Can I at least put some butter on my crow?
I am prepared for the hot plate of cooked bird coming way after Alabama’s 38-10 rout of Georgia Saturday, and I welcome the cool glass of shut up accompanying it. The Crimson Tide that invaded Athens looked as good as any at the height of the Nick Saban dynasty.
After Alabama gave up 43 points in its Week 3 loss to Ole Miss, I just did not see the Crimson Tide in the same light as I had a few years ago. Having surrendered 40-plus three times since last November, the once-imposing defense looked vulnerable.
Ask Georgia’s Greyson Lambert or Nick Chubb how vulnerable the Tide defense is now.
Saban’s hire of the notoriously finesse-favoring Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator prior to the 2014 season seemed too dramatic of a deviation to not wreak of desperation. The same goes for taking on Florida State transfer quarterback Jake Coker, and reportedly pursuing Everett Golson upon his departure from Notre Dame.
Why was Alabama, a team that won three national championships with a power offense, hiring a play-caller run out of his previous job in part for abandoning power football? And what was happening with the Tide’s celebrated recruiting that it lacked an heir apparent to A.J. McCarron (or Blake Sims)?
Worthwhile questions, sure. But don’t expect them to be revisited any time soon – well, not until the next Alabama loss, at least.
Saban’s been predictably stoic toward skeptics. He doesn’t need to say much. All that needed to be voiced was said with the Crimson Tide’s dominating play.
There was nothing finesse about running back Derrick Henry shoving 148 yards and a touchdown down the Georgia defense’s throat. And, for his struggles previously, Coker looked just fine going 11-of-16 passing.
The Kiffin M.O. of favoring a primary wide receiver paid dividends Calvin Ridley owning Bulldog defensive backs for 120 yards and a score. Alabama seemingly has its replacement for Amari Cooper.
So long as this team continues to show up week-in and week-out, Saban can bring a fourth national championship to Tuscaloosa.
I can take some solace knowing I’m not the only one who presumed to have seen the last of the old Alabama after that home loss to Ole Miss.
If there’s one thing above all else Alabama teams have done exceedingly well under Saban, it’s responding to doubt after SEC stumbles. Last year’s loss at Ole Miss and narrow escape against Arkansas preceded a 59-0 shellacking of Texas A&M.
In 2012, following Johnny Manziel’s national coming-out party in an upset of the Tide in Bryant-Denny Stadium, they came back to blast Auburn 49-0.
The Crimson Tide don’t exactly have a neatly paved road ahead of them to Atlanta for yet another SEC Championship Game appearance. Auburn and Arkansas may be disappointing, but undefeated LSU and Texas A&M appear worthy competitors in the SEC West.
And, of course, the conference-opening defeat to Ole Miss leaves Alabama looking up at the Rebels so long as they continue winning.
Fate’s broken Alabama’s way previously in the Saban dynasty. Should the Tide keep showing the same kind fight demonstrated Saturday, the kingdom looks to be in good shape.