There’s a term that has come to be affectionately known amoung Tide faithful as the earmark of the effect Nick Saban has had on college football. That term? Processed.
The term was birthed when Alabama head coach Nick Saban preached the importance of “the process” upon his arrival at Alabama. That you have to go through “the process” of preparing, acting and performing like a champion before you could BE a champion. But quickly, as the Crimson tidal wave has overtaken the landscape of college football since his 2nd year in Tuscaloosa (in 2008), the term “processed” has taken on a new meaning.
“Processed” means after your program is dominated by Nick Saban’s Alabama, it immediately begins to cave in upon itself. Coaches get fired. Regimes have to change in the wake of their encounter with the golden standard, and weird things start happening to your program.
Phil Fulmer once ruled the SEC. Complete domination at the hands of Nick Saban has sent fat Phil to a coffee shop in Gatlinburg for good. Tommy Tuberville once raised fingers and showed classless leadership of his sub-human fanbase. 36-0 got Tommy fired despite an unreal winning percentage in his tenure at Auburn. Auburn was once competitive. Saban has changed that as the Tigers continue to chase their tails, looking for answers. The University of Texas following their BCS loss to ‘Bama in 2009 is another example. They haven’t been on the map since, and didn’t even make it to a bowl the following year.
These are just a few immediate examples, but there have been many, many more. Standing at 61-7 since 2009, an encounter with Alabama hasn’t been a good thing for your team as of late. Forget the sure loss. It’s the shockwave that comes with it that hurts most.
Those who hate Alabama loathe the term, because they know its truth and can’t do a thing about it. Notre Dame appears to be the latest program to receive this processing following Crimson domination. Up until the final minutes leading up to game time on January 7, 2013, the Fighting Irish seemed unable to do wrong.
Then came the beatdown: 42-14 in the BCS National Championship game…a contest that by their coach’s own admission at halftime was over at halftime. Then the deflation after the game…that you made it to 12-0 to win absolutely nothing. Then the revelation that your best player was “probably” in on one of the most embarrassing hoaxes in recent memory. The worst of it is that the entire Notre Dame program is viewed differently after their encounter with the best. The contender, which we now know was an overtalked media creation, is clearly known as the pretender.
Now when the Irish take the field this fall they’ll be without their signal caller. Among others, ESPN.com is reporting that starting quarterback Everett Golson has been dismissed from school.
“Everett is not enrolled at the university. Federal law and our own polices preclude us from discussing specifics,” spokesman Dennis Brown said in an email.
This smells, but usually in these cases academics is the culprit. This news comes in the wake of 5-start defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes…the prize of their 2013 signing class…reportedly reneging on his letter of intent this week. Highly touted 5-star QB Gunner Kiel left the Irish to transfer to the University of Cincinnatti last month, leaving the leprechauns with senior Tommy Rees as the signal caller with the most experience. Golson replaced the then junior Rees, the former starter, as a redshirt freshman. The other two options at QB are now an unproven junior and a true freshman.
Processing is fun to watch. We’ll see how this one continues to unfold in the weeks (and season) to come.
Well, the ladies are done. Bama followed up its 2012 National Championship in softball with a 0-2 series loss to Tennessee in the Super Regionals in Knoxville. Bama just couldn’t overcome the Vols’ offense, nor could they undo what appeared to be a bone-headed coaching decision in Friday night’s contest. When a coach replaces the #5 hitter in the order with a 1 for 8 pinch hitter with a .161 batting average…with the tying run on first base…it’s time to investigate mafia involvement.
I say that in jest, kind of, but it was truly one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever seen in sports. Maybe head softball coach Patrick Murphy has an anniversary cruise to catch this Monday and wanted to be sure he’d be on the boat. I don’t know. But my hat’s off to the Bama girls for another strong season. The World Series is always the goal, but another fine showing in 2013.
Pussycat weekend is all but over in Auburn, and we now see the effect of a non-Trooper Taylor coaching staff. The guy couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag (I’ve never understood that phrase), but he could recruit. It wasn’t always on the up-and-up, as evidenced by the NCAA taking him off the recruiting trail following their first Big Cat Weekend. But the momentum in Auburn, following processing, has slowed to a molasses on a cold January day pace.
Gimmick U will always be Gimmick U, and they’ll always do hokey things to try to get attention. At Alabama football is serious, and we don’t have to do stupid hokey things to elevate our game. We just win championships and dominate. But the fact that you’ve heard next to nothing from the ongoings in Lee County, except from the usual Auburn mouthpieces, means things are back to normal.
An actual tweet from an attendee:
Dante Sawyer… RT @taecoolin: what other college throw water ballon fights with the coaches and the recruits? nobody? #WarEagle loved it!!!
Water balloon fights. That’s got to get the faithful excited about the future of the Auburn football program. Wasn’t the entire 2012 season one big water balloon fight?
Anyway, if the first Big Cat Weekend was a Dodge Viper, this latest one was a Dodge Dart. War Eagle, everybody. Just another function in Lee County that’s been processed. And if Nick Saban wants any of this year’s attendees, even those who’ve committed, all he has to do is call. Cyrus Kouandjio, T.J. Yeldon, Dee Liner and Reuben Foster say “hey.” But they’ll not find water balloon fights in Tuscaloosa. They’ll see a lot of crystal, but no water balloons.