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Friday, January 6, 2012
3-point stance: Brockers vs. Vlachos

By Ivan Maisel

1. LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, who is 6-6, 306, has five inches and 12 pounds on Alabama center William Vlachos. In the Nov. 5 game, Brockers said, “It was funny, at first. I’m like, ‘Dang! He’s so short!’ He’s short but he’s got leverage all the time. I’m 6-6, he’s 6-1, 6-2, and he’s under my pads prett much every play. Sometimes he’s blocking me and I’m looking over him, like, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m getting blocked.’…I’ve just got to get my pads lower. It’s a struggle I’ve (had) playing d-tackle.”

2. Vlachos, on, Brockers: “He’s a great competitor. He’s a great player but he’s really a classy guy, too. I was able to talk to him after the game. I wished him the best. Obviously, I didn’t know I’d be seeing him again.” In the locker room after the 9-6 loss, Vlachos said, Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland “came over to us and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to be back with these guys. It took you a while to process that and let that sink in….We’re fortunate to be in this position.”

3. Scheduling must be an art. It can’t be a science, not judging by what the Pac-12 released Wednesday. Oregon and Stanford each play three home games before students arrive on campus in late September and only one home game in November. The Big 12 can’t put out a schedule because it doesn’t know if West Virginia is coming next season. The SEC has released only its league-game schedule. Realignment is one problem; another, as Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News pointed out, is that for leagues with championship games, 12 games must be squeezed into 13 Saturdays from Labor Day weekend to Thanksgiving. That leaves little wiggle room.