Last night, the Florida Gators learned that bringing track stars to a football game with the Alabama Crimson Tide is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. You might do a little damage early on but the more heavily armed opponent is going to slaughter you.
Consider the 38-10 smashing of the Gators on their own field yet another statement—you can have a very good football team and you will still be crushed. You can have a talented quarterback comfortable in a system designed for his abilities and he’ll have to run for his life. You can have blazing speed in the backfield and a good offensive line and still be held to 15 yards on the ground. You can have an athletic defense that knows exactly who’s getting the ball and where he’s going and still get run over by the freight train we call Trent. In all three phases of the game of football, Alabama is going to outwork you and make you look silly. That’s how championship caliber football teams win games and make statements that they are the team to beat.
Alabama intends to hoist some crystal in January, amid a hail of confetti and a party on Bourbon Street.
When the USA Today Coaches and Associated Press polls are released later today, Alabama will receive a few first place votes. But LSU and Oklahoma will likely be 1-2 or 2-1, with the Tide still at No. 3. Bama fans need to take this in stride and understand that these things will work themselves out. Who is ranked first through tenth on the first weekend of October means absolutely nothing, especially when one of the teams ranked ahead of you is on your schedule and the other has yet to play any of the better teams in its own conference.
If Alabama takes care of business, survives the slobberknocker against LSU in Tuscaloosa, runs the table and wins its 23rd SEC Championship, it will have a berth in the title game in New Orleans. That’s all that needs to be said. What doesn’t need to be said is that the poll voters are disrespecting Alabama by keeping them down; that the voters are biased or Anti-Bama. That is the kind of stuff that makes for absolutely awful water cooler and break room discussion and when I hear my fellow Tide faithful whining like that, I’m embarrassed for them. Please, don’t.
Head Coach Nick Saban doesn’t care where Alabama is ranked right now. Courtney Upshaw, Trent Richardson, Marquis Maze and Dre Kirkpatrick probably don’t even know where Alabama is ranked. So why should you care?
As long as Alabama’s opponents keep bringing knives to gunfights, the Tide will be the last one standing.