    AUROX, I think and hope Auburn should be 8-3 going in the the Iron Blowout. They didn’t quit today and bettered their season. However I think Bama’s D will overwhelm them and win the game. RTR

  28. 37
    elephantstomp

    I hope Ethridge is ok, but how about the OM player under him to know not to move because the guy on top of him was unconcious. That was a scary play. RTR

  29. 38
    BamaHate

    Yeah I agree I give props to the Ole Miss player

    The only thing AL needs to purchase besides the referees is soap on a rope for the LSU game. They will be analog probed. They had better pay the refs a lot cause AU didn’t and look where it got us. The mullets need to cancel their airfare for ATL cause Mini-me is gonna lose.

  30. 39
    elephantstomp

    Whatever dude. That D-Fense: T.Cody, R. McClaine, Javy, Dareus, Woodall, Jackson, Reamer, at home will beat LSU, and Auburn.RTR

  31. 40
    AUROX

    The “Iron Blowout”….that’s pretty clever. I’m sure y’all will score at least a field goal.

    That was heads up thinking from the olemiss player. One of my favorite parts to the game was watching Snead lose his cool. Our defenders were all in his head.

  32. 41
    AUROX

    Bamahate….I don’t want to sound like an LSU fan (they blame refs after every loss), but those bad calls at the beginning of the AU-LSU game destroyed any chance of capturing momentum. The way we played we didn’t have a snowballs chance of beating that team, that night.

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