By Shane from Centerpoint
Regardless of the early negative shots taken at the University of Alabama football program by nationally known odds maker, Danny Sheridan, the Crimson Tide stands as good a chance as any team in the nation of having a championship season. This strong statement is based on one phase of Bamaâ€™s game â€“ Nick Sabanâ€™s favorite â€“ the defense.
Sheridan apparently has little respect for coach Nick Saban and his staff. With his prediction of a 7-5 season, he apparently doesnâ€™t have any faith in the players. Is this the same guy who claimed that fired Texas A&M coach, Dennis Franchione couldâ€™ve led Bama to a national championship. Danny, you were joking, right?
Maybe Sheridan knows something I donâ€™t about some bizarre injuries that will occur, or that Alabamaâ€™s defense isnâ€™t going to be one of the nations best by mid-season. By the way Danny, no offensive touchdowns have been scored on the Tide this year. The â€œred-zoneâ€ has been the â€œdead zoneâ€ for Tide opponents. Yes, I know itâ€™s only two games, but no TDâ€™s in eight quarters of football is pretty impressive in this modern era, especially with rules designed to enhance an offenses scoring output.
I know this is an old, worn-out clichÃ©, but I guess guys like Sheridan need to hear it again. Offense brings the fans to the game â€“ defense wins them.
Admittedly, the Crimson Tideâ€™s stop unit is young. However, there are early signs beginning to emerge that indicate Bamaâ€™s ready to play at the aggressive, relentless level required to dominate an offense and severely limit their output.
All the hype before the opener was about the Tide offense and the talented newcomers. In reality, the best football is being played on the other side of the ball.
Alabama defenders have â€œthe lookâ€ in their eye and are playing with the intensity that made former Crimson Tide stop units famous. If the geniuses like Danny Sheridan would take an hour to review the previous two game films, they would have to admit that this group could be special.
Donâ€™t the media gurus know that the longer a defense goes without allowing a score, the more confident they become? Additionally, Saban, Steele, and Smart are all defensive specialists. These three guys can match wits with any offensive staff in the country.
The real horror of former coach Mike Shulaâ€™s tenure at the Capstone is the huge void of talent he left on the defensive side of Alabamaâ€™s football program. Sheridanâ€™s boy Fran didnâ€™t help much either because he loved offense too. Neither coach heavily recruited the best talent for their defenses.
Since Nick Sabanâ€™s arrival the entire â€œoffense firstâ€ philosophy present through Fran, Price and Shula has begun to fade, and the defensive mind-set that great coaches like Bryant and Stallings used to win championships is starting to take shape.
Sheridan mustâ€™ve missed the influx of new talent and the difference that a year makes for the players who are trying to execute Sabanâ€™s complex defense. Nick has a keen eye for spotting fantastic players and preparing them to carry out his pressure style-defensive philosophy. Itâ€™s quickly becoming evident in this second year of the process that most of the players understand Sabanâ€™s system.
Actually, there is a fine line between Sheridanâ€™s picking Alabama to go 7-5, and my assertion in the pre-season that Bama would go 10-3 after a quality bowl victory. I believe that the Crimson Tideâ€™s defense is good enough to make a difference in the 3-victory divide that lies between my assessments of Alabamaâ€™s win-loss record compared to the all-knowing Danny Sheridan. Weâ€™ll see whoâ€™s right in the end.