Reviewing 2011

How do you celebrate a national championship season?  Well, if you’re Nick Saban you celebrate by starting to work on the next one: replenishing your staff, recruiting, getting ready for spring practice, etc.

If you’re like me, you celebrate by getting back to work and trying to catch up because you spent the previous 44 days consumed with the holidays and the BCS title game.

Some will get fired up with recruiting, but that’s just not me.  I take a peek here and there, but I really don’t want to spend any emotional energy over what some 18 year old high school senior is going to do or not do.  (Of course, Coach Saban takes away a lot of the worry.)

One thing you don’t do, is tear the season apart looking for what went wrong because, duh, you won a national championship, so something must’ve gone right.  And to be honest, that does makes blogging a bit tougher.

But at some point, we must start looking back to see what went right and wrong and we have to look ahead to see what the next version of our team may look like.  I guess today is that time for me.

Before the 2011 season, I took a look at four areas that I thought were key for the season:

Now these weren’t necessarily areas of weakness – we knew the defense would be good, for example, but I felt the performance of the team in these areas would determine whether it was a good or great season.

The biggest area is missed, obviously, was special teams.  We returned the same punter and same two kickers, so I thought the performance would be on par with 2010. But boy, was I wrong.

But I think the other questions were pretty much spot on.  Tight ends, running backs and each of the defensive position groupings played at least as well as they did in 2010.

So as we turn our attention to 2012, I’ll begin to take a look back at these areas and see how we really did.  If you have any thoughts on these areas, or others, I’d love to read them.

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One thought on “Reviewing 2011

  1. Spot on analysis, as usual. I will say that the expectations for the defense was they were supposed to be one of the best we have seen since 92, and they surpassed expectations…..and it’s not even close. That was the best defense I have ever seen in my lifetime. My lifetime being that I remember 83 (third grade) and beyond. The offense was average at times, but overall, a solid performance. It was to be expected with a new qb. I will maintain that we will miss coach Mac more than we realize. The special teams, well, Shelley was pretty consistent. I will give Foster a pass, since he was trying low percentage shots. With Maze the exception, the receivers underperformed. I really don’t buy the notion that 2012 will be an upgrade in this area. If I had to take either talent or experience, I’d take experience. Hopefully, Carter and company can prove me wrong.

    Looking at 2012 recruiting, I will say this:

    I am a grown man. I have a wife, kids, and a mortgage. I play a partner in a law firm in real life. I say all that to say this; I’m a recruitnik. I understand there is an “ick” factor with some people, but when Julio signed on Signing Day 2007, I acted like we won the National Championship. Recruiting is the life blood of college football. When a kid signs, you know they will be there for 3 to 5 years. Therefore, I follow who we are after and who signs with us.

    Since Saban stepped off the plane, signing day has been an event that I follow all signing day long.

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