As I mentioned earlier, this past Alabama victory means more than staying undefeated. It signified a change in mentality for this program. While the win was exciting, there is plenty for this team to work on if we want to keep improving. The real victory came in the fact that we actually were able to come from behind and win a game. I think this is what excites Alabama fans more than anything else.
During the Shula years, Alabama was 0-19 on 4th quarter comeback attempts. If we were down by even 1 point, we always lost the game because our team would just gave up. It was a funk we couldn’t wash off no matter what we tried. But, last night signified a change in direction. We were able to stay in this game mentally, which helped us to make the plays we needed to make. If we can continue to improve and keep this mental toughness, we will be able to get to where we want to be sometime in the not-so-distant future.
Now, let me address two topics that are closely related. First, we’re not going to just blow away the competition. At best we’re the 2nd place team in the SEC West. Personally, I’m a little uncomfortable with Bama being ranked this high so soon.
Having said that, I am starting to notice a bit of a trend from the Saban-haters out there:
-“Alabama very easily could end up 1-4 to start the season.”
-“Vandy has improved a lot recently. We all know that VU and UA have similar talent levels. We’ll be able to tell what kind of team this is after the Vanderbilt game.”
-“OK, so you won. But, Vandy will always be Vandy. Besides, you got some calls from the refs. We’ll be able to see what kind of team this is after the Arkansas game.”
-” No way you beat Arkansas with Jones and McFadden going full strength.”
-“OK, so you won again. But, you got some calls from the refs and Houston Nutt is a dolt. You looked just awful at times. We’ll be able to see what kind of team this is after the Georgia game.”
Trying to defer a real critique of this team until Saban’s first lose is pretty childish. Admit that we’re doing better than you wanted to see and that we still have areas to improve in. It isn’t that hard. Once we actually lose a game, I’m sure they’ll come out in droves to say “Well, didn’t pay $4 million for that now did ya?!”
BTW, just because somebody is a fan of an opposing school doesn’t mean they are a part of this Saban-hater group I’m talking about. Sure, they may dislike Saban, but there are plenty of them who are willing to give credit when it is due.
I’ll have my SEC Power Poll rankings out sometime this afternoon, so stay tuned!