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The Alabama Crimson Tide is set to play for a national title for the fourth time in the last seven years.
Although that has little to do with the current matchup, such a feat demands to be paid attention. It has been 30 years almost since the Miami Hurricanes appeared ready to run off a similar streak of domination. Nebraska had a brief spike of similar play in the 1990s. But surely, all thought, the days of a handful of teams laying waste to the rest of the competition had come and gone.
Instead, Nick Saban returned to college football after a brief stint in the NFL, and everything old is new again – namely, an Alabama program that once dominated college football in the 1960s and 1970s is again making everyone else hate the program passionately – out of envy.
Faced with the task of stopping Alabama’s balanced, efficient offense, Michigan State made the understandable call to sell out to stop Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry and force Alabama to put the game in QB Jake Coker’s hands.
Three hours later, Michigan State coaches were asking for a mulligan.Continue reading …
Alabama’s path to college football’s Final Four is clear. But even the clearest of paths can encounter an obstruction during a trip to Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
For all the talk about throwing out record books, the better team usually wins this game. Notable exceptions have been in 2013 (Kick Six) and 1984 (Wrong Way Bo). That’s the thing about this rivalry: Games are named after their defining plays, and are replayed for decades to come as if they just happened last week.Continue reading …
By the time Cyrus Jones strolled into the end zone on a punt return with 0:00 showing in the first quarter – a score that made it 28-0 Alabama – it was already abundantly clear to everyone in Bryant-Denny Stadium that they were witnessing a contest between two teams that had nothing in common beyond the fact both were wearing helmets and pads.
Alabama so thoroughly dominated Charleston Southern that the biggest topic of conversation within the Bryant-Denny community was how this opponent ever went 9-1 in the regular season and made the playoffs in its division.Continue reading …
It’s no mystery why Alabama scheduled Charleston Southern here. The Buccaneers’ offense makes a good analog for the Auburn offense Alabama will see a week from now. The Bucs are a quality opponent without being a real threat. If Alabama does mope around too much in this game, it could be a repeat of 2011, when the Crimson Tide let then-FCS Georgia Southern hang around almost too long, in a game that could have cost Bama a repeat shot at LSU had voters been turned off by the Tide’s performance. Ultimately, the goal is to get to the Auburn game with no further injuries, and with a convincing win in Alabama’s back pocket.Continue reading …
If you want to start a spirited discussion on any Alabama fan board, trot out the modifier “best-ever” and ask people for opinions.
Alabama’s long, storied football history has produced many “best-evers,” from wide receiver Don Hutson in the 1930s to linebacker Lee Roy Jordan in the the 1960s (and later Derrick Thomas in the 1980s) to Dwight Stephenson to John Hannah to Mark Ingram and on and on and on.
Beyond individuals, Alabama can lay serious claim to having the best-ever college defense at several points in its history.Continue reading …
That Alabama defeated LSU in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night to retake the reins of its own playoff destiny wasn’t really a surprise to those who are familiar with Alabama’s recent seasons.
What’s surprising is that the Crimson Tide wasn’t really challenged at all by an LSU team that came into the game ranked second in the nation behind the running of RB Leonard Fournette and a quarterback who had yet to throw an interception.
Alabama didn’t just beat LSU Saturday night. Alabama made it look … easy.Continue reading …
By Jess Nicholas TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief Nov. 3, 2015 There are two steps to the strategy to get Alabama back into the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Step one: Ole Miss must lose. Step two: Alabama must stop Leonard Fournette. The first is out of Alabama’s hands altogether. Arkansas gets a chance to save Alabama’s bacon […]Continue reading …
Over its first few seasons after joining the SEC, Texas A&M felt like a jigsaw puzzle missing a couple of pieces.
The Aggies found those missing pieces after they hired John Chavis, the former Tennessee and LSU defensive coordinator, to coach them at the same position. Chavis immediately brought a toughness to the job that the Aggies had been lacking. Although Texas A&M is far from a defensive powerhouse in 2015, the improvement is noticeable, and more is expected in the future.
Alabama enters this game coming off its second physical test in a row. Alabama has beaten Georgia and Arkansas in successive weeks, and now must face the high-powered spread attack brought by Texas A&M. With rival Tennessee coming to Tuscaloosa the week after this game, many Alabama fans are worried that this contest has all the makings of a textbook trap game and upset.Continue reading …
It is easy to dismiss Arkansas as “Georgia Lite” given the Razorbacks’ offensive tendencies, but Arkansas has frequently been a tough out for Alabama. So much so, in fact, that Alabama needs to avoid falling into the trap posed by this direct-from-central-casting “trap game.”
In 2014, Arkansas took Alabama to the wire before the Crimson Tide eventually won, 14-13. It was the game that the Alabama coaches used to eventually define the 2014 squad, and it also marked the last game QB Blake Sims really struggled to get through. In 2015, Alabama gets the Hogs a week after rolling around like a bunch of hogs in the Georgia mud. Fortunately for Alabama, the fourth quarter of its win over Georgia was little more than a mutual slap-fest, as prescribed by the stunningly poor weather conditions.Continue reading …