Alabama makes case for repeat title seasonPublished 10:22am Tuesday, September 4, 2012
As I wandered about the voluminous Cowboys Stadium at halftime of the bludgeoning that was Alabama versus Michigan, I came upon a curiously stoic Wolverines fan staring into space.
He didn’t even notice that I had stopped to observe his strange behavior. He just continued his squinted, concentrated gaze like an old man trying to remember where he parked his car.
“Some stadium, huh??” I asked him if only to be sure his teams on-the-field beating hadn’t lobotomized him.
The man looked at me, smiled and said, “I just hope the Dallas Cowboys come out of the locker room in the second half to make this a contest.”
I replied, “No offense, but the way Alabama is playing, I am not sure the Cowboys want any.”
The man turned to me with a puzzled look on his face, paused and finally said, “I meant INSTEAD of Alabama.”
This mans sentiments were shared by many a Wolverine fan. The Cowboys Classic was hardly that at all. It was more like a battered shrimp versus a deep fryer.
I am not going to make the bold proclamation that this Alabama team cannot be defeated. I have seen enough college football Goliaths go down to Davids to know that each week is its own entity.
However, Saturday night did dispel the notion that the Tide will take a step back after losing several key players off of last year’s national championship team. The most over-used cliché in college football is they don’t rebuild; they reload? But, it has never been more fitting than when describing Nick Saban’s program.
It is time to finally accept that the Tide simply will not have that lull that has affected other teams and other coaches after a small period of success. Love him or hate him (and there is really no in-between), Saban will have ‘Bama in the race for the crown every year.
Just ask Michigan. That proud program now joins Texas, Clemson, Arkansas (three times), LSU, Auburn (twice), Michigan State, Florida (three straight times), Penn State (twice), Georgia, Virginia Tech and Tennessee (four times) that Alabama has beaten by double digits in the last five years. That is one impressive list of victims.
Back to the Wolverines, though, one does have to wonder where this massacre will leave that team mentally. It is one thing to let Alabama severely punish you on just one Saturday, but the hangover may allow Alabama to beat you all year long. Michigan is still a talented team with a great coach, but they have seen what it is like at the top and they have to know they are not at that level.
So who will stem the Tide in 2013? LSU is certainly talented enough. Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri all have their strong points, especially at home. There is the possibility of Georgia in the SEC title game, too. Without a doubt, there are mines to avoid in Alabama’s march to a repeat
Regardless, the truth is the Tide will be in a position to compete nationally for the foreseeable future. I have always heard it is harder to stay on top than it is to get there, but it doesn’t look like the Tide is ready to roll down the mountain anytime soon.
Robinson is a columnist for Sportz Blitz.