Tag:Alabama
Posted on: October 4, 2010 5:39 am
 

John Blake contacted Alabama's Dareus for agent?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

There are reports emerging late tonight that John Blake, the now-fired assistant coach to Butch Davis at North Carolina, contacted Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus on behalf of agent Gary Wichard.

Assuming all of this is true, two quick observations and one long one:

1. John Blake is now completely unemployable in D-I football.

2. Using an assistant coach at a Top 25, BCS-conference school as a runner is like the top alpha-male move an agent can make.

3. This should never happen.

Obviously it's not much of an intellectual feat to decide that this revelation is bad for college football, but the when we've gotten to the point that an agent asking an assistant coach -- regardless of whether they're prior acquaintances -- to act as a runner for a player and the coach accepts, then we're past some sort of rubicon. That would mean that both the agent and the coach had decided that to engage in this activity was in their best interests, and that the reward outweighed the risk. Furthermore, Dareus did accept over $1,700 from Wichard, leading to his two-game suspension, so evidently Dareus agreed about those best interests.

Perhaps it's a failure on the NCAA's part that these type of deals go on. Someone like Dareus would face significant punishment if he came forward to the NCAA about the nature of his involvement with people like Blake and Wichard once he accepted an illegal benefit -- regardless of whether he knew at the time it was inappropriate. At that point, it becomes in Dareus' best interests to hide this fact, not report it. With the benefit of retroactive immunity as a whistleblower, however, he can report the details of Wichard's and Blake's dealings to the NCAA without fearing the severe punishment that would normally await him.

Obviously, this would have to go hand-in-hand with an equally punitive measure against agents; recall that Wichard had to think this was all a good idea too, and that's because he doesn't face any serious professional repercussions over this mess. Sure, he's going to have some negative publicity, but Wichard still gets to be other players' agent. His agent's license (which is to say, his livelihood) isn't seriously at risk here, and as long as he and his peers are treated more favorably by the appropriate authorities than their potential clients, this type of silliness will continue unabated.

And yes, this new arrangement would sort of encourage a high-profile player to momentarily abuse this position of trust by the NCAA, but not only would it significantly discourage this strange courtship from being instigated in the first place, it's also time that the NCAA started empowering its most high-profile athletes to help protect its cherished amateurism, not assuming they're undermining it at every step of the way.

Posted on: October 2, 2010 8:37 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 11:10 pm
 

Updates from Florabama

Posted by Tom Fornelli

FIRST QUARTER

8:35 - Trey Burton is not Tim Tebow.   Florida had a 4th and goal from the one yard line and went for it.  Burton tried to pull off the jump pass but was picked off in the end zone.  Tide gets the ball back up 3-0 with 2:15 left in the first.

8:39 - It's pretty scary to consider that Trent Richardson is the second running back for Alabama.   He just tore off a 30-yard run to get the Tide into Florida territory.

8:43 - The first quarter comes to an end with Greg McElroy hitting Darius Hanks for an 11-yard gain to the Florida 14-yard line.  So the second quarter will start with the Tide threatening to add to their lead.  Well, unless they call a jump pass.

SECOND QUARTER

8:48 - Mark Ingram does what Mark Ingram's done plenty of times, scoring a touchdown to give Alabama a 10-0 lead with 14:21 left until halftime.  Though Trent Richardson would have gotten there quicker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:54 - This is an important drive for the Gators.  While they don't have to get points, they need to move down the field and get some momentum behind them.  If they go three and out and punt, it could be 17-0 really quick.

8:55 And they go three and out, punt , and Julio Jones has a huge punt return to give Alabama the ball at the Florida 40.  This one's threatening to get out of hand for the Gators.

9:00 - Bit of an odd play.  Trent Richardson takes a direct snap, picks up a couple of yards and has the ball ripped out by Ahmad Black.   Julio Jones picks it up and gets a few more yards.  Replays showed that Richardson was down before fumbling, but the officials let it stand.  We'll see if that changes now that Alabama's taken a timeout.

9:03 - The call stands, so Bama's first fumble of the season is a fumble that wasn't actually a fumble.  Got it?

9:05 - Trent Richardson is an absolute beast.  He just ran over Will Hill and the Florida defense to set up a first and goal for the Tide.  Nine minutes left until halftime, and Dennis Dodd doesn't see this ending well for Florida.

9:07 - Mark Ingram finishes what Richardson started and gets his second touchdown of the night.  It's 17-0 Alabama, 7:50 left in the half.

9:10 - While they didn't have to score on their last drive, this one is a must-score for Florida.  If the Gators don't get into the end zone here then this one is already over and it's not even halftime.

9:12 - Good night, Gators.  John Brantley is picked off by Greg Kirkpatrick and Alabama has the ball at the Florida 18-yard line.

9:14 - And just like that it's 24-0 Alabama.  Marquis Maze comes in to run the Wildcat but instead of running, he throws an 18-yard touchdown pass to Michael Williams.

9:20 - On Florida's first drive of the night, they moved the ball down the entire field and the offensive line was pushing Alabama off the ball.  Then Burton threw that jump pass interception.  Since then, Alabama's defense is completely dominating Florida.  Gators just had to punt again.

9:24 - Alabama has a punter?  I did not know that.  He just made his first appearance of the night and unleashed a 26-yard punt, so Florida has a chance to get on the board before halftime.  Though something tells me they won't.

9:27 - The Gators have life!  Brantley hits Carl Moore for 11 yards on a 4th and ten for a first down.  On the next play Jeff Demps picks up nine yards and Florida has the ball at the Alabama 16 with just over a minute left.

9:32 - Chas Henry, filling in for the injured Caleb Sturgis, comes on and kicks a 39-yard field goal for the Gators.  Small moral victories!  The shutout is gone!  It's 24-3 Alabama with 36 seconds left in the first half.

9:35 - Alabama's content to just run out the clock and go to the locker room.  It's 24-3 Alabama and I'm not exactly confident that Florida is going to be able to make a game of this in the second half.

THIRD QUARTER

9:59 - Not a bad start for Florida in the second half, as Brantley hits Burton for a big gain and the Gator offense is already at midfield.  If they can get a touchdown here we might almost have a game.

10:02 - Brantley hits Moore on third down to set up a first and goal from the 5.

10:05 - The Gators have to settle for another field goal.  FIELD GOALS AREN'T GOING TO WIN THIS GAME, URBAN.  It's 24-6 Alabama and no sign of this game getting good anytime soon.

10:11 - Florida forces Alabama to punt, and it's a beauty.  Downed at the one-yard line.  If Florida can stop the Tide seven more times and kick seven more field goals, well,talk about excitement.

10:17 - Well that's a questionable strategy to get back in the game.  Brantley is intercepted by C.J. Mosely and the freshman takes it to the house.  It's 31-6 Alabama.

10:19 - Games like this really make you appreciate the idiocy of Les Miles. 

10:21 - College football needs to institute some kind of mercy rule.  Not to protect the feelings of the young men playing in the games, I don't care about them.  I'm talking about taking mercy on my eyes.

10:24 - Aww, the stinking sideline is ruining John Brantley's interception party.  He was just picked again, this time by Barron, but Barron comes down out of bounds so it doesn't count.

10:26 - On the very next play Brantley decides to just throw a pitch to Jeff Demps away, yelling "Stop this sideline!  Turnover party!"  Unforunately Demps never got the invitation and recovered the fumble.  Let's see what Brantley tries next.

10:28 - The refs take mercy on Florida, and call a holding on Milliner to give the Gators a first down at the Alabama 15.  Then on the next play Brantley throws to Moore in the end zone, and another flag is thrown. Pass interference on Milliner again.  Florida is officially a charity case.  Congratulations.

10:33 - Could it have gone any other way?  Brantley and Moody fumble the exchange, Alabama recovers.  The Brantley Turnover Extravaganza rages on.

FOURTH QUARTER

10:36 - We start the fourth quarter with Alabama up 31-6, and ready to heap more punishment upon the Gators.  Nick Saban is so happy that after the game tonight he's going to drink the blood of not one, but two babies.

10:39 - Alabama has to punt again, so it's Florida's ball once more.  How will they mess it up this time?  The only thing they haven't done tonight is give up a safety, so we should probably expect a Mike Pouncey snap to sail over Brantley's head and 50 yards through the back of the end zone.

10:44 - Wow, they just showed a stat that said the Tide only have 18 yards since halftime.  And they're still up 25.

10:46 - I know Gillilee is out of the game with an injury, but seriously, what's the point of having Jeff Demps in the game at this point?  He's already hurt, so why risk losing him next week in a game that's already decided?

10:48 - When it rains, it pours.  John Brantley just got sandwiched between two Alabama players while scrambling and he's down on the ground being attended to.  He looks to be in a considerable amount of pain too.

10:51 - See, this just makes no sense to me.  Both coaches just saw Brantley leave the game with an injury, yet Alabama still has all their starters in.  You're up 25.  You're not going to lose this game.  Get your reserves some play.

10:57 - Brantley is back in the game for Florida with a couple of sore ribs.  Why, I don't know.

11:00 - Only 4:22 left in the game.  Mercy will be taken upon us all soon enough.  It's still 31-6 Alabama.

11:05 - Saban has Mark Ingram running the wildcat just to pad his stats.  Well, that's awful nice, but he's going to need about 300 more yards to catch up to Denard Robinson.

11:07 - Verne points out that every one of Alabama's remaining opponents have a bye week before facing the Tide.  Which doesn't seem fair, but let's be real, Alabama had a bye this week as well.

11:09 - All right, it's a final.  Alabama wins 31-6.  The Tide get South Carolina next week, and if they get past them the only thing I see standing in their way to the SEC championship is Cam Newton and Auburn.

Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:49 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Saturday in the bathroom.

Breakfast

Main Course - Clemson vs. #16 Miami - Noon - ESPN2


Okay, so once again breakfast has a lot of weak sauce in it this week, but we promise you that lunch and dinner are going to be a lot better.  Just remember what your mom used to tell you: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So eat this up because you're going to need it to help prepare you for the rest of the day.

Just beware that while the Miami looks good using too much Jacory Harris in it can cause indigestion.

Side Orders: This morning we offer some sides that should fill you up, but will probably leave you hating yourself for eating it later.  There's Ohio State steamrolling Illinois, and our "Ninth Place in the SEC" special, Mississippi and Kentucky.   If you already hate yourself, try some of the Minnesota and Northwestern.

Lunch

Main Course - #8 Oklahoma vs. #21 Texas - 3:30pm - ABC


Now that you've choked down your breakfast we can reward you with the real food for the day.  We're offering our Red River Rivalry this afternoon which is chock full of red meat deliciousness.   Just remember that the Longhorn can be somewhat tough and inconsistent. 

Texas has a lot on their plate this week, as they are coming off a rather embarrassing loss at home to UCLA last week, and a similar performance against Oklahoma this weekend could destroy the rest of their season. 

Side Orders: If you're not sure you can handle all the beef in our main course we do offer plenty of other options this afternoon.  There's Michigan State hosting Wisconsin in a game that will give us a better idea of what either team is really about this season.  There's also North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, or if offenses that set the game of football back 80 years are more your style, there's always LSU and Tennessee.   My advice is to just watch Patrick Peterson in that game.

Dinner

Main Course - #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida - 8pm - CBS


We didn't lead you astray with our Alabama and Arkansas last week, and we promise you that this week's Florabama won't disappoint either.  Alabama has already faced it's first real test of the season, but this week they are the test.  Florida is 4-0 but didn't wow any of the critics until last week's Trey Burton-centric dismantling of Kentucky.

If the Gators can manage to get past the Tide they'll officially be back in the national championship picture.

Side Orders: It's not a bad night when your second choice features another two top ten teams.  If fowl is more your taste, then try the Oregon and Stanford.   The Pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, yet, but this game basically is just that.  Two high-scoring offenses finally get to test two defenses that have proven sturdy thus far.  If you prefer something a bit more old-fashioned we're also offering Iowa and Penn State.

Late Night Snacks

Nevada and Colin Kaepernick are two things you'll probably be hearing about quite a bit in the coming weeks, as they're essentially the last thing standing between Boise State and an undefeated season.  So why not check them out when they travel to Vegas to take on UNLV?
Posted on: September 29, 2010 3:18 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 3:33 pm
 

Everybody watched Alabama and Arkansas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Did you watch Alabama and Arkansas on CBS last Saturday?  I'll bet you did.  I mean, you're reading a blog about college football, and you wouldn't be doing that if you didn't love college football, so it would make sense that you watched the biggest game of the weekend.  Though even if you weren't reading this right now I'd feel pretty safe betting that you had watched the game because it drew the highest rating for an afternoon college football game on CBS in the last seven years.

The game drew a 5.2 rating and 12 share, the highest for any game on CBS since Florida and Florida State squared off on November 29, 2003.  Those numbers are a fancy way of saying that 5.2% of homes with a television in this country were watching Alabama's comeback, and that 12% of the televisions that were actually in use -- some people are silly enough to go outside or read a book -- were watching the game.

In other words, people love college football, and I can't blame them.  It's awesome.

With that in mind, be sure to tune in this weekend as CBS has a doubleheader ready for you when LSU hosts Tennessee at 3:30 p.m. ET, followed by FLORABAMA -- also known as Florida and Alabama -- at 8 p.m. ET.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Mark Ingram loses cool, Alabama fans lose minds

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Birmingham News' Kevin Scarbinsky reported earlier today about the circumstances surrounding the two brief instances where Alabama tailback (and reigning Heisman Trophy winner) Mark Ingram has lost his cool recently. Both were reactions to pretty low behavior from his opponents, and that's made perfectly clear in Scarbinsky's writeup:

On the fourth-down quarterback sneak that iced the game, Ingram rushed into the pile and gave Greg McElroy a gentle shove. When he bounced out of the pile, Ingram was close to fighting mad.

"They were being a little dirty, you know," Ingram said. "Pushing, grabbing, things like that. Competitive spirit comes out. [...] Sportsmanship was great throughout the whole game," he said. "I think they were just a little angry at the end or whatever because I saw a few guys punching the quarterback when he was under the pile. I was trying to get him up, and the dude snatched me up, also. You know? It is what it is."

And as for the other instance, Ingram head-butted a Duke player who had yanked Ingram's leg after Ingram scored a touchdown. Footage of Ingram's headbutt is here*.

At any rate, they're both unfortunate incidents, but ones without lasting repercussions or anything. So Ingram's had his say, coach Nick Saban's not publicly disciplining Ingram, case closed, right?

Well, no: this is the state of Alabama we're talking about, where football fans are whipped into such a lather about the sport that literally any mention of a player that isn't accompanied by effusive praise is regarded as some mix of bias, treason, and communism. Again, consider: Scarbinsky's column functioned primarily to provide context for something that, to Ingram, is aberrant behavior. Alabamans' response: YOU'RE KILLING EVERYTHING AND YOU'RE HORRIBLE:

So....what's the point of this article, Scarbuttski? Shouldn't you be talking about the rest of the SEC that is playing dirty or, are you trying to say that Ingram is a hothead?
I have heard that Scarb was diss'd by the Alabama staff and he took it personal now has a vendetta...regardless though he writing [sic] is pretty bad. I guess the best thing we can do is stop reading and commenting.
Kevin , that was uncalled for. People who follow your columns (both of the people who currently read you) know what you just did. You took a shot at someone while pretending objectivity. Sad. When the "Birmingham News" goes under - and it is, as we all know - you were a major cause.

That's right: reporting about things that actually happened will bankrupt the newspaper. Well, then.

This is all ludicrous, of course. There's a difference between reporting and cheerleading, and these readers appear to be angry at Scarbinsky for knowing that difference. And besides, if he really wanted to impugn Ingram's integrity with a cheap shot, he could have done it by saying "If Mark Ingram got into a fight he'd need Trent Richardson to finish it for him."

 

*Note: this may not be an accurate portrayal of the event.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Alabama men busted for selling fake tickets

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It wasn't easy to get a ticket to Razorback Stadium to see Arkansas and Alabama on Saturday as there wasn't a seat in the house available thanks to a sell out.  However, that didn't stop some optimistic fans from heading to the stadium with hopes of picking up a few tickets from a scalper outside.  Some were successful, other weren't. 

Then there were those who were successful but later found out that they weren't.

Two Alabama men are facing fraud charges, after allegedly scalping counterfeit tickets at Saturday's Razorback football game at the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

Police arrested Jermaun Woods, 25, and Josephus Hawkins, 41, both of Birmingham, AL. Victims say the two men were scalping counterfeit tickets for hundreds of dollars each. The two men were arrested with more than $2,000 in cash on them.

The victims pointed out the people who sold them the tickets to police and they were arrested, and now they hope they can keep other people from being deceived.

There were several reports of ticket fraud at Razorback Stadium on Saturday and the local police believe there were plenty of other victims out there who haven't come forward yet, though they'd like them to.

As for the tickets Woods and Hawkins were selling, they looked real enough except for one minor but very important factor.  The sections and seat numbers listed on the tickets don't actually exist, which makes it extra hard to find your seat.
Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:39 am
Edited on: September 28, 2010 11:40 am
 

Greg McElroy is still pretty sore

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you want to stop Alabama -- and nobody has since Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl -- you have to find a way to stuff their ground game.  Which, as their record indicates over their last 16 games, isn't easy to do.  If you leave the game in the hands of Greg McElroy, you have a chance.  Of course, if you take Greg McElroy out completely, that forces Alabama to become more one-dimensional, which might make stopping the run a little easier.

So it's probably not a good thing that McElroy is drawing Florida a map.

McElroy took a shot from Arkansas defensive end Tenarius Wright during the fourth quarter of Alabama's comeback on Saturday in Fayetteville, and it's left the quarterback a bit sore.

"I think his knee hit me straight in the leg -- just right in the right spot, just barely missing my thigh pad," McElroy said. "Just kind of an unfortunate thing. But contusions or whatever those things are called, are just part of the game. It's something you gotta work through.

"Yeah, this thing's pretty sore.  It actually felt better yesterday as opposed to today, I think, because I had a shot after the game, an anti-inflammatory shot. ...I'll be fine. It's gonna be a little ginger on it the first few days. It's gonna be pretty painful."

He may as well paint a "hit me here" on his right thigh Saturday, as there's no reason to believe he's not going to be able to play in the game, though odds are he's still going to be a bit sore.  Something Florida's defensive linemen will no doubt have in their minds should they get a chance to lay a hit on the Alabama quarterback.


Posted on: September 27, 2010 5:53 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 5:57 pm
 

Breaking down the SEC division races

Posted by Chip Patterson

For the last four years, the winner of the SEC Championship game has gone on to compete and win the National Championship.  With the conference play heating up and a rematch of Florida-Alabama ahead in Week 5, here is a breakdown of the division races in the SEC. 

SEC EAST -- CONTENDERS

Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0)
So far...: The Gators got a slow start with a lot of questions after uninspiring victories over Miami and South Florida, but the last two games have shown a relentless defense and an offense that is beginning to find an identity.  That identity is looking like it includes the multi-talented freshman quarterback Trey Burton, who scored six times (5 times rushing, once receiving) against Kentucky.
  
Toughest challenges ahead: October 2 - at Alabama; October 9 - vs. LSU; November 13 - vs. South Carolina
   
Outlook: The biggest game of the season for the Gators will be their visit to Tuscaloosa on Saturday.  The rematch of the last two SEC Championship games has huge implications for both division races.  If the Gators fall to the Tide, they will likely need to win the rest of their division games to ensure a trip back to Atlanta for the title game.  An upset win over Alabama puts the Gators in the drivers seat for the title game, and likely would bring the Gators back into the national title discussion. 

South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1)
So far...: The Gamecocks burst on the scene with impressive victories and an improved offense that had Ol' Ball Coach running his mouth around the conference once again.  Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore has proven to be a game-changing back already, and until the 35-27 loss to Auburn, quarterback Stephen Garcia finally looked ready for a true breakout season.  Now the Gamecocks have a quarterback controversy on their hands, and their toughest challenges of the year left on the schedule.

Toughest challenges ahead: October 9 - vs. Alabama; November 6 - vs. Arkansas; November 13 - at Florida

Outlook: If they had been able to knock off Auburn on Saturday night, South Carolina would have been a frontrunner to knock Florida off its throne atop the SEC East.  Unfortunately, the loss has put them in a can't-lose scenario if they want to get reach their first SEC Championship Game in school history.  Looming dates against Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida in the Swamp will make it difficult to keep the loss column thin.  If they can get pull off an upset or two and get some help from, they could enter the Florida game with a chance to steal the division.

Pretenders: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia 

SEC WEST -- CONTENDERS

Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0)
So far...:  Alabama left very little doubt on Saturday who is the best team in the nation.  Being pushed up against the ropes on the road by a very talented Arkansas team, the defending champs battled back into the game and escaped Fayetteville with a victory.  After being down 17-7 at halftime, the Alabama defense (which had not allowed a TD all season until that game) tormented Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas offense in the second half.  Mallet was picked off three times and the Tide defense only allowed three points after halftime while Mark Ingram led the charge for Alabama to reclaim the lead and a win.

Toughest challenges ahead: October 2 - vs. Florida; October 9 - at South Carolina; November 6 - at LSU; November 26 - vs. Auburn

Outlook:  The tests are far from done for Alabama, but thankfully the two most threatening opponents remaining on the schedule (Florida and Auburn) both have to travel to Tuscaloosa.  After watching their performance on Saturday, it is hard to imagine many situations that don't involve Alabama back in the SEC Championship game.  However, South Carolina and LSU are both talented teams playing in hostile territory and those games should not be taken lightly.  If Auburn and Alabama don't slip, they could enter the Iron Bowl with the division title on the line.   

Auburn Tigers (4-0, 2-0)
So far...:  The Tigers are quickly becoming one of the darlings of the SEC.  For the third week in a row, Auburn has been locked in a nationally televised nail-biter and emerged victorious.  The 17-14 win over Mississippi State was not impressive by any means, but the overtime victory against Clemson and Saturday's upset of South Carolina have bumped the Tigers to No. 10 in the nation and now a relevant part of the SEC Championship discussion. 

Toughest challenges ahead: October 16 - vs. Arkansas; October 23 - vs. LSU; November 26 - at Alabama

Outlook:  Cam Newton has officially arrived as one of the premiere quarterbacks in college football this season, and as long as the 6-6 250 pound signal-caller is scoring five total touchdowns like he did against South Carolina, Auburn will always have a chance.  The Tigers have the benefit of getting Arkansas and LSU at home, but this team cannot afford another performance like Mississippi State and expect to win.  If they play to their potential, Auburn could find themselves heading into the Iron Bowl with a shot to return to the SEC title game for the first time since 2004.

LSU Tigers (4-0, 2-0)
So far...:  LSU's defense has proven to be one of the best units in the nation.  Their offense, on the other hand, is about as productive as a late Friday afternoon.  With no good option at quarterback (Jarrett Lee is not a "good" option, just not as a bad) the Tigers have relied on their defense and return game to spring them out to an early No. 12 national ranking.

Toughest challenges ahead: October 9 - at Florida; October 23 - at Auburn; November 6 - vs. Alabama; November 27 - at Arkansas

Outlook:  If the Bayou Bengals are for real, they will get a chance to prove it in October in their road games against Florida and Auburn.  If LSU can take care of business away from Death Valley, they will make the November 6 show down with with Alabama a lot more interesting.  It is hard to support a team with no offense as a conference title contender, but they have at least earned the right to be in the discussion.

Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1)
So far...:  Until halftime of Saturday's game against Alabama, Ryan Mallet looked like the best pro quarterback in college football, and the Razorbacks looked ready to have one of the most successful seasons in the programs history.  Unfortunately, the second half unraveling has temporarily overshadowed Arkansas' impressive start.
  
Toughest challenges ahead: October 16 - at Auburn; November 6 - at South Carolina; November 27 - vs. LSU

Outlook: Arkansas had not played a truly challenging team before Alabama, so there is a lot left for this team to prove.  The defense looked fired up and strong in the first half against the Tide, but it is unknown if they will be able to repeat the same performance on the road against a team like Auburn or South Carolina.  The Razorbacks made for a good story, but it is hard to believe that Alabama's comeback did not break their spirits a little.  Difficult to imagine that they will be able to reach that level of energy the rest of the season.

Pretenders: Mississippi State, Ole Miss

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com