Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crimson Tide standing on the edge of history

imageOn January 1st 2015, Alabama plays Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, the first round of the first ever College Football Playoff. If the Tide can defeat the Buckeyes, then on January 12 they will face the winner of the Rose Bowl’s Oregon – Florida State battle in Arlington’s AT&T Stadium.

History can be made here. If Alabama defeats the Rose Bowl survivor and takes Title 16, it will forever erase the memory of the Miami dynasty of the 1980’s and make the Capstone the most storied football program in the history of storied programs.

Y’all know I’m a homer. I don’t hide that fact. I wear it like a badge of honor. But I am not an in-your-face Bammer either. I don’t dress up like a clown on game day. I don’t have a home with every corner decorated in Crimson and White. Hell, I don’t even have a Bama room.

But I know history unfolding when I see it, and folks… this is history unfolding.

Since his arrival in Tuscaloosa, head coach Nick Saban has led the Crimson Tide to three national titles, including two in a row. No one in the BCS era had ever repeated as BCS Champions and now that the BCS era is over, that feat can never be repeated. So there’s one angle on the “making history” narrative.

How’s this for making history: What team has the opportunity to claim both a BCS repeat and the first ever CFP Championship? Well, there’s only one, silly. And that’s Alabama.

Anyone who thinks this will be a cakewalk to glory is delusional. Ohio State is a worthy opponent, coached by a man who has beaten Alabama on his own way to a national title. Neither Florida State nor Oregon—two teams with quarterbacks and offenses that have given the Tide trouble in the past—aren’t slouches, either. The CFP committee made the right selections for the four team field. Saban and his brain trust have their work cut out for them, but no one thinks that Bama doesn’t have the tools to get it done.

That said, how prescient was the post from June 2012 from KrAzy3? The man laid out an argument that makes many people squirm, and he’s probably right that at some point in the future, the dropoff in quality between the No.3 team in the field and the No. 4 team will be significant enough to make people wonder why we went to a four-team field.

But a key point he makes is that the CFP is the direct result of the BCS pairing SEC West runner-up Alabama against SEC Champion LSU in 2011, which led to the historic BCS repeat. The talking heads and pundits at ESPN and Sports Illustrated were outraged, and the powers that be in college football went from being apathetic towards a playoff to rushing headlong towards one so that such an absolute tragedy never happens again.

This should make even the most casual Alabama fan laugh his or her ass off: Alabama is poised to ruffle the feathers of those little biddies all over again.

Win two more admittedly challenging games, and become the first team to win a championship in a playoff system that resulted from you winning a championship that almost no one outside the friendly confines of the Heart of Dixie thought you deserved.

If Alabama brings home the hardware on January 12, 2015, the Tide will have the last laugh, will have made college football history, and it will have Bama fans cackling in delight at the irony of it all.

An earlier version of this post had the CFB Championship game on January 14.