Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tide Rolls Over Georgia...

The "Game of the Week" turned out to be hardly a game. #8 Alabama rolled into Georgia, and the Tide left the Bulldogs washed away. The 41-30 final fails to give Alabama its true justice. The game was an absolute rout, decided in the first half. It seemed everytime I looked at the television screen, a man in crimson was crossing the goal line. Bama dominated the game on both sides of the ball. Its defense swarmed Stafford and the Georgia offense, forcing turnovers and making plays left and right. On offense, Coffee and the rushing attack pounded through Georgia's defense for three first half scores, and John Parker Wilson found Julio Jones for a 22 yard scoring strike to close the half. At that point the score was 31-0, as Georgia fans sat in silence, shocked at what they were witnessing.

Stafford and Georgia made the score respectable in the second half, but were well aware of the true massacre that took place. After outscoring the Tide 31-10 in the second half, they still found themselves losing by 11. The game was never close. The only man that appeared to be unhappy on the Alabama side, was head coach Nick Saban. Saban was irrate with how Alabama played in the second half. He wanted the final score to make a statement, not just the halftime score. Whether Saban was happy with the finish or not, the AP Poll still recognized what transpired Saturday night. Sunday evening, the Crimson Tide found themselves ranked #2 in the country, only trailing Oklahoma for the top spot. It only took five games for the Tide to roll from its preseason ranking of #24 to the nation's second best spot. Saban and the boys now stand poised for a title run. Currently LSU and Auburn are the toughest challenges that lie ahead, both hoping to spoil Bama's run.

Thus far, Alabama has shown the country that it is a force to be reckon with. They have dominated both prime time games they have appeared in, upsetting two top 10 teams. Now that they've proved their worth, it is up to them to prove they can handle the pressure of being at the top. A pressure that in just five short weeks has taken down the likes of USC, Georgia, and Florida. More often than not, it is easier to be the team gunning for the best, than the team everyone is gunning for. This explains Saban's disgust with their second half performance Saturday night. Alabama looked soft for the first time this year. They became overconfident and showed weakness. This is exactly the kind of attitude Saban knows has cost top ranked teams their title hopes in the past. Saban expects them to play will aggresiveness and dominate for all 48 minutes of every game. With this mentality and proper execution, Alabama could find themselves unbeaten, hoisting up a National Championship trophy come seasons' end.

What's the likelihood of this? Alabama has been my team since the start of the year. Saturday night convinced me that they were the best team in the country (when playing at their best). How they respond at #2 or possibly #1 in the next few weeks is the key. When they play like they have something to prove, I think they're the nation's best. They need to play every game with that same mentality. If they do so, and I think they will, they'll find themselves atop college football come January. On paper, playing at LSU will be their biggest test. In reality, with the way they have played against top 10 teams thus far, I think its the unranked teams they have more to worry about. They cannot afford any USC-like lapses versus an unranked opponent like Ole Miss or Tennessee. With that being said, go Bama!

Image taken from Yahoo! Sports

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