#2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Tennessee Volunteers: Brutally Honest Game Preview


You can argue that any of these three teams (LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners and Alabama Crimson Tide) are the true kings of college football. Each of them have a legit case to be #1. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, Wisconsin Badgers and Boise State Broncos belong in the discussion too. Don’t forget about the Stanford Cardinal either.

My choice in the preseason remains the same today- ‘Bama. They have the most pure talent of anyone, and that is an NFL defense they have. The Tide could probably do a much better job than the New England Patriots in opponents pass yards per game. You could just say I have a man-crush on this entire team.

If that’s possible. I think it is.

tennessee volunteer cheerleaders

Tennessee Volunteers Analysis:

The Vols, 0-3 in the SEC, 3-3 overall, have their work cut out for them against the 7-0 Tide. Their rushing game is terrible, ranked just 114th in the nation. Tauren Poole is a pedestrian back, averaging over four yards a carry, with under 400 yards on the season.

Their defense is pretty good, especially against the pass. Where they’re ranked 28th nationally.

QB Tyler Bray was looking very impressive; until he broke his thumb late in the fourth quarter of the 20-12 loss to Georgia. Bray’s injury will sideline for him at least six-weeks giving Matt Simms another chance.

The Volunteers really missed Bray’s services as he was killing it with a strong sophomore season (1,579 yards, 14 TDs, 2 INTs). Bray could return prior to the team’s season finale against Kentucky. Simms was 6 of 20 for 128 yards and two interceptions versus LSU last week. The Vols are in serious jeopardy of making a bowl.

Alabama Crimson Tide Analysis:

The Tide defense has at least three, probably four guys who will end up in the first two rounds of next April’s draft: Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont’a Hightower (it’s pronounced “Dante” as in the Inferno- even though the spelling might want to prompt you to start signing “Dont’a wish your girlfriend was hot like me”)

Nick Saban talked about the confidence Robert Lester and Dre Kirkpatrick got after last year’s game against Arkansas, and how that

More on all those guys here.

AJ McCarron has settled nicely into the QB role. (67% passing, 1,380 yards, 8 YPA, 9 TD, 2 INT)

And Trent Richardson’s NFL draft stock could be even higher than predecessor Mark Ingram, who won the Heisman. Richardson also talked about the influence Ingram has had on his career.

“He’ll always have a big role in my life. I try to follow in his footsteps, he’s one of the best running backs I’ve ever seen come through the collegiate level and play the game. He helped me out a lot with my vision, he had great vision. He could stop on a dime and cut real fast, that’s one thing I tried to pick up from him,” Richardson said.

Many runners have influenced Richardson, including Reggie Bush and the Vikings Adrian Peterson.

Richardson is frequently compared to Emmitt Smith, but his physique and running style are more similar to Earl Campbell. He’s also drawn comparisons to Michael Turner the Burner and O.J. Simpson (on the field, not off of it, of course). Richardson has 15 TDs already, and is just 88 yards away from a 1,000 yard season. He’s averaging just under 7 ypc. Watch this ridiculous 76-yard TD run.

To learn more about Richardson go here

And then there’s Eddie Lacy, who has over 400 yards rushing on almost 8 ypc. Marquis Maze is the leader in the receiving corps, 34 catches for 376 yards.

Prediction to be taken with an entire truckload of salt, not a grain of salt: Bama 48, Tennessee 7 (2010-11 prediction record 30-14)

No surprise I’m picking Bama to “roll on to victory, hit your stride. Your Dixie’s football pride, Crimson Tide.” But why does the fight song reference acrimony for Georgia and Georgia Tech? The Jackets aren’t eve in conference. Why not Auburn and Florida?

In week two, I predicted a Tide game two weeks ago, where I said Alabama 28, Penn State 9. The actual outcome was 27-11. NOT BAD! Later I said Bama 31, Arkansas 21 when doing BHGP for that game. It wasn’t even that close as you know, as the Tide won 38-14.

The only mystery here is: do the Tide keep everyone healthy for their regular season BcS title game tilt with LSU? They have a bye week on the 29th, so this is their last tune-up.   This won will be decided by halftime.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He’s appeared on live radio all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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