We review the plan for undefeateds around the nation for the rest of the season, and whether they'll they'll limp or roar to the finish line of the regular season. Up next: the TAAAHHHHHDE.
Current aroma: The smell of pulverized stone from the sad houses of the Tide's opponents, which have been reduced to rubble from the pounding of 288 runs for 1,465 yards on the ground; the odor of singed defensive backs who, assuming John Parker Wilson was still the errant fumble-boy of 2007, crept up and found shockingly effective passes thrown through their coverage. The wailing of the wounded who attempted to move the ball on their defense, who treat receivers like so many pinballs speeding toward the paddle.
That which has made them strong: Beef, beef, beef: the strength along both the offensive and defensive lines has been what has allowed Alabama to thrive, and not just in the performance of the marquee and easily cited (Andre Smith, OL; Terrence Cody, DL). They have been superb down the chart--Antoine Caldwell and Brandon Deaderick, to name two worth of mention--and have freed up the skill players on both sides.
Oh, and just for Alabama fans: JULIO JONES JULIO JONES JULIO JONES JULIO JONES.
The agricultural implement best describing their awesomeness right now: A grub hoes. Simple force applied in direct blows translated through iron. A blunt, furrow-breaking hammer.
That which might make them weak: 30 minutes every game colloquially known as the "second half." The margin Alabama has been outscored by during the second half of the last three games is 13-61. To avoid the charge of statistical sophistry, it should be mentioned that Alabama had a substantial lead at the half in each game, thus leading to the slackening intensity in the second half.
Nevertheless, if you're going to beat Alabama...do it after you've lulled them to sleep with Franzia at the tailgate at halftime. They haven't trailed this season yet (Okay, for like two minutes against Ole Miss) so either run the first kickoff back for a TD, or draw up a plan to score 35 points, but only in the second half.
Remaining teams who could plausibly do this: LSU, the 40th ranked offense in the nation and the only team left capable of scoring points and forcing Alabama to wiggle their defense outside of their comfort zone.
That's it. The other teams on the schedule cannot score, and will not, because they are awful and demonstrably so: 106, 107, and 111 in the national rankings in offense, and among the worst in their own offense-deficient conference.
Suggested adjustment to counter innate team weakness: From an actual strategic point of view, test the middle of the defense now that Terrence Cody is out for at least a few weeks. Other than that, we're clueless besides "Um, hey, how about...um...scoring?" Alabama isn't pretty because they squat on the ball most of the time, pound the run, knock the hide off anyone who touches the ball, and aren't afraid to punt.
Aside from "out-executing" them, there's little to do but hunker down with 'em and go. (And don't kick to Javier Arenas, unless you like running 60 yard mass sprints in the middle of the game unnecessarily.)