1. One of the most highly anticipated upcoming situations in college football is the concurrent coaching searches of USC and Texas. Alabama is rich, but so are both of these guys. Putting all "he would never leave" bravado aside, give us all what we've been waiting for. What dollar amount could Texas offer Nick Saban that Alabama would refuse (or be unable) to match?
Last year, Texas had about 25 mil profit, and Bama had about 17 mil. For all practical purposes, Texas can't outbid Bama. If Texas wanted to offer 10 mil, Bama could feasibly match it. Whether or not they would agree to is debatable, but it would be a matter of principle, not finances. All of that being said, I'd be shocked if Saban were to leave at this point. There isn't a single school in the country that offers better competitive advantages (some are equal, for sure, but none give him a better chance of winning), and he would face a bit of a rebuilding project at any of those other schools. Why spend the effort in doing that, when he could win another two or so national championships and go down as maybe the greatest of all time.
2. After watching TJ Yeldon in his first game as a true freshman, I predicted to anyone who would listen that he would be a Heisman winner. He can certainly be a dominant talent, but is there a reason that he has been arguably less sensational than his predecessors?
Yeah, some of that is due to offensive line struggles kind of setting the narrative that he is underperforming. Another part is lofty expectations. At this point, Yeldon is rushing for 6.47 yards per carry, which is better than any Bama primary back of the past five years, other than Lacy last year (6.48 YPC), who had the benefit of the best offensive line in the country. He's also averaging one touchdown a game, which is perfectly in line with previous Alabama running backs. I don't see a Heisman in the cards this season by any stretch, but he's done a pretty admirable job of living up to all of our absurd expectations.
3. I want Ha Ha Clinton Dix back for this game just for my amusement on Twitter. Assuming he is gone, what are some other defensive players for Arkansas fans to be on the lookout for?
I think it's probably a certainty that Ha Ha will miss this game. A few players come to mind that Arkansas fans should look out for. In the backfield, we have safety Landon Collins filling in for Ha Ha. You may remember him as the kid whose mother made a bit of a public scene when he chose Bama over LSU in the high school Under Armour game. Landon is a terror on special teams, as he is a strong and sure tackler. Also int he backfield, if he makes it back from a small injury, we have true freshman Eddie Jackson at corner. This kid is lights out, and looks to be the next superstar corner out of Alabama.
Finally, we have another true freshman A'Shawn Robinson on the defensive line. Six games into his career, and he is leading the team with both sacks and tackles for loss. At the rate he's going, he'll easily surpass Marcell Dareus numbers in his most productive year, and could end up being the most productive pass rusher of the last six years.
4. Alabama has to have some weakness, however minuscule. What is it? You can tell us, we won't blab. Promise.
If Eddie Jackson doesn't make the field, you could make the argument that the cornerback spot is a bit of a weakness. However, I would say that this weakness really would only manifest against a passing team. The guy most likely to fill in (John Fulton) is really strong against the run, which of course is what Arkansas will be looking to do.
5. What is one thing that that could happen Saturday that would completely surprise Arkansas fans while being completely unsurprising to Bama followers?
I don't know. I feel like Arkansas and Bama fans are really pretty much on the same page about this game. I really expect everything to pretty much go by the script.
6. Honestly, though, how much is the Million Dollar Band worth in this economy? They seem a bit overvalued.
*Dr. Evil pinkie to lips* One. Million. Dollars.
7. Where does this year's Crimson Tide squad stack up against the previous two? Are they as vulnerable as some are making them out to be?
It's an interesting question. I think that at the beginning of the year, this team was behind the last two. I think at this point, the defense is at least as good as 2012, and might be better. They are probably behind the 2011 defense, but so is everyone else. Offensively, I think they're already ahead of 2011, but still a bit behind 2012. By the end of the year, I expect the offense will be the best of the last three years, and the defense will be one small notch below 2011.
8. A prediction seems pointless, so instead, give us a rundown of the go to places on "The Strip" north and west of Bryant-Denny. Do you have a favorite?
Well, we always have to give a plug to friend of the blog Egan's Bar. Ask for Bo, and be sure to tell him that Roll Bama Roll sent you.