ITK Answers the Roundtable Questions

My thanks to Cappy for inviting me to answer this week’s questions. Agree or disagree, here is my take:

What do you think of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive?
I believe that Commissioner Slive has done a remarkable job.  Picking up the pieces from his obviously biased and corrupt predecessor, Slive has restored dignity to the office and carried the torch to champion the best college football conference in all the land.  And this is not to mention his influence on all of college football.  He continues to embody all that is right in college football.

What do you think of the state of the Southeastern Conference?
Alabama is again the bell cow of the conference, so all is right with the world.  An impartial view sheds some concern on the state of coaching in the conference.  Once you get beyond Saban and Meyer, who are the marquee coaches that strike fear in the opposing sideline?  Where is the leadership?

I honestly think Dooley has the means to lead the Vols back to dignity, but it will take a while, and whether or not they grant that time is a question.  Dan Mullen has potential, but at that point that’s all.  Coordinators have a long history of proving they belong in the pressbox.  Richt is proving what I believed he was long ago; a nice, grounded fellow who walked into a goldmine of a situation.  But if you can’t coach the goldmine often goes dry.  Spurrier should retire; period.  He and Petrino have yet to prove their college careers can be resuscitated, though Bobby hasn’t been given as much time as Steve.  The golf course is calling Steve’s name…permanently.

Then you have the the clowns in the league who are more of a circus sideshow than anything else.  The league has figured out the Hat. Say bye-bye to prominence LSU, let alone dominance.  It’ll be interesting to see how Abarn’s dipsy-doo, trickeroo offense makes it in the SEC this season, where man football determines the outcome, not cotton candy, touch football.  Can the Chiznik improve on his stellar opening 3-5 conference campaign.   My guess is 5-3 is possible, which will lead to a statue being erected. After all, mediocrity is rewarded in Lee County.   They go back to little league, where everybody gets a trophy.

Then you have Joker at Kentucky, which “joke” and football usually go hand in hand.  And Vandy is Vandy.

So overall, the state of the SEC to me is good talent wise, but the coaching beyond Alabama and Florida gets murky real quick.

Was Lane Kiffin the best thing ever for SEC football fans? Could he have left Tennessee in greater disarray? How does that make you feel?
Like I said, I really like Dooley. But I really like the “Mike Price” effect Kiffin had on UT.  Their program is in the worst shape it has been  in since Johnny Majors took over.  It will be a joy to watch.

Thinking about SEC rivals, Alabama has won two straight over Auburn. Alabama has won three straight over Tennessee. Alabama has won two straight over LSU. Who snaps the Crimson Tide’s winning streak first? Which streak continues the longest?
When it comes to rivalries, emotion jumps in and tells you “this is our year”…the basis simply being (1.) how bad you hate your rival and (2.) how tired you are of losing to them.  “Anybody can win on any given Saturday”, right?  And a few positive signs leads you to get your hopes up (see Alabama 2000-2007…listen to me people, I’ve LIVED it.).

But there are far great factors involved.  The better team usually wins; it’s just fact.  Take the Iron Bowl as your example.  “Throw out the records” is a bunch of baloney.  1984’s and 2001’s don’t occur that often.  The team with the better talent, coaches and program usually wins that and any rivalry game.  Trap games don’t come with this same disclaimer; when a team believes it can walk on the field and win, you see the impossible happen.  But rivalry games, where a team is fully aware of the stakes, and powerhouses want to beat their limping rival 100-0 if possible, are a completely different story.

Now, to answer the question, you have to consider these facts:

1. Alabama’s program is in it’s healthiest state since the 1970’s.  Can a letdown occur?  Absolutely, but understand, a rival getting “up” to play Alabama right now is like you getting “up” to fist-fight the reigning UFC Champion.

2. Which of the program has the most to gain?  Hands down, its Abarn.  A win would lend credibility to their naked emperor who everyone in orange and blue swears is wearing clothes.  But it’s much harder than that.  Urban Meyer dominated the SEC until Saban got pissed off enough to devote a year to figuring out how to stop him and Tebow.  The systematic dismantling you saw in the Georgia Dome is but a glimpse of what happens when Saban gets challenged and has a year to get ready for the next contest.  Abarn won’t be first.

3. Tennessee hates Alabama almost as much as Abarn, but Kiffin left UT in Shula/Price/probation-like turmoil.  They’ll recover sooner than later, but it’ll be a couple of years.  We’ll get to don our own version of the fear the thumb shirts before they play Rocky Top at our expense again.

4. Finally, you have LSU.  This is a program who isn’t married to their coach anymore.  Unlike Abarn or UT, they aren’t intoxicated anymore with the notion that their coach is the answer.  LSU is a great program with raunchy fans, and a tough out on at Saturday night in Baton Rouge.  LSU will be first, under a new coach, but two season from now.

What do you think of the Justin Knox situation now that the family has threatened legal action against the University?
What’s so amazing about this is that these situations occur every year in college athletics.  But because he wants to transfer to UAB and play immediately the Birmingham News is crying aloud for the poor Knox family.  Last I heard, he was still having his education paid for by the University.  That’s more than I got.  And last I heard, they weren’t barring him from playing at UAB, just making him sit out a year.  Is that fair?  And keep in mind, we’re talking about a player who averaged single digits and mediocre presence on the court.  When I read he was “considering UNC” I almost spewed my coffee.  Do the Tarheels need a ball boy?  I think emotional legal fluff like this is why we have attorneys, and I’m sure the University has plenty of good ones who will quietly help the Knox family understand the breach of contract with the education the University of Alabama has provided comes with a cost.  Welcome to life, Justin.

31 Comments

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  1. 1
    capstonereport

    Thanks for answering. I’ll probably post a few rants on these topics in the coming week.

    I do intend to post something about Melick leaving the Bham News. I noticed in my notes file that I have several random paragraphs on topics that I’ll probably get around to posting this week.

    Probably after I get back from seeing Dr. Ricketts today. I can’t seem to shake this sinus infection. Seriously, over 10 days…..I probably should’ve gone to the doctor last week.

    Oh well…I will say the Knox situation demands an end to UAB athletics.

    delenda est UAB football.

  2. 2
    Pluto

    Your comments about UAB is the drool caused by going to an Doctor that practices medicine on JOX.
    Slive ?
    Very Competent and Media Savvy.
    State of the Conference?
    Pink Floyd – Money. Perhaps this is Slive’s greatest asset. He knows how to keep the Peace when there is lot’s of Money. Works well in any Marriage too…
    Kiffen ?
    This is a truly remarkable story of how somebody that is barely qualified – is able to parlay himself to any Job that falls at his feet. He is your modern “Snake Oil Salesman”. It was beautiful to watch.
    Proves an old sales axiom – Sometimes the ” Pitch is Better than the Product” and the Suckers will buy.
    Streaks ?
    LSU always concerns me – they have the best shot. I think that we will continue to beat the Vols until they get rid of this Interim Coach.
    Knox?
    Sting sang it best – Free – Free – set them free – there was no upside to this and his “Talent” was not going to make any difference –
    Finally – I want to write something about Mike Raita. He is sick right now and there is not many left in the Media that can be as tenacious as he is when it comes to asking the Tough Questions.
    He will be missed and I am looking forward to him coming back.

  3. 3
    capstonereport

    He’s a very good physician, and I was going to him long before WJOX.

    The thing I liked about Raita was his questioning of Franchione at A&M.

  4. 4
    BirminghamU

    Too bad we didn’t know you were in the building. I’m sure we could have found a UAB surgeon or 6 that would have volunteered to spend 5 minutes giving you the lobotomy that you surely deserve.

  5. 7
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    if au wasn’t so skanky we could all get along and i would root for them most of the time.

  6. 8
    capstonereport

    mycoplasma pneumonia (walking pneumonia) was the diagnosis today. So, I don’t feel so bad about being absolutely fatigued the last few weeks….I knew it seemed odd that I was having trouble writing as much…bumping into deadlines much worse than normal.

    Next time I feel bad….I think I’ll just go to the doctor to begin with.

  7. 9
    julio

    ITK, upon what basis (other than he was an asst. under Saban) do you base your opinion that Dooley “has the means to lead the Vols back to dignity”? Funny, when a coach with ties to your idol has a losing record at a lousy school you can still find the silver lining, but mysteriously lose that ability when discussing a rival coach without those ties. Even when the coach is a former Broyles award winner, and was a D-coordinator for two consecutive undefeated teams and won a NC, all you choose to look at is a 2 year record compiled in Ames, Iowa. Now then, remind me again what Saban’s record was after his 1st year at Bama and what your prediction was for his second season one week before the Clemson game?

  8. 10
    Pluto

    Julio – If you were an AD at any major D-1 school – except Auburn – would you hire Chizik based on his record at State ? Hell no.
    He was hired to avoid the unimaginable at Auburn.
    BLACK HEAD COACH .

  9. 11
    intheknow72

    I said dignity, not dominance. Neither Chiznik nor Dooley will achieve the level of dominance the Crimson Tide enjoy today at the hands of the greatest coach in the game today, Nick Saban.

    What Dooley won’t do is employ a gimmick for quick, cheap success. I don’t call 7-5 success, but you do. I call 26-2 over two seasons with a conference and national championship success. I guess 3-5 in the conference and beating a 1-AA is good too though.

    But then again, my bad…I didn’t give you a notarized prediction etched in stone prior to the 2008 Clemson game, so none of it counts.

    Crystal, douche.

  10. 12
    julio

    Thank you for making my point, Pluto. No, I would not have hired Chizik based solely upon his record at Iowa State, which (I repeat) is all ITK (and you) choose to look at. Now, if I was going to look at Chizik’s entire record (you know, like rationale people would do), I would obvioulsy examine his entire career, which includes a Broyles award for the nation’s best asst. coach; D-coordinator for two consective undefeated teams in two different BCS conferences; and a NC at Texas. Would I have hired him considering all that?? Maybe, Maybe not. I certainly would have chosen him over Turner Gill, who had no SEC experience; only 1 susccesful season in the MAC; no record as a coordinator; who Syracuse (a school about 50 miles from Buffalo) wouldn’t hire; and who his own alma mater and former head coach who he played and coached under wouldn’t hire.

  11. 13
    13andCounting

    Julio….One simple question (and see if you can answer it honestly and not answer it with another question)….

    Why are you here?

  12. 14
    Big red A

    Blah, blah, blah, Julio if it caused pain to be stupid, pure opium wouldn’t help you at all.

    The BEST coach aubie ever had was overshadowed by a true legend in college football. Chizik isn’t even close to that status, and if he lives 100 lifetimes he still won’t see it.

    It’s funny, Bama fans aren’t even talking about the ONLY Heisman trophy one of thier players won but are enjoying yet another NC. Aubies are jacked up about 1 decent class of recruits in the last 5 damn years, and the king of mediocrity in a coach, really? Sounds kinda dumb huh? Guess dumb is a preferred trait to root for a never was, never will be team. You fools need to get a firm grasp of what true success is versus an occasional flare up.

  13. 16
    13andCounting

    Sorry that you care enough to do that. I understand that it gets under your skin that Alabama is far superior than Auburn and this is the only way to relieve some of that frustration. But I guess that is one Aubie trait. The others being….

    1. trying to decide how many NC’s Bama is suppose to have.

    2. winning an Iron Bowl as equal to winning a NC

    3. ridicule Alabama’s tradition, because Auburn doesn’t have any.

    4. having selective history.

    Should I go on or….?

  14. 17
    DAMAGE INC.

    Big red A — hell … the barner’s are SO proud of their Heisman Trophy Winner — it’s been damn near 25 + years since they’ve had one — oh yeah — forgot about the late 1950’s too —

    bling.

    A.

  15. 18
    Big red A

    Tell me when auburn becomes relevant outside Lee Co. Alabama and I’ll stop making fun of ’em.

    Duck and dodge julia, you got tired of beatdowns long ago huh.

  16. 19
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    BARNES SHOULD BE MORE UPSET ABOUT AU THAN I AM THEY ARE THE ONES THAT HAVE BEEN SHAMMED AND SCAMMED FOR 100 YRS

  17. 20
    BPI

    ITK….For future refernece please refrain from using the term “bell cow”…..It reminds me of Shane. He used “bell cow” at least 15 times per article.

    I almost considered taking that word out of my vocabulary.

    “Bell cow”……Yep, still sounds gay.

    By the way .. What happened to Shane ? Did yall fire him ? Not that I miss him or anything.

  18. 22
    13andCounting

    It’s 7:21am, do you know where Julio is?

    Like all Aubies, on a Bama blog !

    They wake up and start their days thinking about Bama.

    AUbsession

  19. 23
    DAMAGE INC.

    Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Would Roy Moore consider AU fans sinners? I think so. LMFAO.

    … and they want the National Championship for ’04 because of the possible NC that USC would have to vacate under NZAA violations.

    … (gasp) but they didn’t even *PLAY* the game

    … and they want rings poured and stamped

    — U of A.

    🙂

  20. 24
    Crimsonite from the planet Crimson in a galaxy far far away. FormerlyE.G. White

    Heard that Shane started his own blog, though I have no idea what it’s called. Since we’ve got some assholes on here that will dredge up even the most insignificant bullshit to slam Bama, including even gloating over a damn rare down year for our baseball team. One dumbass broad comes to mind. Wonder what the stupid bitch has to say about the Bama womens Gymnastics or our #1 seed softball team? RTR!

  21. 25
    Pluto

    That’s right. Started his own Blog and took Hunter with him.
    Mistake.
    Hey I like both of them – but they made a big mistake. I’m not going to chickenshit them about the way it looks or how PFRN has fingerprints on it.
    They belong here. it’s just that simple.

  22. 26
    julio

    Yeah Damage, it would be something for AU to retroactively claim an NC for 04. Maybe not as pathetic as claiming an NC 40 yrs after the fact for a season where your team finished ranked 20th in the AP, went 9-2, and didn’t even win the SEC. But it would be something.

  23. 27
    BPI

    Yeah. This blog actually has a little (very little) credibility since his departure. I know you wouldnt want anything like credibility there Pluto ! Dont get p.o.’ed , just jokin with you.

    But seriously , this joint is far better off without that dude. His articles were almost like they were written by a bi-polar schitzoid. You never knew what the heck he was going to send into cyberspace.

    I got to give it to cap and ITK. They actually keep it entertaining. And, for those of us who enjoy a good arguement once in a while ( or all the time) they do a good job with the punch and counterpunch. Not that they have gotten the best of the Indian or anything.

  24. 29
    Big red A

    My sweet lord can we just get to football season already, I’m dyin’ here. I’ll gladly go to a little league game just to see some contact on a football field. Why does spring have to be ruined by baseball and soccer? There are enough players to run 2 seasons, or 1 continuous season. I was once so hard up to see football that I took a free ticket to a damn auburn game, I know, shameful, but I did wear all my Bama gear. I drove since the ticket ws free. On the way down I said “How do we get to Auburn?” and Johnny said “When you get to nowhere, turn right off of 280 and go about 5 miles.” I was lost down there, but we did see something like a football game. They did use a football after all. Looking around at campus housing made me think that tornadoes must love to land there, but then I realised that tornadoes don’t have maps and it wouls take too long to find the place, so the trailers were safe for now. Boy was I glad to leave and with my exit came a calm feeling knowing my Crimson Tide fandom was further cemented.

  25. 31
    Big red A

    Doesn’t have to make sense to you, hell if I could explain things to a retard, you would’ve understood me long ago. I’m just ready for my favorite season. Telling an aubie story was just something to kill time, kinda like auburn football, just wasting time.

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