Bitter pill just what the doctor ordered?

Okay, reality check from the weekend: Losing sucks.

Saturday’s drubbing at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks was a bitter pill to swallow for a team that hasn’t experienced a loss in the regular season since W. was still in office.

As Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in his post-game presser, Alabama didn’t lose; they were beaten. USCe outplayed them, was more physical and executed a well-planned game plan, and yet Alabama still had multiple opportunities to take control of the game in the fourth quarter.

The loss hurts, but the season is far from lost. Here’s why:

1. We needed to lose.
Quite frankly, Alabama has been playing with a bull’s eye on its back for two years. With every win the pressure grew for this team with tons of new faces in key leadership roles. Carrying the No. 1 distinction against a quality opponent in their house takes an already difficult environment into a crazed frenzy.

Though many opponents may have felt differently, Alabama wasn’t going to take an unbeaten streak into Nick Saban’s retirement. A loss was coming sooner or later, and according to most pundits before the season, we’re right on schedule.

This team had lost its edge. But now humbled, if the Tide is truly who most think they are, they’ll play the rest of the season with the same pissed-off aggression that made Tim Tebow cry in the Georgia Dome.

2. If we were going to pick a game to lose, this was the one.
Lose to Arkansas and we’re playing from behind against a quality SEC West opponent for the rest of the season. Our chances of making it to Atlanta would be difficult to say the least. The Hogs would have to lose twice while we finished unscathed, and there aren’t two other teams that will beat them this season.

Lose to Florida and Meyer regains the edge he had established over Alabama, though being from the SEC East it wouldn’t have been cataclysmic. We just wouldn’t get another shot at the Gators until 2011.

But lose to South Carolina and we have something to play for. We have a goal. We have a golden carrot: Do everything we need to do and in eight weeks we get another shot at the team that embarrassed us.

Ask Urban Meyer what it’s like to face Nick Saban the next time when he was out-coached in the previous meeting.

3. All of the season’s goals are still in play
Dating back to 1999, other than last year’s Alabama team, only one other team has won the SEC by going undefeated in league play. In fact, three times in that span the team that won the SEC lost two or more conference games.

Here’s the complete list:
2009 – Alabama 14-0
2008 – Florida 13-1 (Ole Miss)
2007 – LSU 12-2 (Arky & UK)
2006 – Florida 12-1 (Auburn)
2005 – Georgia 10-3 (Florida, Auburn, WV)
2004 – Auburn 13-0
2003 – LSU 13-1 (Florida)
2002 – Georgia 13-1 (Florida)
2001 – LSU 10-3 (Tennessee, Florida, Ole Miss)
2000 – Florida 10-3 (Missy St., FSU, Miami)
1999 – Alabama 10-3 (LaTech, UT, Michigan)

And just for grins, here’s the list of National Champs dating back to 1999:

2009 – Alabama 14-0
2008 – Florida 13-1
2007 – LSU 12-2
2006 – Florida 13-1
2005 – Texas 13-0
2004 – USC 13-0
2003 – LSU 13-1 (UF) / USC 12-1 (Cal)
2002 – Ohio State 14-0
2001 – Miami 12-0
2000 – Oklahoma 13-0
1999 – Florida State 12-0

Now, today the National Championship is decidedly more difficult to attain than it was last Friday, but if USCe can take just one loss into Atlanta, the SEC Championship Game can become the catalyst it has been in recent years into the big game.

4. There’s a lot of football left to be played.
Of the three contenders in the SEC West, here’s the gauntlet:

Alabama
The Tide should roll the next two weeks against Ole Miss at home and UcheaT on the road, though I don’t expect that one to come easy. Bama then enjoys a well-needed week off before heading to Baton Rouge. That game should be a blood-bath, but if Bama can muster any kind of offense it is winnable.

Bama then has Mississipi State (again, they don’t deserve the second P) who is playing well of late, but has to come to our house. Then they have the fighting Bill Currys and then Auburn, again at our place. Beating us in Bryant-Denny has become a different story since Saban’s gotten things like he likes them in Tuscaloosa.

Bama has the best team but the hardest road, period. Six teams with off weeks before them, I don’t care how sick you are of hearing it, is just incredible.

LSU
This Saturday, LSU gets the equivalent of a week off at home against McNeese State before heading to Abarn. They then get a real week off before facing Bama before capping their season against La.Monroe and Ole Miss at home and the Hogs in Fayetteville. There are two losses in play for them before 2010 is complete. But we need them to keep winning so the Hat has to stay.

The Tigers should enter their game with Bama undefeated, though disarray on the sidelines coupled with delusional frenzy in Jordan-Hare on October 23rd will play into Abarn’s favor.

Abarn
The reason Abarn is 3-0 in the league is because their road games so far have come against Missy State and Kentucky…a pathetic team Florida destroyed and Ole Miss beat, and yet the tiggers had to kick a game winner with no time to get out of Lexington. Abarn owns an impressive win over USCe, I’ll offer that. But, getting up for a big game in your own stadium in front of your own crowd is far different than an opponent getting up for you on the road, with Game Day in town, while you’re the defending SEC and National Champion and current number one team in the land.

The tiggers are traditionally a team of hype, smoke, mirrors and emotion, and if the Hogs take them down this Saturday, look for the air to come out of the orange and blue balloon. AU played a fantastic game against USCe, but can they replicate that performance against Bobby Petrino? The man savors every win against Auburn like an ex-girlfriend smooching somebody else in front of her old beau.

Then LSU with “a week off” comes a’callin’, amazingly to Jordan-Hare (have you ever seen a team handed more big games at home than Abarn this year?). The game will pit the two luckiest teams in the SEC against one another. Auburn later faces Ole Miss, UT-Chattanooga (wow) and Georgia before taking their medicine in Bryant-Denny.

The season took a wrong turn in Columbia, but we can still “get there from here.” Where we once totally controlled our destiny to Glendale, we still do to get to Atlanta. The bigger question, however, is was last Saturday’s bitter pill a dose of reality or just what the doctor ordered?

(Follow me on Twitter at ITK4BAMA for capstonereport.com news, commentary and smack.)

34 Comments

Add Yours
  1. 1
    BPI

    ITK….It’s good to see you are finally crawling out from under your rock to take your medicine.

    You “needed to lose” ? Really ? I personally would rather win…But wait……We are winning. As a matter of fact, we beat the team that handed Bama their rectums in Columbia on Saturday…..And (this is what is best) 5-19 Chizik is ranked ahead of world beater Alabama……How is this possible ? After this weekends Arkansas win, we will be in the top five.

    Now all the chest beating big mouth bammers that predicted nothing but failure since The Saban arrived in T-town can sit down , shut up, and take it like men.

  2. 2
    marty hartsell

    why use the “cute” words when talking about other teams? UcheaT, with alabama you have more cheating in the past. Alabama great team great school and you belittle Alabama writing like an 8th grader.

  3. 3
    ITK

    BP did you just skip down to comment or did you even read the article? Losing hurts. Can’t imagine how you dealt with doing this FIVE TIMES last season and yet accepted the parade AU threw for itself after a 7-5 ’09.

  4. 4
    Crimsonite

    Did I just read where a certain Barner was stupid enough to use comparative scores and the rankings to conclude that Abarn is better than Bama? Bwaa Haww Haww! What an idiot! We just lost by 14 which could be called a beatdown, and yet we’re right on your undefeated asses in every poll and when the BCS comes out we just might be ahead of you. Somebody doesn’t think too much of your undefeated record. And if you want to go that dumbass comparative score route then lets just finish it on out so that it tells the whole story. Abarn 8 over USCjr. USCjr 14 over Bama. = 22 point difference. Florida 34 over UK. Bama 25 over Florida. Abarn 3 over UK. = 56 point difference. So by Barner figuring, Abarn will lose to Bama 34-0. Cha Ching!!! That score ring a bell – anyone? Bwaa Haww Haww! RTR!

  5. 5
    BamaBrando

    Ahh the Auburn people rolled Toomers corner, and the reaction to Bama’s loss from them you would think Auburn had something to do with the loss. I would take the streak Bama has been on over anything the Barn has got going. You are not in the top 5 BP. See, you are only there in the top 10 with 1 quality win. And you were fortunate to win that game. You barely beat Kentucky, which got destroyed by Florida. Now, Bama could just get better with a loss, and the pressure is now going to be on Auburn to keep up and maintain. It is tough, and Bama has been on a long streak and it caught up with them finally. But don’t think your tiggers done anything great by Bama having a bad game. They will be back, and I think they just may be stronger than they were before the loss.

  6. 6
    BPI

    Do you seriously still consider Penn St. a “quality win” ? I told you they stunk and you almost had a coronary.

    And , Florida is dropping out of the top 25 like the Dow Jones when Obama took office.

    Crimsonite…..Here are two numbers that should explain everything you need to know pal………AU 6-0……UA 5-1…..Deal with it.

  7. 7
    BPI

    And another thing……Who is on the official Heisman watch list now ? Cam that’s who…..It must suck to be wrong as much as you ITK…..Guess who probably will drop off the list ? That’s right , Mark Ingram.

    Any more cute stories about how Chizik shouldn’t mention Vince Young or Dante Culpepper in the same sentence as Cam ?

  8. 8
    BamaBrando

    Do you consider Kentucky a quality win? I mean, Auburn is hardly dominating anyone the way Bama has done when they are playing their game in the past three years. Lets see how Auburn reacts with the target on their back now.

  9. 9
    BPI

    No ,as a matter of fact I do not. But I do consider SCAR a better test than your team has faced this year, and a quality win…..Oh, wait….That’s right, they beat your team by 2 touchdowns. Correct me if I’m wrong , but I don’t consider that “domination” by any stretch of the imagination.

    It seems that when Bama is playing ANY decent SEC team, they hardly “dominate” any phase of the game (see Arkansas as well). So, I really don’t wee anything to boast about this year, or for that matter, any “quality wins against a “good” opponent.

    Spin away Brandi…..

  10. 10
    BamaBrando

    I said when Bama has been playing their game, which they have for the better part of three years now, they have been dominate. But they have been carrying the target on their back for a bit, and it has been a good stretch. Not many teams have been doing what Bama has been doing. But Auburn, as I have said all along, has a soft schedule. They were fortunate to beat SC and you know it. But Bama is better than they played Saturday too. I think they respond favorably. They can still reach the SEC championship game.

    But your team, on the other hand, has been just getting by week to week, with no real quality wins, except SC. I think a more determined and pissed off Bama team going into the IB with the target on Auburns back is going to make this team hungry again. So, you have been wishing for a Bama loss, you got it. But Auburn is not the team that beat Bama. Lets see how they respond. Bama still will beat Auburn this year.

  11. 11
    ITK

    You don’t “wee” anything to boast about?

    BP, you’re an idiot.

    The only person spinning is you BP as you live out your masturbatory fantasy that AU has a chance on Nov. 26.

    We’ll see this Saturday if Alabama doesn’t have a quality win against a common opponent. But even then it won’t be the same. We beat Arky on their home turf. Abarn, amazingly, will inherit another opportunity in front of their own crowd.

    So if Arky does what many think is the inevitable, that makes our win and your loss that much more impressive.

    Winning over South Carolina at home and winning AT South Carolina are not equal.

    You’ll never see this (or admit it if you do), because your Bama hate Viagra hasn’t worn off yet.

    Don’t worry though, BP. You’ll have your chance to climb in the ring Nov. 26 to try and do what no team has done since 2007.

    Beat us in Bryant-Denny.

    Come Black Friday, come…

  12. 12
    julio

    ITK, despite all your comments about 5-19 and how the great Saban would destroy Chizik, know this: In two short years Chizik is matching if not outrecruiting Saban, is undefeated while soundly defeating a team that crushed bama, and is ranked higher in both polls. Where’s all this humiliation and gloom that you laughingly guaranteed?

    It’s ok, ITK. I’d be terrified too if my chief rival had a qb that was 6-6, 250, a leading candidate for the Heisman, and had been absoultely unstoppable through the entire first half of the season.

  13. 13
    THE BAMA TRUTH

    4 TURNOVERS IN THE 4TH QUARTER DIDNT HELP AWBARN WITH SC? THEY WERENT TAKE AWAYS EITHER THEY WERE GIVE AWAYS BUT YEA I THINK WE WILL LOSE 2 IR 3 MORE MYSELF BUT ITS NOT BECAUSE AWABARN IS SO GOOD ITS CUZ BAMA IS THAT BAD!

  14. 14
    ITK

    Brando, quit trying to explain this to BPIdiot.

    Abarn can’t understand the weight of carrying the target for the better part of 2 1/2 years, because Abarn has traditionally been a trap game on their opponents’ schedule, NOT the game everyone circles as the season-breaker.

    And don’t downplay their win over USCe. It was a quality win. But so was ours over Arkansas.

    Alabama played uncharacteristic football last Saturday. But just as there have been zero Super Bowl champs to go undefeated since 1972, this team needed the cold splash of reality that came in Columbia, SC. I’m fairly certain it will be a huge positive in the long run.

    And I’m also certain you’ll see the appropriate response you’d expect from a champion.

  15. 15
    BPI

    I see or “wee” that your spelling fetish is still alive and well…..Anyhow….Who was the last team that beat you in “whooooooo” Bryant Denny ? That would be AUBURN. In fact, your friggin team has only beaten us a shopping one time there …So excuse me if that does’t send chills down my back.

    And to be honost, your team isn’t scaring a whole lot of anyone this year. But keep on dreaming.

  16. 17
    julio

    brandii, you think AU was “fortunate” to beat SC? Yeah , when you outgain a team by over 100 yds, including outrushing them by about 250 yds, it’s really amazing how “fortunate” you’ll be.

  17. 18
    ITK

    Julia, you’re right. “Soundly” defeating USCe at home in front of your home crowd is the same as an entire campus going into a frenzy over GameDay coming to town because the defending national champs and current No. 1 team is coming to your house.

    And did I watch the same AU-USCe game where USCe’s freshman QB drove them down the field to toss the potentially tying TD into the endzone? I need to look up the definition of a “sound defeat”, apparently.

    Look, we played bad, but if you think anyone is running away from your “unstoppable” QB in T-town, you’re as delusional as I’ve always thought you are.

    I thought for sure the likes of Arky State, Missy State, Clempson, and Kentucky would have an answer for Camputer…they are all powers with traditional rich defenses. And the USCe coaching staff lamented over their game with AU, to a man saying they made fundamental mistakes in that game.

    Too bad they won’t get to see Abarn again in Atlanta to avenge their loss. Guess it’ll have to come next year.

  18. 19
    ITK

    Oh, I forgot La.Monroe. Sorry. Of all your host of quality wins, they were the ones I thought would put on a defensive clinic.

  19. 20
    BPI

    The best team so far on both of our schedules resulted in a loss for your team and a win for ours. Spin it any way you like….Penn State sucks donkey balls and now the rest of the world knows it. Florida is average at best. Now the rest of the world knows it. Look, we havent been screaming about our strength of schedule and “marquis wins” like your base has been (see brandi). Bottom line : In your two SEC west games your team has struggled….Your not as good a team as you thought you were…..And I promise you that our Auburn Tigers have zero fear of “Black Friday”……It’s probably more like the other way around….Your team has not seen a defensive front like Auburns yet…They are twice as good as USC up front and McElnerd will probably get saced about 17 times on “Black Friday”….

  20. 21
    BPI

    And man it sure is quiet in here today….No one wants to take their medicine, ITK….Man up Bammers and at least take up for your team.

    Not if, but when we beat Arky on Sat. night….All we have to do is beat LSU….Bama is a given….BWAHAHAHHHAAA !!!!!!!!

  21. 22
    ITK

    How do you know Arkansas isn’t better than South Carolina?

    Florida loses to the barn in 2006 yet wins the National Championship while Auburn plays for nothing in the Cotton Bowl.

    We’re six games in, BPIdiot. Change your underwear and get another grip.

    And you don’t HAVE to be afraid of Black Friday. It’s coming whether you are or not.

  22. 23
    ITK

    AU delusion is a beautiful thing.

    You boot a game winner to beat hapless Kentucky by 3, Bama loses for the first time in two years, and now Black Friday is a given.

    You wonder why we laugh at you.

  23. 24
    BPI

    Whatever ITK….Right now the media who has a vote in the A.P. Top 25 agree that USC is better than Arkansas. If your team is the “standard” by which all others are compared ( I personally think that’s retarded, but you’ve said it a thousand times) and USC sodomizes you in the face and cock-whops you in front of the entire nation, then are they not FREEKIN’ AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, wait….Auburn beat them…What are we to think as Bama fans now ?

  24. 25
    BamaBrando

    Ahh the Auburn people are getting feisty and more bold, because we all know they live to see Bama fail. And all you have had to feel this excited about in two years is SC beating Bama. Hey, no excuses, SC outplayed Bama for sure. But Ya’ll keep on squeaking by. Yall celebrate this Bama loss, savor it. It is likely to be few and far between them, so be sure to enjoy it thoroughly. But the season is far from over, and now Bama can start another winning streak. Maybe, just maybe Auburn can continue and squeak by a few more weeks, and Bama will be the team to derail them and cause mass suicide amongst the Auburn fanbase.

  25. 26
    julio

    ITK, here’s the truth and you know it…AU is foaming at the mouth to get to Nov. 26th. Last year, AU took the best team bama will have in the next 50 years to the wire with an average (at best) qb and medivac unit for a defense that didn’t substitute its linebackers a single play. You think we’re scared now now with Cam Newton and a D that can actually shuffle some players?? No, the truth is that every one of you bammers are nervous as hell about that game including you ITK. You can try to mask it all you want by calling it Black Friday.

  26. 27
    ITK

    Thank you for informing me that I’m scared of November 26th. Twas news to me.

    A team that can’t put away Kentucky or Clemson is enough to keep me up at night.

    And if you think Abarn is the only team foaming at the mouth for Nov. 26th you’re nuts. Hopefully you’ll be able to keep it close so you can award yourselves another trophy. This one ought to be SPECIAL!

    You will not beat us in Bryant-Denny. Period. Don’t let your excitement over the first bright spot you’ve had in 2 1/2 years turn into a wet spot for you.

    You just sound intoxicated and stupid right now. But then, is that really different from usual??

    (I’ll answer: No.)

  27. 28
    BamaBrando

    You can practically hear Julia hyperventilating as she types. No one is scared of Auburn. They have squeaked through every game this season, and you really haven’t played but one good team. I can’t wait until the Iron Bowl. Bama should be mean and all pissed off, and ready to take it to Auburn this year, instead of sleep walking through it like they did last year. Keep telling yourself that Bama didn’t play flat last year in the IB. This year will have special meaning to Bama. Trick plays and onside kicks won’t keep you in it this time.

  28. 29
    julio

    “You will not beat us in Bryant-Denny. Period.”

    ITK, I gotta give you credit. Despite the fact that your AU predictions are constantly and embarassingly inaccurate, you still keep going to the well.

    “Trick plays and onside kicks won’t keep you in it this time.”

    Notwithstanding that your dumba$$ coach is the one calling (and blowing) fake field goals brandii, it isn’t onside kicks that bama needs to worry about. It’s Cam Newton rushing for 150 yds and passing for another 200.

    Bama will lose to LSU and AU and finish the season 9-3. Don’t worry ITK and brandii. I’ll send you my list of all the good places to go in Tampa from our trip to the Outback Bowl last year.

  29. 30
    BPI

    Brandi…What you and ITK see as “playing flat” , the rest of the world sees as physically getting manhandled, getting taken to the woodshed, or getting prison beeotched…. They didn’t just beat you, they took your manhood, and basicly whipped your tails.

    Most of the other bama fans are taking their shut-up juice , and their humble pie…..But you two do not. It wasn’t a fluke. You didn’t play flat. It wasn’t because their mind wasn’t in it. They got a beatdown. One that will be repeated at B.D.S. in November. As I said earlier, their front seven are not nearly as physical as ours….Or for that matter LSU’s.

  30. 32
    Crimsonite

    USCjr is ahead of Arky only because of something known as the Media Frenzy. USCjr beat the omnipotent Bama and they got a frenzied boost in brownie points. I think it’s close to a tossup. They would each be favored in their own stadium. Crow all you want about the rankings, but you barely stayed ahead of a one loss team and when you toss in strength of schedule like Sagarin does we jump way ahead of you. Bottom line – our 5-1 team will be favored in all of it’s remaining games – even against two teams who are still undefeated. Abarn will be the Dog in at least 2 if not 3 of their remaining games. At this point our relative rankings don’t mean shite. RTR!

  31. 33
    Kenneth@AU

    Ok all of you need to grow the hell up. This is FOOTBALL we are talking about…in the long run any productive member of society will not be affected in any way. Football is entertainment and it should be treated as such. But all the rednecks on both fronts take it way too far because their pathetic trailer park lives have no other meaning.

  32. 34
    Kenneth@AU

    Oh yeah…one comment to show my fandom. Because football is entertainment we should note that at least Auburn fans are getting more “net joy” than you bammers because our team is actually interesting to watch.

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