Key to the Iron Bowl: Blocking them cats

Iron Bowl 2008 coverage at the Capstone Report is made possible by:

What does Alabama need to do to run the ball on Auburn? Block those cats up front, Saban said.

“Most of the time when you don’t run it good it is because of them cats they got over there that you can’t block,” Saban said. “What makes good defensive football players are guys that are hard to block. When we can block them, we can run it. And when we can’t block them, we can’t run it very well. So it is not just the 8-man front–it is the cats playing it.”

And does Auburn have the cats to stop Alabama?

“The guys we are going to play this week have some pretty good cats up front,” Saban said. “So we are going to have to do a really good job up front and we are going to have to do a good job of being balanced in what we do offensively.”

Big Injury Report
The bye week helped the rehabilitation of Terrence Cody. Saban said the rest helped the big man’s knee.

“He is not favoring his leg,” Saban said. “He is pushing off. He has gotten some of his initial quickness back. He is playing faster and moving better…He has certainly improved each week that he has come back, but I think this time has helped him dramatically.”

A loss to Auburn isn’t the end of the world
A loss to Auburn won’t be the end of the world. Nick Saban said that Wednesday afternoon. Listening to Auburn fans (and some Alabama fans on talk radio) it would seem that a loss would be a disaster signaling the apocalypse. And for fans who live in close proximity to one another, surely it could feel like that. But in the modern world of college football a loss is anything but the end of the world.

Saban deftly reminded the press and fans that Alabama has another game following Auburn. The Crimson Tide will be hitting Atlanta for a chance at the SEC Championship regardless of what happens in Tuscaloosa against Auburn. Look at what happened last year to LSU. The team lost two conference games, but still managed to win the conference and national championship.

The regular season isn’t as important as it used to be. And that is a result of how the BCS works, conference championship games, extended regular seasons and parity.

Rivalries matter, but college football has changed. The regular season just isn’t as special as it once was.

We can pretend it is, but much of major college football (I refuse to call it FBS) already participates in what is tantamount to a playoff system. And it has done what many suggested it would—cheapened games that should be important. Florida’s loss to Ole Miss? Forgotten. Oklahoma’s loss to Texas? All but lost in the mists of time.

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