I know what you were thinking last Saturday night. There goes number 15. Well, to use the words of Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend!”
Out of Alabama’s 14 national championships in football, only seven were perfect seasons. In fact, five of the last eight Crimson Tide national titles came with one loss.
Keep your head up. It’s not over yet.
Alabama only needs two of the top three teams to lose once. All of which, with the possible exception of Oregon, are not used to playing at the top of college football. I know some might want to put Notre Dame in there as well, but the Notre Dame they are thinking of hasn’t been around for 20 years. The players and coaches on this Golden Domer squad haven’t had to handle this kind of success.
It’s not easy playing at the top. Alabama is used to it, but very few are. The pressure will build around Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame. And if I were a betting man, I’d have to put my money on seeing an SEC team in the BCS National Championship again in January. Those other teams are going to crack. It’s just a matter of time.
In the grand scheme of things, it might even be better for Alabama to have lost last week. It will give the 2013 squad something to stride for, even if this year’s squad wins a national championship – perfection.
That was one of the biggest problems in 2010. The 2009 Alabama team had accomplished almost everything a team could in a single season. It was the most highly honored team in modern day college football in terms of All-Americans, award winners, most victories over top-25 ranked teams and, of course, consensus national champions. How could you do any better than that?
Even with last year’s dominating win over LSU in New Orleans, this 2012 team still has something to accomplish that the previous year’s team didn’t, an SEC championship. That goal is still well within reach, and a national championship is still a real possibility.
Having something to play for is key. Even though it sounds kind of funny, while that loss didn’t help the cause for number 15, it might end up being key motivation for the push for number 16.
Now I’m kind of getting ahead of myself, so let’s pump the breaks. Alabama has to take care of business. The Tide has to beat Western Carolina. I know, I know. I’m obligated to say something though, because last week’s column didn’t mention Texas A&M. I’m a superstitious guy, so I can promise you it will never happen again.
Actually my original plan for this week’s column – before Texas A&M screwed it up – was a piece on how things have changed since the 2007 Alabama-Western Carolina game. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, that was Nick Saban’s first opponent as head coach of the Crimson Tide. It is still fun to think about, but there has been too much on my mind to write that.
I want to tell you all that it will be ok. Alabama is going achieve, at the very least, its 33rd 10-win season and an SEC Western Division championship in the next two weeks. If you still feel sour, go put yourself in the shoes of an Auburn fan, and then be thankful for what you have: a shot at another SEC and national championship and a bright future.
I myself am just kind of excited to be taking another trip back to Atlanta. There is something special about the SEC championship game. It is going to be the first time Alabama will face anyone other than Florida. And for a guy who grew up with a great dislike for those nimrods that bark at football games, that game will bring a smile to my face.
While I certainly think that things will fall back in Alabama’s favor, the only thing I can say with certainty is that these next three weeks are going to be interesting. So just sit back, relax and enjoy this great drama that is college football. Because boys, it’s going to be fun!