Take a quick glance around the league to see who is beginning preparations for bowl games, who is cleaning up on the recruiting trail, and which new coaches are trying to find their way around campus in the latest batch of SEC links.
After more than two weeks of waiting, the focus can finally return to the football field in Tuscaloosa. Not that it ever really left. But thanks to the Crimson Tide's return from a 16-day layoff, the talk can become less about speculation and more about specifics. Players and coaches will hit the practice field on Tuesday afternoon for the beginning of preparations for the Discover BCS Championship Game. While the focus will remain on the starters, their health and the game plan, bowl practice is also a time for young players to take a step forward and gain notice. Alabama has had no shortage of underclassmen contribute this season and that trend should continue for the final game of the year. Remember Kevin Norwood, then a sophomore, catching a career-high four passes against LSU in last year's title game? What about Christion Jones,
This season, there were eight 1,000-yard rushers in the SEC, which ties for the most in league history. The Alabama duo of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon made history by becoming the first two players in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Lacy has 1,182 yards and Yeldon 1,000 yards. They’re the first two running backs in the SEC to accomplish that feat since Arkansas’ Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in 2007..
There’s a growing sense in some quarters—by which I mean a handful of white, Northern sportswriters—that football has now begun its march into oblivion. Clearly, the critics maintain, the increased knowledge of brain injuries and their impact on player health cannot be ignored. Inevitably, fans and players will move away from this barbaric sport towards more nobler pursuits. The fact that critics have made such predictions for well over a century, without accuracy, should lead the average person to take such doomsday warnings as seriously as the Mayan calendar.