Aug

22

Bear BryantWith the college season just a couple of weeks away:

The Bear lays out the 4-year plan to incoming freshman. His math is a bit fuzzy but the message about dedication, discipline, teamwork and preparation comes through strong. Anything less than a National Championship just doesn't cut it.

In the 60s Bryant had Namath and Stabler as quarterbacks and the Alabama teams were built on speed, effort and conditioning—with smaller wiry players the norm. With integration occurring in the 70s and the advent of larger, faster and more powerful football players (like those on the Nebraska, Oklahoma and USC teams) Bryant changed his strategy and started recruiting the John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Barry Krauss and Curtis McGriff-type players and adopting a "wishbone-attack" of ground and pound. Although the "wishbone" offense was later modified to allow for more passing plays for Richard Todd and Ozzie Newsome it eventually faded away as an effective offensive formation in the changing cycles of Xs and Os.

Alabama with Heisman Trophy running back, Mark Ingram, has been selected to repeat as National Champions but "2-peats" are rare in recent decades and Auburn, the traditional in-state rival, could be spoiler if the Crimson Tide is not careful. Oddly if Boise State is able to defeat Virginia Tech in their opener (the same opening team that Bama had for their championship season last year) they may have an outside chance at the title given the plethora of returning players they have. Ohio State, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, and several others will have a shot too. Oregon appears to be the most volatile position-wise amongst pollsters.

It is always fun to see the preseason polls and compare them later at season end to see how far off the football prognosticators were.


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