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Trickles of information...frightening injury rumors...players posting astonishing numbers who will no doubt fade and linger on the bench for the real's spring agaiiinnn, as Biz Markie would sing (sic) and Alabama's back on the grind as of Friday. We're paying attention for two obvious reasons:

1. They beat the scales off our team 30-3, and we're anticipating revenge months ahead of time.

2. How the Tide when 10-2 with Mike Shula at head coach and Joe Kines calling the shots on defense still mystifies. Really, try to wipe what you remember about last season's Alabama team from your head: in 2000, would either of these men even pique your interest as potential candidates for either position at San Jose State? Mike Shula attempted to end Warrick Dunn's life for two years before Tony Dungy fired him, and Joe Kines was coming off a tumultuous and often disappointing stay as DC at Georgia...neither one made you leap up and say, "Fine work, sir! Help yourself to any one of my teenage daughters," as we said to the television image of Steve Spurrier following the 1997 Sugar Bowl. (We actually don't have any, but we'd certainly let him take one of yours.) Just further evidence of the kismet and complexities of putting together the right coaching staff at the right time; this group of former losers and myeahh-ish guys put together a tightrope act that nearly had Alabama in the BCS. Simultaneously, Dennis Franchione flails around at 5-6 in College Station and wonders what world he's entered. No one knows anything.

Meanwhile, while toodling around, we found this offseason gem: a picture of Joe Kines on his bio looking for love in all the wrong places. Try NOT to lick the screen.

Joe Kines' After Seven: a fragrance you'll never forget.