Capstone Saturdays: AU’s Secret Plan

key to victory
Editorial Cartoon: AU’s Secret Plan
I actually talked to a lost soul today, clad in orange and blue, who said Bama wouldn’t win Friday because they haven’t been in a hostile stadium this season.  Forget that 90% of this team played in Death Valley’s version of Armageddon last year, not to mention Knoxville and Athens. They’ve had more gimmick jerseys and ______ (pick your color) “out” nights employed against them than any team in the nation. They’ve played in two consecutive Chick-fil-A kick-off games, simulating absolutely crazy bowl atmospheres about as closely as possible. They played in the real National Championship game last season, against Florida. This year they faced off against a team in Oxford, circling their wagons in the SEC West’s version of the Battle for the Alamo. They’ve gotten everybody’s best every time they’ve gone out.

And what’s been the result? Domination. With the exception of Tennessee, who executed a nearly perfect game plan opposite Alabama’s worst game of the season, no one has even come close.

If you’re in the camp that thinks a life-sized bobble head called Aubie can make the difference…or a buzzard flying down to get a dead mouse on the fifty yard line…or a neat-o Tiger walk…or dipsy doo passes…or a loud stadium…will be a detriment to this team on Black Friday, bless your heart.

Alabama is coached…no, programmed…by Nick Saban, who gave up blood-filled veins long ago in exchange for ice water. This isn’t Franchione phoning it in. There aren’t any Tre what’s-his-names coming to your rescue. A shell-shocked Bill Curry isn’t leading the Tide from the tunnel. This ain’t 1989.

Twenty years and (finally) some competent administrative decisions later, it’s Nick Freaking Saban, leading a team designed to beat you down for four quarters, slowly peeling back one layer at a time until all the world sees that you don’t belong on the same field with them. As you leave the stadium or turn off your TV’s late Friday afternoon, there will be no doubt that the rowdy crowd did little more than irritate the man who said himself on the sidelines last year that he hates those “*#&@&!”. A team that’s been programmed to finish will do so. What Utah did to Alabama (and that single-celled Chizik and Malzahn no-doubt will try to do) was solved by Saban and crew by the time he took the post-game podium. There will be no surprises that they haven’t seen, anticipated and game planned for throughout this season. And all the “36-0” scores painted on weight room walls won’t make a bit of difference. In fact, it’ll only serve as a reminder of the chasm that exists between Auburn and Tuscaloosa. This game means much to Nick Saban, and he fully understands the impact it has on his program. Don’t bet on it getting anything less than a championship game-type preparation from one of the greatest active coaches in modern day college football.

I still believe the game will be fairly close in the first quarter and a half, with Bama nursing a less than touchdown lead at halftime. But the second half will follow the same script so many others have this season. Auburn’s D is terrible, and we will run at will in the late 3rd and 4th quarters. Look for Richardson to have a big game while Ingram pads his stats down the stretch.

In closing, how sad are you, and how sad is your program, when you honestly believe crowd noise alone will circumvent top talent, superior coaching, and team chemistry, and a real defense that knows what to do with the dipsy-doo?  

Come, Black Friday, come……come, Black Friday, come….come, Black Friday, come…