DKW 86 6,398 Posted August 18, 2006 Share Posted August 18, 2006 The Future Is Now By Shane from Center Point Guest Commentator August 18, 2006 For much of the 21st century, Auburn and about 4 other teams in the SEC have reaped the harvest from crippling NCAA sanctions, specifically scholarship reductions, that along with the negative stigma of probation drove recruits to these schools like bees to honey. (And yet we still hear that bama has signed yet another Heisman Trophy winner every year.) Much to the delight of these 5 major SEC schools, Alabama had to fight the recruiting wars with both hands tied behind their back. The NCAA penalties worked. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s simple, lack of numbers meant lack of depth. Lack of depth in the brutal Southeastern Conference was lethal. (But Shane, you assured us that Bama had a plan, and probation wasnt going to stop the Tide.) IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve watched the Crimson TideÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s depth deepen and real talent and numbers have grown back to full power. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve begun to realize that Coach Mike Shula can recruit big, fast, quality athletes. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s getting the best players from this state, yet he is also tapping the entire state of Florida and collectingthe best Mississippi has to offer. At last, in his 4th year as the head coach, Mick Shula has depth at every position. The Tide now has 10 quality down linemen on the defensive and offensive sides of the football. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re stocked with 66 men who can playin the SEC and a few freshman phenoms like Terry Grant (MississippiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mr.Football), Javier Arenas (a south Florida burner), Mike McCoy (prototype WR), and Justin Ã¢â‚¬Å“the HitmanÃ¢â‚¬Â Woodall, who will likely see playing time. Frankly, I can see the future is now. AlabamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s core group of upperclassmen (JrÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and SrÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) is on par with the other 5 SEC majors. The difference makers for the Crimson Tide will be the new big time talents like Andre Smith. He alone could make BamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s offense twice as good. (Shane never took math: 2x0=0) Remember, Chris Samuels made Shaun Alexander a star and BamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quarterback, when passing the football, could ignore the backside. As a result we won the SEC Championship. Anyway, I hope the teams at the top of the SEC enjoyed the TideÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s prison stay. Every team except Auburn and LSU have recently felt the rise of the Tide and both groups of Tigers know their days are numbered (no pun intended). Bama finished last season ranked 8th in both major polls. The Crimson Tide recorded itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NCAA record 28th ten win season and that was a good start. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to take the record a step higher this year. Yes, we lost some talent and Brodie Croyle, yet the quality depth is much better than since the beginning of this century and our quarterback position is much more talented. (More talented than Brodie "the football god" Croyle? How can this be?) Only the record at the end of the season will tell us if BamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back, (I thought that SI said that right before and showed up.) but one thing is for sure Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Mike Shula has them on their way. The man can spot great talent and go get it. The 2006 version of the Crimson Tide is chocked full of speed, blue-chip talent and power. I would be surprised if Bama doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t contend for and win the SEC crown. (Many think you're going to be surprised.) Then, life with the big six in footballÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s elite club will be back to normal and once again, Alabama can claim itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rightful title as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“bell-cowÃ¢â‚¬Â of the SEC. (It hasnt stopped you from claiming that Bama was the b-whatever every year since 1999.) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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