Sunday, January 25, 2009

SEC Power Poll Week 3, how I think the East and West shape up, and some randomness

First off, this week's SEC Power Poll

I believe the East is a 3 team race of Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina. Tennessee is in turmoil as they flip flop on either not playing defense or not putting the ball in the basket. As far as NCAA invitations go, 3 of the 4 teams listed should make the tournament.

The west is a cluster(bad word). Miss State and LSU seem to be the front runners, but look out for Auburn... yes Auburn as they're in the mix as well. Only one from the west makes the tournament. Heck it might be a big fat zero.

Barring a miracle, Mark Gottfried is going to be replaced at the end of this season. We all know that. Who replaces him is up for debate. Another debate is where exactly does Alabama stand in regards to national attention in hoops. I'm going to go through the big 6 conferences and place us where I think we'd be.

ACC: Alabama is on par with Clemson. Clemson is the 6th best job in the ACC. UNC, Duke, Wake, GA Tech, and Maryland rank above us.

Big East: Alabama is about the prestige of Providence right now. Providence IMO is about the 10th best job in the Big East. UConn, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, Pitt, Marquette, and Cincy are more prestigious jobs.

Big 10: Closest comparison... Wisconsin. That's 6th best. I wish we had the consistency of Wisconsin. Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, and Iowa are above us.

Big 12: job profile compares to Missouri. Both schools have some historic success, but nothing "wowing." That would be 5th best in the Big 12. Only Kansas, Oklahoma, OSU, and Texas are better jobs.

PAC-10: Cal would be the best comparative job... minus a Jason Kidd or Shaeriff Abdul-Rahim (sp?) coming through the Capstone the last 15 years. 5th best. UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, and Washington are better jobs. You can debate either way Stanford and Washington... I give both the benefit due to Stanford's tourney success and Washington being in a great location.

SEC: Historically we're 2nd all-time in the SEC, over the past 15 years we're middle of the pack. That would put us with Vanderbilt. That's 6th. As of now, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas are more prestigious programs.

Why did I go through all of that? I want to temper expectations on who we as a fan base should target for HC. We can hit a "home run" with the next coaching hire, but it won't be because we brought in the Nick Saban of basketball. I HOPE we find a Billy Donovan type gem. We might end up with Stan Heath II or a Ron Jursa. Who knows... what I do know is there are going to be a good amount of HC jobs available and I'm not naive enough to think we'll be #1 on every potential coach's list. I just hope that whoever we hire the fan base rallies around him at least for a couple of years.

Regardless, next season will bring some hope to a fan base that desperately needs it.

Last thing... I hate Tennessee. They have cost me 2 streaks in the Streak for Cash contest on ESPN. First it was losing at home to Gonzaga and now it's Memphis. Thanks Viles... I hope you lose every freaking game the rest of the season!


Anonymous said...

my personal opinion is we must choose from a list of up and coming coaches.

the candidates must be studied. their teams must play fundamentally sound ball.

we're really at the point tennessee was before they hired pearl. we need someone who can breathe some life into the program.

firing gottfried is just a start. the athletic dept. owes us (the longtime fans of the program) a ramped-up commitment.

the days and weeks ahead will show once and for all if they give a rat's ass about us.

MSmilie said...

The interesting thing will be what happens if Alabama somehow wins enough games to make the NIT. At this point, that is the best we can hope for. If last year is any indication, the CBI isn't an option.

However, if Alabama can somehow squeeze out enough victories [I believe they can still win 4 or 5 more games in conference] to receive an NIT bid, will the university allow Gottfried to continue coaching the team before making the change or would they turn down the bid, fire Gottfried and get on with it? And, at this point, does anyone care?

On the one hand, I'm happy because I can sense change around the corner, but I also hate it because we have to wait out another lost season. Also, I don't have great faith that the athletic department will conduct the search for a new coach with any competency.

Anonymous said...

mitch, you said a mouthful in that last paragraph.

i know you and others have gotten pissed at me over my militant attitudes about this situation. well, i'm sorry. i've been playing the role of the second and third and fourth class fan for too damn long.

i'm sick of trying to talk 'bama b'ball to other 'bama fans (and fans of other schools for that matter) and be told 'it's just basketball, who cares??' i want to choke them.

'bama basketball isn't relevant because the athletic dept. chooses for it not to be. every decision they make in relation to basketball bears that out.

promotion of the b'ball program. it ain't football. fans aren't just going to show up. it's a product. your got to compete for the entertainment dollar. (especially in this financial climate)

coleman coliseum. it's not a basketball arena. it limits our homecourt advantage. that dump should have been blasted years ago. i've been advocating exactly that for years. (called paul finebaum's show back in the mid-nineties and got into a huge argument with bob bockrath about exactly that) the "renovation" was a damn afterthought done after upgrades to baseball, tennis, hell, even golf! then it was started right before the season for maximum inconvenience.

decisions made within coleman hurt the program. placement of the student section. our student section used to be near the opposition's bench. there's a famous interview with dale brown about some interaction between he and some students during a game back in the '80's. his whining was both hilarious and pathetic. it was also very effective. it wasn't long after that incident the student section was moved to where it is now.

ask bill ellis over at about the letter he received from the university that told him in a nice way to sit down and shut up during the games. i've been told that at just about every game i've attended over the years by "fans" sitting behind me. i've long since quit being polite. i'll turn and tell them to get off their ass and make some noise.

c. m. newton fought this. wimp fought this. if david hobbs fought it he didn't put up much of a fight. if gottfried put as much effort into this fight as he did into getting his payraises over the last ten years maybe things would be different right now.

blue chip recruits aren't stupid. rashad anderson is a class example. he took one sniff of what gottfried had cooking and left for uconn. in that '04 elite eight game the selfsame anderson dropped 36 pts. on us.

of course, i'm way beyond beating a dead horse here. i'm flailing the greasy spot where the dead horse was with a toothpick that once was a louisville slugger.

i'm tired of being thrown a t-shirt after a three. i've got a closet full of them. i want more. keep the shirts.

throw us up some banners.

if you keep doing what you've always don........well, we all know how that ends. but that's why i started advocating the boycott. nothing else has worked.

that's why i say firing gottfried is just a step. hiring another coach, just another step.

if they don't make fundamental changes in the way we do things down there, we'll get what we've always got.

MSmilie said...

Finebammer: The writers of this blog and the people like me who visit all care about the basketball program. Some of us just express it differently. You have your way and I have mine. No hard feelings about any disagreements in the past.

One thing that stood out to me watching the game on Saturday. Say what you will but there were several times during the course of the game when Alabama's hustle was keeping them in the ballgame. There were several key moments I felt when the crowd should have been on its feet raising the roof off Coleman. Instead there was only a slight rise in crowd noise and not enough people on their feet. I was thinking to myself: "Damnit, people. Get up!" I'm not saying it cost the team the game, but if fans are going to attend the games, the least they can do is be loud when necessary. Otherwise, what's the point of being there?
I'll agree with you that the placement of the student section and the need for a new arena are factors, but it also has a lot to do with the number of fans who sit and merely clap when the team scores a bucket. Obviously the majority of the fanbase can only be passionate about football.

We've got, what, five weeks to go in the season [hard to believe] before the conference tournaments? The writing is on the wall for Gottfried; the only thing that might save him would be a Georgia-like run through the conference tournament. Therefore, I hope the athletic department is putting feelers out there to possible replacements, gauging their interest in the job. If they let this thing run its course, Alabama will end up with a second or third option because I guarantee you other schools are looking to lock down replacements.

I know people love the guy because he had to beg and plead Nick Saban to come to Alabama, but the sooner Mal Moore is let go, retied, whatever, the better off Alabama will be. This guy is an absolute incompetent oaf - a good old boy who retains his standing at Alabama because he was one of "Bear's Boys". The guy has been an absolute disaster for the athletic program. Even the Saban hire came after the guy had repeatedly fumbled the ball on the only program that matters at Alabama. And I understand he wasn't at the game on Saturday. Hopefully ther will be a housecleaning of sorts at Alabama that will include more than Gottfried.

bobbyjack said...

Like everyone else... I'm ready for change... change we need (g).

The strange thing about Tennessee... they fired Jerry Green who took them to the tourney I believe 4 straight years and replaced him with Buzz who I think made the tourney once. There were some issues with Green being a bit "under the table" and having that Shula look about him during the game. Still, they took a step back before 2 steps forward with Pearl.

I just want something new to get excited about... watching this team on offense almost sucks the life out of me.

MSmilie said...

There's a lot of rumors that an announcement concerning Gottfried's future could be made this week. Those of you closer to the homefront: is there any truth to these rumors?

DJC said...

I've heard those rumors, but would be surprised if it's true. I've heard from several people that we are already sending out feelers, and that our next coach will more than likely be a minority. I'm about as far from the "homefront" as one can be right now, so I don't know if any of this is true or not.

My gut feeling is that CMG will announce his "resignation" at the end of the year.

MSmilie said...

Ian Rapoport is reporting that Gottfied is meeting with Mal Moore today "to come to a resolution on his job future, two sources close to the situation told The Birmingham News".

So, do they let him finish the season? At this point, I guess it can't hurt.