The 43-day layoff for Alabama is exactly seven days longer than the 36-day layoff “suffered” by LSU, who gained an extra week of practice and intensity in preparation for and playing in the SEC Championship Game.
While the intensity of fans not pulling for the Crimson Tide and Bayou Bengals might have dropped off a bit amid gifts, celebrations, family gatherings, church services and tables full of food, I think I can speak fairly confidently that there’s been no dropoff in this part of the world.
And suggesting that either team might play with less enthusiasm or intensity because they’ve been off for five or six weeks, well…
You tell me how much sense that makes.
Forty-three days. A month and a half. Longer than summer training camp. Longer than Drew Barrymore and Britney Spears' first marriages.
That’s how long Alabama will have waited between the Iron Bowl and the BCS Championship Game.
For all its many flaws – and they are legend – the biggest gripe against the BCS is the long, long wait between the end of the regular season and the crowning of a national champion.
According to Tide offensive lineman Barrett Jones, “It’s weird after you haven’t done it for a few days just to go through the steps and that kind of stuff. Especially for me, I’ve missed a few days this year. To get back out there kind of for the first time full speed in a long time was an adjustment.”
It will be an adjustment for the fans as well, especially those who went from the highs of watching their teams every week to eating turkey and drinking eggnog for the better part of a month.
Enthusiasm has an expiration date. And just as the players have to rev themselves back up to full speed, Tide and Tiger fans will have to shift gears sometime after the New Year.
I don’t think Eubanks quite has his arms around what football means in this part of the world.
These two programs meet in annual slobber-knockers every November. The last one wasn’t a whole lot different from the one last year, or the year before that. They know each other all too well. The fact that Alabama will have been off six weeks and LSU off for five means absolutely nothing to either team or the fans of the two programs. The only dropoff in enthusiasm will be found in states not named Alabama and Louisiana.
In November, two great teams met the field, played it close to the vest and ended regulation play tied. That’s usually what happens when you play not to lose. Don’t look for that kind of mindset this time. It’s gonna be off the chain.