Week 8 and Losers With Socks has the honors, and let's get right to it:
1. In a perfect world, what time would your UCLA Kick-off start?
Though I appreciate the extra media attention and hype, in a perfect world this game would be played on September 6, the Vols would have an off week before Florida, and I'd have much better odds at actually getting to the UAB game on August 30.
Nonetheless, if it has to be Monday night, I do enjoy the primetime setup, but maybe we could move it back to 7:00 PM (EST). That way when everyone else has to go back to work/school on Tuesday, they're not so tired. The NBA Finals tried to kill me and/or get me fired, whichever came first, with their ridiculous start times, and by the time ESPN is done making money and ad revenue, I'm sure we'll be pushing midnight with an 8:00 PM kick this week.
2. Sometimes doing the right thing is tough. Sometimes we have to choose between bad and worse. I have known snipers that get bothered even though what they did was absolutely right. It seems being a coach would have some similar circumstances. Did you think that Coach Fulmer and staff ever lose any sleep over their choices?
I'm not sure this qualifies as a choice, but I hope Fulmer loses some sleep every time he loses, because God knows I do.
As far as things like disciplinary issues, sure, I think he does/they do. Even if it's just frustration, like the Brent Vinson/Donald Langley suspensions over attendance. Or if it's something more substantial, like Rick Clausen vs. Erik Ainge or the entire careers of LaMarcus Coker and Britton Colquitt. I think Fulmer is invested enough, as a coach and a person, to have some of his nights affected by what happens with the Vols and the ramifications of his decisions as the head ball coach. I wouldn't want a coach who didn't.
3. Nick Saban is going to start 10 freshman against Clemson. Why is he doing this and did he just buy another year of grace from the Red Elephant Club?
I think Saban has another year of grace regardless of how many freshman he plays - if Ron Zook and Coach O got three years in Gainesville and Oxford, Saban's going to get two free passes before they really start counting next year.
It's still surprising to go back and remember how many underclassmen were significant contributors on that 2003 LSU National Championship team. He's not afraid to put those guys out there. Now, if Julio Jones gets decked going across the middle, maybe it's the best thing that ever happened to him in the very first game. Or maybe he's not ready and gets put down for the count. Seriously, no harm being wished, but freshmen are going to make freshmen mistakes. Eric Berry mistimed a pass against Florida he should've had that turned into a Gator touchdown. If Eric Berry can make mistakes, we all can.
Is it totally farfetched to think that some/all of these freshmen are simply the true best player at the position for the Tide? Bama was 7-6 last year and gets some of that back - but can these freshmen really just step right in and be better right away?
See, I don't buy that. I don't think Saban concedes games, but I do know for sure that it's far, far, far better to lose to Clemson than it is to lose an SEC game. And then you've got Tulane and Western Kentucky before you go play an Arkansas team you'll be favored against. I think the idea here is to get 'em ready for the meat and potatoes SEC portion that starts at Georgia on Sept. 27. If these kids are as good as advertised, they'll grow up faster by playing faster. So I don't think he's throwing in the 2008 towel...even if it looks like he's throwing in the Clemson towel.
4. Critique Lou Holtz as a ESPN “analyst”. Irish and Cock Homer or scripted live rassler?
What I want to know is how some of these other guys on set make it through the segment with a straight face when he picks Notre Dame to win ten games and marvels at South Carolina's talent.
I don't think Holtz is scripted. I don't think he's professional either - and those "Lou's Pep Talks" or whatever they showed last year mean it's bathroom break time for me.
Still, Lou is entertaining. From his ridiculous, unashamed homerism to his hilarious "angry old man" reactions when Mark May disagrees with something he says. I've been worried for the last two years that they're going to cut to Rece Davis or to a commercial after one of those exchanges, and we're going to come back with Mark May bleeding on the floor and Holtz sitting there calmly, rocking in his chair. He's the type of guy I worry about shooting up post offices, because really...he's crazy. There's nothing I couldn't imagine him doing...or saying. Which is why he's entertaining. Maybe he's just ESPN2 entertaining though, maybe they should back off a little bit...
Check out the other responses this week from:
- Losers With Socks (host)
- Third Saturday in Blogtober