Thoughts on the win and what is ahead

By Finebammer
Guest Columnist

Editor’s note: He sent this early today, but I was having some email issues and I’m just now getting it posted.
We won.

No major injuries. (to my knowledge)

Alabama 17, Kentucky 14.

That’s about all the good that can be gleaned from Saturday’s win in Tuscaloosa. Coach Saban said it best in his post-game interview: “It should have been 24 – 0 at the half. That would have changed everything”. Talk about stating the obvious!

It’s important to note that one of the characteristics of a young team is emotional highs and lows. Coach Gene Stallings was a master at keeping his teams on an even keel, never getting too high after a win, too low after a loss. He emphasized a business-like attitude. Ditto Coach Saban. But was anyone listening?

Starting immediately after the big win over #3 Georgia he started preaching focus. The huge win over the nationally ranked Bulldogs would be meaningless if they lost to Kentucky before a nationally televised audience and home standing crowd. One had to look no further than the play of John Parker Wilson to see his point.

Wilson looked like Dan Marino last week. He played like Dan Rather Saturday. And he’s a senior. Over throwing. Under throwing. It was clear Georgia was still on his mind. He couldn’t have been anymore off target than Barney Frank at the Playboy mansion.

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What was on the minds of the officials is anyone’s guess. But what is clear is it was another horribly officiated Southeastern Conference game highlighted by an inexplicable offensive pass interference call on freshman receiver Julio Jones.

The Buffalo Wildwings restaurant chain currently is running an amusing television ad featuring a zebra sticking his head in the sideline replay camera boot and asking the crowd at Wildwings if they’re ready to go home. After a moment of thought the patrons respond in the negative. Afterwards an official is seen tripping an open player running down the field for a presumed game-ending touchdown. I can’t help but believe this commercial was inspired by SEC officiating.

The SEC is supposedly the premier college football conference in the country. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could match that with consistently and appropriately competent officiating??

But today the ‘Bama Nation turns it’s weary eyes to the polls. Alabama came into yesterday’s game ranked #2 in the AP and #4 in the USA Today/Coaches poll. After the win over Georgia, Tide fans dared dream of BCS bowl games. As the first BCS poll races toward us, will the lackluster performance drop the Tide from the top five? Is Alabama a legitimate top 5 team?

#1 Oklahoma has beaten Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Washington, Baylor and barely legal #24 Texas Christian. Their combined records are 12 – 15.

#2 LSU? Appalachian St., North Texas, Auburn, Mississippi State. Combined record: 8 – 13.

#3. Mizzou. #20 Illinois, Southeastern Missouri State, Nevada, Buffalo, and Nebraska. 13 – 13.

#4 Alabama. #9 Clemson, Tulane, Western Kentucky, Arkansas, #3 Georgia and Kentucky. Pay close attention. You’re looking at the ONLY top five team whose opponents combine for a winning record. 17 – 14.

#5 Texas. Florida Atlantic, Texas-El Paso, Arkansas, Rice and Colorado. Combined? 11 – 16.

Now some will argue (legitimately) that statistics can be twisted to prove anything. But certainly my argument has more basis in fact than sports writers with their regional biases, college sports information directors (who are for the most part the real voters in the coach’s polls) and so-called media “experts” with their agendas.

Alabama was also the ONLY top 5 team on Saturday, Oct. 4Th, to play an undefeated opponent.

Despite Saturday’s big blue speed bump, not only should the Tide not fall in the polls, they should still be given legitimate consideration for number one.

I’d buy stock in Fannie Mae before I expected that.

Alabama’s out of the spotlight with an off-week this Saturday. And there’s a legitimate “marquee” match-up for the ESPN/ABC sports monopoly to hype this week (after throwing up all over themselves with that Vandy/Auburn snoozer) in Oklahoma v. Texas. #2 LSU also travels to Gainesville to face (as it stands now) the 13th ranked Gators.

Yet what was old is new again for many in Alabama today for once again we have reason to give thanks for our neighbor of a shared border to the west.

Was it not for the Ole Miss upset victory over Florida, Sept. 27th, and it’s subsequent appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the Bermuda Triangle of the sports media, the SI jinx could have easily been the intangible that put Kentucky over the top at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday.

Sincerely, thank God for Mississippi and Roll Tide.

19 Comments

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  1. 1
    BamaFaninNYC

    Very well stated and informative piece of work, finebammer!

    I’ve said it from the beginning that Coach Saban is the closest there is to a coaching reincarnation of Coach Stallings.

    With this lackluster performance over Kentucky, I hope it really taught our boys a huge lesson in not to overlook anyone and to give it your all, no matter what the circumstances may be.

    From my perspective, I still believe we are bound to fall eventually, and I regret saying that. The team as a whole can only contribute so much and I’ve said it from the beginning that I predict Ole Miss to be our upset game of the year. Hopefully the bye week will only benefit us, rather than hurt us.

    We shall see.

  2. 2
    OMNIPRESENT

    I dont really see how you get Bama shoulda been MORE considered for #1
    At least OK did BEAT THE BRAKES off of Baylor and YOUR coach said it it shoulda been 24 zip at the half. AND what about JPW do you think his performance and leadership warranted a number one spot? I DONT What it boils down to is MIZZ and OK played and showed alot better game than BAma did and THATS THAT but Great read FB!

    WPB!!!

  3. 5
    JW

    OMNI kentucky would beat the hell out of baylor to.have you looked at OK schedule? they play texas and thats about the only team they will have problem with. others are a cake walk.put them in SEC AND THEY would lose at least 3 games.as for MIZZ THE same thing besides MIZZ will lose 2 games before season is over with.MIZZ would lose 3 maybe 4 games in SEC.THE SEC is the best in nation in my book every year.very tough league to play in.in other words OK AND MZZ AINT SHIT.ROLL””TIDEEE

  4. 6
    JW

    BALLPLAY does not what the hell he is talking about he is blind in one eye and half in other.bama WILL GO UNDEFEATED while auburn will be lucky to get in bowl this year.as long as tony the tiger is there auburn football will suck period. god bless rolll””tide

  5. 7
    BamaBrando

    Ballplay and Omni are both praying for a Bama loss about now. Now thats being a true Auburn fan right there. You guys can blame Tony Franklin all you want, but you really know whose fault it really is: Nick Sabans.

    If Tubbs wasn’t trying to gain a recruiting edge, Franklin wouldn’t be there to start with.

  6. 8
    OMNIPRESENT

    JW,

    Your right I have always said the SEC is the best conf, and its what I will always
    say BUT when Bama had Tulane they shoulda put up big numbers (more than UGA) BIG numbers is what these voters are looking at. Sorry But I think MIZZ will give the SEC champs a GOOD GAME for the NC!
    and BB you have no clue the ONLY game I REALLY want bama to lose is to POLYTECH baby!!! PERIOD!!!! NOW YOU KNOW…

    WPB!!!

  7. 9
    OMNIPRESENT

    And I bet OK and MIZZ would put up big points and numbers on Tulane and Kentucky… Also BB there are a couple of more coaches at AU that need phys.evals KNOX is the 1st!!!

  8. 12
    BamaBrando

    You know it is true. Saban is in all of ya’lls heads right now. Look at Tubbs change in recruiting tactics since Saban was hired. Why would Tubbs try to drastically change the O? Franklin was considered the Guru on his HS version of the spread. He held clinics, sold books and DVDs. A lot of HS programs in Alabama use it. His clinics were some of the largest in the state. If a lot of kids play the spread in HS, then Auburn becomes an option for them to continue playing in it, so it helps in recruiting. And that was the edge Tubbs was after, and he was willing to change Auburns tradition of power football. Kinda looks like it may have backfired.

  9. 13
    BamaBrando

    oh yeah, I wouldn’t bet on OK or Mizz. You are probably right. But Bama is still 6-0, and their worst game looks better than Auburns best. If they score 14 it will be enough to beat Auburn. You just keep on looking for flaws and justification. You know it is coming. Do you think Auburns offense can do anything to a GOOD team? Heck their defense hasn’t been tested by a good offense yet. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing once that gets exposed? Face it, ya’ll suck this year, all the way around.

  10. 14
    OMNIPRESENT

    BB,

    Do you have ANY post that I said otherwise about us sucking, Im the only AUBBIE in here saying the truth form game one!!!! And if Franklin impressed you …? KEWL but never and NOT me he didnt! Never said. Find a post and I will eat my words BUt im sure Ill go hungry on that one 😉

  11. 16
    BamaBrando

    Well, I give you that Omni. Terry Bowden tried to change Auburn football and that didn’t turn out to well for him. Looks like Tubbs has made the same mistake. What is funny is Alabamas offense this year looks a lot like the old Auburn offense, when they were good.

  12. 18
    BamaBrando

    Omni: Are you serious? You would have to be crazy to bet on Auburn this year. Besides, like I said before, I would hate to have to take your money, ya’ll will need it all when ya’ll have to pay for Tubbys buyout this year.

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