Thursday, October 14, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Tide finally goes down
I know that all of you out there in football land have already heard the story which has struck on the hillside and rebounded from all the flats, reverberated from each nook and cranny.
The Crimson Tide was defeated on Saturday by the Gamecocks of South Carolina. Nick Saban, the Tide boss summed it up when he said “We didn’t just lose, they defeated us.” Alabama had been ordained by many to go through another undefeated season, sailing unscathed into the national championship.
Everyone knows if your program is touted as the best in the land, then the target on your back looms as large as a billboard. The mystery was not so much as when the Tide would finally be beaten but who would actually be capable of doing it. Let me be perfectly clear that I was aware that Alabama was destined to no longer be numero uno at some point in time, but I never dreamed that number 19 South Carolina had the sway in the equation. When the Razorbacks and Gators failed, there just didn’t seem to be any other great threat on the horizon.
We are not trying to take anything away from another SEC team. This writer is an SEC fan who has followed the career of Steve Spurrier from collegiate playing days through university coaching days to trials and tribulations in the NFL and back to the college scene. And, probably a stat that is not very well known – Spurrier knows how to coach against Saban, having won three of the four meetings between the two. But the Gamecocks had never defeated a number-one-ranked team, until Saturday. What is the old adage? First time for everything!
It is not known at this time just how far this will move the Gamecocks in the rankings but there are already speculations that they just might win their division. And the Tide is sure to be shoved from the number one slot, perhaps to three or four since Ohio State and Oregon both won. And by pretty healthy margins. The Broncos of Boise State have been riding roughshod over opponents all season but can’t seem to move from the number four position.
There’s a very sour note to this Alabama loss at this time. Ole Miss has the Tide next weekend and one just has to believe that the Carolina defeat is not going to have a “softening effect” on the Tide’s caliber of play.
Ole Miss, you know we are with you, but beware, you just might be facing a wounded bear.
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