Thursday, December 6, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson
There was such a flurry of activity in the ’ole town last weekend, one could hardly keep up.
From the 175th celebration to the Christmas parade and sundry other occasions, there was also one of the most important games in collegiate football season being played out in Atlanta, Ga. To say that this matchup had been hyped would not begin to describe the lead up.
The combatants were arguably the best which the SEC had to offer. It featured the number two team in the nation, Alabama, which should have been number one except for that slight hiccup with Texas A&M, and the ferocious (let them tell it) Bulldogs of Georgia. From overall records to those of the individual divisions in their respective conferences, these teams were evenly matched. Both had marks of 11-1, 7-1.
It doesn’t stop there. One must also figure in the player personnel. First the top-rated signal caller in collegiate football for this season is Aaron Murray of the Bulldogs, just topping A.J. McCarron of the Tide. And consider that the coaches would also be utilizing both seasoned veterans and seasoned rookies (freshmen). The comparison has to be made between running back Ed Lacy of Alabama and the two capable, albeit less experienced, ball carriers which the ’Dogs employed (Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall).
This game wasn’t in Manila but it was still a “thrilla.” Not even the Tide coach (Nick Saban) figured this as a walk in the park. Verily, he and the Crimson had to win this thing at least three times. They had to battle back from deficits in a very noisy, unfriendly confine and finally come up with that spectacular play which left the Tide on top and on track for another shot at the national crown.
For yours truly, there is ambivalence because of the reverence which I have always had for Notre Dame. I consider this the ideal contest to decide the best football team in the nation on the collegiate level but I fear that the “luck of the Irish” will run out on this one.
The Irish and Tide will meet in the Discover BCS Bowl. Projections have been offered for the four lesser bowls which comprise the five. The Rose Bowl will feature Stanford and Nebraska, Orange Bowl Florida State and Louisville, Sugar Bowl Florida Gators and Oklahoma and the Fiesta Bowl with Kansas State and Oregon.
I really don’t have a dog in these hunts but those of you who do, the luck of the Irish to you.
And please believe me when I say this, not to gloat, but to all those persons who told me that the ’Dogs were going to stop a herd of stampeding elephants, “sorry.”
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