This week's Big Orange Roundtable is brought to you by YMSWWC, home to the longest name in the Big Orange Blogosphere.
1. One former VOL made the brave choice to testify against some Bammers and has to enter witness protection with a whole new identity, but that also gives him 4 more years of eligibility. Which VOL would you pick and why?
Wow, double bonus. Bust a Bammer, play for four more years. I like it.
You really can't go wrong with Albert Haynesworth or John Henderson, but I think I'm going to opt for Jason Witten. I always liked that guy. The lasting image I have of Witten is of him in the south end zone pointing to the sky just before getting buried by his own players because he'd made the game-winning touchdown catch in the 12-hour game against Arkansas several years ago. And since he gets a new identity, let's name him Rolling Boulder or something cool like that. Actually, something cool instead of that.
2. Alabama has been given the death penalty and is forced to leave the SEC, at the same time South Carolina decides it can win a lot more in the Sunbelt conference and bolts the SEC. Two teams have to take their place who would you like to see take their place?
Let's put an end to the Conference Wars once and for all and add Southern Cal and Ohio State. Southern Cal, of course, would have to replace Alabama in the West because frankly, I wouldn't want to play them every year (or ever, really), and we'd put Ohio State in the East because frankly they'd be a breather between games against Florida and Georgia. Zing!
3. What will be the toughest road game to win and why?
Thank you for asking this question, YMSWWC, because it has given me palpitations and made me extraordinarily anxious about this season. At first, I agreed with YMSWWC. Steve Spurrier just seems to have our number. He beat us back in 2005, and in just about every meaningful stat except the score, he pretty much beat us last year as well. We go there this year, and that will be tough.
But then I remembered Georgia, and while I'm not really afraid of Georgia based on the last two years, I'm afraid of them because I'm not, and I'm concerned our team isn't, either. The Dawgs will be motivated, and this year, they'll be even more talented to boot. So they're going to be tough as well.
But then I remembered Auburn. Let's just say I don't have fond memories of the Tigers. Any team that can make Jason Allen look like a poor tackler is frightening. Plus, the game is the week after Florida. Lose at Florida, and it'll be here we go again again . Win at Florida, and it'll feel like we have it made. Neither scenario is good. Auburn's talented and well-coached. They generally play us well, and following Florida isn't a good thing, so I'm saying that'll be the toughest away game this season.
4. Could have the great Coach Fulmer handled himself better at the SEC media event when he was asked about the subpoena instead of asking what subpoena?
Here's my problem with the media's take on this, and the question (I'm not criticizing here, just observing) makes the same mistake: it assumes that Fulmer knew about the subpoena when he said he didn't. I'll concede that the circumstantial evidence suggests that he should have known something was up. Apparently, somebody gave him something when he was getting out of his vehicle. Later, reporters were asking whether he was served a subpoena, and, if he actually thought what he was given earlier was nothing, the questions should have triggered a reconsideration of what had actually happened. So, I guess he should have known at that time that he might have been served.
But, assume for a second that he really thought the thing given to him was nothing. The media then asked him if he'd been served a subpoena. "No, I didn't see anything like that," he responded. If you assume he didn't think anything of it, that's a perfectly plausible response. The problem the media has is how he answered the next question, which was something like, "Did somebody give you something when you got out of your car?" Fulmer responded something like, "No, I didn't see anything."
Now the way that's being characterized by respected members of the media is that it was an outright lie. He said he didn't see anybody give him anything when obviously he had to have seen somebody give him something. But I think that ignores the context of the conversation. The reporters kept asking more and more specific questions, but what they were trying to determine was whether Fulmer had been served, and that was the question Fulmer was answering each and every time. So giving Fulmer the benefit of the doubt, he interpreted the question about whether somebody gave him something when he got out of his car as just another way to ask the question he'd already answered, so he simply answered it again: "I didn't see anything."
I guess he could have said that he had been given something but that he didn't think it was a subpoena or anything important, but whatever. Bottom line: in hindsight, I think that even he would say he could have handled it better, but I don't think the media is being completely fair in its characterization of how it all went down, either.