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Events Calendar Events going on in your town

  • Kids Eat Free
    on September 30, 2020 at 3:59 am

    08/18/2020 to 10/27/2020 - Kids eat for free (and play for free, too!) Tuesdays after 5pm at OWA! Want to learn more about these family-friendly deals? Check out your options and view full offer details here:

  • Community [Re]Store Class at Mission Fitness
    on September 29, 2020 at 3:59 am

    Starting 01/07/2019 - Join us for our complimentary [Re]store class every Monday and Wednesday. Stretching is like flossing, we know it's vital but making it happen regularly is a big ask. Show your body some much needed

  • ‘Uncharted Blue’ Art Exhibit by Caroline Ennis
    on September 29, 2020 at 3:59 am

    08/17/2020 to 09/30/2020 - Caroline Ennis is a visual artist whose work stems from her life-long relationship to the Gulf Coast and the coastline of the northwest Florida Panhandle. She uses installation and sculptural methods

  • Live Music Jazz Brunch
    on September 28, 2020 at 3:59 am

    Starting 03/01/2020 - Soak up the beauty of Mobile Bay from the decks of the Perdido Queen. Take a break from all of the had work you do and treat yourself and your family and friends to a relaxing Sunday brunch cruise

  • Park After Dark
    on September 28, 2020 at 3:59 am

    09/20/2020 to 10/25/2020 - Last year’s Park After Dark was so fun that we decided to bring it back and make it better than ever! Join us inside The Park at OWA for a variety of kid-friendly events and activities. Grab the

  • Sunday Brunch at Southern National
    on September 28, 2020 at 3:59 am

    Starting 04/01/2018 - Executive chef Duane Nutter and restaurateur Reggie Washington are proud to expand brunch service at Southern National! Beginning March 31, Southern National’s Southern-inspired brunch menu with

  • Legends in Concert OWA - "Direct From London"
    on September 28, 2020 at 3:59 am

    09/20/2020 to 11/01/2020 - For the first time in history, four Legends come together for an incredible engagement to kick off the 2020 fall Legends in Concert Season starting Sept. 17 at the OWA Theater. The longest-running and

  • An Evening with Mean Mary
    on September 27, 2020 at 3:59 am

    09/26/2020 to 09/26/2020 - Mean Mary (Mary James), a Florida native now based in Nashville, began life as a musical prodigy—could read music before she could read words and co-wrote songs at age five. By age seven she was

  • Kids Fest
    on September 27, 2020 at 3:59 am

    09/26/2020 to 09/26/2020 - Come join us for a day of fun!!It's time for our Fall Fest and we want to see you all out on the lanes!Come enjoy 1 hour of free bowling for kids 15 and under. $8 for adults 16 and up. Receive special

  • Live Music Dinner Cruise
    on September 27, 2020 at 3:59 am

    Starting 02/22/2020 - Unique and exciting dining on the Mobile, AL River! Join us aboard the Perdido Queen for Cruising, Dining, Dancing and More! Enjoy our 2 level, climate controlled cabin with all around windows for

  • University of South Alabama Volleyball Game Vs. Coastal Carolina
    on September 27, 2020 at 3:59 am

    09/26/2020 to 09/26/2020 - The University of South Alabama Volleyball Team will be hosting Coastal Carolina starting at 2:00 PM at the Jag Gym on Saturday, September 26.

  • USS ALABAMA Crewmen's Association Reunion
    on September 27, 2020 at 3:59 am

    09/26/2020 to 09/26/2020 - Come meet real life heroes! The crewmen of the USS ALABAMA and their families will board the USS ALABAMA for their annual reunion. The men will be aboard ship for the historical reenactment and "call

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Roll 'Bama Roll - All Posts The Champagne of 'Bama Blogs

  • Jumbo Package: SEC Media overwhelmingly pick Alabama to win the conference
    by Josh Chatham on September 24, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes. Happy Thursday, everyone. The annual SEC media straw poll was conducted yesterday, and a lot of folks like Alabama. The preseason SEC media poll. Alabama is the pick to win the SEC. Florida is the pick to win the SEC East.— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) September 23, 2020 The Florida pick is somewhat surprising. I’m guessing the difference is in the QB situation, where Georgia is unsettled and Florida brings back a guy in Kyle Trask, who some are higher on than others but offers stability if nothing else. That is going to be important this season, particularly in the early part. Alabama is also very well represented on the preseason all-conference team. Preseason @SEC Media Poll League-high 13 All-SEC Team ️: #RollTide— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) September 23, 2020 May the postseason list boast even more. Saban spoke to the media yesterday, as usual for a Wednesday. “I think there’s a lot of questions. I don’t think there’s any biggest question,” Saban said Wednesday evening. “Every player that you’re playing that’s a new player that hasn’t been a starter before, it’s obviously how they’re going to respond when they get in the game environment, especially young players who haven’t been in a situation like that before. I think when you have new starters at any position, regardless of what their role on the team has been in the past, how are they going to respond to the new role, the new responsibility that they have?” “I can’t really say right now,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said of Barmore’s status for the game. “He’s done a little more each day. I think when you have an injury like this, sometimes the more you do it creates a little soreness. Then you have to back off a little bit. Then you can do a little bit more the next day. He’s worked every day this week and he’s made progress and we’re encouraged by the progress that he makes.” Every season brings new challenges, but this one is a different animal. How the players respond to all of the noise and calamity that will undoubtedly accompany the season will determine their success. As usual, I will embed the entire press conference below. Chris Low covered this most difficult of all offseasons at Alabama in detail. It’s a fantastic piece. The Alabama veteran players have made it clear that there will be hell to pay if they hear about anybody on the team living it up downtown at the bars or attending any parties. “Everything that we’ve done to make this season happen, we can walk it all back with one person getting the virus,” Jones said. “That was my message to the team, along with [Dylan Moses] and some of the older guys. We’re going to wear our masks, eliminate being around large groups and do what they ask us to do. “I went out a lot when I was younger, so I’ve been there. It’s really hard. But let’s grind it out for five more months, and after we win the national championship, then everyone can celebrate.” Jones’ girlfriend, Sophie Scott, even took a leave of absence from her job at the university orthopedic clinic to make sure she wasn’t around anybody who might expose her and potentially spread the virus to Jones. Not all heroes wear capes, Sophie. Jeff Allen is in there speaking about how Alabama has been monitoring the myocarditis situation since April. They rented an EKG, bring in someone to run it, and all positive cases have follow-ups every two weeks for two months. It also mentions the thrice daily sanitizing in the facility. Saban is ahead of college football constantly. Why would virus mitigation be any different? Cincy Jungle is excited about Jonah Williams. Williams ain’t no rookie. Not because he technically accrued an NFL season last year. He simply doesn’t look the part. The guy’s not even 23 years old yet and he’s doing everything in his power to bring a basic dignity to the putrid stain that blemishes what is now a marketable enterprise; otherwise known as the Bengals’ offensive line. Williams needed to be good. He still needs to be good. Great, even. Not only because his performance will directly impact the wellbeing of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, but because of factors that have been in play even before Williams came into the picture. Hopefully Jonah can stay healthy and reach his immense potential. Last, Stewart Mandel’s picks this week have some delicious nuggets. No. 23 Kentucky (+7.5) at No. 8 Auburn | Noon, SEC Auburn is the more talented team, but it has a lot riding on a mostly brand new offensive line and a D-line adjusting to life without Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson. Kentucky is a tough, physical team that can take advantage. But this pick also assumes QB Terry Wilson looks good in his return from injury. Kentucky 24, Auburn 20 He also has Tennessee losing. Sign me up. That’s about it for now. Have a great day. Roll Tide.

  • Giving Away Money: 2020 Week Four picks against the spread to enhance your filthy lucre
    by Erik Evans on September 24, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Sticking it to your man like a dusty bunny in the Elmer’s factory. 2020 Record: 23-9Last Week: 8-4No Action: Baylor...again.Mortal Lock of the Week: 3-0 What went wrong? Offensive lines, man. Offensive lines. Miami’s showed up; Louisville’s did not. UL-Lafayette’s got manhandled by Georgia State. And Oklahoma State’s got injured. Etc. What went right? Told you to steer clear of that Navy-Tulane game, but that it may be among the most entertaining to watch. All Navy did was come back from 24-0 and win 27-24 (obligatory #GoNavyBeatArmy.) As I predicted, the underdogs did very well. Among them, Syracuse covered that huge number on the road. That tight spread (+3.5) in the Marshall game came up big for you if you were ballsy enough to heed our advice (the Herd even got the S/U win!) See also La. Tech, where I told you the Bulldogs would swing the road upset — and they did. See also Troy, who I said were going to pummel that gross MTSU team. And, of course, ND did exactly as predicted, and completely obliterated a terrible USF team, keyed by the Irish defense, natch. With that recap completed, let us turn our attention to the fourth week of action, the first with all of the non-sissyman teams. God’s conference begins play this week! And there are plenty of spreads to like here in SEC action...and a trio to avoid. It’s time to give away money, y’all. Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money: MTSU + 7 1⁄2 at UTSA — I know Mighty Mitzu looks like trash, and the Roadrunners have been a wee bit better than expected, but this is the kind of game where the Blue Raiders’ experienced coaching and marginally better talent (even if young) may make the difference and get MTSU off the schneid. That hook is brutal too. Tennessee -3 1⁄2 at South Carolina — The Vols are the better team. Maybe? On the other side of the ledger, Hilinski lost his starting job, there are key losses on defense for the Gamecocks, offensive talent that is inconsistent...and Will Muschamp. No brainer, right? Not in Columbia, where weird things happen and USC consistently plays above their heads. If you think you know what’s going to happen in this one, you’re telling lies to yourself (though I do think UT will win, FTR). No outcome would surprise me, particularly given the Vols’ traditional face-plant when expectations are building in Knoxville. Don’t bet on this one; just daydrink and watch some Bammer sloppy seconds derp it up for 60 minutes. Aggie -30 1⁄2 vs. Vanderbilt — Just based on talent, the Aggies should run the ‘Dores out of the building. I suspect they do too. But I don’t like 1. Jimbo’s old-school, don’t run it up mentality, and 2. a thin A&M defense holding off a late backdoor cover. If this game finishes something like 44-14, you may kick yourself. Miss. State +17 at LSU — The Tigers have just 69 players on the roster (#nice), have lost everyone with a pulse, and are facing a Mike Leach team that will air it out (no joke) 60 times a game into the teeth of a secondary that has a ton of questions. For all of those negatives, LSU should win going away. But, you get the nagging feeling it won’t be that dominating of a win. Then again...Mike Leach in road games and Mike Leach’s disdain for defense. yuck. Consider this one a scouting opportunity, LSU 42-MSU 28 Underdogs With Bite Ole Miss +14 vs Florida — C’mon, admit it? Do you trust Dan Mullen to win a season-opening road game against his true nemesis, Ole Miss? By double-digits? With all three of the Gators’ starting WRs sitting out? I love the young talent for the Rebels that have spent the last two years getting their teeth kicked in because of sanctions. And, keyed by a powerful running game and one of the best offensive minds in the biz, I suspect OM gets to the edge a bunch, where the Gators are incredibly soft tacklers. I have had this one circled as a potential upset on my calendar. But, even if that doesn’t happen, I do think the Rebs cover at home. Alabama head-coach-in-waiting LMFK ain’t Matt Luke. Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images If you think I was turning down this opportunity to post a timely photo of Ole Miss cheerleaders, you are sadly mistaken.Army +13 1⁄2 at Cincinnati — These two are among the very best of the Group of Five programs going (we’ll count you, Army, since you’re an independent.) It’s a shame this one is going to be played so early in the season. The Bearcats likely win, yet you can easily foresee a defensive scrum breaking out in the Queen City as the Black Knights try to kill clock, play sound defense, and exploit any mistakes that come their way. Be wary of junk points late — the service academies never quit. But it’s probably not good enough. 35-23 Cincy. FSU + 12 1⁄2 at Miami — Is there a worse 2-0 team in America than the ‘Canes? Is Miami 13 points better than a team that, for the first time, may have about the same amount of talent? Neither team’s offensive lines have been good, but the nod goes to the ‘Canes who will lean on the legs of D’Eriq King and Cam’Ron Harris. Still, it’s hard to see a blowout in this one. I like the ‘Noles getting almost two touchdowns, Miami 31 — FSU 20 West Virginia + 8 1⁄2 at Oklahoma State — What I saw last week from the Pokes terrified me. If the offense is really that reliant on one offensive lineman (and it wasn’t great to begin with before the injury), this could be The Mullet’s most disappointing season ever. On paper, this should be a beating, even without OSU’s starting QB. But the game’s not played on paper, and I like the Mountaineers’ defensive front to get the cover in a low scoring game that is won upfront. WVU’s offense still isn’t there yet, but the front four can win this one if Okie Lite sleepwalks. OSU 27 — WVU 21 Bet The House, Baby Alabama - 25 1⁄2 at Mizzou — I like Eli Drinkwitz. He’s not the sexy hire that the Mississippi schools got, but he’ll likely be there longer than his new Western brethren. But there are a lot of questions in CoMo — the least of which are a new quarterback and losing anywhere from 9 - 13 players for this week’s matchup against the nation’s most talented team. The Mizzou pass rush is pretty decent and the linebackers are outstanding. This is a good opportunity for the ‘Bama road-grader offensive line to cut their teeth and blow open some holes. Alabama starts a bit slowish, but this one is never in doubt. Not the sexy Alabama offense we’ve become accustomed to, but a much better pass rush and a more deliberative approach still leads to a blowout. Alabama 45 — Mizzou 13 Troy +14 at BYU — Blood. So much blood. The last time we saw Mormons this pissed off at southerners encroaching on their territory, we got the Baker-Fancher wagon train. Expect Brigham Young’s namesake school to do a similar metaphorical slaughter to this latest crop of hayseeds. Troy finds out that facing a huge step up in talent — after on a 2800-mile road trip, in a game played nearly a mile high — matters a whole lot. BYU 48 — Troy 17 Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Thiccer than a bowl of gravyFIU at Liberty (-7) — Speaking of momentum, the Flames went to Western Kentucky and kicked the Hilltoppers’ tooth out. That was honestly one of the most impressive wins last week. I’m not betting against Horny Hugh to lose this one at home, especially with as fast and active as the defense was and with as spry and troublesome as we know his offense can be. Liberty 38 — FIU 24 Worth Your Consideration FAU -3 vs. USF — This one doesn’t have quite the heat of the Bulls-Knights just up the road, and we do have two new coaches in play. (Well, in Willie Taggart’s case that’s “coach”). We saw what one was capable of last week in a grisly defenestration at the hands of Brian Kelly. But, ignoring the score, we turn to what the Bulls did well, any signs of hope. I didn’t see any. FAU has the distinct talent advantage here, particularly on offense. And with no returning starters on the Owls defense, and a generous USF D, this could be a fun (if terrible) shootout. FAU 37 USF 31 NC State + 6 1⁄2 at Va Tech — If Justin Fuente wants to be taken seriously as a major-division coach, he has to get a lot more consistent in these games where his team should win pretty handily. And, don’t let the score of last week’s game fool you, the Wolf Pack still have some issues to address up front. The Hokies can bully this team and force some turnovers at home, and I suspect they will do just that. JF has spent five years accruing talent. It will matter in this home opener. VT 30 — NCSU 20 Auburn vs Kentucky (+7 1⁄2 ) — There is a lot to like about the UK defense. Then again, the same can be said about the ‘Barner defense. The offenses are both putrid though, and I don’t see that changing in a game that will be played very close to the vest. Don’t underestimate piss-poor kicking, and plenty of turnovers, by both teams to matter in the end. You can play the spread here if you wish (buy that half point, if so.) But the smarter move with both of these traditionally slow-starting squads is to play the totals, and take under 49 1⁄2. Let’s call it Auburn 24 - Kentucky 17 Duke + 5 1⁄2 at Virginia — I have no idea why the Hoos aren’t a bigger favorite. Through two games, the Blue Devils are -7 in the turnover ledger, and the defense has a habit of giving up big plays after the offense gacks one up. Otherwise, the Duke defense plays pretty solid. Wanna’ guess what UVA’s defense does pretty well? Forces interceptions and avoids big gainers. Look for those Blue Devil turnovers and chunk plays-against to be the difference (again), as Cutcliffe drops to a disappointing 0-3. But, I do think ball security will be a little bit better, allowing DU to actually cobble together a few drives...just not enough to cover. Cavaliers 35 — Blue Devils 27. Tulane - 3 1⁄2 at Southern Miss — The Eagles are reeling. Their coach got fired after one game. They got destroyed by South Alabama and shut down by a La. Tech team that returned just two starters. Sometimes, you ride momentum. And though USM has better players, I don’t think they’ve got a better headspace. Willie Fritz will have his Green Wave rebound after last week’s Falcons-esque second-half choke to Navy. Should be lots of sexy #RTDB going on in this one. This spread looks right on the money, TBH. Tulane 27 — USM 23. Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Wanna’ know something about this picture that you didn’t know before today? 10-to-1 odds that her SATs were a helluva better than yours.Mortal Lock of the Week Like last week’s Notre Dame — USF game, there’s not much to talk about here (Georgia -26 at Arkansas.) Despite the losses for the ‘Dawgs, you don’t see how the Hogs possibly get points against one of the nation’s betst front sevens while they also get to run free like gazelle against a generous Arkansas defense. UGA would have to try to not score to make this one close. With a new quarterback, Kirby is not taking his foot off the gas until much later in the game than he otherwise would. This is a blowout early and doesn’t stop. It’s going to be a long, long year in Fayetteville — I don’t see a single win on the SEC slate for the Hogs...for a third straight year. UGA 52 — Arkansas 6

  • Alabama vs Missouri Preview: When the Tide has the Ball
    by Brent C. Taylor on September 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images Despite their 2019 struggles, Missouri had a very good defense— and they return almost everyone After firing coach Barry Odom and the entire offensive coaching staff in an attempt to bring some energy back into the program, Missouri though enough of their young defensive coordinator, Ryan Walters, that they kept him through the coaching change. He originally started out as a safeties position coach for the Tigers in 2015, and was promoted to coordinator in 2018. During his first season, he shaved almost 40 rushing yards and 6 points per game off of the Tiger’s defense. If that wasn’t impressive enough, his defense’s performance in 2019 was absolutely phenomenal and pretty much the lone bright spot in an abysmal season in Columbia. They were the #4 ranked defense in limiting success rate, led by a staggering 29% of opponent pass attempts being successful. They were a top-20 defense in nearly every metric, including top-10 in limiting success rates on 1st, 2nd, and 4th downs. They did have a few (relative) weak spots, though. They dropped to only 21st on 3rd down success rates, due mostly to a #39th ranked explosive pass defense as well as #37 and #29 in stuff rate and havoc rate, respectively. In other words, while they were absolutely phenomenal for most of the game, they had some struggles getting a disruptive pass rush, and it let to a disproportional amount of failures to stop teams on 3rd downs. We Bama fans affectionately call that the “3rd and Kirby” defense. Walters uses a base 3-4 defense, and he aggressively uses both outside linebackers as standup defensive ends more often than not. In effect, it’s often more of a 5-2 (or a 5-1 in nickel) defense built to stifle the opponent’s rushing game at the line of scrimmage. He tends to keep a single high safety while walking up the other safety to use as more of a 3rd cornerback. All of the defensive backs tend to back off and play close to the first down marker even before the snap in an obvious bend-but-don’t-break strategy in tandem with a tight 5-man front that is willing to give up short out routes in order to limit deep balls and stop the run. And, against many college QBs that don’t have the arm talent to hit those quick outs, it’s highly effective. Personnel-wise, linebacker Nick Bolton is the guy that makes everything work. This defensive formation tends to leave a big hole in the intermediate center of the formation, and the do-everything junior had over 100 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, and 2 interceptions from the center of the field on his way to a 1st-team All-SEC and 3rd-team All-American season last year. Safeties Tyree Gillespie and Joshuah Bledsoe both return for their senior seasons, as do defensive linemen Kobie Whiteside and Tre Williams. Whiteside was the Tigers’ only pass rushing threat last season with 6.5 sacks (nobody else had more than 2.5). However, they are looking to replace 3rd round NFL draft pick Jordan Elliot at defensive tackle and a multi-year starter at cornerback in DeMarkus Acy. True freshman Ennis Rakeshaw is expected to step in for Acy, and if you recognize that name, it would be because he was considered one of Alabama’s major recruiting targets as an under-the-radar 3-star guy to sign in February. Overall, this is a defensive unit that is replacing a major cog in the middle of the line, but ultimately returns most of the talent and experience that made them an arguably top-15 unit in 2019. It will definitely be a test of strength against strength for Mac Jones, as the Tide QB was lights-out on standard downs while faltering on passing downs last season, whereas the Missouri defense was one of the best in the country on early downs before breaking down from a lack of pass rush on 3rd downs. Look for Alabama to lean into letting Jones go for deeper developing routes often, hoping that a lackluster pass rush and inexperienced outside corners allow him to comfortably target the speedy Tide receivers. However, if Steve Sarkisian comes out determined to get the horizontal passing game going and banking on wide reciever yards after catch like he did against Michigan last year, Missouri will eat that up. On rushing side of things, it’s again a case of strength against strength. Missouri was a top 15 defense in defending rushing success rate with their 5-man lines and Bolton cleaning up behind them... and yet Alabama was a top-5 rushing offense with Najee Harris and a quartet of experienced blockers. That will be an absolute battle all game long, but losing Jordan Elliot at the center of it all should give Alabama enough of an edge to take the overall advantage. This will be a big test for Alabama’s offense to open the season, but I think it overall bodes well for the Tide, as it will force them to not totally rely on Najee Harris. Mac Jones will have to make some plays to keep the offense moving, and a weaker pass rush should let him stay comfortable enough to build confidence. I think Alabama winds up with north of 35 points.

  • Alabama Running Backs in the Saban Era are Producing in the NFL
    by DoctorWhosOnFirst on September 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images The career rushing list for Alabama backs in the NFL is littered with former Saban players. Alabama has produced a number of productive NFL running backs over the years, but things have really picked up under Nick Saban. It is noticeable just how productive recent backs have been after seeing this stat about Josh Jacobs. Josh Jacobs just passed both Le'Ron McClain and Bart Starr on the NFL career rushing list. He's now 13th among Alabama players, in 15 games.— Alabama Pro Updates (@BamaProUpdates) September 22, 2020 Shaun Alexander is the leading NFL rusher among Alabama players with 9,453 yards, and he’ll remain the leader for some time. But Saban-era running backs are quickly piling up the yards. Shaun Alexander: 9,453 yards Mark Ingram: 7,109 yards Derrick Henry: 4,033 yards Wilbur Jackson: 3,852 yards Eddie Lacy: 3,614 yards Tony Nathan: 3,543 yards Bobby Humphrey: 2,857 yards Kenyan Drake: 2,321 yards George Gulyanics: 2,081 yards Trent Richardson: 2,032 yards T.J. Yeldon: 1,935 yards Billy Jackson: 1,365 yards Josh Jacobs: 1,331 yards Le’Ron McClain: 1,310 yards Bart Starr: 1,308 yards Among career rushing yards for former Alabama players, Saban’ running backs make up two of the top 3, three of the top 5, five of the top 10, and seven of the top 15. Not too bad. Ingram has a long road to go to get that top spot being on the other side of 30 already. Henry will need some time; but with his durability, he could end up passing both Ingram and Alexander. Drake appears set to crack the top 5 next year or the year after, and Jacobs should move into the top 10 this season if he stays healthy. Yeldon’s playing time has plummeted recently, but he only needs 68 yards to pass Richardson. Also, Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris are early in their careers and waiting for opportunities. Najee Harris should be a high draft pick in 2021. There have been some busts and guys who only lasted a couple years but, on the whole, this is pretty impressive, especially the recent players.

  • PRINTABLES: Alabama Football 2020 Wallpaper Schedule
    by Erik Evans on September 24, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images More bonus printables from our readers After being frustrated with not being able to find an updated, easy-to-access 2020 Alabama football schedule, long-time reader BammerJammer23 decided to take matters into his own mitts and create one for himself (I did not break his anonymity, but if he wants to do so, he’s free to). Anyway, today is your lucky day too, since he has been gracious enough to forward along those efforts so that that we can share it with you. H.O. / BammerJammer23 This is pretty danged good, innit?Really, this worked out well for everyone, didn’t it? The readers get a handy wallpaper image / document to reference throughout the season. We get some free #content. Bammer Jammer 23 earns the deserved praise of the Gumperatti. And, if I can come up with just another 20 words or so, then I will hit the 150 needed so that this article appears in Google News / AMP searches. Like I just did. Checkmate, Algorithm.

  • Alabama vs Missouri Preview: When the Tigers have the Ball
    by Brent C. Taylor on September 23, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Photo by David Flowers/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Can a plucky former App State head coach and a brand new QB get Missouri out of their offensive funk from last season? It’s been a long time coming. Today is officially our first opponent preview of the 2020 football season at Roll Bama Roll. T-3 days until kickoff. It’s actually here (assuming Giant Meteor 2020 doesn’t show up before Saturday). The Missouri Tigers kick off what will be a 10-game gauntlet of SEC matchups for the Tide that will absolutely test a rebuilt defense without a single FCS cupcake to scrimmage and work out the kinks. Offensively, the Tigers were an absolute mess in 2019. They started the season quite well with Clemson grad transfer Kelly Bryant at QB, but the wheels fell off halfway through, and they averaged less than 10 points per game in 5 straight losses before winning the final game against an absolutely putrid Arkansas team. It was a bad enough end that head coach Barry Odom got the can, and they went out and hired the young, energetic Eliah Drinkwitz from Appalachian State. Drinkwitz has spent much of his career coaching with Gus Malzahn— In high school as early as 2004, with the 2010 Cam Newton team, and even at Arkansas State when Malzahn became the head coach there. He made the jump from small school coordinator to Boise State’s offensive coordinator in 2014, then made it to a P5 school in NC State in 2016. He then landed his first head coaching gig at Appalachian State last season, where he immediately went 12-1 and won the Sun Belt Conference. Looking at some of the advanced stats from 2019, Missouri was in the 80th to 110th range in pretty much every category. It was really, really bad. However, the Tigers are field an almost totally new offense and new scheme, so it would be folly to take anything from their 2019 performance. Instead, here’s what Drinkwitz’s offense did at App State: The Mountaineers were only held below 30 points three times— two of which were to South Carolina and Louisiana Lafayette, the two best teams on their schedule. Their passing game was a top-20 attack in success rate, but was fairly limited in terms of explosive passes. Juxtaposed with that was a boom-or-bust rushing attack that struggled with consistent success, but was extremely explosive. Notably, though, was just how well they kept drives moving. They were top-5 in the nation at getting into the opponent’s side of the field, and then turned that into the 7th ranked redzone TD% in the country. They were a top 20 unit in third down conversions, and led the entire country with a ridiculous 80% conversion rate on 4th downs. Drinkwitz’s offense chewed kept the chains moving, kept on going, and just kept scoring. Despite all of his time with Malzahn, though, the offenses aren’t very similar. Drinkwitz runs something I would consider akin to an early 2000’s west coast offense adapted into modern spread concepts. The running game is predicated around zone runs between the guard and tackle with the running back looking for a single cut and go, while the passing game sticks primarily with short timing routes and QB rollouts. He had a highly mobile QB and wasn’t afraid to use read options and scrambles, but it wasn’t the centerpoint of the offense. And that brings us to the 2020 Missouri offense. Senior running back Larry Roundtree is the lone returning bright spot. Roundree has nearly 3000 yards in his three years in Columbia, including a monstrous 1200-yard campaign as a sophomore. Alabama fans will find his style eerily similar to former Tide back Josh Jacobs. He’s short, stout, powerful in short yardage, and amazingly elusive in the open field, but does lack some top-end speed. Past that, though, this is a brand new offensive squad. The offensive line features a JUCO transfer at left tackle, a grad transfer from Rutgers at center. Slot receiver Jalen Knox had 19 catches for 300 yards last year, but the two outside receivers are monstrous grad transfers. Damon Hazelton is a 6’3” 215 pound multi-year All-ACC selection from Virginia Tech who has nearly 2000 receiving yards in his career, while the 6’4” Keke Chism comes from the D2 ranks of Angelo State, where he’s put up nearly 1000 yards in back-to-back years and was an All-Conference selection. Tight end Daniel Parker, Jr. was an SEC All-Freshman player in 2018 after he switched from defensive end as one of the Tiger’s highest rated recruits to play tight end, and is a phenomenal blocker. He’s a consistent, if not super threatening, receiving target as well. Then there’s the QB. With Kelly Bryant moving on, the Tigers have listed two guys with our favorite “Or” designation as the starter. Connor Bazelak was a fringe top-200 recruit in 2019 out of a wishbone offense who quickly earned a role as a back up to Bryant. He actually came into the game against Georgia and played well for a drive, and wound up starting the final game of the season. Unfortunately, that start cost him a torn ACL. By all accounts, he’s ready to go. But just how much would a November ACL tear affect a mobile QB 9 months later? Then there’s TCU transfer Shawn Robinson, who started 7 games for the Horned Frogs back in 2018 before injuring his shoulder and getting passed up on the depth chart. He’s big, blazing fast, has a cannon for an arm, and has shown good patience in the pocket. Basically, he oozes potential that’s been on the bench due to injury and subsequent transfer rules since mid 2018. Most expect him to be the starter over Bazelak, but we won’t know until game time. The duo of grad transfer receivers will be a tall test for Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe and the brand new safety duo of Daniel Wright and Jordan Battle. They’re big, and you can expect a lot of slant passes to them using their size to box out defenders. Can the new Tide secondary secure their tackles better than they did in 2019? At the same time, Roundtree and either dual-threat QB will put some significant stress on the Alabama linebackers— particularly the unproven mix of outside linebackers in Chris Allen, Ben Davis, and freshman Will Anderson. The Tigers will likely attempt to attack the Tide with a sort of inverse of the offensive strategy we tend to see most teams go with: they’ll use the short passing game to keep drives moving while mixing in zone runs and QB keepers as shots to break big plays into the open field. I think the new system and lack of experience will keep them from sustaining drives as much as they’d like, though, particularly with the fact that I think cornerbacks Pat Surtain and Josh Jobe have the size to really clamp down on those quick passes. Their QB and Roundtree will both break off a couple of big runs each around the edges and may lead to some points and groans from Alabama fans, but ultimately the Tigers are unable to sustain enough success to be a real threat. Lets go with 17 points for the Missouri offense.

  • Who Needs a Blog Poll 2020: Week 3 sees favorites fall flat
    by Erik Evans on September 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images And, there was a common reason for nearly every team flopping. Dear reader, you being more intelligent about the sport of American football, learned in the arts of the oblong spheroid, and more sexually virile than other fanbases, are aware of the primacy of offensive line play. Teams with good offensive lines and veteran line play are not guaranteed to win, no. But you do like their odds better than otherwise. Last week, some much ballyhooed teams in our WNABP fell completely flat on their faces, and in most cases, it was attributable to injured linemen or poor line play — or, in the case of Oklahoma State it was both. It was a theme we saw play out with fugly consequence in Week Two, as Florida State and Miami both looked putrid, as well. Week 3 saw wobbly lines doom Louisville, Appalachian State (I called that one, dinnit it?), Georgia Tech, and almost Okie Lite. This week keep an eye on that Miami-Florida State game. The Noles’ coach has The ‘Rona, and both of the offensive lines are still looking a might-bit fraudish, despite their collective undefeated record. On the other side of the ledger, I suspect ULL is better than I am giving them credit for — much as I undervalued Notre Dame. I asked the Fighting Irish to prove it, and through two games, they have. Granted, Duke and USF aren’t world beaters, and the offense is a joyless slog, but this team is winning with a defense that has been absolutely salty. You can say the same about BYU and Army; though the Black Knights take a significant step up in class this week when they travel to Cincy. Ignore the FSU-Miami game, that midmajor tilt between two defensive bruisers may be your game of the week. And, if you’re looking for a potential upset? Keep an eye on the West Virginia Mountaineers traveling to Stillwater. If the offense can’t get Chuba going, these quarterbacks can’t do it alone. And the Mountaineers have a significantly better front four than Tulsa. Without further ado, here is your Week 3 Blog Poll.

  • Jumbo Package: Gump Day!
    by Brent C. Taylor on September 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Is a rebuilt depth chart the key to Alabama returning to their status as elite defense? — Jones has been studying the Tiger defense more than a little. He gave a detailed answer that read like a full scouting report of Saturday’s opponent complete with notations of number changes from last year. He also said coordinator Ryan Walters does a great job with schemes. “On the back end with their cornerbacks, No. 14 and No. 8, they look pretty good. Obviously, they might have some guys out but those guys in the back end look good. No. 9, Tyree Gillespie, their safety, No. 1 this year, he switched numbers — (Joshuah) Bledsoe — he looks good in the back end. And then 32 is kinda like their workhorse of the defense, Nick Bolton, looks really good. They have another good linebacker — he switched to No. 11 this year — he looks good. There’s a lot of good stuff in this round up of quotes from the interviews yesterday. Mac Jones rattled off this monologue of a scouting report that, at the very least, bodes well for his preparation for the upcoming game. He also spends some time talking up new starting safety Daniel Wright. Dylan Moses also gets pretty open and candid about how he’s been working on his mentality of not letting last year’s injury affect his play, and he and LaBryan Ray talk up some of the freshman defensive players like Will Anderson, Tim Smith, and Ishmael Sopsher. The 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide defense must be better – much better. How will the ’20 defense differ from the ’19 defense? Based on Monday’s depth chart, the turnover in defensive, Crimson Tide starters is huge. Only four defensive starters from the LSU game are expected to start against Missouri. The four are D. J. Dale, Christian Harris, Patrick Surtain II and Jordan Battle. The numbers are even less from the Auburn game, with only Christian Harris and Patrick Surtain II returning as starters. Other statistical numbers are more staggering. 2020 returning starters from the Auburn game were credited with only three of 48 tackles against the Tigers. None of the Crimson Tide defenders who made tackles for a loss at Auburn are 2020 starters. Three Tide players broke up three passes against Auburn. None of those players are on the 2020 roster. Every offseason, much is made about “returning starters” factoring into all the many different variations of preseason rankings of teams and other such speculation in football media. And the more “returning starters” a team has, the more highly that team tends to be ranked. Which is fair, as relying on unproven players— particularly freshmen— can lead to roller coaster-like results for a team. However, there is a nuance getting ignored here: what if the previous year’s starters... weren’t effective? In Alabama’s case, the Tide is starting nearly and entirely different defense than they did last season, and pretty much every fan out there will tell you they’re feeling more confident than they were in 2019’s defense. Some of that is the usual pervasive offseason optimism that infects even fans of teams like the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and Tennessee Volunteers, making them believe that this is the year their team will finally be better before actually playing real football games quickly beats that hope back into submission. But it’s also fueled by the fact that Alabama is returning two seniors who should have been star-level starters last season before injury took that away as well as back-to-back recruiting classes that featured significant depth and star power in the linebackers and defensive line positions. Sometimes, new players just might be better. Ray also missed half of his freshman year in 2017 with a foot injury. He returned in 2018 to play in all 15 games for the Tide before last year’s disappointment. When healthy, Ray has lived up to high expectations. He was a two-time 7A lineman of the year at Madison High School and was the No. 1 prospect in Alabama his senior season. His senior year at Madison he contributed 124 tackles, including 25 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked punt. At Bama he has played in 24 games, has 53 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 4 ½ sacks. He’s also broken up 6 passes and has 2 forced fumbles. In his two-plus games last year he was in on 9 tackles with a sack and another half tackle for loss and caused a fumble. This might be the most hedged headline I’ve ever seen from 247. In any case, Ray arrived at Alabama as one of the least-hyped 5-star players I’ve ever witnessed for some reason. He still drew a lot of optimism for his play as a freshman and his increased role as a sophomore. After his early season injury last year when he finally became a starter, he seemed to become an afterthought to people focused more on the injuries to Dylan Moses and Tua Tagovailoa derailing the Tide’s season. But a healthy, disruptive Ray could be the type of difference make Alabama struggled to find last year as they limped their way to being one of the worst teams in the country at stuffing run plays behind the line of scrimmage. Don’t believe me? The Tide defense only got a “stuff” on 16% of opposing run plays last year. Good for 104th in the nation. For reference, Auburn was 16th in the nation at 24% and Ohio State was 7th with 27%. 1. Angry Alabama: Nothing happens in the SEC until Alabama says it does. After an “off” year (11 wins), the Crimson Tide’s revenge tour starts in this truncated season. They begin as the favorites to win the SEC and claim a spot in the College Football Playoff for the sixth time in seven years. If that happens, Saban might have pulled off one of his best coaching jobs. He got key juniors like Najee Harris and Dylan Moses to stick around. He has had to retool the defense, which was the worst since Saban’s first year in 2007. Tua Tagovailoa’s injury gave successor Mac Jones enough reps last year to step right in. “I believe in Mac the same way I believe in Tua,” receiver DeVonta Smith said. The only limiting factor might be game postponement. Would a 6-0 Bama get to the postseason over other teams that play full(er) seasons? Saban has accomplished a lot. It would be miraculous if he could make a pandemic disappear. CBS sports has come around, though, and they aren’t buying into the Georgia or LSU hype. This Alabama team has a chance to be very, very good. And a full 10-game (or 11) SEC schedule could make this season special. WILL ANYONE KICK THE BALL TO WADDLE? The junior was officially listed as the top option on kickoff returns Monday, granting him double-duty status in the return game. After two seasons of terrifying opposing punt coverage units, we caught a glimpse of what Waddle is capable of doing with kickoffs. His 98-yarder for a score against Auburn served notice that he’s more than capable of scoring in that area of special teams as well. As crazy as it sounds, there are some hulked-up special teams coordinators (Scott Cochran?) who will attempt to challenge Waddle. In doing so, they may end up contributing to his campaign. When the depth chart was released on Monday, there was a good bit of discussion around the wisdom of having Waddle pulling double-duty as a punt returner AND kick returner as well as taking on an increased role at wide receiver. Personally, I think the injury risk to the return man himself is actually pretty low on kickoffs, and that it would be a waste to NOT have such a generational talent back there to force opponents to go ahead and kick it into the endzone while adding that extra element of fear to the kicker’s mental load. What are your thoughts?