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Statistically, a person who didn’t watch this game would look at the numbers and suggest Alabama and Oklahoma were evenly matched teams, which is understandable. Anyone who watched the game and still asserted such, however, are the same people who are likely to believe salmon ice cream with Brussels sprout gravy makes a good dessert.
Auburn’s strategy was obviously to survive the Alabama first-half storm, keep the game close, then do something heroic in the second half. Such a strategy, though, oversamples early-season results and fails to account for the Alabama of the recent. Alabama may have started the year running up huge numbers and then sitting on the leads, which led to some artificial second-half statistics that implied the Tide couldn’t play after the half.
These days? Ask LSU. Ask The Citadel. And now, ask Auburn.Continue reading …
Against Louisville, Alabama did to the Cardinals what it has done to every opponent since Nick Saban’s first year in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide won, and it wasn’t particularly close. For that matter, Louisville finds itself cast into a category of least potent Alabama opponents the Crimson Tide has faced in some time.Continue reading …
If Louisville gets hot offensively, it’s not completely impossible that this game would turn into a shootout. But if Alabama can slow the Cardinal offense at all, a defense that was already bad and then lost nine starters to graduation would seem to have little chance of stopping what figures to be the most explosive Alabama offense perhaps in all of school history.Continue reading …
At most A-Day games, especially those overseen by Nick Saban, it isn’t so much what you see as what you don’t see.
There aren’t a lot of complicated blitzes. There aren’t a bunch of funky offensive sets. There isn’t much more to be seen other than a basic overview of the depth chart, on-the-hoof estimations of successful (or not-so-successful) strength-and-conditioning efforts, and maybe a few tendencies sneak through in years – like this one – where Alabama is replacing an offensive coordinator.Continue reading …
If there has been one thing regarding SEC football that seems out of place in this era of Nick Saban’s domination at Alabama, it’s been that Auburn has not only survived in Alabama’s shadow, but thrived.
Auburn has won a national title (2010), played for it a second time (2013), and if Auburn beats Alabama this week and Georgia a second time in the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers seem all but assured of representing the SEC as a two-loss hopeful in this year’s final four.Continue reading …
If the main goal coming out of Alabama’s game against Mercer Saturday was to avoid major injuries, Alabama checked off that box.
If the goal was to give linebacker Dylan Moses as many snaps as possible to prepare him for Auburn, the Crimson Tide was able to do that, as well.Continue reading …
Texas A&M had enough raw talent, moxie and sense of duty and loyalty to the head coach to make life interesting for Alabama last week.
Arkansas does not. Or, at least, it shouldn’t.
There’s not an easy way to talk about mismatches that occur within the borders of the conference without sounding condescending, but a cursory look at where certain teams fall in the five-year rolling average for recruiting rankings tells the story. In Texas A&M’s case, the Aggies have been in the top third of SEC classes most of those years. For Arkansas, getting out of the bottom third even one out of five times has beContinue reading …
Alabama football is about competing for national championships, not just having solid seasons. For teams that aspire to the level of “good,” a win like Alabama’s 27-19 triumph over Texas A&M would be something to brag about.
For Alabama, this was a step backward, maybe more.
Kevin Sumlin is probably not worth the steep buyout he negotiated for himself with his employer, Texas A&M. But Sumlin – and his team – are likely better than most would admit.
The question is, is this team good enough to beat Alabama at home?Continue reading …