Oklahoma sends Alabama football a clear message with Sugar Bowl win

by ITK

The Superdome scoreboard read Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31. But the message was much clearer than the 14-point victory the Sooners enjoyed over the reigning National Champs.

Alabama again struggled in the secondary, struggled in pressuring the quarterback, struggled in securing the middle of the defensive line, and struggled to get stops on third down…at one point yielding a 1st and 30 situation when getting the ball back was at its most critical point in the game.

On offense the Tide could not contain the Sooners’ quicker defensive ends, as all who were watching in Crimson felt a bit more indifferent about left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio’s upcoming decision to make the leap to the NFL. This fact was crystalized with the game’s final sack and subsequent points, concreting the Oklahoma upset in the making.

And the rushing game, bent on giving the ball to a runner who seems indecisive at best and who fumbles with the kind of regularity in pivotal situations that makes one want to check his cell phone’s address book to see if the bag man is on speed dial. Whatever stubbornness exists on the Bama offensive coaching staff needs to die a grisly death upon evaluation of what Derrick Henry can do with the ball in his hands.

At 11-2, the Tide’s 2013 campaign came to a close. But the message was just getting clearer. The message?

Keep up with the times or get left behind.

In football’s ever changing evolution, the game at the top is becoming a scorefest. The read option, spread and hurry-up-no-huddle philosophies haven’t taken the place of hard-nosed football, or else Oregon wouldn’t struggle with Stanford and Auburn wouldn’t have to depend on luck and bad officiating to beat Alabama. The HUNH is still a sucker-punch, cheap excuse for football, depending on slight of hand and the wearing down of middle-aged officials as much as it is of opposing defenses.

But offenses have got to be built to score points, and lots of them. Like, every time you touch the ball. For your first six possessions. If a game isn’t in the upper 30’s by halftime it’s in question, regardless of the point ratio on the scoreboard. Creativity is the name of the game, disabling a defense from run blitzes to stop the absolutely predictable, stubborn between-the-tackle dives that kill drives and energize an opponent.

This is not to say this Tide team didn’t have flaws all year. The Tide did not possess a tough runner. TJ Yeldon, while shifty, is no Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson or Eddie Lacy. And the offensive line, while serviceable, was not the fortress Bama has had the past two seasons.

On defense, cornerback play had been spotty all year, to say the least, and as already mentioned, without the presence of a true nose guard Bama could not put up the wall it had in recent years.

But Thursday night Nick Saban was on the receiving end of the lesson he had been dealt before. Change, adapt, or get left behind. Still one of the greatest minds in the game, we’ll see what he does with it.

The Sooners were hungrier, and tired of the SEC aura of superiority and dominance. Its not like the lesson was new to the Alabama head coach. He’s preached it himself to anyone who would listen behind countless podiums at countless press conferences.

You don’t win because you walk on the field. You win because you pay the price to do what it takes to put yourself in the best position to win, then execute to make it happen. The Tide did neither Thursday night.

You also don’t win just because you have top talent. Whispers of bad attitudes and players not buying-in plagued this team. With another top class on the way, the reckoning of reality that’s coming will lead some of these step up or step out to play at UNA or Jacksonville State very soon.

11-2 is cause for celebration at most schools. Now riding six seasons in a row with double-digit win totals, 11-2 with nothing to show for it at Alabama means time to go back to the drawing board to get where it wants to be.

The last time Bama found itself in this position, Saban reinvented the Tide for back-to-back National Championships. Here’s hoping this lesson again hits its mark.

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


Add Yours
  1. 1

    With all of the #1 Recruiting classes we have had in the last few years, where is our depth at O line and DB ? The TV guy said last night that our defensive coaches was worried that if we lost 1 Corner to injury , we would be in trouble? Are we not developing the younger guys like we should?

  2. 2

    “The HUNH is still a sucker-punch, cheap excuse for football, depending on slight of hand and the wearing down of middle-aged officials as much as it is of opposing defenses.”


    Auburn RAN for 296 yards on Bammer. Most of it, right between the tackles.

    Auburn STUFFED Bammer on a 4th and 6 inches.

    Bammer was 4-13 on 3rd down against Auburn

    Oklahoma PASSED for 348 yards on Bammer.

    Bammer turned the ball over 5 times against Oklahoma.

    When a team runs the ball straight into your DL for 7 yards a carry you cry that it is “sucker punch, dipsy do, trick a roo, sissy football” when the reality is Bammer wasn’t man enough to stop it.

    In the past 2 games, Bammer has been out-schemed, out-coached, out played, out manned, and out-scored.

    Both cases Bammer got BEATEN. You can’t bring yourself to admit it because the only thing that is a bigger loser than Bammer right now is its head-case of a fanbase.

    “run another trick play, bitch!” WOOOO!


    • 3
      The Conduit

      I am not even sure how to speak to a fan like this one. I can’t tell if your eyes are simply clouded by Alabama hate or if you don’t know much about football at all. I want to say it’s both but then I just sound like a creep upset with the result of a bowl game. I’m not, but good grief, what a joke.

  3. 4

    …and Saban realizes that there is a significant hole in his defensive strategy (i.e., defending against mobile QBs and HUNH offenses). Instead of adapting, he whines and argues that the rules should be changed.

    • 5
      The Conduit

      No, he doesn’t. And no, that’s not the reason Alabama lost. I can handle a loss, what I can’t understand is why it’s the Auburn fans who are making worse excuses.

      Let’s put it this way—–what happens if Saban now elects to use the HUNH? First, I won’t be happy because I don’t like the HUNH.

      But more importantly, nobody else will be happy either. You want Alabama to lose. I want football to win. We won’t get either, and neither one of us has to like it.

  4. 6
    Bama Born

    This style offense doesn’t work well in the NFL? Why is that? It’s called speed. We need two defensive ends or outside linebackers whatever we are calling that position today with speed. That will change it all. My point was proven in our inability to block a 220lb guy with a 350lb pound guy. We have a defense that is set up to stop our offense. Few teams at the top run our offense. Saban made this statement last year after the loss to A&M. Our defense made the necessary adjustments to win the game at half time. The offensive play calling and the turnovers are what cost us the game. The Yeldon fumble and the almost return on the interception were game changers. The almost return was due to pathetic play calling. Its like at all cost we must have a run pass ratio of 1 to 1 or we do something wrong. Bama has gotten real bad at passing when we need to run and running when we need to pass. Those are game time decisions and we look as foolish as Miles with his 2 minute drills making those decisions. That’s not what we pay 7 million a year for.

    The bright side is last night really matters little in the grand scheme of things. Losing twice at the end of the year should make for a burning fire next year. Like it or not, we have to occasionally lose to feed the desire. I don’t like that but 20 year old boys are not mature enough to keep the fire going. It’s a game to them and we make it part of our lives. Think of it this way. At 20 years old, what mattered most to you? I’m not saying Saban lost on purpose, but the last month of practice might have been more about next year than worrying about a token win in the Sugar Bowl. IE – Mr. Henry

  5. 7

    “Tre Mason is running right at my defensive line with 8 men in the box and we can’t stop it, if that isn’t illegal then it somehow should be. Please please please change the rules so I can look like a good coach again.” -Nick Saban

    “Auburn players are sissies for not letting our players tackle them at the line of scrimmage! How DARE those sissies run up nearly 300 yards on us. Must be illegal” – Bammer fans.

    Bammer vs Auburn: 4-13 on 3rd down. Stuffed on 4th and inches. 58% pass completion (to AU’s 68%).

    Bammer was relying on their ONLY points in the 2nd half – a 99 yard FLUKE pass – and a desperation FG to win the game….

    Wow…good thing Auburn had “luck” and bad officiating on their side.


  6. 10

    Whew….dominated by an Oklahoma team that got blown out by Baylor….just be glad Bama didnt draw Central Florida in the Sugar Bowl……

  7. 13

    Our OC is a joke. I mean we brought in a former Vol coach to help our offense. Unfucking real! Saban better get his shit together and quick. God forbid Kirby gets a HC job this year…

  8. 15

    We didn’t have a very good defense this year – just like 2010. Remember giving up 35 points to SC and 28 to Aub?

    And Bama will have an off-year on occasion-

    2008…..12-2…….BCS Sugar Bowl……Top Ten finish
    2010…..10-3…….49-7 over Mich.St….Top Ten finish
    2013…..11-2…….BCS Sugar Bowl……Top Ten finish

    Yes, to us these are “off” years but most teams would be licking their chops for records like these.

    • 18

      Who cares what Auburn does or how many games they lost? That has nothing to do with Alabama football. How can we as fans constantly compare ourself to a program that we claim is below us? If we are the premier team in the Nation, why compare any aspect of the Tide to Auburn? Statements like the one ” Roll Tide” made is plain stupid. If you want to put a band-aid on a bullet wound, keep it to yourself. Bama football is falling behind the rest of the college football world, so fuck how many games Auburn wins or loses.

  9. 19

    Here is my humble opinion.
    We knew earlier in the year that this team was going to have to pull it together on both sides of the ball after the first 4 games. They didn’t. I don’t think that they improved at all.
    The kuandijo brothers were an absolute bust this year. Cyko was getting beat off the edge way too often. And he and Arie were a 2 man team of drive killers. It seemed to me that the number of drive killing penalties was absurdly high for a Nick Saban team. The fact that Arie was facing Yeldon to knock a fumble away shows that he had already given up his block or was getting his fat ass turned around and pushed right back where he started on the line of scrimmage.

    Cooper and Yeldon were not their former selves. I guess that is mostly in part to the O-line playing so badly all year.

    The defensive backfield without Sunseri was fair at times but a glaring weakness of inexperience and just plain ignorance at others.

    The good news is this year’s recruiting class is loaded with great lineman and with the addition of Marlon Humphrey will be a phenomenom in the defensive backfield.
    The bad news is that if they play with the same amount of malaise and complacency as this group did this year we can expect more brilliant failures in the future.
    I remember when Nick Saban said his team played like an angry bunch. I miss those days. But I can se them returning.

    One more thing. As a fanbase we have become lazy and complacent too. We have become so used to winning that we cannot imagine a scenario where we should possibly lose. We are becoming arrogant. We seem to not notice too many things on the field and cheering has only become a secondary thing. I miss the days when the stadium rocked all afternoon.

  10. 20

    “As a fanbase we have become lazy and complacent too” – Well this typical member of the gump fan base doesn’t look lazy and complacent. LMAO


    You can try and use words to tell people how obnoxious the bama fans are, but when its captured on video, like it was with the bama teabagger, it’s just priceless.


  11. 21

    I wish someone would take that sawed off,obnoxious,wannabe Marine DI,wannabe male cheerleader,Scott Cochran,and stuff him into A gatorade cooler during A game,,I dont see how Saban dont get irritated with him hopping all around the sidelines hollering in that fake , wannabe Marine voice…Just give the man A skirt and some pom poms,he is really just A glorified cheerleader anyways….With his elite strength and conditioning program, that is 2nd to none…God that prick is annoying….That fake ass voice

  12. 22
    Bama Born

    The most clear message on the subject of football in the State of Alabama is in the history books. It takes a complete and utter idiot that lives in some fantasy world to pull for the barn. In terms a barner might understand, you are the cow on the largest most productive farm in the country that gets out of the pasture from time to time. Bama is the farmer. He owns the land, the pasture you graze on, he is the one that puts you back in the pasture, and he is the one that will take you to the slaughter house. Read the books. Know the story. It will give you a glimpse of the future.

    Quick turn arounds happen so fast they usually make 360’s. They have no sound footing for a future. Watch and be schooled once more as you sulk in the pasture.

    As for Scott Cochran, I get the point. He reminds me of Mushchamp on the sidelines at whordan bleachers. Ya’ll could use a pressure washer and some Clorox to clean that nasty place up.

    • 23

      Bama Born,
      It is exactly because of comments like you just made here that there were so many people all across this nation pulling against bama in the Sugar Bowl. I am an SEC football fan and Auburn is a rival of my team just like bama is, but I will be pulling for Auburn to win the National Championship game as will many other SEC fans. The same can not be said about bama last year when they were playing for the National Championship. Your comments of Auburn being the cow and of Bama being the farmer is the perfect example of the egotistical entitled attitude of your fan base that makes so many people, like myself that are otherwise SEC fans, pull against your team, not Auburn when they are playing. You might be too dumb to realize this, but the vast majority of SEC fans will be pulling for Auburn in the National Championship Game, while I’m sure you will not be one of them. Then again you may not even watch the game as you will probably be too busy tending to your farm and “playing” with your cows.

  13. 25

    Bama Born,

    I do not “pull” for Auburn, I am an alumni of the school. I did not chose to “pull for [Auburn]”, but rather, chose to attend Auburn University and love the football program that represents it. If you took football away tomorrow, I would still love Auburn because it is my alma mater. If Auburn never won another conference game, I would love it just the same. This, my friend, is what it truly means to love a school… because it is part of my history and I am part of it’s history. A large portion of the arrogant Bama fanbase, particularly those who never attended Bama, will never understand because, as you say, they chose Bama like they chose their favorite NASCAR driver.

    I have a lot of respect for the University of Alabama, have many friends that attended the school, and mentor and teach a number graduate students that are alumni. Despite the fun banter and trash talk I have with my friends, colleagues, and students, they are universally respectful and are generally embarrassed by the arrogant and ignorant fans that make up such a large portion of the UA fanbase. News flash buddy: Most UA alumni that I have met do not like UA fans (i.e., non-alumni) and think they are often an embarrassment to the university. Furthermore, it’s pretty clear that your beloved coach doesn’t like most of the UA fanbase. Why else do UA fans feel the need to constantly apologize to him when another fan does something stupid.

    Finally, I’d like to encourage you to keep up the cow-college talk. Apparently, you and your long-departed head coach do not understand the history and mission (agriculture, science, and technology) of land grant universities, which by the way make up a large proportion of universities in the United States. For some reason, you and many of your fan base believe that it is an insult to point out that Auburn does agricultural research. I may be going out on a limb here, but my guess is that you probably eat. You can thank Auburn and other land grant universities for conducting research and training young agriculturists so that you will have a ready supply of healthy, low-cost food. Even more, as long as you are going to belittle Auburn for its agricultural department, don’t forget that the land grant mission also mandates a focus on technology and research, so go ahead and belittle Auburn’s engineering department as well. Every time that you guys use the “cow college” line as an insult, it only reinforces my belief that many of you never attended UA and/or are ignorant about higher education.

  14. 26

    Hi, I’m an Auburn fan.

    I live on UA message boards even at the height of my program’s rare, flash in the pan, successful season.


    Because I’m Aubsessed with big brother, and always will be.

  15. 27

    ITK is a toolbox who is jealous that next year we will break it off in Bamas bunghole again next year. Keep making excuses for your 5 star athletes and midget coach.

    AU win or lose Monday night has a brighter future than your pathetic “has been” and exposed team.


  16. 28

    It amazes me that these prick barner idiots have a NC game to get excited about and yet they want to come here and talk about what they will do to us next year. They would truly be glad to lose every game they played every year if they could be guaranteed to beat us. Sad sad little people. And the disrespect is due to the anonymity of the web. I doubt very many of us would talk like this to each other face to face. If it’s a group of my Bama friends all together, of course we talk about how much we hate those losers. But then put a couple of barners in the mix and it becomes good natured kidding back and forth. And I think most would agree it’s fun and no big deal. Most of the time anyway. And in case you hadn’t noticed this is a Bama site, so guess what we talk about? So don’t come here and act surprised that we think the barn is a bunch of…..(whatever you call them). Go enjoy your teams luck, oh sorry, success and quit dick riding Oklahoma. They whipped us, you did not.

    • 29

      Its called a rivalry, idiot. Alabama fans have done the same every year they beat Auburn. Bama fans dish it out but absolutely CAN NOT take it.

      • 30
        The Conduit

        It’s not a rivalry. It’s worse. It’s Auburn’s culture. They don’t just come to Alabama to gloat instead of congratulating the team that beat the consecutive defending national champions, but they are taught to do it. That’s the difference. That’s why I hate Auburn. They choose to be Little Brother and their University asks for nothing more.

        • 31

          And its Alabamas culture for their fanbase to be worse than anyone elses. There’s a long, long list of crap Bama fans do to other fanbases, most notably MURDER, ATTEMPTED MURDER and SEXUAL ASSAULT.

          And that’s why EVERYONE hates Alabama. You don’t know how to lose with class OR dignity.

          • 32
            The Conduit

            See? See how a lone criminal represents hundreds of thousands of people to Auburn fans, while Auburn tells hundreds of thousands of Auburn fans their goal isn’t to be the best but to beat the best?

            Everyone doesn’t hate Alabama. I’m not sure why you keep saying that.

            But I do know how to handle an Alabama loss with both class and dignity. If, for example, you represented Auburn University by congratulating Oklahoma’s fans (as I got to do both personally and online) instead of coming to Big Brother to tell Alabama fans they don’t know how to lose with class “or” dignity, isn’t it you that doesn’t know how to handle an Alabama loss? I know an Alabama loss is rare, but it’s like you don’t even know how to enjoy it.

            Have fun in California. Oh, wait…

          • 33

            An Alabama loss is rare? Seen them lose 8 of the last 12 Iron Bowls; not that rare.

            And Updyke isn’t the only blemish out there for Bama fans. You still have the Bama fan that murdered a South Carolina fan, Bama fan that murdered an LSU fan, Bama fan trying to shoot his son over Bama losing, Bama fan stabbing Auburn students before the Iron Bowl, and the list goes on and on.

          • 34
            The Conduit

            Bama “fan.”

            See the difference?

            Counting. At the University of Alabama, it’s a prerequisite.

            See, the University of Alabama absolutely doesn’t condone murder by its fans. That’s not a joke, I’m just responding to your implication.

            Auburn as an institution, meanwhile, asks you to beat the best, not to be the best. They ask you to play the role of little brother, not be a champion. And while a crime sheet-trading feud also won’t change your prejudice, it’s the way you represent your university that is the most disgusting. After all, if I and every other Alabama fan are all tree-poisoning murderous tea-baggers, what does that make all Auburn fans by the way you represent them?

            Frankly, it makes you exactly what Auburn wants you to be; Alabama’s Little Brother. Besides, it’s not like you’ll be in Pasadena to represent Auburn’s fanbase yourself regardless. .

        • 35

          The entire UPDYKE Nation is gonna be in full support of the Florida State Seminoles,just like you Gumps did when we played Oregon a few years ago…When Auburn wins,just don’t go rubbing your nuts all up on poor unsuspecting MALE Florida State fans faces…because your mad at them for losing to us…If only you Gumps knew how ridiculous you all look wearing your 3 sizes too small Alabama sweatshirts,you havent washed in 2 years,while doing the Florida State Tomahawk chop..I ve seen several Bama Gumps making futile attempts at doing it,but they seem to keep hitting themselves in the face,they cant figure out ,just exactly to execute it properly,it is just A little too advanced for them…Just like your offensive line,your all just A bit too slooooowwwwwwww… ROLL GUMPS ROLL

          • 36
            The Conduit

            @jnm I love the way Florida State plays football. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that. Also, I hate both Auburn’s culture and style of football. I don’t get what’s wrong with pulling for Florida State.

            Let me guess, you’re not going to California either, are you? I don’t get it.

          • 37

            so aubdyke how did that BCS game turn out for you? Oh I know reply with some witty thought provoking “well how did the Sugar Bowl turn out for you Bammer? ” luck wont get it done in the SEC, and therefore back to mediocrity for you

      • 38

        Again, there no way on this earth you would stand in my face and say that. You are an internet pussy who comes to a rival site cause he just can’t be happy with his own teams success. That not rivalry asshole.

        • 39

          That was for Peachy Pussy by the way. Your a dick rider, you bet I hope FSU whips the barns monkey ass. And why, because of little brothers who are completely obsessed with Big Brother like you. Like you didn’t have on your lucky green underwear last year or your corndog purple and gold the year before that. It’s dicks like you that cause all the bullshit instead just a fun “rivalry”. IDIOT!

  17. 40
    The Conduit

    It was Oklahoma’s best, fastest-paced, and trickiest game of the year. It still took Alabama mistakes, missed calls, the HUNH, and near-flawless execution, but they did it, for sure.

    What I think is most disappointing is Oklahoma might not have needed any of that to compete against Alabama. We’ll never really know, and that is diappointing. But that’s what bowl games are for.

    I don’t want Alabama to adopt the HUNH. Yes, the HUNH beat Alabama twice this season, but absolutely not on its own. You see, I like watching replay. I like when men line up and play to their talent rather than to paper. That doesn’t make me a sore loser—-that makes me a football fan. If the HUNH isn’t designed explicitly to catch everyone else off-guard, then what exactly is its advantage? Does anyone think the play clock itself will be adapted to the HUNH and reduced to 15 seconds? Me either.

    Because to me the bottom line is Alabama might have to adapt a version of the HUNH. Nick Saban has adapted better than any coach in the league. I don’t know why anyone would not expect him to adapt the HUNH better than anyone else, too. I just hope he doesn’t have to. I like football, instead.

    • 41
      The Conduit

      Also, I had a blast in New Orleans.

      Most Oklahoma fans were as fun and experienced at success as I expected, and the real problem fans were mostly easy to either avoid or ignore (mostly). The weather sucked for the most part, but I wouldn’t have missed this Alabama bowl game for the world. It was a disappointing way to lose, but for what it’s worth I think the win meant more to Oklahoma than any result would have meant to Alabama. Roll Tide.

  18. 42
    Bama Born

    Dear Autiger,

    You make my points for me and you couldn’t be more wrong about who, what, and why I am. I never used the word “cow college.” You are right, I truly love beef. I do own cows, but my higher education came from a more reputable land grant institution than the barn. I was born and raised in BAMA, but I choose to leave the state for an education.

    There were two reasons for that. The more important was the education. See, as you like to spout, the barn is not the be all in the agricultural field. You might be catching up be now, but when I attended my alma mater, the barn was at the bottom of ladder of the agricultural schools in the south. My contemporizes in my chosen field with degrees from the barn prove there less than skills daily. In other words, I profit from there ignorance.

    The other reason; I can not stand your football fan base either. There is just something about being around people who don’t know how to act; win or lose. I’m talking about never wanting to be around those type people. I have relatives that went to the barn and pull for the barn. I prefer not to be around them as much as possible. You are just not my kind of people.

    If you grow up in BAMA, you make a choice before you go to college. You make choices normally from a historical stand point. Most intelligent people pick the winner not the loser. You picked the loser and somehow you want us to think its all about the education and time spent on campus. This is about football not an education. How many professors at either school make 7 figures a year? It is not about the school. It is about winning? Scam Newton spent less than 7 months on campus and is a hero to your fellow alumnus and fan base.

    Do you really think my comments were directed toward other BAMA fans? No, they were directed to you and people like you who come on this site to make an attempt to gloat. You know why? You don’t know how to win. This is a problem for you. You haven’t won enough and will never win enough to learn how.

    I hope Florida State puts you in your rightful place. You are way out of the pasture in California.

    ROLL Noles ROLL

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