| FTBL Member Commentary; The SEC as Seen From the Other Side

  • Thread starter imported_porkchop
  • Start date


How The SEC Is Seen On The Other Side Of The Atlantic

By; Israel Llata

It wasn't long ago first time I began to proudly support the Crimson Tide. Although, for different reasons than many of you. I always felt attracted to the great state of Alabama and their football team, but it wasn’t until that successful 2005 season (you should remember that Sports Illustrated cover with a banner headline proclaiming, "Bama is Back" when I began to feel something special instead of just watching those kids on the field through the television.

I remember clearly how "mama" looked the night (CET time zone) we met. It was another edition of the Third Saturday in October at the Capstone; Alabama unbeaten and ranked fifth in the nation hosting the Vols in a game remembered later as "The Rocky Stop", which was inspired by Roman Harper's hit of Corey Anderson that caused the fumbled which led to BAMA's victory. In the end, I was surprised by how Bryant-Denny Stadium and their fans rooted for their team throughout the game.

Another thing was the fact that BAMA was one of the most dominant defenses in the country those days and I always tend to focus much more on the defensive side of the ball, where DeMeco Ryans was the guy who represented for me each of the values that a defensive-minded guy should have (class, leadership and toughness).

However, I still ignored one thing those days; the tradition. When I began to follow closely the Crimson Tide, and college football as a result, I didn’t know anything about the meaning of that word at the University of Alabama. Googling and searching around the net, I managed to find the 12 national championships, Paul "Bear" Bryant legacy and those bowl appearances and bowl victories which are the highest numbers in the whole country. I couldn’t believe what the hell I was reading then, but I just began to understand what it means to be a Crimson Tider. Since then, the passion borders on an obsession and I always try to absorb as much information about Alabama football as I can.

Well, maybe nobody still realizes. Yeah, I wasn’t born at the States, I’ve never been around there either (although I expect to go some day), but I can assure you one thing, it’s great to be part of this family. Roll Tide!

On the other hand, I’d like to explain how I see, from my humble point of view, the SEC for next season. Now understand here! I've known about and followed the conference since those great years of Auburn's powerful backfield led by Ronnie Brown and "Cadillac" Williams and their infamous unbeaten season. My point of view wasn't conceived by only following the Tide.

And there’s no question, the SEC will be, one more time, the best conference in the land, based on a tough competition from top to bottom and with some of the teams that are going be in contention for the national championship until the season has definitively gone early into January.

Florida and Georgia are the tough ones. Two of the highest-ranked teams in the country, and both have national championship aspirations. Expectations are high, both in Gainesville and Athens, although, in the best case scenario, one will be dismissed when The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party comes to an end in Jacksonville.

Tim Tebow, the first sophomore ever to capture the Heisman Trophy, along with dual-threat WR Percy Harvin, (another serious contender to the prestigious award next season) and a rising and young defense with one year of experience under their belts, are clearly gunning for maybe the best BCS team last season, Georgia.

The Bulldogs finished 2007 with six wins in a row and a lopsided victory against Hawaii and their pass-happy offense (but not so happy that day) in the Sugar Bowl. Matthew Stafford, who reminds me something of John Elway with his great arm strength (although, he needs to make a step forward on his game), Knowshown Moreno, who was the only freshman Bulldog since Herschel Walker to surpass 1,000 rushing yards, incoming super-recruit WR AJ Green, built the core of a talented and a young offense. Not to mention their young, fast defense led by sophomore LB Rennie Curran.

In a step below, Tommy Tuberville’s Auburn Tigers will try to secure the western division crown, now that the current national champion, LSU, has suffered some critical losses on both sides of the ball. However, there have been some changes at The Plains as well; Al Borges was gone by December after a steady decline in the team's offensive production. Brought in was Tony Franklin’s spread offense. Kody Burns is the guy everybody believes can carry the offense, in spite of the concerns about his passing abilities in the spring. Although, in my opinion, the strength of the team is based on a powerful running game and one of the best defenses of the south, anchored by the inside force Sen'Derrick Marks. The impact of Muschamp’s departure to Texas is yet to be seen.

However, I think there’s gonna be a lot of exciting competition between both programs at the top of the west. Glenn Dorsey and those great defensive numbers are gone, but you don’t get to overlook a team with one of the best offensive lines in America and a steady runningback-by-committee led by Keiland Williams. The defense you know is gonna be solid, for sure.

While the east division seems to be a battle between Florida and Georgia, the west could be wide open at the end, and I think Alabama has a real opportunity to emerge if the Fourth Quarter Program starts to pay dividends. This is a young and inexperienced team, but Saban’s second seasons always are successful and it’s pretty obvious that the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation is gonna provide some serious talent to our program.

Immediate impact or not, that’s the big question.

Thinking about the emerging team or that potential sleeper? I’m gonna talk about new Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss Rebels. Nutt will inherit a team with pretty high recruiting classes (however, many commitments never showed up) landed by former Rebels coach Ed Orgeron. Texas transfer, and former blue chip recruit Jevan Snead brings touch and accuracy to the passing game, while all-world prep running back Enrique Davis, surprisingly decommits from Auburn to sign with Ole Miss. Add standout blind-side offensive tackle Michael Oher, and you have the cornerstones for an improving offense. Throw in the defense-leading sackmaster Greg Hardy along with some position change experiments by Nutt, and you could see a defense emerge in Oxford.

Finally, I’d like to point to the Tennessee Volunteers with Jonathan Crompton as the new quarterback, along with new offensive coordinator Dave Clawson, In my opinion, this is a team with few chances of being in contention in the eastern division, especially if Georgia and Florida are flying high on the national radar as expected in 2008.

My prediction:

SEC Championship game: Florida vs Auburn.
SEC Champion: Florida
Hey gang, just a reminder....

This article was submitted to the site front page as well as to the rolltidebama.com blog. It will likely also be submitted to bleacherreport.com. We're always looking for members to submit their thoughts so that we can showcase the site as well as the members that make this site what it is.

If you've got something to say then let us know. We'll be happy to use the material.

I've said it 100 times and I guess I'll say it again.

You guys make rolltidebama.com what it is. You guys should feel like you can take part in this process and enjoy it. Get your "15 minutes of fame", so to speak.

So if you have something to say, let us know. It's your site and the staff here are always looking for talented people to contribute. We can't let you contribute if we don't know you're interested. :)
That's a great job Israel. Hopefuly the ending will turn out different but a solid look at what very well could be.
Hey, thanks guys. :wink:

First of all, I'd just like to thank Terry, who helped me reviewing this article, and for correcting some mistakes (I took some minutes of his time). I'm grateful for his support, and RTB.com that gives me the great opportunity of publishing this article. That's the best Crimson Tide community in the net. Thanks guys! I hope you enjoy the reading...

firestorm said:
Hey, thanks guys. :wink:

First of all, I'd just like to thank Terry, who helped me reviewing this article, and for correcting some mistakes (I took some minutes of his time). I'm grateful for his support, and RTB.com that gives me the great opportunity of publishing this article. That's the best Crimson Tide community in the net. Thanks guys! I hope you enjoy the reading...


Dang fine job Firestorm!! Being able to write an article from an objective point of view is a lost art in today's journalistic society.
That is good stuff Isra! Well done my friend.

It hard to fathom a guy in Spain who has no real connection to The U of A and has never set foot in Tuscaloosa, much less the USA, loves the Tide every bit as much as us, and probably more than most. I hope you get to experience a game in person soon Isra... you might just have to move here afterwords. :D
Great job Spaniard!!!!


Seriously, you did a fine job man.
For some reason, I had assumed that Firestorm was in the MARINES serving in Spain. I guess that whole thing about "assuming" applies here. Nonetheless, it is very cool that Someone from so far away can become a fan of the same college football team. That would be even more farfetched than one of us becoming a die-hard fan of a soccer team from one of those premier leagues over in Europe.
Top Bottom