Alabama Crimson Tide Football: Grading Alabamas Schedule Going Forward

Oct 3rd, 2011
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Alabama started the season with National Championship dreams and after a strong 5-0 start, these dreams are realistic. They play some of the best defense in college football and have one of the best running games with Trent Richardson.

They have already beaten three ranked teams but still have some tough opponents in their way.

The Crimson Tides next game is against Vanderbilt who may have a tough defense but struggle to score points. It's hard to see the Commodores winning this game although it may be closer than most people think. There is no way Alabama loses to Ole Miss, a team that struggles on both sides of the ball.

Alabama then plays Tennessee who is one denominational on offense. It's hard to beat a great defensive team when you only do one good thing on offense. This will be another win for Alabama.

The Crimson Tide still have to play LSU and Auburn which are the two toughest tasks left for this team. Against LSU it will be a bloodbath and feature two of the top defensive units in the country. The game is in Alabama so you would have to give the nod to Alabama.

The Iron Bowl which is in Auburn this year will also be tough as it always is. But this Tigers team is very young and inexperienced. It's hard to imagine them keeping up for 60 minutes against a team as physical as Alabama is.

Looking at the schedule it's a very good possibility that Alabama could go into the SEC Championship game undefeated with a strong chance to go to the National Championship.

Bleacher Report is your home for college football for the 2011 season. From scores, news, analysis, live blogs and updates on your favorite teams and the big national games every week, keep it on Bleacher Report for the very latest in college football news.

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Portland Trail Blazers: Should Team Use Proposed Amnesty Clause on Brandon Roy?

Oct 3rd, 2011
Begin of Portland Trail Blazers: Should Team Use Proposed Amnesty Clause on Brandon Roy? news

Brandon Roy has spent his entire career so far as a Portland Trail Blazer, and I never imagined seeing him in another team's uniform.  He has done so much to help the Blazers become relevant and competitive again in the past few years.

It is probably still correct to say that even though LaMarcus Aldridge is arguably the best player on the roster at this point in time, Roy is still the heart and soul of the Blazers franchise, and will be for as long as he is on the team.

The proposed amnesty clause is a provision that appears to be coming out of the current talks between NBA owners and players.  The result of using it on a player is that that a player's salary, while still being owed to him by his respective team, would no longer count against a team's salary cap figure.  It would essentially be a do-over for teams that are now burdened down with at least one big contract owed to a player that is no longer producing at a high level, which is hindering their ability to be competitive going forward.

The argument for using the amnesty clause on Brandon Roy is that because of his knees injuries, he is no longer worthy of the near-max contract that he signed with the team a couple of years ago.  It's not really clear if he is even capable of starting at the NBA level anymore, which makes it difficult to justify paying him the nearly $70 million he is owed over the next four seasons.

Of course, the amnesty clause wouldn't void the payment Roy's contract, only his obligation to continue playing for the Blazers; it would only mean that the team would continue to pay him, while not having that figure count towards their team payroll, and he would also be free to sign at any price with any other team.

If the Blazers do use the amnesty clause on Roy, he would almost certainly end up in Chicago or Boston, playing for the veteran's minimum, while providing quality minutes off the bench for a good team that's already competing for an NBA title.

It's hard to say whether he would prefer the more immediate chance to compete for a title over the relationship with the fans and organization that he has built up over the years in Portland.  He didn't seem too happy when his role was reduced at first in last season's playoffs, and it's unclear if he would be willing to accept a reserve role with the team going forward.

Obviously Brandon Roy, when healthy, is one of the best shooting guards in the league.  Some have put forth the idea that maybe he will be able to retool his game, one that wasn't really based on elite athleticism to begin with, to be consistent offensively, even with the limitations his knees now have placed upon his game.

Should the Blazers use the amnesty clause on Brandon Roy?  I say no, because of a couple very good reasons.

Roy is still capable of playing and, one any given night, becoming the best player on the court.  He has the heart of a champion and is a true closer that can take over in the fourth quarter.

Medical procedures always seem to be improving, and despite the grave nature of Roy's condition as far as basketball is concerned, there's a chance that some new procedure could come along which would restore some of what he has lost in the last two years.

It's not likely that the proposed hard salary cap would take effect immediately, meaning it would only be for a year or two that the Blazers would have to worry about Roy's contract impeding their ability to sign other players. 

It would be heartbreaking for Blazers fans to see Roy leave and then shine somewhere else.  It appears that teams would most likely not be able to re-sign the player that they use the clause on, meaning the only way Roy stays on the team is if they don't use the clause on him.

I know that a lot of fans, including a lot of Blazers fans, would argue with me and say that with the money the Blazers would save by moving Roy, they could afford to re-sign other important players and bring in some good free agents, possibly some of those that are let go by other teams.

All that is true, and money is money, but there is something to be said for team, for chemistry and for the way a player is able to connect with a fan base.  Roy is able to electrify the Rose Garden in a way that no other player can right now.  The goal should be to contend for a title, but not at the expense of moving a fan favorite like Roy because of issues that are beyond his control.

I think we should finish this run with Brandon Roy together, and see what he can do going forward.

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