So, you still think Alabama doesn’t deserve to be No. 1?

Laura Owens

They’ve doubted us since the beginning of the year. How could a team go undefeated for three regular seasons in a row, especially in the Southeastern Conference?

In the eight months since the national championship game, the nation began to doubt the ability of Nick Saban’s Alabama team to rebuild. Surely the newest team couldn’t do it again. It’s hard to even go two regular seasons in a row undefeated. But so far in the 2010 season, Alabama is 5-0. It’s not another national championship yet, but this is how it all starts.

The team has had its tests. No. 10 Arkansas was winning at halftime, and Saban’s Alabama teams have a losing record when down at the half. But the defense grew up fast, while the offense capitalized on the defensive plays.

Then against No. 7 Florida, the Crimson Tide’s performance was nothing short of dominant. Florida scored only two field goals, while the Tide tacked on touchdown after touchdown. The last time Florida played a game that it didn’t score a touchdown was in 2005…also against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

The game against Arkansas proved to the nation that Alabama could make comebacks, while the Florida game proved Alabama still reigns as the best in the SEC.

There’s more to come. The SEC currently has six teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Half the conference qualifies for excellence, and Alabama plays every single one of the five other teams ranked. Two down, three to go.

The challenge this weekend is against No. 19 South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. So it’s another road test for the Tide. The Gamecocks lost to Alabama’s in-state rival Auburn, and they won’t go down to the other state team without a fight.

But Tide fans still expect nothing short of perfection in this game. This game is the anniversary of running back Mark Ingram stepping into the spotlight for the Heisman race. And with South Carolina’s star running back Marcus Lattimore, the Tide’s defense will finally test its rush defense, rather than always being picked on in the pass defense.

Steve Spurrier will be in the same stadium as Nick Saban. Two of the biggest SEC coaching names will face off and put their own coaching philosophy to the test.

And College GameDay will be broadcasting it all. Growing up an Alabama fan, we didn’t see many College GameDay visits because we weren’t very good for an unfortunate long stretch of time.

But in 2010, this is the second time Alabama will be featured. The first time was in Tuscaloosa against Penn State, and now it’s a GameDay on the road for the Tide. The regular season is coming to its halfway point this weekend, and already, Alabama has two GameDays in the book.

For me, that’s something really special. Growing up, I heard about Alabama being on top of the world, but my experiences were different. I was picked on by Auburn fans six years in a row, and I didn’t dream our games would be special enough for the nation to want to watch.

And now, I don’t have to dream. I get to live the experience, as does the rest of Sabanation. We don’t take this for granted. We live and love every minute of it.

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