With TAMU looming, Alabama penalized for being good

T hey say perception is reality. That what is believed to be true becomes true in the minds of some whether it is or not, simply on the basis that, well, it’s believed.

With ridiculous talk circulating last week from the lips of Steve Spurrier about how the Tide could beat an NFL team, Alabama faced LSU in Baton Rouge at night. A place where Les Miles was 36-1 in his career as the Tigers’ head man.

Vegas pinned Alabama as an 8.5 point favorite. And everybody but the Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt predicted another runaway win in a season of runaway wins for Alabama.

But instead, what followed was a hard fought, come-from-behind victory in the toughest of environments. A win against a team that had eaten, slept and breathed Alabama football since January 9th…moreso than the Tide’s own players.

The scene was perfect. A bye week to rest and finish preparation. Night time. A good game plan. A quarterback playing out of his shoes.

But in the end, as has been the case eight other times this season, Alabama was too much for its opponent.

If any other team in the land weathered the storm that Alabama stood up under last Saturday night in Baton Rouge, they would be crowned a super power. But instead, the party line from talking heads everywhere is how Alabama is beatable.

Case in point, Alabama has been penalized for looking human, despite the fact that neither Nick Saban nor any of his players ever claimed not to be.

The Tide’s BCS ranking has actually strengthened, but it’s the perception of NFL-like power that has taken the hit. And without doing anything but win in a place where it’s nearly impossible to do it, Alabama’s over-hyped lore has taken a step backward.

This Saturday, Texas A&M comes to town bringing another over-hyped, media creation with it. Johnny Manziel, the Aggie freshman phenom quarterback who has looked spectacular against overmatched opponents will bring his Doug Flutie-like skills to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Johnny Football ran all over Auburn…a feat as hard as kicking a puppy. Johnny Football ran all over Mississippi State, the week after Alabama shredded the Bulldogs’ belief in themselves. The Aggies now own as many SEC wins as Dan Mullen does in his time at Missy State.

But if Alabama doesn’t win by six touchdowns, there is something wrong in Tuscaloosa. Or at least that’s what I predict the company line will be.

It’s no wonder Nick Saban hates the media. They create expectations for the fans, most of which can’t be met. They ask stupid questions, trying to bait coaches into drawing comparisons between past and present players, ultimately creating loft perceptions that the kid can never reach.

And likewise, they do the same for entire teams.

Bama stood up in Baton Rouge with a 21-0 sized target on its back and shut the Tigers up, in their house, for a second game in a row. But because the Tide didn’t run the No. 5 LSU Tigers out of their own stadium like no one else has been able to do in recent memory, there’s something wrong in Tuscaloosa.

Evidently winning isn’t enough anymore, nor is a last minute, fourth quarter comeback. For a program that not so long ago under a previous coach never….ever….came back while behind in the fourth quarter, it’s funny to me how quickly perceptions change.

Ask most Bama fans and they’ll tell you, being No. 1 is enough, no matter how you get there. Ask any Auburn fan and they’ll tell you…in private…that they’d crawl through glass, naked, with one leg on fire to swap places with Alabama.

But Bama is the golden standard in college football, and with that unsolicited distinction comes ridiculous analysis, speculation, predictions and, well, perceptions.

It’s good to be king. I guess.


(Follow me on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

26 Responses to “With TAMU looming, Alabama penalized for being good” Subscribe

  1. Crimsonite November 7, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    Example Bama favored by what is it – 14 over Oregon lite. How fuking stupid. They can do ir, but ir’s still stupid to presume it.

    • The Truth November 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      Hey Crimsonite if you can’t beat “Oregon lite” how could you have ever expected to beat the real Oregon?

  2. # 1 al. fan November 7, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Good read Cappy, I hope someone reads this and sends it to Scabby over at the B’ham News! The discription you gave fits him like a glove!! RTR

  3. The Conduit November 7, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    I think one of the most important things to keep in mind is why the LSU game was so close.

    LSU played great. They kept it close. But Alabama made some really bad mistakes on fundamentals.

    Hand-offs don’t go in the hip, they go in the gut.

    “Got it coach.”

    Punt returns must not result in turnovers.

    “Sorry coach, won’t happen again.”

    When Kenny Bell is wide open, don’t throw the football through the uprights.

    “I know coach, I’m sorry, I’ll practice some more this week.”

    Alabama played some of it’s best football against LSU, and they also made some of the worst mistakes they’ve made all season; the preventable kind. It’s these kinds of mistakes on fundamentals that we see Saban get upset about. False starts, late hits, missed routes, play clock mismanagement, botched punts and punt returns, dropped hand-offs, chop blocks, these are the kinds of things that make Nick Saban wind up and slap his players on the butt in the middle of a game he’s winning by 3 possessions.

    They’re also the kind of mistakes you don’t see Alabama repeat, certainly not in the week following.

    The head coach, the DC, the OC, special teams, everyone is going to make the players aware the game could have been 31-17, if not 35-17 or worse. And it should have been.

    You think AJ McCarron doesn’t have to practice hand-offs to the gut this week? Think Dee Hart isn’t pissed? Think Coach’s smile lasted past midnight? Think again.

    Everyone remembers the LSU game Alabama lost last year. What the rest of the nation seems to forget is how well Alabama fixed every problem they had in that game (let me know when Shelley misses another kick, please). We escaped LSU. And TAMU is no slouch by any means.

    But we don’t make giant mistakes on fundamentals in back-to-back weekends. Being in Tuscaloosa only sweetens the deal. LSU has talent all over. They were running the ball with at least two guys I hadn’t seen in a month, and they ran the ball with at least 5 people.

    Can you name 5 people on TAMU, even including Manziel?

    I don’t like to make predictions, but I can’t pretend I see this game being very close, especially in the second half. If AJ hits Kenny Bell for any of the three times he was wide open, or if he gets the football in Yeldon’s gut instead of his front pocket, or if they simply play Alabama football, it will be a battle TAMU won’t soon forget, and, hopefully, a game Alabama fans can actually enjoy this time. ROLL TIDE.

    • Billy Rogers November 7, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      That was an outstanding post! And it is so true. The game that I thought was going to be a blowout, became a nail-biter, NOT because I had assumed wrong, but because Alabama played it’s worse footbal since 11/5/2011. The difference this time was the result. The difference was that they didn’t settle for “the points” when things got tight in the red zone. The difference was that they were, and are, head and shoulders better than LSU, and every other team in the nation. One day, they’ll play like it. I, for one, will be glad…

    • Fat_Dye November 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      you damn right son.

    • drmos November 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

      Wow Cap hire this guy!!

    • The Truth November 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      Hey Conduit, I guess you don’t have to “pretend to see this game close in the second half” do you?

      Can you name 5 people on TAMU now? If you can’t shame on you!

      Your comments prior to this game was typical of typical gump. Did you learn a lesson?

      You were right about one thing however, TAUM won’t soon forget this battle, but it wasn’t a game I think bama fans “actually enjoyed”.

      • The Truth November 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

        And Cap, you might won’t to hold off on that hire! LMAO

  4. Crimsonite November 7, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    If AJ had just hit Amari when he was 5 yards behind the LSU defense it would have been a different game and then he had to sit out most of the rest of the game. He’s supposed to be back against A&M. Now what I’m excited about is the man who was ahead of Amari and was going to start until he got hurt in fall camp is back – Cris Black. If he can play what a fucking combo for an empty backfield – Amari, Cris, Kenny and Kevin. Hell, we’ll have a better battery than USCw.

    • The Conduit November 7, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      Is Black supposed to be back in the game this weekend? I’d love that.

      • Crimsonite November 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

        Don’t think Black will play this late. Why burn his greyshirt. However, with Coop, Norwood, Bell and Jones all banged up you can bet he’ll play if we need him against Georgia or Oregon.

  5. pete4tide November 7, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Excellent commentary, ITK. Even better since we don’t have all the aTm, LSWhoo, and Aubies making inane statements that prove they have no idea what they are talking about. If there is any good in this season so far, it’s that the idiot who usually are swarming their greatest opponent’s sites have been shut down by the overwhelming power of this year’s Tide. It was good to see them get behind, be threatened, then show they could still overcome and win. It was a great confidence-builder for the team, and a trust-builder for the coaching staff. If anything, AJ has cemented his name in the record books for a comeback that rivals McElroy’s in the 09 Iron Bowl.
    FWIW – I also think we make the game this weekend a clinic for aTm, at least in the first half. Mr. Johnny Football will have a difficult time – not impossible, but difficult – making any of his superCam-like plays from flat on his back.

    • The Truth November 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      That was quite a clinic bama put on today petie, the “overwhelming power of this year’s Tide” was on full display again this week for all the nation to see once again. But what happened to that ability to get behind, threatened and then showing they could still overcome and win. If last week was “a trust builder” for the coaching staff, what was this week?

  6. Billy Rogers November 7, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Ths was a great article! Yeah, somebody needs to send it to ol’ Scabo at the B’ham News.

  7. DES November 7, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Great read and great comments.Our guys will have to play a full game again this next Saturday. No backing down on this one.Can’t let off the gas one bit. RTR

  8. A Ganger November 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Bama beats TAMU in a close one…
    RollTide Y’all

  9. Crimsonite November 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Is there some acceptable excuse as to why there’s a big green banner at the top of the CR page that is an advertisement for the University of Oregon?

  10. JW November 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    This will be a pissed off Bama team this week..They played like shit last week which is human nature.But ole Johnny will get to see the real deal Saturday..This Bama team will be BCS Champions in a few weeks and they know a win gives them the West ..So look for them to be on top of there game ..AM will be lucky to get 14,,This will turn out to be a Michigan game all over..41 14 RTR..

    • JW November 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

      Johnny football is kicking our ass!!!

      • The Truth November 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

        Hey JW if you think the Bama team “played like shit last week” how do you think they played today?

        When you said “AM will be lucky to get 14″ were you talking about the first quarter and just failed to qulify that comment? LMAO 20 points in the first quarter!

  11. The Truth November 11, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    The “King” has lost its crown, and has no clothes!

    • JW November 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Man i”m glad that makes you feel good..God bless your little heart..21 17..Butt still burning huh??

      • The Truth November 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

        Not as much as yours JW, especially after that prediction of beating the Aggies 41-14 you made a little earlier on here!!

        How did you say it exactly “This Bama team will be BCS Champions in a few weeks and they know a win gives them the West ..So look for them to be on top of there game ..AM will be lucky to get 14,,This will turn out to be a Michigan game all over..41 14″

        Lucky to get 14! LMAO

        JW your typical gump dellusional prediction made you look like an assclown before the first quarter was even over!

        29-24…Butt still burning huh?

        • ITK November 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

          How’d your team fare against the Tide Truth?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tide Penalized For Being Human : BamaFootball4Life - November 7, 2012

    […] A win against a team that had eaten, slept and breathed Alabama football since January 9th…moreso than the Tide’s own players. The scene was perfect. A bye week to rest and finish preparation. Night time. A good game plan. A quarterback playing out of his shoes. But in the end, as has been the case eight other times this season, Alabama was too much for its opponent. If any other team in the land weathered the storm that Alabama stood up under last Saturday night in Baton Rouge, they would be crowned a super power. But instead, the party line from talking heads everywhere is how Alabama is beatable. Case in point, Alabama has been penalized for looking human, despite the fact that neither Nick Saban nor any of his players ever claimed not to be. [More] […]

%d bloggers like this: