Nothing fancy, aight!

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By Shane from Centerpoint
Some say the world has become a very difficult, complicated place – a place where complex solutions are required to remain competitive and progressive. If that statement were applied to college football, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban would be considered an “old school” throwback to an era when things were much simpler. His sound approach to fundamentals and “blue collar” work ethic seems to have transferred directly into his team’s personality, resulting in a hard-nosed football team that wins with solid execution and overpowering physicality based on sheer strength and effort.

Football purist should love this guy. There is nothing fancy about the way his team plays the game. Unlike most of the top tier programs that are winning with flashy schemes, Alabama has been very successful with basic concepts, tangibles if you will.

The Tide is a solid blocking and tackling squad, using sound technique to overwhelm their opponents on the line of scrimmage, which is actually the corner stone of every successful football team.

Even the simplest plan can produce victories when basic operational procedures like blocking and tackling schemes are done to perfection.

Nick Saban has instilled a relentless nature in his players. There has yet to be a time this year when Alabama’s opponent appeared to break their will to win. Regardless of the circumstances this team stays focused on the task at hand, never allowing the score or crowd to affect the mission.

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Alabama’s defense tries to damage and demoralize their foe’s weapons, using fair but brutal methods to force them to fold and eventually concede the victory. Defense is one area where Saban likes to use multiple formations to confuse opposing quarterbacks. Since quarterback play directly affects the outcome of a gridiron contest more than any other facet of the game, the Tide defense’s main mission under Saban is to disrupt his rhythm and capitalize on mistakes.

Offensively, Saban likes to use a “smash-mouth”, direct running game to drive home his point, emphasizing ball control, which in turn allows him to use clock management to control the time an opponent has the ball. He also uses the play-action pass to stretch the field after his runners get the defense drawn in. Admittedly, the plan seems simple – until a team tries to stop the process.

One thing is certain – it isn’t hard to plan for a match up against the Crimson Tide from a strategic standpoint. They aren’t going to try to trick you. They will not attempt to out-scheme anybody. They will line up and play the game the same way it was done 40 years ago. By the way, they are very good at it too!

It is a given that Alabama will get every programs best effort. Facing Bama will serve as a chance to show the nation that their team can compete with the best. A victory over the Tide has become worth something once again. If the truth is known, Alabama has always thrived with a target on its back.

The times have changed. The phrase “Bama is back” is valid. Comparisons are now being made to the great 1992 national championship unit. However, there are a few games to win before that topic can be broached, but the Tide appears to be heading in that direction.

Auburn will use a six game winning streak as motivation to try and take down the team they’ve always viewed as a measuring stick for the quality of their program. Florida, who all the pundits have crowned unbeatable, will rely on team speed and complex formations to defeat the Tide. Both realize that Alabama is easy to prepare for from a scheme perspective. The also know by now how difficult it will be to beat them. Recent history reveals that Alabama keeps things simple – they just bring a relentless, consistent winning attitude to the field. They refuse to lose. That’s exactly what the next three opponents should fear the most – aight.