AF: How confident is Bama coming into this game knowing that their last three losses have been to ranked opponents and Arkansas is not in the top 25?
RBR: Alabama obviously can't take anything, or anyone, for granted. Arkansas has come a long way in a very short time establishing the kind of team Bielema ultimately hopes to win with. Ranked or no, most knowledge folks know Arkansas is a legit Top-25 kind of team. Next year, the Hogs will be.
AF: Are we sure that Daniel Tosh isn't your offensive coordinator? Because every time I watch the Bama offense someone gets hurt. Will Bama's depth hold this weekend against the Hogs, and specifically, what are the expectations for native Arkansan Altee Tenpenny?
RBR: Injuries are a concern. These things seem to skip a season or so. Last year, Alabama was incredibly healthy, save Amari Cooper; this year, injuries at key positions certainly do the Tide no favors: Eddie Jackson, Kenyan Drake, Denzell Devall, Ryan Kelly, etc. And it's only the third conference game for Alabama. November could be very long. That said, Tenpenny will likely split carries at the 3-spot with up-and-comer Tyren Jones. Jones is a little more dynamic of a runner, while Tenpenny is a classic mauler Saban loves to have as the number two back. In two years, those two could very well be 1-2 on the roster.
AF: I hate to bring it up, but the Ole Miss game last weekend. Is it flattering that people tear down the goal posts when they beat you, or were those goal posts going down a sign of the end of a dynasty?
RBR: No one can win the division, conference or national title every year. If by "Dynasty" you mean championships? I wouldn't write off this Tide team. It would be a foolish person to believe anyone escapes the West unscathed this year. As for tearing down the goal posts, I have no problem with that. Alabama is the marquee team on most peoples schedule every season. We know by now to expect everyone's best shot - from Oklahoma to Eastern Possum Community College...which now that I think about it, may be the same school.
AF: Who out kicked their coverage more: Alabama in the Iron Bowl last year, or Bret Bielema with his wife Jen?
RBR: I'm not going to insult the lovely Jen Bielema. Bret is a charming man, as we all know. As for Alabama? There is no reason on God's green earth that kick should have been called. Alabama held all the momentum, save one deep play, in that second half. You don't call it; you don't trot out a true freshman; and you certainly don't look dumbfounded when you have no semblance of a return contingency. Many coaches are bad at their jobs; few are as bad at theirs as alleged Special Teams "Coach" Bobby Williams. He should have been fired that night.
RBR: I think Alabama, more than any other team to date, is built to play the slobberknocker game with the Hogs. This team was constructed to beat LSU, its mirror image in many respects. Having a new running game playmate in Fayetteville only adds to the fun. We'll see more of the same as we've seen in 2014, I suspect; Alabama and Arkansas trade punches for a fairly-even first half. In the second half, superior talent and depth, coupled with a passing game, make the the difference, and Alabama pulls away for a fairly convincing (but hard fought and very physical) 34-13 win.