Back in the spotlight

By Michael Hicks

Many people saw this coming, but not this soon.

Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are undefeated midway through the season and ranked second in the nation. The national media is starting to take notice after a beat down of the previously ninth ranked Clemson Tigers and a knockout of #3 Georgia.

Head coach Nick Saban has done many interviews and was the subject of a spotlight on ESPN’s College GameDay. The team has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

All this proves that college football is better when The University of Alabama is relevant and good.

After the abysmal 2006 season and the embarrassing coaching search that followed, many thought the Tide was an afterthought in the football spotlight. It had been six years since the they had competed for the SEC championship. And it was going on its eighth head coach since Bear Bryan retired in 1982.

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Many media members laughed as coach after coach turned down Alabama. Who would want to coach at a program where you can never escape the shadow of Bear Bryant and the championships of the past?

Then Nick Saban came to the Capstone and brought his process with him.

After breaking out with a huge win against Tennessee in his first season, the Tide stumbled to a 7-6 final recorded—the worst loss coming at home to Louisiana Monroe.

Many thought that Alabama was still two or three years away from being a major factor in the national race or even the SEC race.

Coming into this season the goal was just to improve. After bringing in the nations number one recruiting class the future looked bright. Maybe the Tide would upset some people and go 8-4, end the six-game losing streak to Auburn and go to a decent bowl game.

Then in the Georgia Dome with the nation watching the Tide came out and whipped national title contender Clemson 34-10. Suddenly Bama looked ahead of schedule.

Saban knew his team would have expectations soar especially by the sometimes delusional and unrealistic fan base. After three more wins against inferior opponents the magical season was supposed to end at the “Blackout” in Athens.

Georgia was too good had too many offensive weapons. And the Tide was still a year away from really being competitive against the SEC big boys.

The first 30 minutes saw the Tide put on a clinic of how to silence a hostile road crowd. 31-0 at halftime and people were talking national championship for this Tide team.

Alabama fans stumbled out of Sanford Stadium in disbelief of what they just witnessed. Is Alabama really this good? Is Georgia this bad? Can these guys run the table?

The national media thought so by giving Alabama 21-first place votes in the AP poll—moving them up to second in the nation.

After a wake up call against Kentucky and watching what happened to USC and Florida, fans now see how easy it is to slip in today’s college football world. Saban has proved to be a master so far at managing this team, giving them praise when they need it and taking them down a notch so they don’t get high on themselves.

He knows how easy it would be for this team to let up and bask in what they have achieved so far.

Still there are not many people left who doubt Alabama as a national contender. ESPN’s Brad Edwards said “It would take a complete collapse for Alabama not to be playing in a BCS bowl.”

The target on the Tide grows every Saturday. Teams will be bringing there “A” game when they play the Tide.

Whether this dream season ends January 8 in Miami or not Saban has brought Alabama football back to the national spotlight and I have a feeling they are here to stay.


Add Yours
  1. 1

    I don’t know about this year, but they have already made a statement about the future. Next year there will be 21 seniors, a bunch of talented Juniors, and a lot of talented freshmen will be experienced Sophomores and redshirt freshmen. Another great recruiting class will come from the exposure this year. It is only getting started this year. Bama should be good for the next few years, possibly beating LSU out of contention for the SEC West for awhile.

  2. 2

    I agree Brando, this year features the fewest amount of seniors on our squad in a long while. And the TRUE freshmen are showing a lot of potential right now.

    That’s a positive sign for the future, guys!

  3. 5

    DON’T be so harsh ball;;i know it”s been a rough48 hours and its only going to get worse for you.but just think about who the next head coach might be and give them a call///i’m sure they will listen.6 0 BABY.ROLLLLLLLLLL …TIDEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  4. 7

    Ballplay: Man, you sure do have your hopes up on a crappy team. I mean, when Bama was bad, I would say, dang, Auburn is gonna whip us this year, I hope they can get it right before then. But Bama is not a bad team this year. I don’t know if you have watched, but Auburn looks pitiful compared to Bama this year. And it really looks like Auburn has not improved week to week, but actually has gotten worse. Can Auburn make up the difference in a few short weeks? Compared to a Bama team that has been dominant each week? Even in the last game, they never trailed, it was 17-7 with less than 2 minutes left. Had a bad day and still won. Bama has been averaging 14 points in the first quarter on everyone they played this year. If Bama gets 14 on Auburn early, Auburn won’t come back. You do know that don’t you?

  5. 8
    Ballplay Indian.

    Our offense sucks. thats true. But would you argue about our defense ? I said this isnt the year all along. I say next year, And Im sticking to it. Much like 05 bama is this years team. No offensive chemistry. Just defense.

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