Roundtable: Schedules, expansion & predictions

Alabama football: Crimson & White Roundtable
Alabama football: Crimson & White Roundtable

Picture Me Rollin hosts this week’s Crimson & White Roundtable. As always follow the Roundtable at its website.

1. There’s been a lot of talk about schedules and future opponents recently with Georgia Tech dropping off for 2012 and 2013. This question gets thrown around a lot, but it’s pertinent once again. Pretend you’re Mal Moore. Who do you target for a future home-and-home series or who would you seek for a one-shot, neutral site game?

I’d love to see the Penn State series renewed. That was perhaps the most unique rivalry I remember from the 1980s. However, that isn’t likely to happen with the growing demands of conference schedules. So, neutral site games seem like the most likely solution. I’d love to play in Dallas against just about anyone. It could be USC, BYU, Nebraska, Oklahoma or even Stanford or Tommy Tuberville’s Texas Tech. A game matching Alabama against any opponent from the west would add interest to the early season. A trip to Chicago would also be a good deal for another neutral site game. Alabama could play a powerhouse like Northwestern—since apparently beating Northwestern is a great thing for your program—or maybe Ohio State. Notre Dame would be the best such matchup at a neutral site game.

I know many fans don’t like these games instead of the extra home game, but I believe they serve important tactical purposes. While some programs engage in circus-style recruiting and then dodge major opponents, Alabama can dominate ESPN’s college football coverage for a weekend. There is no better advertisement for your program than playing big games. Despite what the newspapers might tell you.

2. The recently completed season has gotten us all filled with fresh, good memories. A new crop of players have completed their eligibility and endeared themselves to Crimson Tide faithful forever as have some guys that are still on the roster. Have any of the recent players unseated their predecessors for the top spots on your own personal “all-time greatest” players list? If so, who are they?

It would be hard not to include Rolando McClain on a list of top Alabama Crimson Tide football players. He is everything you would want in a representative of the University and state of Alabama.

3. Conference expansion is all the rage across the country, which in my opinion is a response to the recent and foreseeable dominance in the SEC. Now expansion of our conference is being discussed as a possibility. Are you for or against expansion of the SEC and why? Whether you are pro-expansion or not, list the teams you like to see added (and/or removed) to the league roster if expansion takes place.

I wrote a column on this over the weekend on expansion and why it isn’t a bad thing. However, I’ll save that rant for a posting later. I’ll simply say that expansion is inevitable if the Big Ten goes to 16 teams—that demands a response. It will mean certain expansion for the SEC if the rumors involving the Big XII losing two teams turns out to be true. It isn’t a bad thing because the creation of super conferences means the eventual creation of four 16 team leagues with each holding a conference championship. That will mean every team in major college football must go through a conference championship game before bowl season. That is a net positive for the SEC champion—even in an expanded conference.

As for an expanded SEC, Texas and Texas A&M would be nice additions because of the television markets. Texas is remarkable since it expressed interest in the SEC prior to when Arkansas joined the conference. If the SEC added these two teams, it would need to add two more teams to get to 16—Georgia Tech and FSU would provide geographic balance for divisions. Of course, the wildcard in all of this talk would be Oklahoma—would the Sooners be available if the Big XII gets raided? If so, where would they land? If they were available then the best expansion plan would be to shift Alabama and Auburn to the SEC East and add four teams from the Big XII region to the SEC West. But that all depends on a breakup of the Big XII.

If the BIG XII remains and the Big Ten only adds one or two schools, the pressure to expand won’t be as great. However, if the Big Ten makes a major move, watch out. The SEC will expand its television footprint.

4. Pre-season indications (which are admittedly totally my own prognostications) are that our two biggest rivals, Tennessee and Auburn, are going to suck and be somewhat improved respectively. Agree or disagree?

I’m not sold on either team’s quarterback. That said, Tennessee should be much worse than last season. Auburn will be about the same. If you look at Auburn’s schedule then you’ll see it has the opportunity to lose five games, but that depends on how good or bad LSU turns out to be. If LSU is good then five loses would be a reasonable projection. If LSU continues its downward trend then Auburn could make that a win. Of course, that is a big if.

5. Tell us what team will be the biggest surprise, good or bad, in the SEC this season.

I believe Georgia is going to be a pleasant surprise this year. Sure, everyone always expects Georgia to be good. And they will be. What I think will be most surprising is that Georgia and Mark Richt will correct the discipline problems and the concentration issues that have plagued the team over the last few years. This means I expect fewer penalties and improved cohesion on the team—that should mean a better chances to win the big games.

20 Comments

Add Yours
  1. 1
    13andCounting

    I’ll go with Arkansas as the most improved team this year. As long as Mallet is healthy they will win at least 8 games. Their defense should be improved, but still not very good. Of all the games, Arkansas and Florida worry me the most.

  2. 2
    WIRE2WIRE

    not crazy about losing a home game for advertising bama – everybody knows bama…now if u want to pick a site to establish a firm recruiting base – say in dallas or washington dc or orlando – yes indeed

  3. 3
    Pluto

    Play Northwestern in Chicago ? No. It’s the Fan Base. Chopped up a million ways. NW is Vanderbilt of the North.
    I like Dallas too – but I’ll be damned if Tommy would be tossed any Candy from a Game. No upside to playing Texas Tech.
    Tommy can see our Middle Finger.

  4. 4
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    DALLAS – OKLAHOMA
    ORLANDO – MIAMI HURRICANES
    WASHINGTON DC – OHIO STATE…
    CHICAGO/WRIGLEY FIELD – NOTRE DAME
    NEW ORLEANS – IOWA
    ATLANTA – GA TECH

  5. 5
    julio

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to play Tubs, pluto. It’s a scary concept to think of playing a coach that you were 3-7 against in the last 10 games.

  6. 6
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    we owned tt but a probation mirage and destroyed his reputation so he sat out a yr and now at lowly tt

  7. 10
    Coach Pat Dye

    An Open Letter to all Auburn Fans from your belovedly Legendary Coach Pat Dye.

    Greetings to my Auburn Family.
    Yes, I realize this is a Bammer blog, But I thought I could get the message to at least half of our fans since they seem to congregate here.

    It is a bright new day here in Lee County. 5 star recruits are flocking to our lovely little village like fireman to a fire. Times are good.
    Do not allow the interference of outsider’s like the NCAA to dishearten you. We are Family here. Recruits will see that. I aint worried about no new “Tiger Prowl” rule. Not one bit. They didnt put anything in that rule that states that all the assitants can’t show up at a school at the same time “by accident” (cough, cough, wink wink.)
    And we have come up with a way to fix the “Big Cat weekend” to where we can still get our assitants out there and have them press the flesh, and butter up them recruits… Yes Sir.
    The plan is simple. We will disguise our coaches by making them wear sky masks. (Hint: Trooper Taylor will be the one with his baseball Cap turned backwards.)
    So there you have it..
    The NCAA may think they can come down here and make Auburn Rules. But we are family. And we have ways of keeping it on the down low cuz.
    In closing I would like to say that the ship has been righted, And you can start buying season (and game) tickets again.
    Auburn is on the rise. And as a former Coach, i will say this.
    Aint nobody gonna mess with my Auburn family.

  8. 11
    Coach Pat Dye

    Re: Your $30,000 signing bonus.

    Hey Spencer,
    We cant wait until you come to our lovely village and help us win all of those National Championships we promised you would win here.
    We keep trying to wire that money to your account, but according to your Dad it hasnt arrived yet. We will be sending a certain person who will be wearing a brown raincoat and an Auburn baseball cap to the BP (just off I-65) at 5:30 tommorow evening. he will have a bag full of money and he will drop it next to your car. If you was to pick it up and keep it, well….lets just say……. I am sure he wouldn’t go reporting it missing (cough cough, wink wink)

    Do me a favor though, lets keep this on the downlow. Please delete this email when you get it. Got it?
    War Damn Eagle Son!!!!

  9. 12
    Coach Pat Dye

    re: The do-rag debacle

    Dear Reece,

    thank you for taking our generous offer to become an Official Auburn Tiger who gets to play in the SEC and all that other cool stuff.
    But there has been a bit of a problem there son. That picture of you wearing Tracy Rocker’s boxeer shorts on your head brought up a good Deal of ridicule from the rival fan Base. In the future make sure when you have an Auburn BASEBALL Cap on when you have photos taken. We would hate to have to stop paying your Monthly allowance and the notes on your car.
    Also Boy, I gotta ask just how big is your noggin? I aint sure we have helmets that big here in auburn.
    If you have any questions contact me back at this email account.

    Your Auburn Daddy,

    Pat Dye

  10. 13
    Coach Pat Dye

    Re: Not enough Positives!!!

    Charles, I know that you have to sort of appear like you are an unbiased news source and all. But we are in a PR war with the mouth breathing Bammur hordes here. Isnt there something you can do to give Auburn more exposure so that the idiot man-child athletes want to come here for a visit?
    Why dont you start off with the yearlys early this year. go ahead and “leak” it out that the top 7 RBs, Top 4 QBs and the entire top 25 recruits in the country are really really! (wink wink) interested in auburn. You can fluff it up with completely fabricated qoutes that the athletes said(wink wink, I know that any athlete that is worth a shit wouldnt look anywhere near Lee county without a big payoff BUT, at least try to make it appear that auburn is relevant so that that the local yokels might buy a few more tickets.)
    And do some more of them feel good peices like the Trooper Taylor hat thing… That was pure gold!
    In short, charles you have been getting a little slack lately. Step it up or I will have to come down there and kick some folks in the Balls.
    and tell that ignorant bitch you work for we are watching her….
    Now boy, I want you to destroy this email right after you read it.

    Your Lord and Master

    Pat Dye. coach Philanthropist, Ruler of the Universe.

  11. 14
    My name is not charles and I dont know who he was talking about.

    COACH DYE.
    YOU HAVE TO LOG OUT OF THE CAPSTONE REPORT AND INTO YOUR EMIL ACCOUNT BEFORE YOU CAN SEND EMAILS.

  12. 15
    My name is not charles and I dont know who he was talking about.

    Coach Dye I realise you dont know what an “emil” is.
    What I was trying to say is.
    1.Log out of the Capstone report.
    2. Log into your email account.
    3. THEN AND ONLY THEN send your Emails.

    Otherwise everyone who reads the Capstone reports will be reading your emails.

    Signed,
    The phantom writer who isnt Charles Goldberg.

  13. 18
    julio

    Did you seriously think your pat dye-charles thing was the slightest bit funny?? There are some funny bama fans that post here who can come up with some hilarious slams against AU. You ain’t one of ’em.

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