Well,… college football season is here. As quickly as it has arrived it will be gone just as quick. So savor every down, every play every timeout. Most of the country don’t “get” us fans here in the Deep South. They don’t understand our passion for loving Alabama and hating auburn and visa versa. For me it is fairly simple, they are our pro teams. College football reigns supreme because of the fact we have no pro teams. I don’t do pro ball anyway. I don’t do pro sports really at all anymore. They make too much money. So for me I’ll stick with college,… they make less,… hush, you know its true.
The past few seasons I had been picking winners in each of the weekly SEC games. This year, at least for right now, I’m just going to do Bama games. It will be a little more in-depth with comparing the teams as far as the QB’s, WR’s, offensive and defensive lines etc,… With all of that said,… Here goes nothin’.
Wisconsin provides a tough matchup against a Tide defense that is “supposed” to be very good against the run. I heard the other day someone refer to the front 7 as the front 14/ Meaning there was depth at every position. They were correct. The secondary for Bama should be better (they almost couldn’t be worse) than last year.
Wisconsin is a mostly one dimensional team offensively. They run first and pass only when they have to. They remind me of the blue collar Penn State teams in the 70’s. Tough, gritty, hardnose and smack you in the mouth type of play. This will not be a gimme game for Bama. The Tide will have to play their brand of football for the full 60 minutes.
Lets compare the teams,…
QB,… The Badgers hold an edge here having senior Joel Stave at the helm. You simply cannot underestimate senior leadership. While Bama should be okay in the QB dept with whoever starts,… Bama will have a field general with whoever plays. But you can win championships with a field general,.. ask Greg McElroy.
RB,… Wisconsin holds an edge here too. Their backs are big and run well. This is their bread and butter and they have 3 backs that are able in Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale and freshman Taiwan Deal. Clement will start with Deal and Ogunbowale backing up. Ogunbowale is more of a scatback type runner and Clement and Deal are the bruisers. Derrick Henry, Damien Harris and Kenyan Drake will lead the Tide.
WR,…. Wisconsin has returning starter Alex Erickson coming back and his stats from last year show they do not throw the ball. 55 catches and 3 touchdowns as a starter backs that claim up. They do have a talented group of guys but they just don’t have the speed and quickness. Alabama on the other hand lost one of the best wide receivers they have ever had in Amari Cooper. The Tide receivers are not Cooper great but still far better than the Badgers unit.
Offensive line,…. Both teams replace 3 starters but the depth on Bama’s line is far superior. Wisconsin cannot afford injuries on the line.
Defensive line,…. Graduation took its toll on the Badger line. The replacements,… Arthur Goldberg at end and Conor Sheehy are just too small. Goldberg is 296 but Sheehy is 272. That is small for a nose guard. Bama meanwhile has probably the best front seven they have had. And they have depth. Most of the backups could start elsewhere.
Linebackers,… Losing 2 starters here,… Wisconsin has to find people to step up. They are a young unit with one freshman in the mix while Alabama offers up some veterans at the position,… learning on the job here could be costly for Wisconsin.
Defensive backs,…. This could be a very good group for the Badgers. They return all four of their starters from a year ago. Bama on the other hand has to improve play here if they want to compete with the big boys again. Too many long plays last year is partly what cost them another National Championship.
Special teams,… Rafael Gaglianone is a quality kicker and their punter is a 4 years starter. They have good speed in kick return personnel. Bama counters with Adam Griffith as kicker,.. sore back and all. Punting,… Bama simply has the best in the nation with JK Scott. Returners for Bama will be much like last year,… average.
Wisconsin, with a decent passing game could battle the Tide all night long. Too many uncertainties in leadership (QB) for me to want to sound very positive. I do think Bama will get it done offensively. Like I said earlier, think Greg McElroy. The defense will be special barring injuries and the offensive line will be good. The game is always won in the trenches and Bama’s lines are just too dominant for the Badgers. Bama wins this one 28-6. Roll Tide!