“I think if there’s a team in the West to look out for it’s the Auburn Tigers. Gene Chizik, I think, got his team a taste of success last year, and I think they’re eager to come back and play hard this year.”
These words were spoken on a college football special recently, with little more than what you just read offered by the analyst to support the theory.
As Alabama enters 2010 as the preseason #1, Herbstreit is one of the few voices out there playing the part of naysayer.
But what a voice he has; Kirk Herbstreit is arguably the most recognized and listened to analyst in all the land. When he isn’t picking Ohio State to play USC for the national title, which is never, he has absolute credibility.
What is baffling about his comments is the “taste of success” notion.
So 3-5 in the conference in 2009 was “a taste of success?” Heck, then Mississippi State, Arkansas, Kentucky and South Carolina all must be freaking chomping at the bit. They all finished 3-5 too. At 4-4, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Georgia apparently should dang well be thinking Tempe.
Please, somebody. Anybody. Show me what abarn has done…something tangible, not on paper or in theory…to deserve the expectations placed upon them.
We’ve often compared last year’s Ole Miss with this year’s abarn, but now just days away from kick-off, I think the tiggers have edged the ’09 Rebels.
Herbstreit’s reasoning for Bama’s absence in the SEC title game?
“Nick Saban lost thirteen 3-year defensive players, most off to the NFL. Even though you bring in a lot of 5-star recruits, and there’s still some good personnel, a lot of it’s new to ’em…”
Isn’t abarn’s starting QB new? Isn’t the Dyer kid fresh out of high school? Aren’t they paper thin all over the field and will rely on new faces?
Wait, Fig Newton played JUCO community college football last season.
To illustrate the difficulty on that level, I offer this: the University of South Alabama played JUCO level football last season as well. For the first time. In their history. And went undefeated. Anybody still care to draw the line to abarn’s Dell delinquent as the reason to make reservations in the ATL?
The fact is, Herbstreit’s comments questioning the ability of Alabama to get back to Atlanta could not be more perfect in the hands and to the ears of Nick Saban.
Take it from me, people, the man loves this stuff. No, he won’t use media speculation about his team like a Houston Nutt would, dangling it in front of them like a carrot in front of a mule.
He’ll use it like a sand spur. Irritating and uncomfortable, leading to one resolve…to do things better than anyone else to remove any doubt that they are the best.
But in truth, this team needs little more than Saban himself to remind them how good they’re not, and how hard they have to work to get back to what the 2009 squad accomplished.
The Herbstreit theory is for their families and friends to remind them about.
In fact, Herbstreit’s moronic comments are just want the doctor ordered for Saban’s 2010 version of Alabama football. And when he was in Cali shooting the ESPN commercial with Mack Brown, wouldn’t surprise me at all if he gave Kirk a little motivation to say it.