Shane: High Tide

By Shane from Centerpoint

There’s a reason why former University of Tennessee Coach Phil Fulmer once wanted to destroy the Alabama football program. The same goes for Auburn, who spent years trying to help the NCAA give Alabama the “death” penalty. Both schools – and even a former SEC Commissioner – dedicated a great deal of time attempting to insure that Alabama would never recover. In the end, their efforts have been wasted as the Crimson Tide was recently crowned the 2009 BCS national champion.

In fact, the bell cow has turned in to a big red elephant. With Nick Saban stacking talent and guiding the ship, Alabama is set to take the “process” to a level unattained since the Tide went back-to-back in 1978-79.

Evidently nobody in the SEC is happy with what has been transpiring in Tuscaloosa over the last two years.

Auburn and Tennessee have wiped the slate clean and hit the re-start button.

Houston Nutt tried to slip out the back door on Ole Miss and head toward the Big 12.

Florida’s Urban Meyer melted under the stress and now can’t decide whether he’s coming or going.

The Georgia coach was forced to fire his longtime assistants and re-tool his program because the Bulldog faithful want to be as good as Alabama.

Mississippi State continues to kill coaching careers while trying to reach for an Alabama tradition that they’ll never obtain – winning.

How long before the Gamecock faithful grow tired of Steve Spurrier’s fielding mediocre teams that get dominated when they play powerhouses like Alabama?

Will the LSU nation send Les Miles packing after the Tigers’ chances to win the SEC West are smashed over the next few years by Saban’s troops?

Arkansas sold its soul to a mercenary named Petrino in a desperate attempt to close the gap with the Crimson Tide. Will he bolt for greener pastures when his team suffers the same fate as it did against Saban this year?

Vanderbilt and Kentucky will just have to enjoy their basketball victories over the Crimson Tide because they will get trampled under foot on the gridiron.

Few teams in the Southeastern conference will be able to remain competitive against the “tradition” of the University of Alabama combined with the “power” of Nick Saban. It’s more than apparent that the two are a perfect match.

Yes, there will be those who claim the SEC is a brutal league and almost impossible to navigate without losing a game. Alabama has done it back-to-back under Saban.

The Tide is just as strong on the road as it is at home. External factors do not seem to affect a Saban–coached team. “Death Valley” and “The Swamp” are just names to Nick Saban.

Can Alabama repeat? It is very likely that it will happen. Next year’s squad won’t have the experience of the 2009 team, but there is more speed and better talent waiting in the wings.

Sure, the Crimson Tide will live with a target on its back. And, yes it will get every opponent’s best game.

However, as his team has shown over the last two seasons, Saban instills a mental edge in them that is relentless and produces flawless, consistent execution, regardless of the circumstance.

One on the most reassuring aspects about why this Alabama football team will remain in championship form is Coach Saban’s refusal to allow his players to become complacent. He constantly reminds them to stay hungry for a win.

How can I be so confident concerning Alabama’s success and their potential to repeat as the 2010 BCS national champion?

It’s not magic or rocket science. Winning is all about hard work in the off-season and the quality of the talent that’s assembled. Nick Saban is a master of both. He has no peer.

The Tide is “high” and should ride victorious through 2010 on a crimson wave – all the way to its 14th national crown.
Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.