A new feature here that will most likely meet the same fate as the Classic Conversation, Looking for a Midweek Pulse and several other of my ideas that ultimately bit the dust because of general apathy and sloth, but I like this idea so I’ll give it a try. Ideally, this would appear each Wednesday (being that today is Thursday we’re already off to a good start) to give you something to digest as you eagerly (perhaps a loose interpretation of the word, no?) await Friday’s preview of the weekend SEC games.
Anyway, the idea here is that if the Belly of the Beast had a call-in show, this is what it would be like. And although I tend to focus mostly on what goes on around the SEC, I take calls covering all schools and conferences. That is, if I had a telephone set up, which I don’t, an ability to broadcast said phone calls (nope) and people actually called, which they wouldn’t. On to our first caller…
Norm from Broken Arrow, OK: Are the Sooners totally screwed?
Gray: Yes Norm, they are. The teams you’d normally steamroll, Miami, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma State, are suddenly not automatic wins. In fact, I’d be a little worried about Tulsa this weekend. Good offense, not great defense, but not awful. Sounds a little like BYU doesn’t it? And why did you get your hopes up for this season when you knew your offensive line was totally new? Had Bradford survived the BYU game, the line would have eventually bitten you square in the ass.
Gavin from Provo, UT: What are BYU’s chances this weekend?
Gray: I’d say strong to quite strong. Look, FSU’s pass defense is awful. Awful. In fact, their defense in general may not be very good. They love to keep blitzing and play very aggressive even when they don’t have the players to play that type of defense. Hence giving up 30-something points to Miami. Yes, Florida State will be faster and have more athletes than currently live in the entire state of Utah (20% of which play for the Jazz), but BYU showed they could play with that type of athleticism when they beat Oklahoma. Plus, the Cougars are fielding a team made up of 24 to 35 year olds, which will give them a physical and mental advantage.
Brent from Columbus, OH: Why?!?!? The pain!!! It’s a deep burn!!! I’ve burned all of my Walmart jerseys and even my precious Starter jacket!!! Help!!!
Gray: I guess that’s an actual question so I’ll take a shot. First, get used to it, or stop playing teams that reside outside of the stretch of land from Minnesota to Pennsylvania. Second, start questioning your head coach. I mentioned it in brief fashion here, but Chris at smartfootball.com breaks it down in far greater (and better) details here. Jim Tressell specializes in being spectacularly outcoached. And finally, petition national media members to stop ranking you so high in preseason polls. That way, when you lose a game you should win or are demolished by a far superior team, the pain will be more of a dull ache.
Bobby Dan from Alabama: Hello? Hello?
Gray: Yes, go ahead.
Bobby Dan: Yeah, uh, you was talkin’ to the feller from Oklahoma about the offensive line and I had a question.
Gray: Okay, what is your question?
Bobby Dan: My question is, so, if Oklahoma’s line is new and that got that quarterback hurt, what does this mean for Alabama’s offensive line? Thanks, and I’ll just hang up and listen.
Gray: Okay, sure. Thanks, Bobby Dan. And let me be the first to congratulate you on being the first Alabama fan to ever question that something might be wrong with the Crimson Tide. I’ve never heard that before. As for your question, I’d be a little worried about three of the five spots being filled by guys who didn’t play last year. I’m not saying they’re going to make a colossal mistake and that lead to your quarterback being injured, but new offensive lines are not good things to have when conference play starts.
Ricky from Alabama: HORSESHIT!!!
Gray: Ah, Ricky. I can’t wait to see video of you after a game in which Alabama loses. I’ll probably watch it at least 25 times.
A couple more and we’ll mercifully wrap this up…
Larry from Muscle Shoals, AL: Yeah, couldn’t you say the same thing about Ole Miss’ offensive line?
Gray: Indeed you can, Larry. While not overly impressive in the Memphis game, they didn’t make any killer mistakes, but it’s also Memphis. What makes me a little less worried about Ole Miss’ line is that Daverin Geralds, the center, returns after a full season at the position in which he was outstanding down the stretch last year. He’s responsible for the offensive line and knows what he’s doing, plus has a little more experience around him than what Alabama has. Now, the two new linemen, the left tackle and right guard (I’d name names here but nobody would know who the hell I was talking about) could be completely overwhelmed against South Carolina and blow this theory to hell. We’ll talk next Friday after we see what happens.
Lou from Bristol, CT: My friend Beano and I are having a kegger at the house on Saturday. All are welcome, but if you want liquor it’s on you. And don’t tell Mark May.
Gray: Lou, what happened to your lisp?
Lou: Ha! You think I really talk like sthissss? It’s all made up. The more absurd I sound, the more people watch our show and the closer I get back to coaching. I tell ya….wait….Beano, for the love of all things holy put your shirt back on. And cover up that gobbler you call a neck.
Gray: Alright, Lou, we’ve got to run. Until next time.